'...Like every other artist it is time that inspires Ellen. With things that cease to exist, with material that is battered, with decay. It is as if she is looking for the preceding. When she was photographing the houses and walls of Otrobanda, she looked from underneath one layer of plaster to another and from underneath the plaster layers to the core stones. Exactly the same she does with her ships. Beneath the damaged layers of paint there is rust and beneath that there is iron. It is possible that Ellen's obstinate search is because she lost her roots. She left her home country while still young, living in the tropics for so many years. Dutch, Antillean, Holland, Curacao, what is it exactly? From the present she travels back to the source, to the stone, to the deepest layer of steel. As if she asks herself what started it all. Great artists often move between two worlds. It makes them distant, because they will always stay a foreigner and melancholies, because they cherish things long gone. They drift about, like ships...' Jan Brokken, author (speech at opening photo exhibition 'Waterwerken', Dutch Maritime Museum, Amsterdam, NL. November 11, 2004; translated from Dutch)