Bio

Biography

Elaine Shemilt is an artist and researcher, especially known as a fine art printmaker. Her work ranges across a wide variety of media. However hers is not a conventional approach to the medium. According to the art historian and theorist Alan Woods: "Her work ranges across a wide variety of media. Initially it focused on installation, the various printmaking media were used in an attempt to continue and develop the installations by other means. If the event is inevitably lost , a new artwork is launched from it, and as themes and subjects occur and re-occur, their re-generation might usefully be imagined as located within an extended family of images." 

She is a graduate of Winchester School of Art and the Royal College of Art and has exhibited internationally including Switzerland, Denmark, Holland, Canada, USA, Australia, Italy and Germany including the Hayward and the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; and the Edinburgh Festival. She was a pioneer of early feminist video and multi-media installation work alongside her fellow artist and friend Helen Chadwick, who selected her for the Hayward Annual in 1979. Of her early video works, only one has survived: "Doppelgänger" (1979), which was recovered and remastered by the REWIND video art project in 2011.

She established the Printmaking Department of the School of Fine Art, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (University of Dundee) in 1988 and was Course Director of Printmaking from 1988 -2001. She is currently Professor of Fine Art Printmaking and a Professional member of Society of Scottish Artists and was its President from March 2007-2010. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2000 and of the Royal Geographical Society in 2009. In 2002 she was made a Shackleton Scholar and awarded a Carnegie Scholarship. She is a Trustee of the South Georgia Heritage Trust which was established to promote the environmental protection and habitat restoration of this natural wilderness in the Southern Atlantic.[8]

In 1998 she was invited to lead a project to improve the environment of the military base on the Falkland Isles by the then Commander, Brigadier David Nicholls. The experiences of the staff and student team she put together led inevitably, to independent artworks by all. Four years later in 2002 this led to the exhibition, "Traces of Conflict, The Falklands Revisited 1982-2002" at the Imperial War Museum. Shemilt's work in this exhibition was inspired by the abandoned field hospital at Ajax Bay, and according to the Imperial War Museum Keeper Angela Weight Shemilt " was gripped by the aura of a place where the writ of war did not run and young men were tended irrespective of whether they were friend or foe." 

An important strand of her work involves collaboration between Art and Science. Her work with the Genome Diagram developed by Dr Ian Toth and Dr Leighton Pritchard at the Scottish Crop Research Institute resulted in a portfolio of work including installations, digital animation, prints and music.

In recent years, she has collaborated with the video artist Stephen Partridge on a number of installations, including "Rush" first exhibited at the Fieldgate Gallery, London and the most recent, "Quattro Minuti di Mezzogiorno", a HiDefinition Video installation. Exhibited in Fuoriluogo 15 - Una Regressione Motivata, Limiti Inchiusi Arte Contemporanea, Campobasso, Molise, Italy. December 2010, January 2011. The exhibition included work by Fausto Colavecchia (IT), Douglas Gordon (GB), and was curated by Deirdre MacKenna, Director of Stills - Scotland’s centre for photography in Edinburgh.

 

Publications

European Women’s Video Art : European Women’s Video Art in the 70s and 80s
4/2019
Research Output: Book Anthology > Book

WOMAN Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s from the SAMMLUNG VERBUND Collection, Vienna
6/2018
Research Output: Non Textual > Exhibition

3 Generations of Women Artists Perform: Screening, Performances, Talk_Threshold artspace, Perth Concert Hall
3/2018
Research Output: Non Textual > Exhibition

The Time is Right for...Screening_Summerhall, Edinburgh_20th September 2017
9/2017
Research Output: Non Textual > Exhibition

The Time is Right for... Exhibition, Summerhall, Edinburgh, 2 August - 24 September 2017 : KETTY LA ROCCA, MARIKKI HAKOLA , GINY VOS, ELAINE SHEMILT
8/2017
Research Output: Non Textual > Exhibition

EWVA - European Women's Video Art in the 70s and 80s
7/2017
Research Output: Contribution To Conference > Poster

Self/Portraits: Relating Narratives, Symposium at Centrespace, Visual Research Center, Dundee Contemporary Arts, 9th December 2016
12/2016
Research Output: Other Contribution > Other contribution

'Doppelgänger Redux', (Video Performance) in Visions in the Nunnery 2016, 5 October – 18 December 2016, London.
10/2016
Research Output: Non Textual > Exhibition

FEMINIST AVANT-GARDE OF THE 1970S WORKS FROM THE VERBUND COLLECTION 7 Oct–15 Jan 2017
10/2016
Research Output: Non Textual > Exhibition

Quattro Minuti di Mezzogiorno. Hi Definition Film. Exhibited in "Dall'oggi al domani. 24 ore nell'arte contemporanea", at MACRO - Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Roma, Italy, April 29th 2016- October 2nd 2016
4/2016
Research Output: Non Textual > Exhibition

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Activities

FEMINIST AVANT-GARDE OF THE 1970s Works from the SAMMLUNG VERBUND Collection, Vienna at The Brno House of Arts

Elaine Shemilt (Member)
12 Dec 201824 Feb 2019

Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - festival/exhibition

Activity Type: Other Activity

Richard Demarco: Italy, Scotland, Europe

Laura Leuzzi (Invited speaker), Stephen Partridge (Invited speaker), Elaine Shemilt (Invited speaker), Adam Lockhart (Invited speaker), Richard Demarco (Invited speaker)
4 Oct 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Activity Type: Talk

Richard Demarco: The Italian Connection

Laura Leuzzi (Speaker), Elaine Shemilt (Speaker), Adam Lockhart (Contributor)
31 May 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesFestival/Exhibition

Activity Type: Attendance

The Time is Right for...Discussion Panel, Summerhall, Edinburgh_

Laura Leuzzi (Speaker), Elaine Shemilt (Speaker), Adam Lockhart (Speaker)
20 Sep 2017

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Activity Type: Talk

Material Futures

Laura Leuzzi (Speaker), Stephen Partridge (Speaker), Elaine Shemilt (Speaker)
30 Jun 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Activity Type: Attendance

BNL Media Art Festival, EWVA Screening Programme, MAXXI, Rome

Elaine Shemilt (Participant)
14 Apr 201617 Apr 2016

Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - festival/exhibition

Activity Type: Other Activity

SHE DEVIL 8 – SHE DEVIL IN THE MIRROR

Elaine Shemilt (Participant)
16 Mar 201616 Apr 2016

Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - festival/exhibition

Activity Type: Other Activity

Scales of Life

Elaine Shemilt (Contributor)
6 Oct 201411 Jan 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesFestival/Exhibition

Activity Type: Attendance

Scales of Life

Elaine Shemilt (Participant)
1 Oct 201411 Jan 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesFestival/Exhibition

Activity Type: Attendance

Borders & Crossings: the artist as explorer

Elaine Shemilt (Chair)
28 Aug 20131 Sep 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Activity Type: Attendance

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