Ethel, born in Soviet Estonia, is a spiritually oriented self-taught artist, writer and photographer. Her main medium is oil on canvas. Her paintings, featuring alien-like human figures, are always explorations into expanding awareness of the self and therefore the existence at large. Her subject matter arise as an inquiry that takes the artist into the depth of her psyche and unfolds on the canvas into rich dream-like scenarios.
Ethel's art has strong intellectual, emotional and spiritual content, with frequent reference to shamanic theme, which the painter found herself drawn to during university years, while studying Theology. She chose Theology in hope of finding hidden wisdom that would help her with the sense of alienation which was haunting her from early on. Always interested in digging deeper into what's behind an experience, she became fascinated also with psychology and ethics, but still could not find what she was seeking.
During Master Studies in Anthropology of Religions she started feeling resistance towards academic ways, while becoming increasingly curious about what cannot be said in strictly defined language. She longed to feel the awe, to sense the meaning behind existence, to find purpose and no study could provide her that. The sense of awe she experienced through connecting with nature, shamanic practices and authentic relating to oneself and other. That grew to be her greatest source of inspiration.
In August 2010 Ethel came to Java, Indonesia to work on her Theses (Ethics of Othering in Post Modern Eco Theology) and birthed a fairy-tale-style novel instead (published in 2015, in Estonia). At the same time she started painting and exploring photography. With each of the disciplines she seeks to touch upon something potent, hidden beyond the surface, something that truly matters and oftentimes eludes definition.
In less than two years of painting Ethel had her first solo exhibition in Jogjakarta, Java, and her work was featured in an annual art show of widely celebrated artists of Java, Indonesia, held in Syang Art Space, Magelang. She sold her first paintings before she ever had an exhibition. In 2012 Ethel went on to discover Bali, where she concentrated on developing her personal style and concept.
In the project of Cardinal Directions Ethel aims to bypass the intellectual mind altogether, saying that it is limited by preconditioning of social trends and standards. She draws her subject matter from subconscious layers of the mind, reaching into the depth of personal experience and beyond via shamanic journey practice. After delving all in into the subconscious realms, for her next project Ethel seeks to marry the intellectual and subconscious mind.
Drawing subject matter from these depths, her art touches upon the themes of personal and collective meaning, inviting viewers to delve deeper into their own sub-consciousness for the revelations that await there.