Elinor Brass is an artist, teacher, researcher, Director of Art at a school in the Midlands, founder of Sketchbook Circle and former Director of Gerald Moore Gallery. Working with photography, drawing, collage, print-making, sculpture and installation she creates painterly responses to environments.
Elinor has a BA in History of Art and History from Birmingham University, a PGCE in Secondary Art from Cambridge University, a Masters in Painting from Wimbledon School of Art and is currently completing an Educational Doctorate at the Institute of Education.
Collaboration is an important part of Elinor's practice. She established Sketchbook Circle in 2009 in order to have the chance to work with other artists and to ensure that she continued to regularly make work despite the busy life of a teacher. The current circle has 300 participants from across the UK and Europe with each participant having two in-depth visual conversations over the course of a year. It supports artist educators to commit regular time to their own artistic practice and has become a supportive community of practitioners. Elinor has organised lots of events at Gerald Moore Gallery with practical workshops and an annual exhibition where the work from the circle is shown.
She has often collaborated with Emily Orley. In their work together, they begin their projects with the idea that 'places remember events' (words that James Joyce scribbled in the margin of his notes for Ulysses) to investigate and document the history of sites in and around London. By thoroughly researching the buildings that they decide to use and their surrounding areas, and then working with carefully composed installations and photography, they bring these places to life by tapping into the memory contained within their very fabric.
In her research, Elinor is exploring being an artist, researcher and teacher within her own institution and investigating an artist-led project in Gerald Moore Gallery where students from three schools collaborated to develop an exhibition. Elinor's role leading the gallery was to develop a programme of exhibitions and events that has learning at their centre, working with young people, teachers and reaching out to the people in the locality.