David Ellingsen (b. 1969) is a Canadian photographer and environmental artist creating images of site-specific installations, landscapes and object studies that speak to the natural world and the human impact upon it. Employing different photographic techniques for each of his thematic series, Ellingsen acts as an archivist, surrealist and storyteller as he calls attention to the contemporary state of the environment both directly and through subversive commentary about our consumerist society. As both a conceptual and humanistic photographer, Ellingsen’s images engage questions around the transience and temporality of existence and his thematic subjects are marked by simplicity, empathy and a wounded sense of humanity’s fate. Ellingsen’s photographs are part of the permanent collections of the Chinese Museum of Photography, the Dana Farber Cancer Centre at Harvard University and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum and have been shortlisted for Photolucida’s Critical Mass Book Award, awarded First Place at the Prix de la Photographie Paris and First Place at the International Photography Awards in Los Angeles. Ellingsen began his artistic career studying the craft of photography at a trade institute, through apprenticeships and then working as a freelance editorial and advertising photographer with clients that included the New York Times Magazine, Mens Journal, CBC Radio Canada, Telus and MTV/Nickelodeon. Simultaneously, Ellingsen was exhibiting his personal artwork within public and private galleries in Canada, the USA, and Asia and lectured at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Langara College and the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts where he still lectures on a regular basis. He continued this hybrid path for 12 years and then in 2013 focused fully on his artistic practice. Ellingsen lives and makes his work in Canada’s Pacific Northwest, moving between Victoria, Vancouver and the farm where he was raised on the remote island of Cortes.
This is a sample of his work
All images © David Ellingsen