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Artist to Watch – Ellis O’Connor


Ellis O’Connor

Back Ellis’s Northern Isles Expedition with the Clipperton Project on Kickstarter

Back DJCAD 2014 graduate Ellis O’Connor on her Northern Isles expedition & receive prints or original artwork from her life at sea

Can’t think of a more suitable artist than Ellis O’Connor to follow on from last weeks popular Artist to Watch Catherine Ross.

Both artists just graduated from Scottish art schools, both create landscapes over mountainous landscapes that convey a sense of place – one real, one imagined – and both are clearly passionate about their work.

I first saw Ellis’ work at this year’s Duncan of Jordanstone degree show and was impressed at her almost scientific interest in capturing something of the spirit of the Highlands and Northern West Coast through visual documentation.

Ellis O'Connor - degree showdrawings

Ellis O’Connor – Degree Show

Prints, paintings and drawings from the 2014 DJCAD degree show.

Ellis’s work has seen her win an RSA John Kinross Florence Scholarship & is also selected for next years RSA New Contemporaries exhibition.

But before all that happens, there’s this…

Back Ellis on Kickstarter

Ellis has been invited to join with other artists and scientists to be Artist in Residence with the Clipperton Project – an organisation wonderfully described by Orkney International Science Festival Director Howie Firth:

“The Clipperton Project is a fresh new inspiration about what art and science and life are all about – to explore the unknown, to sail to new horizons, to be open to the world about us.”

For the whole month of July Ellis will join them on board their expedition through the Northern Isles of Scotland – starting from Shetland and working their way around the “uninhabited islands, coastal towns, remote lands and also venture on to Orkney and smaller Islands out to sea”.

At the time of writing Ellis’s almost half way there towards reaching her target of £1,000 to go towards creating high quality prints and drawings she’ll be making on site throughput the expedition.

Ellis O'Connor - Degree Show

Ellis O’Connor – Artwork

Examples of Ellis’s work from her 2014 DJCAD degree show.

If you’ve used Kickstarter before you’ll know you can get some great rewards for backing a project. This is no exception with digital prints and original artworks from the expedition available for backers at really affordable amounts i.e. £10 for an A4 sized digital print and £40 for an original A4 artwork. You’ll be able to choose the artwork or print you’d like from Ellis’s website after the expedition, potentially as early as August.

The way Kickstarter works is that projects only get funded if they reach their financial goal. So, if you like Ellis’s work then this is a great chance to support her in creating new work while receiving a part of it yourself.

Back Ellis on Kickstarter

The Bothy Project

The Bothy Project

Ellis O’Connor – The Bothy Project

As artist in residence this was Ellis’s home for a week in the Cairngorm’s wilderness.

This looks like something I’d love to do myself. A week in the Scottish wilderness as an artist in residence in what must be on one of the smallest and simplest residences on earth!

Check out Ellis’s writing, photographs and art work from her residency at The Bothy Project, Inshriach, Cairngorms National Park.

Bothy Project interior

Inshriach Bothy – Interior

An artists residency stripped down to the basic essentials.

Such a remote and isolated setting proved to be fertile ground for Ellis’s creative process…

Being here has allowed me to realise that not only does being alone in an isolated beautiful landscape resonate deeper overwhelming feelings within us, but it lets us connect with our inner selves, the wild is an untamed place where we find clarity in these places as they are untouched, unruly and natural, a complete connection.

The photos from Ellis’s Bothy Diary reflect how integral the landscape and outdoors are to her working process…

Ellis O'Connor - Bothy Project

Ellis O’Connor – The Bothy Project

Nature plays its part in the collaborative creative process.


Ellis O’Connor – Drawings

Drawings from Ellis’s residency at Inshriach Bothy.

Ellis O'Connor

Ellis O’Connor

Back the artist’s Northern Isles Expedition on Kickstarter

You can follow Ellis on as well as Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Back Ellis’s Kickstarter project here.