Sue Ela was born in the United States in 1948 and has resided in Israel since 1970. Sue completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University, majored in psychology and minored in fine arts. She earned her M.A. and PhD in psychology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
For Sue, sculpture is a natural continuation of her work as a psychologist, giving her an opportunity to examine the different avenues of expressing the complicated emotional realm of couples, families, femininity and dance. Sue’s conviction that people have the ability to change and grow is expressed in the flow and movement in her sculpture. Sue works mostly in clay and her favorite technique is bending steel wires, covering them with clay and casting them in bronze or polyester.
Sue designed “The Kingdom Playground” in the Liberty Bell Park near the center of Jerusalem which was inaugurated in January 2019. The playground is made up of eight huge sculptures of royal images. The queen’s gown and the king’s suit are five and a half meters high with five slides. There are two large benches in the shape of a king’s and a queen’s crown and four sculptures of princes and princesses that children can stand behind to be photographed. The project was made possible by a contribution from the A.R.K. Church of God Foundation from the Philippines, support from the Jerusalem Foundation and the Municipality of Jerusalem.
Sue’s sculpture Dance, casted in bronze, two meters high, was commissioned in 2014 for the Legacy Heritage Healing Garden at the Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva.
Based on her abstract sculptures, Sue has designed a family sculpture park which is experiential, interactive and encourages direct contact between children, adults and sculpture. The sculptures themselves become magical, stimulating the imagination and encouraging familiar and treasured experiences like climbing and sliding. Two of these interactive sculptures were built and placed in Modiin, Israel in 2013.
Sue has participated in various solo and group exhibitions in Israel, the United States and Europe and has recently exhibited in Moscow.