EXHIBITIONS | RESEARCH | LIST OF WORKS | Works in Collections | Residencies | Academic Papers/Chapters | Awards | Curatorial Work | Bibliography | BIOGRAPHY |




- Installation 'Winterline' by Elaine Shemilt at - (FB Page)

- An exhibition of paintings, drawings and prints by Elaine Shemilt, at the Scottish Arts Club at 24 Rutland Square, Edinburgh

02 August – 06 September 2014: Tuesdays - Saturdays, 11am - 5pm.

scales of life
The Scales of Life (2013)

A a major SciArt commission for the University of Dundee College of Life Science new Centre for Translational & Interdisciplinary Research building which embodies science and the visualization process. A collaboration with the Regius Professor Michael Ferguson and the architect Jo White. On three facades of the CTIR building, 16 columns of large metal cladding panels incorporate her artistic abstractions which represent the 4 key scales of life: Molecular, Organellar, Cellular and Tissue.

Deep time

An artist’s book with an explorative dialogue between Shemilt and curator Sophia Hao, with a foreword by John Dummett.
Published by Art Editions North and distributed by Cornerhouse, Manchester September 2013

Dopplegänger (1979-81) Dopplegänger (1979-81)

This video work from the late 1970s has been recovered and digitised by REWIND and forms part of the REWIND Collection. This work is the only remaining video piece from a series started in 1974. Three works were exhibited at the Video Show, Serpentine Gallery in May 1975: Conflict; Emotive Progression; and iamdead. Dopplegänger was made during a two-year artist's residency at South Hill Park Art Centre. Recently exhibited in two REWIND Exhibitions at DCA Dundee, November 2012; Careof/DOCVA, Milan, Italy, 6 November- 20 December 2012.

Quattro Minuti di Mezzogiorno

HiDefinition Video installation. a joint work with Stephen Partridge. Exhibited in Fuoriluogo 15 - Una Regressione Motivata, Limiti Inchiusi Arte Contemporanea, Campobasso, Molise, Italy. December 18 - January 23. Exhibition included work by Fausto Colavecchia (IT), Douglas Gordon (GB), curated by Deirdre MacKenna

updated June 2014

Professor Elaine Shemilt's research and practice is diverse in terms of subject, media and content. 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 has held residencies at South Hill Park Arts Centre, Winchester School of Art, Ty Newydd, Wales, and the University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia. In 1997 her exhibition Behind Appearance , toured across the midwest of the USA. 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. She is a Professional member of Society of Scottish Artists and was its President from March 2007-2010, and was 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.
Since 1999 she has also been involved in environmental protection in remote environments, genetic coding relating to image pattern and sound sequencing; and outcomes have been produced using etching and screenprinting, video, 3-D imaging and animation, and exhibited as prints and large scale hi-definition projection.
Environmental protection in remote environments
In 1999 she led a project for the Ministry of Defence to improve the physical environment for servicemen and women stationed in the Falkland Islands. With a team of designers, a sculptor and students from DCJAD a 1km corridor linking the services' various facilities was transformed with art stations and new signage. Whilst in the Falklands she also rescued artwork and graffitti produced by ordinary soldiers during the conflict of 1983 and arranged for its restoration and display in the new Millenium Corridor and the Imperial War Museum. The work in the Falklands led to the establishment of 'Project Atlantis'.
Project Atlantis was a research and consultancy group concerned with environmental protection and education. Shemilt was the Artistic Director and, along with team leader Brigadier Nicholls raised the funding necessary for the first project, with lectures and briefings to key public bodies and companies during 1999-2001. In 2002 a comprehensive web site was completed which brings the beauty of the Island of South Georgia and its natural heritage to worldwide Internet access.

The purpose of this official government web site ( is to raise environmental awareness, contribute to sound and safe management, and provide an online educational resource. A live webcam is available through the South Georgia site- or Click - here.

In 2006 David Nicholls died and Shemilt helped to develop Project Atlantis into the Centre for Remote Environments.



The government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands funded Project Atlantis to develop the refurbished shell of the historic scientific research station Discovery House, into a visitor’s center. Discovery House was built to support the research work of RRS Discovery (now berthed at Discovery Point, Dundee). Space is to be devoted to the achievements of scientists on South Georgia, including British Antarctic personnel as well as to re-create a facsimile of the early Post Office.

