Sue Ela was born in the United States in 1948 and has resided in Jerusalem since 1970. Sue completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University, majored in psychology and minored in fine arts. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D in psychology at the Hebrew University.
For Sue, sculpture is a natural continuation of her work as a psychologist, giving her an opportunity to deal with subjects connected to her work in new ways. She examines different avenues of expressing the complicated emotional realm that she encounters daily in her work with children, couples, families and individuals.
Sue works mostly in clay and one of her favorite techniques is bending steel wires, covering them with clay and casting them in bronze or polyester.
Based on her 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 abstract and magical, stimulating the imagination and encouraging familiar and treasured experiences like climbing, sliding and swinging. Two of these interactive sculptures were built and placed in Modiin, Israel in 2013.
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. The flow and movement in the sculpture reflect the potential for growth and change.
Sue designed The Kingdom Playground, inaugurated in January 2019 in the Liberty Bell Park in Jerusalem. The park is made up of eight huge sculptures of royal images. There are two sculptures that are five meters high with slides, one a queen’s dress and the other a king’s suit. In addition 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.
Sue has participated in various solo and group exhibitions in Israel, the United States and Europe.