Self Isolating in Trees

Ellie Shipman
Bristol, UK


Main link to work:

*Open link with Google Slides, click ‘Present’ for the full experience then click through the slides

Artist site
Instagram @ellieshipman

Artist Statement

I am a participatory artist and illustrator based in Bristol and working across the UK and internationally, recently returning from a year working on several artist residencies from Hanoi, Vietnam. Debate around sustainability, urban change, what it means to be a woman and notions of community underpin my creative practice. My work responds to and challenges public, urban and socio-political tensions through encouraging and engaging the general public and a diverse range of community groups: from people with dementia to school children or refugee women amongst others.

My creative process often begins by facilitating participatory workshops with the communities involved, which develop into co-created final outcomes. Projects have resulted in everything from co-designed fabric with Kurdish women being made into two sofas (HERE / THERE: To be a woman); an intergenerational podcast, aluminium quilt and time capsule (The Timecapsule Project); to installations exploring garment workers’ lives in Vietnam’s first large scale exhibition on sustainable fashion (Who Made My Clothes?).
I studied BA Fine Art (First Class Hons) at Chelsea College of Art from 2008 – 11 and completed a Masters in Sustainable Development (Distinction) at UWE where I wrote my thesis ‘How can participatory art use Asset-Based Community Development methodologies to catalyse more climate-resilient communities?’. I aim to embed what I have learnt and my personal values of sustainability, community and shared creativity throughout my practice.

As a participatory artist, my practice has had to shift drastically during the lockdown, finding new ways to reach out and engage people and bring others together, as well as look after my own wellbeing and sources of energy and inspiration. Walking has become a vital part of this new practice, and one such walk inspired the project I am submitting here.



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