a b o  u  t     t   h e    a   r  t it .

Ella Leidy is an interdisciplinary artist who works in sculpture, textiles, found media, installation, and drawing. Leidy was raised in North Dakota and is now based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Leidy is currently in her third year at the University of Minnesota where she is pursuing a BFA in art. 

t a  t   e m  e  n   t .

My interdisciplinary practice is a space in which I process my complex relationships with my identities, as well as the social stereotypes, cultural beliefs, and political rhetoric surrounding gender and sexuality in the United States. With both sculpture and drawing, I explore the realities of womanhood and queerness and their intersection through the lens of my own lived experiences. I utilize a range of materials and techniques to weave these experiences into broader, shared narratives about gender and sexuality throughout American history. Whether with pencil and paper or needle and thread, I seek to intimately capture a snapshot of a feeling, a moment, or a memory otherwise unseen.

Recurring themes and imagery are thoughtfully reflected in the mediums and processes I utilize. Every element of my work is employed with both historical and uniquely personal contexts in mind. Today, I work primarily in found object, photography, and textile sculpture, as well as graphite drawing on paper. My sculptures utilize processes of domestic handicraft, distressing, machine sewing, and assemblage while my drawings depict hyperrealist, narrative portraiture often combined with experimental mixed media. Regardless of materials, exploration is central to my practice as an emerging artist and I continue to find new methods of conveying my point of view.

My most recent work reflects on my upbringing in rural North Dakota, reckoning with my feelings of isolation and otherness as a queer child in an overwhelmingly conservative, traditionalist community. Today, I am interested in the rural as a place existing somewhere between past and present– somewhere I am still that young girl, watching, listening, and remembering. Through my work, I materialize these memories of small-town social politics and gendered, heteronormative expectations both inside and outside the home. Current projects include the ongoing Common Thread series, which draws connections between historical and current realities of queerness in the United States through found photography and needlework, and Images of The Imaginary, a series of images created with the generative artificial intelligence program Midjourney that simulate found photographs from throughout the 19th century.