Ellertson was part of the Macalester Art Department from 1986-2002. She did her undergraduate work in art and art history at University of South Africa, and received her BFA and MFA degrees from the University of MN, as well as a diploma in medical technology from University of South Africa. Elleterson did a lot of art on the trials in her life; as such, many of her pieces reflect ultrasounds, treatments of cancer, and a harsh divorce. This piece pairs images of black skinned chickens with facsimiles of music notations by Bach and Brahms. The connection between them is the idea of hidden patterns and codes. In each case, an act of translation is required to make sense of hidden meanings.