Ely artist, Lizzie, shares ‘fascinating’ life story of the eel through illustrations

Ely artist Lizzie Ault's (pictured inset) illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle.

Ely artist Lizzie Ault's (pictured inset) illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle. - Credit: Lizzie Ault

An artist from Ely has shared the ‘fascinating’ life story of the eel through her own illustrations. 

Lizzie Ault, who has lived in the city for several years, is planning to mark the beauty that she sees in the creatures from her stall at Ely’s Eel Day on June 5. 

The popular day honours the city’s namesake; the humble eel. 

Even though she’s called Ely her home for a while, Lizzie realised she knew very little about the eel and the city it is famed for and was intrigued by the long journey that the tiny glass eels make. 

“There is a magical mystery surrounding eels which attracts me,” said Lizzie. 

“Great minds have been trying to solve the riddle of the eel’s full lifecycle for centuries and still we don’t completely understand it.” 

Ely artist Lizzie Ault's illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle.

Ely artist Lizzie Ault's illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle. - Credit: Lizzie Ault

Ely artist Lizzie Ault's illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle.

Ely artist Lizzie Ault's illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle. - Credit: Lizzie Ault

Lizzie’s illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle – from hatching in the Sargasso Sea as a transparent leaf, floating on Atlantic currents as a glass eel, swimming freshwater rivers as an elver, then becoming a yellow eel and finally silver eel before swimming the return journey to spawn and die. 

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Lizzie is hoping to use Eel Day to share the life story of what she believes are ‘overlooked and unloved creatures’ and also raise awareness of their critically endangered status. 

“I try to celebrate the eel and show the beauty as I see it,” she said. 

“I have spent quite a bit of time observing eels and I love the texture and patterns of their skin and the detail of their eyes. 

“I try to capture the unique way that they move.” 

Ely artist Lizzie Ault's illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle.

Ely artist Lizzie Ault's illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle. - Credit: Lizzie Ault

Ely artist Lizzie Ault.

Ely artist Lizzie Ault. - Credit: Lizzie Ault

Ely artist Lizzie Ault's illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle.

Ely artist Lizzie Ault's illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle. - Credit: Lizzie Ault

Lizzie says the local community in Ely have been pleased to see the eel represented in artwork and she says that she’ll happily spend time sharing all she knows about the ‘quirky’ creatures with interested members of the public. 

She said: “I think people enjoy hearing about the eel because it is a connection with our natural heritage and gives us a sense of place. 

“I help people to feel pride in our Fenland environment.” 

Lizzie’s ‘popular’ illustrations can be purchased as original artwork, prints, greetings cards and even customised lampshades. 

She will be in Jubilee Gardens at Ely’s Eel Day and can also be found online at www.talesfromthefen.co.uk

Ely artist Lizzie Ault's illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle.

Ely artist Lizzie Ault's illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle. - Credit: Lizzie Ault

Ely artist Lizzie Ault's illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle.

Ely artist Lizzie Ault's illustrations feature the eel at each phase of its lifecycle. - Credit: Lizzie Ault