Lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio
Elaine Hullihen combines the tactile space of bodily experience with the materiality of used objects to investigate the polarities between comfort/discomfort, stillness/movement, and subject/object. She uses the tools of sculpture, performance, video, storytelling, collage, fiber arts and printmaking to make work that toggles between the studio, collaboration, public art, and education.
Her work has been shown at Garage Door Gallery (2022), Morgan Conservatory (2021), Galleria Garage (2021), Worthington Yards (2020), Rooms to Let (2018 and 2021), Maelstrom Collaborative Arts (2019-2021), Cleveland Public Theatre (2015-2019) and SPACES Gallery (2009). She has worked collaboratively on a number of projects including as a member of Cleveland, Ohio’s first Learning Lab cohort with Center for Performance and Civic Practice and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (2018-19). It resulted in a collaboration with Frontline Service (2019-20). She is a longtime program coordinator and arts and yoga instructor with Fostering Hope (2014-). She has also worked on numerous theatrical productions, most recently as set/prop designer for The Blind at Cleveland Institute of Music (2022).
She has participated in residency programs with Aguafuerte Taller in Santiago, Chile (2018), Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Lumsden, Scotland (2009), and 7 Stock in Dresden, Germany (2007). She earned a BFA in Sculpture with a minor in Theatre in 2007 at Kent State University and is a 2023 MFA candidate in Interdisciplinary Arts at University of Nevada- Reno (Sierra Nevada University).
My work seeks out vibrant interactions between materials in order to reorient the body’s tactile sense and question what has become invisible or mundane. With an interdisciplinary approach, I make work that investigates how I inhabit the container of my body as well as interact, through this body container, with the world around me. Within the ebb and flow of life’s experiences around memory, time, loss, joy, and relationships, my work is about a felt sense of being in space and how that experience informs our decisions as we extend ourselves out into the world.
I often work with materials that are found or collected from my lived experience. I am fascinated with the map-like effect the process of time has on an object as well as the unseen story that is infused into a material from its use. It serves as a type of reflexive proof of human existence and a personal archive composed of items that nearly missed the landfill.
By re-contextualizing these materials I offer an opportunity to become curious about the ever present tactile, emotional and unconscious relationships we navigate through time and space. What emerges is a chance to re-engage with the world with a changed sense- one that is reawakened and informed by imbedded and remembered knowledge.