Ellen Dahl


Ellen Dahl’s artistic practice is largely rooted in working with or around the landscape. The concept of photography’s intrinsic involvement in how we see and feel about the world around us underpins her projects. She continually explores the expanded field of the photographic medium and its potential to engage new critical, poetic, and aesthetic ways of assembling ecological meaning and geological imagination. She is also interested in the medium’s relationship to time and often explores this working across photography, video and still-motion, sound, and installation.

Dahl has an ongoing attraction to the concept of the island and places at the end of the world, often returning to the north / south peripheries of northern Norway and Tasmania. Seeking to capture the heightened sense of liminality and edge-ness often felt at these sites, her work is conceptually underpinned by trepidation around the Anthropogenic condition and the consequent ambiguousness of overlapping human and geological time scales. Encounters with the landscape often oppose clear articulation, words can only hint at the profound engagement between a person and the natural environment. Dahl’s works allude to instances that provoke an uncanny sense of place, a shared history, and deep connection– permeating across geographical distance and time.

Ellen Dahl is originally from Arctic Norway and moved to Australia as an adult. She now lives and works on Gadigal Country (Sydney) NSW. She has exhibited extensively throughout Australia, including Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney; National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne; ANU Gallery, Canberra; Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, and Verge Gallery, Sydney. Most recently she was the winner of MAMA National Photography Prize (2024), and has been a finalist in The Fauvette Loureiro Memorial Scholarship (2021), HIDDEN Sculpture Award (2022), The Josephine Ulrick & Winn Schubert Photographic Award (2022), Hazelhurst Works on Paper (2021), and won the judges Commendation prize in the Contemporary Landscapes in Photography award (CLIP) in 2017. In August 2019 she co-coordinated/curated the Light Matter project – a symposium on the expanded field of photography held at University of Technology, Sydney in conjunction with an exhibition at the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney. Between 2017 – 2019, she organized three iterations across three (Australian) states of the artist-led project Vanishing Point, presenting five very diverse female lens-based artistic practices linked through the concept of the island.
Ellen received a Master of Fine Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney (2015), and a PhD from School of Creative Arts and Media, University of Tasmania (2024).