Approved: 07.02.2018

Ellen Sampson

Artist, Curator, Film-maker, Researcher, Writer

Approved: 07.02.2018

I am an artist and material culture researcher , whose work explores the relationships between bodily experience, memory and artefacts.  Using film, installation and sculpture I address the manner in which material objects can become records of lived experience and how the traces of these experiences can be read or understood by the viewer. Exploring the resonance of worn and used artefacts, I seek to uncover how attachment is produced and maintained. Drawing on anthropological and psychoanalytical ideas, I attempt to unpick the way that an object which is worn or held close to the body can become incorporated into the self. Using the work of psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, I examine objects which are simultaneously “me and not me”: part of the wearer’s bodily schema and other to it.My work is simultaneously concerned with, the relationships between the image (film or photographs) and artefact, and also the differing manifestations of trace, experience and gesture contained within an object and represented in an image.  Gesture and experience recorded in film is set against the same gestures recorded in material form. The dissonances between these records reveal a spatio-temporal uncertainty, an ambiguity between the ‘here-now’ and ‘the-having-been-there’.

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    Artist Statement

    I am an artist and material culture researcher , whose work explores the relationships between bodily experience, memory and artefacts.  Using film, installation and sculpture I address the manner in which material objects can become records of lived experience and how the traces of these experiences can be read or understood by the viewer. Exploring the resonance of worn and used artefacts, I seek to uncover how attachment is produced and maintained. Drawing on anthropological and psychoanalytical ideas, I attempt to unpick the way that an object which is worn or held close to the body can become incorporated into the self. Using the work of psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, I examine objects which are simultaneously “me and not me”: part of the wearer’s bodily schema and other to it.My work is simultaneously concerned with, the relationships between the image (film or photographs) and artefact, and also the differing manifestations of trace, experience and gesture contained within an object and represented in an image.  Gesture and experience recorded in film is set against the same gestures recorded in material form. The dissonances between these records reveal a spatio-temporal uncertainty, an ambiguity between the ‘here-now’ and ‘the-having-been-there’.

    CV & Education

    education

    PhD (Research by Practice), AHRC Funded, Royal College of Art, London, 2016

    Thesis: Worn: Footwear, Attachment and Affective Experience

    My research explored wearers’ relationships with their shoes; suggesting that attachment to footwear derives not merely from consumption, status or desire, but from the sustained tactile relationship that develops through wear. Drawing on anthropological and psychoanalytic perspectives on attachment, affect and the self, and utilising an auto-ethnographic methodology of writing, object and filmmaking, it sought to highlight the experience of wearing and the materiality of wornness, presenting shoes as records of lived experience, and the material traces of relationships embodied within the artefacts themselves.

    MA, Fashion Footwear (Distinction), London College of Fashion, 2009

    Final Project: Absences; Memory, Movement and Materiality

    Diploma in Cordwainers Footwear (Distinction), London College of Fashion, 2005

    BSc Honours, Anthropology (First class), University College London, 2003

    Employment

    Chelsea College of Art                                                                                                                                                                   Jan 2017 – Present

    Associate Lecturer, textiles, Contextual Studies

    Spool Collective                                                                                                                                                                                Jan 2013 – Present

    Freelance Curator – Clients include: National Trust, Westfield, British Fashion Council and Northampton Museum

    Norwich University of the Arts                                                                                                                                           Sep 2012 -Nov 2016

    Lecturer, Contextual Studies

    Selected EXHIBITIONS

    Artist:

    Feb 2018                             Traces (Solo Show), A-side / B-side Gallery, London.

    Sep 2017 – Jan 2018    Worn, (Solo Show), Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, Warrington.

    Sep – Oct 2017                 Air Open, Air Gallery, Altrincham.

    July- August  2017          Flatlands, (Group Show), Greyfriars Gallery, King’s Lynn.

    May 2016                            Worn, (Solo Show), Royal College of Art, London.

    May 2015                            Diaglogue, Greyfriars Gallery, King’s Lynn.

    Nov 2014 – Feb 2015   Palimpsest, (Solo Show), Northampton Museum (NMAG), UK.

    Jun – Sep 2013                 MOBA, Fashion Biennale, Arnhem, Netherlands.

    Jun 2013                             Wild Oats, (with Dawn Woolley), Milkwood Gallery Cardiff, Cymru.

    May 2013                            Fashion Clash, Maastricht, Netherlands.

    Curator:

    May 2018                            The Noise of Fashion, Old Truman Brewery, London.

    Jun 2015                             Footwear and Fairytales, No Man’s Arts Gallery (NMAG), UK

    Feb 2014                             Out of Step Avant-Garde Footwear, British Fashion Council, London Fashion Week.

    Feb 2014                             My Favourite Shoe, Royal Exchange, London.

    Sep 2013                             My Favourite Shoe, Westfield, London.

    Jun – Nov 2013                Footsteps through History, Canons Ashby National Trust.

    Selceted Presentations & Invited Talks

    Nov 2017                            Entanglement as Research Methodology, Art of Research, Helsinki.

    Oct 2017                              The Cleaved Garment, Animate Objects, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.

    Jan 2017                              Wearing, Touching, Being: Phenomenology of Wear, Chelsea College of Art.

    Dec 2016                             The Me And Not Me Of Fashion Practice, Costume And Fashion In Context And Practice,
    University Of Huddersfield.

    Nov 2016                            Worn: Touch, Attachment and Affect, Manchester University.

    Oct 2015                              The Shoe as Palimpsest, Norwich University of the Arts.

    July 2015                            Costume as Choreography, IHR Conference, London.

    Oct 2014                              The Me And Not Me Of Fashion Practice, Fashion Thinking, Denmark.

    Jun 2014                             Body and Garment: The space between, Fashion Spaces, RCA, London.

    May 2013                            Footwear And the Body: Memory and Experience, Fashion Tales, Milan.

    Mar 2013                            The Shoe as Palimpsest, The World at your Feet, Northampton.

    Oct 2012                              The Designer’s Notebook, Royal College of Art / V&A History of Design, London.