Up North Artist Spotlight: Ella Metcalfe

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

In preparation for the Norman Rea gallery's upcoming exhibition 'Up North', opening 25th February and running until 6th March, we have conducted interviews with some of the young Northern artists displaying their works in the exhibition.


What is your artistic schooling? If not official, how did you develop your work?


"I am not officially trained in poetry- the only formal training I have had is a creative writing module at university. I guess I developed my craft by writing when I took the inspiration, and knowing when I needed to take breaks from it. Doing it in small doses enabled me to stay in love with what I do."



In your own words, please describe your work.

"I am a poet, and my poetic intentions are to write about my experiences as personally as I can. I feel it’s important as want people to relate to my work and find comfort in it. My poetic style has definitely become more visual as my writing has developed.

I am influenced by lesbian late modern poets such as Mary Oliver as well as the contemporary poet Amanda Lovelace.

I feel as if I write in my own way, and the poems I write are very much personal odes to myself."



What works are you displaying in the exhibition?


"The four poems I am exhibiting all connect to the theme of “Northern Identity” because they are based on either personal relationships I have formed here, or are inspired by creatives I have been introduced to here.

“Foo Yung” is a love poem , about a wonderful girl in my life, “post-it notes to mother” is a thank you note to my mum, “the twelve marker” is a fun play with form about all the times you get mugged off essentially, “sestina” is my interpretation of Elizabeth Bishop’s sestina, and “a woman robbed” is based off of phoebe Waller-Bridge’s incredible show “Fleabag.” All my works have a common theme of female queer sexuality and the power it wields."



What work are you involved with now/in the future?


"I have aspirations to publish my own collection of poems, that would be the dream. The only thing holding me back is trying to find lgbtq+ publishing houses and the cost."

The exhibition runs from 25th February till 6th March, with an opening night of art and music 7-9pm on the 25th. Free tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/up-north-exhibition-opening-tickets-93920234951?fbclid=IwAR1zwGCIxp1TyHmZToxOvDK0hdvniMR603p_qduFm5y0558S7aAj1qv1m3c

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