Els Dietvorst is a Belgian visual artist, filmmaker and shepherd who lives and works in Duncormick, Ireland.

She is an artist whose work focuses on communication, collaboration and social conflicts. She collects scraps and fragments of the world and models them, films them, draws them, tells their story in images. Not so much to point out certain abuses and even less to save the world through art, but above all to provide something to hold on to for herself and the spectator, to create order where there was chaos and through the enumerated reality to hold up a mirror that allows us to tune in to the universal everydayness, to the common, to that which in a mad world is increasingly considered uncommon.

As well as film, she uses other media like drawing, writing and sculpture.

Her work has been shown and supported by well known Art institutes and festivals such as the Kaaitheatre, Brussels, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels, Museum of Modern Art, Antwerp(B). Her work was also shown internationally in New York, Utrecht, Casablanca, London and Vienna.

In 2009 she curated the ‘Time Festival’ together with Dirk Braeckman. From the perspective of their concerns about the condition and the future of the world, the curators decided to make a clear statement: Time 2009 would be a book rather than a festival, a place to think rather than an event.

In september 2015 she was selected for the Moscow Biennal of Contemporary Art along with Luc Tuymans(B), Fabrice Hyber(F), Liam Gillick(USA), Gabriel Lester(NL), Li Mu(CN).

Her latest film ‘The Rabbit and the Teasel’ was selected for it’s International premiere on April 17th 2015 in one of the most important documentary festivals in Europe, Visions du Reel, in Switzerland.

Els is the winner of the Evens prize 2017.

Films, written and directed by Els Dietvorst

2016 ‘I watched the white dogs of the dawn’, experimental film, in research.
2014 ‘The Rabbit and the Teasel’, 53”, creative documentary (www.therabbitandthe teasel.com)
2011-14: ‘The Black lamb’, webdoc(www.theblacklamb.org).
2010 ‘A walk with ACM’, 10”, docu.
2006 ‘Song for the price of a goat’, 52”, docu.
2008 ‘As long as the blackbird sings’, 40”, creative documentary. 
2006 ‘The Apple-Eater’, 25”, creative documentaire.
2005 ‘The return of the swallows, five years in the making’, 54 “.
2004 ‘The King’s children’, 54”
2003 ‘The last night of the night man’, 54 “, creative documentary.
‘The March, the Burden, the Desert, the Boredom, the Anger.’ 76 “, creative documentary.
2002 ‘After the flood’, 60”, experimental.
‘Streettapes’, 20”, experimental.
2001 ‘Illusions’, 3x10”, experimental.
‘Giant’s feet’, 10”, experimental.

Film projections /festivals

2016 ‘The Rabbit and the Teasel’ - 5th Ecofalante Environmental Film Festival, Sao Paulo, Brasil
2015 ‘The Rabbit and the Teasel’ - Official selection Visions du Reel, (medium lenght competition, international premiere), Switserland
‘The Rabbit and the Teasel’ - Festival Planète Honnête, France
‘The Rabbit and the Teasel’ - Festival Filmer a tout prix, (Panorame Belge), Belgium
‘The Rabbit and the Teasel’ - Festival dei popoli, chosen for SUI GENERI(S)* a special no-competitive section, Italy.
*Sui generi(s) is a selection of films, shorts, mid-length and features from all over the world representing one of the last trends of the storytelling in documentary cinema: The creative rewriting of the genres in classic cinema.
The Rabbit and the Teasel’, Kilmore Quay documentary festival, Ireland.
The Rabbit and the Teasel’, EMERGENT, Belgium.
2014 Art coeur et merci, the whole story’, performance, Kunstenfestival/Kaaitheater Brussels.
The Rabbit and the Teasel’, private viewing Wexford Art center, Ireland.
The Rabbit and the Teasel’, Blackstairs rural filmfestival, Ireland.
2007 ‘The Apple-Eater, La source du lion/Casablanca(Maroc).
2006 Song for the price of a goat, Outside, Galerij Danielle Arnaud, Londen.
Song for the price of a goat, Check-in-Europe, EPO, Munchen.
2004 ‘The March, the Burden, the Desert, the Boredom, the Anger’, KunstenFESTIVALdesarts, Brussels.
‘Koningskinderen’, Muhka - Museum van Hedendaags Kunst Antwerp.
2003 Contour – 1st Biennial for Video Art, Mechelen, Belgium.


