Reviews and Testimonials
Both epic and ripe with intricate detail, her work reminds me of a Leonora Carrington psychological landscape, at one level displaying a consciousness echoing an ancient sensibility and at another level expressing something intensely contemporary.
Rowlands tells stories of her childhood and of family trauma, yet woven inside a poetry that takes us out away from the personal and into a universal space.
There is rhythm to her performance; an enigmatic presence that persistently takes us out of her stories of oppression, abuse and hardship and back to nature.
In many respects Outside, My Hands are Clapping is a hymn to womanhood, to childbirth and to old age. As Rowlands tells us; she comes from a long line of strong women.
- Colin Hambrook, Editor of Disability Arts Online.
Elinor Rowlands’ performance of poetry is profound, sad and soothingly reflective.
She speaks about family history and family trauma in a beautifully mellow and gently self-assured way – interspersing this with evocative film clips accompanied by poetry and music which add emotional depth.
This deeply intimate tale of family history is both personal and yet universal – Rowlands compellingly captures the shared shockwaves of personal trauma and the common bonds of difficulty which leave their deep impressions on a family.
Review of "Outside, My Hands Are Clapping"
Review of JOY of Theatre, Hammersmith Lyric
- Agnes Carrington-Windo, Reviewer, Plays to See, 2019
Elinor Rowlands’ piece takes us on an abrupt and very moving about-turn. She gives an immensely poignant speech, introducing her film Like Breath Not Breathing – a self-portrait of her experiences with chronic fatigue.
She eloquently draws attention to the problems disabled artists face getting their voices heard, especially amidst swathes of welfare cuts. The film focuses on her face, morphing into a kaleidoscope effect as she lies in bed, unable to get up.
The room’s reaction to her piece was heart-warming and the support for her excellently delivered message was tangible, creating a very special moment.
The audience was palpably receptive to Elinor’s voice and hugely inspired.
Agnes Carrington-Windo, Reviewer, Plays to See, 2018
I commissioned Elinor Rowlands after she shared so much of her vivid and vibrant art on social media. My hallway has a long wall and I wanted bright and vivid reds in the form of abstract flowers. Not only did she achieve this, but it was wonderful to be updated by all the layers. Her access barriers is p&p and yet, she kept me up to date throughout so there was no stress.
- T. Bailey, Leicester, UK
I wanted a flamboyant cactus. She first tested it in watercolour and I loved it but then she asked me whether she could put it on canvas and paint it vibrantly and I said yes immediately. Elinor does paint in layers, so it's not all level, so finding a place where the light hits it properly was essential. The painting brightens up a stale space, and is exactly what I wanted.
- H. Carroll, Luxembourg
Your performance was the most affecting, particularly towards the end. You really made the audience feel your emotions. I thought the way you acted out certain words and lines with your body was really effective. One line that really stood out for me was "and those left behind are spilled out guts on a fisherman's floor." The passage that line was in was really beautiful."
- L. Bickerdike, London, UK
Elinor excels at writing forlorn sentences. A sentence, I have never before written.
- A. Carlson, Minneapolis, USA
The way Elinor paints the ocean is so vivid, I can hear the waves, smell the sea air. Her blue paintings are incredibly calming.
- S. Edmunds, Oxford, UK
Like her art work, Elinor is a complete 360 immersive experience. I love how she shares and teaches. She is so intriguing and interested in everything.
E. Reavey, London, UK
Audience and Exhibition attendee
Elinor's work is incredibly immersive and so easily accessible, I feel like I've lived so much of what she feels but never had the words to convey my own journey until I experienced her art and poetry. Being around neurodiverse people like Elinor has opened my eyes to a feeling of safety, I crave.
- G.G. Essex, UK, Exhibition attendee
I've been having mentoring from Elinor for years, she has a way of knowing what I want to say and has supported me both academically and in identifying my barriers and access needs. I have excelled and developed due to her mentorship.
- J. Coppola, London, UK, Mentee
(Early years BA and MA graduate)
It's difficult to describe our mentoring sessions, only that she is incredibly person centred and the way she has helped me to develop myself personally, professionally and academically is by always looking within at my needs, and my voice. I have always attended to tasks independently and through her support, I have gone from almost failing a bachelors to achieving highest success with my Masters.
- S. D., Surrey, UK, Mentee
(Psychology, then Archeology)
I struggle with breaking information down into manageable steps so Elinor's brilliant at showing me how to understand information in an easier and more accessible way. She has also taught me how to convey the disability narrative through vocabulary my tutors and peers can understand. She has always believed in me, even when I have wanted to give up and has always had time when I've been rock bottom.
- P. Gourlay, London, UK, Arts Mentee and Study Skills student