Derek Eland’s work examines the human condition and what it is like to ‘be human’ particularly in stressful and challenging situations. His work creates a narrative dialogue using images, text and objects and seeks to challenge the perceptions of viewers in relation to preconceived ideas about issues and places.
He is interested in the use of the written word, particularly in a digital age, to access real emotions and thoughts. Much of his work is created on location through the use of his ‘Diary Rooms’ approach, and then re-contextualised in a gallery setting.
Derek Eland has a Degree in Politics from Durham University and a Masters Degree in Contemporary Fine Art from the University of Cumbria. Residencies have included Afghanistan 2011, Hadrian’s Wall 2011, Carlisle City Council 2008-2010, Cumbria Fire Service 2010 and Bournemouth University 2013. His work has been shortlisted for the International Celeste Art prize in 2007 and the Salon Art Prize in 2012. In 2014 his work was shortlisted for the Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence.
The artist has been published on a number of occasions including ‘War, Literature and the Arts’ in the USA in 2013 and Frieze Magazine in 2012. In 2014 he was awarded an Arts Council grant for the November 2014 publication of his book ‘Diary Rooms – being human on the front line in Afghanistan’. He is a regular speaker at arts conferences and events in the UK and overseas, such as the International Alzheimer’s Conference, Malta in 2013 and Open City Docs Fest, London 2014.