Internationally acclaimed street artist Elle has painted walls since 2010. Her talent and determination have seen her work exhibited in London’s Saatchi Gallery, Berlin’s Urban Nation Museum, and collaborate with everyone from video game designers to global brands like Reebok, Vice and Ikea.
Cutting her teeth in New York, Elle relocated to Melbourne just a few short years ago. Since then she’s made her mark on one of the globe’s most renowned street art scenes, embedding herself in the local culture, and becoming an extension of the Pace family as a collaborator.
With fresh work in our newly completed project, Pace of Collingwood, we sat down with Elle as the paint dried to hear her inspiration.
What do you love most about the medium you work with?
I love street art because it’s living. It’s a community of its own and that’s what makes it so interesting. It’s accessible, so people who wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable going to a gallery can still engage with meaningful art on the street every day - it’s just relatable in a way that ‘high-art,’ isn’t always.
What are your favourite pieces to work on?
Anything that I get to do with Vexta is awesome, and I was lucky to work with her on Pace of Collingwood’s launch art. Her work is so inspiring, and she’s one of my best friends! I’ve collaborated with artists like Mayonaize, Makatron, Shin Shin and so many of the crew at Everfresh Studio. I remember an awesome mystery collab I got to be a part of in New York City. I’d put one drawing up on a wall, then overnight a Mysterious Mr. Fox would come along and add to it. It went on for weeks with drawings and writing creating call and response through art. I never found out who it was, but that just added to the fun.
How did you start collaborating with Pace?
They were one of my first Australian clients! Another amazing street artist, Mike Makatron, introduced me to their team and we’ve been collaborating ever since. Pace of Collingwood’s launch was one of my first jobs so it’s pretty special to be invited back to paint the finished project.
What do you enjoy most about working with Pace?
I have to say, they’re a dream client. Pace are a Melburnian brand through and through, and Pace of Collingwood’s a new project in one of Melbourne’s most creative communities. It deserved relevant art that reflected its heritage – a piece that was bright, bold and unashamed. The artistic freedom Pace have given me is amazing. Now that I’ve worked across several of their projects around Melbourne like Ode and Pace of Abbotsford, we’ve built a really trusting relationship. I know a bunch of the construction team from painting walls, so there’s a familial feel about working with them!
What’s your inspiration for Pace of Collingwood’s communal art piece?
It’s in a long hallway so I was interested in doing something that flowed through the space. It was a real blank canvas to start with – just a white wall – so I’ve gone all out with the colours. Figuratively speaking it’s a collage. There are beautiful flora and aquatic themes woven around a powerful female figure, and I’ve played with textures like acrylic and spray paint to create different dimensions in the piece.
What do you hope the Pace of Collingwood community enjoys about your art?
I just hope they like it! I try not to tell people how to enjoy or interpret art. I do so much research of the local area’s community and heritage when I’m working on a piece, so the greatest thing I could ask for is that the neighbourhood adopts it as something significant of their own.
Pace of Collingwood is now sold out and settled. For more information on future Pace communities that you can be a part of, visit our projects page now.