love spells for a thief

hex pyramid web

My upcoming exhibition ‘Love Spells for a Thief‘ will be running at the Margaret River Gallery from the 26th of March and will run until the 18th of April.

Works can be viewed on the website already and early release sales are available for select works.

You can follow as new works are posted each day on my instagram account.

In Elizabeth Marruffo’s solo show ‘Love Spells for a Thief’ at the Margaret River gallery, old-master painting techniques will meet the world of Internet witchcraft.

While on an international artist residency in 2013, a large amount of Marruffo’s works were stolen and since then she has been planning a series of painted love spells for this unidentified thief. Marruffo says:

‘It was a devastating experience; losing all of the work I had created during that intense period away. It made me think about the ways we process loss and what we do to will it into something else.’

These sixty love spells are painted on hexagonal panels of wood, and incorporate the symbols she has developed in her practice as well as some of the mundane personal items that were stolen. The titles are love spells drawn from on-line sources that respond to the painted images in coincidental, and humorous ways, yet also with a lot of sincerity.

One of the sixty spells reads:

‘Enchant and empower your clothes as they go in the dryer. Imbue them with a special magical intent.’

Each love spell is being shared daily on the artists Instagram account as a countdown to the exhibition.

Marruffo is hoping to leave the viewer spellbound with a mixture of delicately rendered and highly detailed miniatures, some large-scale hexagonal shaped paintings and an immersive hive-like installation of the love spell paintings.

In late 2016, the love spell paintings will be compiled in to a book of spells, called a grimoire.

photo courtsey of Claire Mueller

love spells for a thief

#lovespellsforathief #painting #tinypainting #puppy #dog #dogpainting #flowerpainting #wip
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The sound of pulling up a mandrake can drive a person insane. To avoid this fate, tie a dog to the plant to pull it up for you #lovespellsforathief #magicspell #spell #tree #dogpainting #puppy #figurepainting #oilpainting #hexagon
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I’m finally working on a new project. These paintings are a small sample from my latest body of work where I am making a book of spells or a grimoire. There will be dozens of these hexagonal panels which will contain the symbols and iconography I use in my practice. The titles are love spells drawn from on-line sources that humourously and serendipitously respond to the works.

These works are also a response to each of the items that I lost when all our stuff was stolen in San Francisco over a year ago. Because a lot of my new work was taken it took me a while to figure out what to do next.

I’ve been contemplating the following statement by Alan Moore from his documentary and it helps me feel a lot less crappy about the amount of time I spend on my artwork and just art in general.

“Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words or images, to achieve changes in consciousness … Indeed to cast a spell is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change people’s consciousness, and this is why I believe that an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world to a shaman”
Alan Moore 2008

I post on instagram a lot so please follow me there to keep up with the project, thank you.


The Tantrum, a win

a win

So this is the work that won the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Art Award last year. I was in Oaxaca and had been crying in a taxi moments beforehand. I was so sad to be leaving Mexico and when I got home to the message that I had won something it made me feel so excited about going back to Perth.

This also made me feel a bit better about things after all our luggage got stolen in the last week of our 4 month trip. It happened in San Francisco and included all the artwork I made while in Florence and Mexico, supplies I used and books I bought that you can see on this blog. This happened 4 months ago and it has taken this long to write about it and start drawing again.

Sculpture work in progress

Sculpture work in progress
Sculpture work in progress

This is the progress of my work at the art production residency at Arquetopia in Oaxaca, Mexico. I have been looking at traditional paper mache sculpting and the elaborate woodcarving alebrije traditions that exist here in Mexico. Making this piece, which is the realisation of a dream I had about 7 years ago, has created the space for other sculpture ideas to emerge. I am looking forward to making more when I get back to Perth and seeing in what ways paintings will work with them.