Elsabe Dixon (b.1964, Dundee, South Africa) is a conceptual artist working primarily with live organisms; in particular Bombyx Mori (Silkworms). Dixon has participated in artist presentations at the Textile Museum,, DC as well as the Smithsonian Freer and Sackler Museum, DC. In 2012 she participated in the 5th National Collegiate Paper Triennial at the Corcoran, DC. Locally she has shown her work at the McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, as well as Chroma Projects Art Laboratory, Charlottesville in VA; the Edison Place, Pepco Gallery in DC, and the Montpelier Art Center, Laurel, and Strathmore Arts Center, Bethesda, in MD. Her work has been installed at the A.I.R. and 440 Galleries in Brooklyn NYC; the Borowsky and Nexus Galleries in Philadelphia as well as the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburg, PA. In the summer of 2015 her work was seen at The American Association for the Advancement of Science, in a show called: Gedankenexperiment. Dixon received her BFA in Art from the University of Averett and her MFA from George Mason University. She was selected as a grant recipient for Lumen8 in Anacostia (2013) and the Chenven Foundation (2011). Dixon has worked with collaborative teams such as FLOATINGLAB Collective; a GMU based global research and political collective. Through this collaboration on a project called BOOK OF LATENT PROMISES, Dixon participated, through papermaking, in the Ghetto Biennial (Port-au-Prince Haiti), 2013. Dixon’s work was shown in Istanbul, Turkey, for the show Converging Parallels (2013) and in Sichuan, China for the show Traditional & New (2011) . In 2016 Dixon received a Multidisciplinary Grant from the GMU Provost office for a project launched in collaboration with the GMU Bee Initiatives program and the MakerSpace (MIX) lab. The project set up a system for building a sculpture in 12 existing apiaries along the 29th corridor of Virginia. The Sculpture was installed at the Danville Museum of Fine art and history in August- October 2016. In 2017 she co-curated the NEA sponsored exhibition NATURE AS PROTOTYPE at the McLean Project for the Arts, VA. In 2018 she worked with the curator Laura Roulet on an audience interactive exhibit MISE EN PLACE at the VISART Center in Rockville, MD. She currently lives and works in Alexandria, VA and is preparing for an exhibition called TO EAT or NOT TO EAT, scheduled for 2018 at the Joan Hisoaka Gallery, Smith Center for Healing DC.
Through live insect installation fused with constructed recycled and repurposed materials, Elsabe Dixon explores alternative strategies of object making while using both analog systems and the empirical in an organic collaboration. Dixon creates works that explore the mediating effect organic environments have on our sensory perception of space and objects. Her work involves the audience through invitation of communal work and through the construction of interactive live environments through which the audience can move. Dixon allows chance operations, mimetic systems and audience participation to reveal the life cycle of a living organism within the imagined structures of a built environment.