In December 2014, we published a feature on the Scottish artist Ellis O'Connor about an artists' residency she spent sailing around the Northern Isles of Scotland. Since then, Ellis has continued to develop the island presence in her work through visits to Iceland and several of the Inner and Outer Hebrides.
In recent months Ellis has again taken to the high seas, this time reaching one of the world's most beguiling and remote places: the Svalbard archipelago. As well as creating new art work, she kept a detailed log of her experiences. An extract from her eleventh day reveals the incredible impression the island had on the artist and her work:
It was the coldest day by far because of the zero cloud coverage and we had a landing on ‘Spikeholmen’, the Island that sat right in the middle of the fjord, a small distance from the glacier. The surroundings of this place were so immersive, everywhere you looked there was a peak, an icy texture, a cast of sharp light ever changing. Most of us made this landing on an island that looked deceptively small from a distance, we all got on with our own projects, all responding to the sublimity of the place in our own ways. I spent the morning painting, watching the paint freeze as soon as I applied it to the paper, the work I made in Svalbard has textures and patterns within the paint I had not planned, icicles made within the atmosphere embedded in the art.
You can find out more about Ellis O'Connor's work on her website.