Self Portrait with Oil Refinery and Melting Ice, 12"H x 12" W Digital print, ink and collage on paper, 2023

Ellen Driscoll’s intimate and probing self-portraits create intricate matrices that interlace her inner life with maps, charts, and images of an outer world undergoing constant change. While recovering from a rare brain tumor that initially rendered her unable to walk or see and prompted visual hallucinations, Driscoll began to interweave the self-portraits with images of melting glaciers, oil refineries, forest thickets, and birds, reflecting the artist’s long artistic preoccupation with global warming and environmental degradation. In each image, Driscoll’s face indelibly captures a vivid sense of a world and self, both inextricably intertwined and slipping away. Accompanying the self-portraits are a series of audio-postcards” recorded by Driscoll early in her recovery as a way of communicating with friends and family, and which reveal her innermost thoughts on art and healing.