University of Dundee graduate Ellis O’Connor (School of Art and Design) will boldly go where few people – and fewer artists – have gone before this October, when she visits the Arctic as part of a month-long residency.
Ellis has been selected by The Arctic Circle to be one of ten artists from across the world to join the expedition around Svalbard in the High Arctic, where Polar Bears outnumber people. Ellis will spend the residency period working on a boat circling the remote archipelago, creating work during and after the visit. Her art practice and key ideas are directly related to the atmosphere of remote places, a visual documentation of the shifting of landscapes in the north – so being able to go on this expedition will give Ellis the perfect visual material, allowing her to go forward with new creative work.
Ellis says, “This residency is incredibly important to me as it is in Svalbard where the effects of progressive climate change are the most apparent and where wildlife and the sea ice is significantly under threat. It is a place of wonder yet fragility and I find it important for my practice to record the shifting of the landscapes and the effects that global warming is inflicting on the Arctic.
“You can imagine how being immersed in that extreme environment will impact the work that I create, expanding upon and evolving my art practise work into something richer, informed by real visual experience.”
Although Ellis has been awarded this prestigious residency, she is currently raising funds to allow her to make the trip to the Arctic. With just one week left, she’s just 20% short of her target! If you’d like to help, you can support Ellis here, and she’ll share her journey with you on her website and Instagram.