Her visits to the South Atlantic inspired an exhibition on the Falkland's Conflict for the Imperial War Museum in 2002, 'Traces of Conflict'

The Demarco Archives

In November 2004 The AHRC awarded Euan McArther, Arthur Watson, and Elaine Shemilt a Resource Enhancement Award of £312,327 for The Demarco Archives: accessing a 40-Year Dialogue between Richard Demarco and the European Avant-Garde. Richard Demarco had discussed with Professor Shemilt his anxiety about the preservation of his archives. For the past four decades Demarco has contributed to Scotland’s cultural life. His 250,000 photographs plus books, documents and original artworks and unique material of international range and significance, relevant to contemporary visual art, theatre, literature, cultural studies, history and politics. With the experience gained from developing and delivering electronic resources through Project Atlantis a digitization approach to his archive seemed a good solution. The three year project was based at the Visual Research Centre and is now online.

The Scottish Crop Research Institute

This research project started in 2004, with Scientists from the Scottish Crop Research Institute. The full genome sequence of the bacterial potato plant pathogen (Erwinia) carotovora subsp. atroseptica (Eca) has now been fully sequenced in a project led by the Scottish Crop Research Institute in collaboration with the Sanger Institute. A portfolio of work including prints, digital animation, and music is continuing to be developed.

She has made a number of joint works with Stephen Partridge including the installations Chimera, Rush, Quattro Minuti di Mezzogiorno, and the digital prints and etchings series Intangible Bodies.


Place of Birth: Edinburgh, Scotland


1958-60 Mary Erskin’s School, Edinburgh
1960-72 Bloomfield Collegiate, Northern Ireland
1972-73 Foundation Course Brighton Polytechnic - Faculty of Art and Design
1973-76 Bachelor of Arts 1st Class Hons  Winchester School of Art, Department of Sculpture
1976-79 Master of Arts, Royal College of Art, Printmaking

Academic Experience

1979-86 Visiting Lecturer, Hull School of Art
1980-84 Visiting Lecturer, Faculty of Art & Design, Middlesex Polytechnic
1980-83 Visiting Lecturer, Chelsea School of Art
1982-84 Part-time Lecturer, Winchester School of Art
1984-88 Part-time Lecturer, Duncan Jordanstone College of Art
1989-01 Senior Lecturer Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Course Director, Head of Printmaking.
2003 Reader in Fine Art
2003 Promoted to Director of Postgraduate Studies, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and design

2005 Awarded Personal Chair in Fine Art Printmaking

External Academic Committee Service

1991-94 External Examiner for Printmaking, University of the West of England,
Faculty of Art and Design, Bristol
1995-98 External Examiner for Printmaking, Humberside University,
Faculty of Art and Design
1999-2002 External Examiner for Printmaking, Norwich School of Art
1997 External Advisor, Validation Committee for BA (Hons.) Fine Art,
Norwich School of Art
1997- Dundee University Co-coordinator for USSCOT (United States Scotland Consortium) This Consortium links the four Scottish Art Schools - Dundee, Edinburgh Glasgow and Aberdeen with various Art institutions across the USA, for example Hunter College, New York, Chicago Art Institute and Tyler University, Philadelphia. The Consortium initiates exchange exhibitions, artists residencies, student exchanges and collaborative artistic enterprises between Scotland and North America,
1999-2001 President of USSCOT
2001 External Advisor to National College of Art & Design, Dublin
2004 External Examiner for Printmaking Phd, Glasgow School of Art
2004- External Examiner for Printmaking, National College of Art & Design. Dublin

2008-11 External Examiner Leeds


1979 Arts Council of G reat Britain Award
1980 Southern Arts Award
1985 Scottish Arts Council Award
1988 Lincoln & Humberside Arts Award
1989 Paperworks, National award
1998 Adobe Systems Europe Digital Imaging Prize
2001 Shackleton Scholarship
2002 Carnegie Scholarship
2003 Faculty Interdisciplinary Award
2004 Hope Scott Trust
2004 Carnegie Scholarship
2005 AHRC, Resource Enhancement Award £312,000. Co-applicants Arthur Watson and Euan McArthur
2012 Royal Society of Edinburgh Caledonian European Fellowship
2012-2016 EPSRC DTA PhD Scholarship


