Jonathan Ellery

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Jonathan Ellery in Heavy Metal Cock Ring.jpg

Jonathan Ellery (born 1964) is an English artist and founder of British design studio Browns.

Ellery was born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire and raised in Cornwall. His father was an artist and ceramicist and set up a family pottery in Newlyn and Penzance.

Ellery studied Graphic Design at Bournemouth and on graduation moved to London to begin his career as a Graphic Designer. In 1998, following success and Creative Directorship at various companies, Ellery co-founded the design studio Browns.[1]

In 2002 Ellery took over ownership of Browns. It is now run creatively by himself and Claire Warner, combining cultural and commercial commissions. Clients include Channel 4,[2] Hiscox,[3] Bafta and Dries van Noten.[4]

In 2008 Ellery launched Browns Editions, the publishing arm of Browns, producing limited edition, hand numbered titles. The Browns Editions catalogue covers photography, conceptual and fine art books.

Ellery’s first notable shift towards balancing design and his work as a solo artist occurred in 2005, with "136 Points of Reference".[5] This took the form of an exhibition held at the Andrew Roth Gallery in New York,[6] and a self-published art title, the first in what is now a series of five. This coupling of exhibition and book continued with "Unrest",[7] a show featuring large-scale brass works and a sound and video piece projecting the numbers 1–87, corresponding to the book "87",[8] and "Constance",[9] a live performance featuring a drummer and a girl undressing, held at The Wapping Project in London. These pieces highlight his attraction to the medium of book art, which plays a central role throughout his art practice.

In 2008 Ellery was nominated for the "Brit Insurance Designs of the Year"[10] and exhibited at the Design Museum in London.[11]

In 2009 Ellery held his fourth solo entitled "Ellery’s Theory of Neo-conservative Creationism".[12] It consisted of large scale, machined, solid brass suspended sculptures, sound and moving image. To commemorate the show, a black and white catalogue was also published highlighting artworks that had been machined by Ellery into brass.

The Hen House in 2013 is the most recent body of work by Jonathan Ellery. The notion of sequence and unfolding narrative is at the core of his art, enforcing a distinctive Ellery language that offers each work as one part of a continuous and burgeoning series, strengthened by its succession. The deceptive simplicity of the work is informed by Ellery’s awareness of the absurd, a delight in constructing certain orders and exploring the tensions between them. The Hen House includes works in cast iron, aluminium, brass as well as photography. It is accompanied by a limited edition catalogue published by Browns Editions.

Jonathan Ellery lives and works above his studio in Bermondsey, South London.

Solo Exhibitions
  • 2013 The Hen House, Londonewcastle Project Space, London
  • 2011 The Human Condition, Londonewcastle Project Space, London
  • 2009 Ellery's Theory of Neo-conservative Creationism, The Wapping Project, London
  • 2008 Constance, The Wapping Project, London
  • 2007 Unrest, The Wapping Project, London
  • 2005 136 Points of Reference, Andrew Roth Gallery, New York
Solo publications
  • 2013 The Hen House, Jonathan Ellery, Published by Browns Editions
  • 2011 The Human Condition, Jonathan Ellery, Published by Browns Editions
  • 2009 Ellery's Theory of Neo-conservative Creationism. A Catalogue, Jonathan Ellery, Published by Browns Editions
  • 2009 Ellery's Theory of Neo-conservative Creationism, Jonathan Ellery, Published by Browns Editions
  • 2008 Constance, Jonathan Ellery, Published by Browns Editions
  • 2007 Works in Brass, Jonathan Ellery, Published by Browns Editions
  • 2007 In and Out, Jonathan Ellery, Published by Browns Editions
  • 2006 87 Ellery, Jonathan Ellery, Published by Browns Editions
  • 2005 136 Points of Reference, Jonathan Ellery, Published by Browns Editions


  1. ^ idPure magazine, No.17, 2008, Editor in Chief Thierry Hausermann.
  2. ^ "Annual Design Review, Graphic Design Distinction". i-D Magazine online. 19 February 2008. Archived from the original on 4 February 2011. 
  3. ^ 100 Best Annual Reports 2010, Graphis.
  4. ^ Evamy, Michael (2009). Graphics Explained. Rotovision. p. 8, 196. Rockport Publishers. ISBN 978-1-59253-542-2
  5. ^ "136 Points of Reference". Brown's Editions.
  6. ^ Creative Review magazine, March 2007, Edited by Patrick Burgoyne.
  7. ^ Burgoyne, Patrick (23 March 2007). "Edited Highlights – Unrest". Creative Review (UK).
  8. ^ Ellery, Jonathan. "87". Brown's Editions.
  9. ^ "Constance". Jonathan Ellery.
  10. ^ Burgoyne, Patrick (14 January 2008). "Design Museum's Designs of the Year Shortlist Revealed". Creative Review. (UK).
  11. ^ Brit Insurance Designs of the Year, Design Museum, catalogue. Edited and Coordinated by Margaret Cubbage.
  12. ^ Lucas, Gavin (17 November 2009). "Ellery’s Theory of Neo-conservative Creationism". Creative Review. (UK).

External links[edit]