2016 Panache, Antwerp, ‘Driftwood’, from 16/01 till 26/02/2016.
2014 Argos, Brussels, ”One Was Killed For Beauty, The Other One Was Shot, The Two Others Died Naturally.”from 03/05 till 29/05/2014.
2010 ‘Art coeur et merci’ , Museum Guislain/Ghent.
2008 ‘Skull’, Muhka - Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst. Antwerp.
2004 ‘The return of the swallows’, Palais de beaux art(BOZAR), Brussels.
2003 ‘De laatste nacht van de nachtman’ –KunstenFESTIVALdesarts, Brussels.‘Dreadlockcity’ - de begane grond, Utrecht (NL).
2002 Artist-in-residence, Brugge 2002, Cultural capital of Europe.
Attachment+, incubatieproject Kunsthalle Lophem. 
‘De terugkeer van de zwaluwen’ - BsBbis Brussels.
2000 Skull1, ism MUHKA, atelier Brasschaat.
1999 The Scavenger’s Daughter & White Pompei (with Orla Barry)HAL, Antwerpen


2015 Moscow biennale of contemporary art.
2014 Museum M, drawings from the CERA collection, Louvain, Belgium.
2013 THE BLACK LAMB, presentation in Burning ice, Kaaitheater, Brussels.
2012 THE BLACK LAMB, presentation in Burning ice, Kaaitheater, Brussels.
2009 ‘Songlines’- Mechelen
‘The Stone Road’-Kunstenfestivaldesarts&Argos, Brussels.
Presentation ‘Time is a book’- Timefestival/Ghent.
2008  The Stone Road. (On Track. Off Track. Memorising the Mid-World. Walking  the Fifth-Space.) WUK, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna.
2006 Making Sense in the City, Aula, Ghent University
Outdoors, Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, London.

Curator for the following projects

2006 Making sense in the City/Gent
2009 Songlines/Mechelen.
2009 Time is a book/Gent.

Artist in residence

From September till February 2016 she was selected for the third time by the Arts Department of Wexford County Council as an artist-in-residence for the primary school Residency Programme, Living Art project.


2000-2010 Artistic director of Firefly.
2004-2008 selected to be a member of the Arts council 
2014-2016 Member of the Artist in community scheme, Co. Wexford.

Guest lecturer, workshops, masterclasses

2016 St. Lucas school of arts, Antwerp (B)
2014 BAC-Gotland, Sweden.
2013 KASK Gent.
SIC Brussels.
2012 KASK Gent.
IT CARLOW-Wexford.
2011 KASK Gent.
IT CARLOW-Wexford.
2010 KASK Gent.
Sint Lucas Ghent.
2009 Workshop ‘The Stone Road’, Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brussel.
Workshop and lecture ‘Art and engagement ,‘Sint Lucas Brussel.
Lecture ‘The artist’s practice’, Academie Antwerpen.
2008 Lecture ‘Art in an urban environment’, University Leuven.
2006 Advising researcer at VUB : ‘Cosmopolis, city culture society’.
Advising guest teacher: Lectoraat Community arts/Rotterdam.
2006 Workshops and lecture, Invited by Pedro Abramo, University of Rio de Janeiro.
2005 Lecture ‘The return of the swallows’  University Gent.
2004 Lecture ‘In limbo’ Museum of modern art (MUHKA) Antwerpen.
2003 Lecture and workshop ‘ Art and social change’ Kunstenfestivaldesarts,Brussel.
2002 Lecture: ‘On social changes’, Bruges cultural capital 2002.
Lecture: ‘In Limbo’, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens.

Books  published 

2014 ED2, Argos, Brussel.
2006 ED, Vlaamse gemeenschap, Brussel.
2004 Koningskinderen, Mol.
2000 No Shooting (met O.Barry), Provinciaal Centrum voor Beeldende Kunsten – Hasselt.


2008 Bienvenue, Firefly.
2004 Cahiers, Solitary walker, 2 editions, Firefly.
1999 The Return of the Swallows, 3 editions, Firefly. 

Texts published about my work

Meade Iris.(2012) Participatory arts, what is the real social value?
Pink, S.(2009). Visual interventions
Moulaert, F.(2004)THE RETURN OF THE SWALLOWS.Downloading social capital from the ‘netted’ City?
‘City’, volume 8, July 2004: ’The return of the swallows: From urban hardship to identity retrieval’, Frank Moulaert
"Nous (ne) finirons pas au musée amusé”, 16-04-2004, Bart De Baere in Janus
Veerle De Vos in Kunst Nu, “We are all swallows”, Film of Els Dietvorst in Artsfestival Brussels, april 2004.
An van. Dienderen in Etcetera, “Collectivity in visual arts., april 2004.
Phd An van. Dienderen, “Production Process as a Site of Critique. Ethnographic Research into the Mediated Interactions during (documentary) Film Productions”, Universiteit Gent, 2003-2004
Alledaags is niet gewoon, “De terugkeer van de zwaluwen. Een multimediaproject in de Brusselse Anneessenswijk”, oktober 2002.
Els Dietvorst in Cahier Kunstsmaken, “The return of the swallows”, augustus 2002.
Els Dietvorst in Kunst Nu, “Een zwaluw tussen de meeuwen. Els Dietvorst over de maatschappelijke rol van de kunsten”, april 2002.