1980-82 Artist/Printmaker in Residence, South Hill Park Arts Centre, Berkshire
1982-84 Fellow in Residence, Fine Art Printmaking, Winchester School of Art
1997 International Visiting Artist to Kansas State University, Carbondale State
University, New Orleans State University, Moorhead State University,
1997 Ty Newydd, Wales
2000 Artist in Residence, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Curatorial Work

1983 Selector and Organizer for Southern Arts, A touring group Exhibition Out of Print . ‘Fourteen artists who challenged the notions of printmaking.’ The introduction to the catalogue was written in collaboration with Jennifer Walwin.
1989 Dundee Folio - curated a portfolio of prints around the poems of Valerie
Gillies (Writer in Residence DJCA) sponsored by Baillie Marshall. Artists included Will Maclean, Ian Howard and Dennis Buchan
1994 Thursday’s Child - with painter June Redfern curated and supervised a
series of prints editioned by the Dundee Printmakers Workshop from distinguished Scottish Artists including Elizabeth Blackadder, Will Maclean, Barbara Rae, John Houston
1999 Organised Ministry of Defence commission for design and refurbishment of the Millenium Corridor at the British Forces base in the Falkland Islands
2004 Leibgedachtnis ( Body Memory) – with Dr Kerstin Mey , Artistic Director for an international collaborative research project with students and tutors from the Art Academy Warsaw, Poland and the Art college Burg Giebichtenstein / Halle, Germany.

Selected Publications

1996 The New Scientist, 30 March p44-45 ISSN 0262 4079 30
1997 The Best of Printmaking, published by Rockport Publishers Inc. ISBN 1-56496-371-3
1997 African Exodus; The Origins of Modern Humanity (Book Cover) ISBN 0224 03771 4
1997 Behind Appearance, Arthur Watson/Alan Woods, edited by Roland Box, ISBN 0904490254
2002 Traces of Conflict - Imperial War Museum ISBN 1-901623-99-8


British Broadcasting Corporation
Landesbank, Stuttgart, West Germany
Arts Council of Great Britain
Private Collections in Europe and Canada
Dundee City Museums and Art Galleries
Lincoln & Humberside Arts
Scottish Arts Council
Southern Arts
Visual Arts Data Service Digital Archive


Academic Papers/Chapters

A Blueprint for Bacterial Life; Can A Science-art Fusion Move the Boundaries of Visual and Audio Interpretation? pp23-32. Chapter in Digital Visual Culture: Theory and Practice, Computers and the History of Art, Editors A. Bentkowska-Kafel, T. Cashen, H. Gardiner, Bristol: Intellect, 2009 ISBN 9781851502489
Download .pdf file here

AHRC ICT Methods Network Volume Art Practice in a Digital Culture Edited by Charlie Gere, under the title: Limited Edition – Unlimited Image: Can a Science/Art Fusion Move the Boundaries of Visual and Audio Interpretation? Ashgate, 2010

Bibliography (Selected Publications)

1996 The New Scientist, 30 March p44-45 ISSN 0262 4079 30
1997 The Best of Printmaking, published by Rockport Publishers Inc. ISBN 1-56496-371-3
1997 African Exodus; The Origins of Modern Humanity (Book Cover) ISBN 0224 03771 4
1997 Behind Appearance, Arthur Watson/Alan Woods, edited by Roland Box, ISBN 0904490254
2002 Traces of Conflict - Imperial War Museum ISBN 1-901623-99-8
The hunt for Submarines in Classical Art; Mappinågs between scientific invention and artistic inspiration. Published by AHDS for the Arts & Humanities Research Council.

Professional Service/Memberships

1989-96 Director of Dundee Printmakers Workshop
1994-96 Vice Chairperson of Dundee Printmakers Workshop
1994-96 Working Party for City Arts Centre, in charge of promoting the new Printmakers Workshop as a Centre of Excellence
1992 Elected as a Professional member of Scottish Society of Artists
1995 Elected to Council of Scottish Society of Artists
1996 Judge with Julian Spalding, for the Glasgow Print Open touring exhibition
1996-99 Scottish Arts Council Visual Arts Advisor
2000 Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the
encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce
2006 Elected President of the Society of Scottish Artists

2009 Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society


updated June 2014