Ellen Sampson is an artist, curator and writer whose work explores the relationships between bodily experience, memory and clothing. Using film, installation and sculpture she addresses 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. In exploring the resonance of worn and used artefacts, Sampson seeks to uncover how attachment to material artefacts is produced and maintained.
Fascinated by the magical shoes in fairy-tales as a child, Sampson completed a degree in anthropology before training as a shoemaker, learning to make shoes at the famous Cordwainers College in London. After several years of running her own company and working in fashion her work developed a more conceptual angle and she returned to Cordwainers to undertake an MA. Her acclaimed Masters project Absences explored empty footwear as a symbol of absence, loss and grief. Sampson recently completed a PhD exploring our attachment to footwear at Royal College of Art, London.
Sept 2017-Jan 2018
Worn, (Solo Show) Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, Warrington UK
Flatlands, (Group Show) Greyfriars Gallery, Kings Lynn UK
Worn, (Solo Show) Royal College Of Art
Diaglogue, Greyfriars Gallery, Kings Lynn UK
Nov 2014- Feb 2015
Palimpsest (Solo Show) NMAG, UK
MOBA Fashion Biennale Arnhem, Netherlands
Fashion Clash Maastricht, Netherlands
Wild Oats (with Dawn Woolley) Milkwood Gallery Cardiff ,Cymru
Exhibitions : Curator
Footwear and Fairytales NMAG, UK
Out of Step Avant-Garde Footwear: British Fashion Council LFW
My Favourite Shoe, Royal Exchange, London
My Favourite Shoe, Westfield London
Footsteps through History, Cannons Ashby National Trust
Sampson, E (Publication pending) Entanglement, affect and experience: wearing as experimental research methodology in International Journal of Fashion Studies, Intellect.
Dancing Desire and Death: Footwear in fairy-tale in Hill, C (2016) Fairy-tale Fashion, Yale,
Book Review Shoes: An Illustrated History, Shawcross, R (2015) Book Review in Catwalk Journal Vol. 50 Issue 1
Book Review Shoes Pleasure and Pain, (Perrson, H, 2015) Book Review in Costume Journal Vol. 50 Issue 1
Exhibition Review, Shoes Pleasure and Pain in: Reponen, J (Ed) (2015) Address Issue 3: Journal of Fashion Writing and Criticism, London: Address Publications.
The Shoe as Palimpsest (Publication pending) in The World at your Feet, Seddon, JLondon, Bloomsbury
Nostalgia and the Worn Shoe in Reponen, J (Ed) (2013) Address Issue 2: Journal of Fashion Writing and Criticism, London: Address Publications.
Education and Research
September 2012- May 2016 Royal College of Art
Worn: Footwear, Attachment and Affective Experience
PhD Footwear (Research by Practice) AHRC Funded
September 2007- January 2009 London College of Fashion
MA Fashion Footwear (Distinction)
September 2004- June 2005 London College of Fashion
Diploma in Cordwainers Footwear (Distinction)
September 2000- June 2003 University College London
BSc Anthropology 1st class (Honours)
September 1999 – July 2000 Norwich School of Art and Design
BTEC Diploma in Art & Design (Distinction)