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Eleanor Symms

Eleanor Symms
  • Work
  • Biography
Eleanor's work as an artist/jeweller derives from a fascination with different types of materials, especially reclaimed plastics, which she finds and scavenge for use in her work. Often, her starting point will be the shape, colour or texture of something she has found; sea-worn plastics from the beach or scraps of waste sheet materials, which would otherwise be discarded.

She aims to make jewellery which is beautiful and intriguing, rather than purely decorative, questioning the nature of ‘preciousness’ and disposability.

Eleanor graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with Distinction in 2012. She is a Professional Member of Visual Arts Scotland, Applied Arts Scotland, a member of the Association for Contemporary Jewellery and the Craft Scotland Directory of Makers. She exhibits in the UK and internationally.
BA Combined Studies in Art and Design (with Distinction) Edinburgh College of Art, 2012

Selected Collaborative Projects/Exhibitions
Distance, Applied Arts Scotland and Soluis Heritage, 2021
Transform, Coburg House Gallery, 2019
The Contemporary Jewellery Exchange, international online exhibition and publication, 2015
Wee Object!, small scale mixed media works, St Margaret's House, Edinburgh, 2015
Unravelling Signatures, Artists’ Altered Books, Impact International Print Conference, Dundee, 2013

Selected Group Exhibitions
Perceptions: Jewellery For a Fairer future, Elements Festival, Edinburgh 2018
Threads, Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh, 2018
Hidden Gems, Coburg House Gallery, Edinburgh, 2017
Chroma, The Edinburgh Gallery, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2016
And Collective Gallery, Bridge of Allan, 2016
Galeria Tereza Seabra, Lisbon, Portugal, 2015
Craft Scotland, Summer Exhibition, Edinburgh, 2014 , 2015 and 2016
International Print Biennales and Global Print, Douro, Portugal (invited artist) 2010, 2012, 2013
SMALL: artists’ books, Scottish Poetry Library and Stanza Poetry Festival, St Andrews, 2010-11

Selected Open Exhibitions
Beyond the Blue, Gill Wing Gallery, London, 2017
Paradis Perdu, Alliages Gallery, Lille, France, 2016
ICONS, Association of Contemporary Jewellers, National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford, 2014
Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council Exhibition, Goldsmiths’ Hall, London, 2014

Textiles and Fashion Award, Inspired by… 2010, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Craft Makers' Award, Creative Scotland and East Lothian Council, 2015
​Inches Carr Award for Jewellery and Silversmithing, Visual Arts Scotland, 2016
Visual Arts and Craft Maker's Award, Creative Scotland and East Lothian Council, 2017, 2019 and 2021

Professional Member, Visual Arts Scotland (elected 2013)
Visual Arts Scotland, Council Member, 2016 to 2019

Public collections
National Library of Scotland, Artists' Books and Special Bindings Collection; Printmaking Museum, Douro, Portugal; Scottish Borders Council, Fine Art Collection and the Scottish Poetry