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Tom Ellard

b. 1962

Tom Ellard was born in Sydney in 1962. He completed a Bachelor of Science at the University of NSW in 1983 and a Bachelor of Arts Communications (Honours) at the University of Technology in 2007.

Ellard is an artist working across a variety of media including sound, music, video, the web and performance. In the late 1970s after experimenting with tape recorders he joined the band Severed Heads with Richard Fielding and Andrew Wright. The group's early releases on cassette and vinyl were collages of found sound sources such as radio and TV, combined with rudiementary musical elements on synthesisers and pianos. With a sometimes mordant sense of humour the band was a notable addition to the "do it yourself" post Punk aesthetic of the time. After both Fielding and Wright left the band, Ellard continued with the occassional collaboration of others including media artist Garry Bradbury.

As an early adopter of emerging technologies during this period Ellard began experimenting with home computers to produce pattern-based abstract video works to accompany live music performances. During the early 1980s Ellard met artist Stephen Jones and together formed a creative partnership as part of Severed Heads, now a duo, and other video/music projects. The band's music had evloved into a sophisticated blend of danceable noise scapes and songs while its music clips were pioneering combinations of live footage altered and abstracted using a variety of video technologies including the Fairlight CVI. In 1991 Jones left the band while Ellard's creative efforts were effectively split between computer animation, video art and music projects. Although Severed Heads was formally discontinued in 2008, Ellard has performed on a number of occassions in festivals and in more intimate settings, most recently in Belgium in 2011. 

Over the last decade Ellard's projects have encompassed gaming, computer animations and performance. Works include Lives of The Saints [2007], a multi-part narrative sequel to his Mr. AAA Hot Water [2005], an extension and reimagining of the opening credits for the feature film The Illustrated Family Doctor [2005] for which he provided the score; The Shape of A Note [2011], a multi screen, multi media video/music performance presented at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Transoceanic [2011], and a web project Trans Oceanic celebrating the lost art of short wave radio tuning.

Andrew Frost
Period of activity 
from 1983
Other works 


2010 Return to Barbara Island (VJ set)

2010 Sevs in Space, Mambo Fist Miasma, Kittenette, Pilots Hate You, Oblique Firefly Overlocker, Choose Evil, Funky Pervert, The Interpreter

2008 Carry On Experimental Musician (VJ set)

2007 Harold & Cindy, Greater Reward, Dead Eyes Opened, Hot With Fleas

2007 The Lives of the Saints (suite)

2007 Gehennaland (installation)

2006 The Turd Polish Suite – Third Movement (VJ set)

2005 The Ant Can See Legs

2005 December 13th, We Choose Moon, Sozzled Squirrel

2005 The Turd Polish Suite – Second Movement (VJ set)

2005 AAA Mr Hot Water, Moon Pie, Automated Fanfare, Mosquito (with KS), Your Kidneys

2004 Nigella Type C, Ballet Suharto Ldopa, Pilots Hate You

2003 Pour Chiens Moyens, Pilot in Hell 2, The Song of Sam, Memorial Discotheque, Cant, Fold, Funky Pervert, Kittens, Anti Intellectual

2002 Oblique Firefly Overlocker, Fold, The Wing of the Plane, Starts With K

2002 The Turd Polish Suite – First Movement (VJ set)

2001 Walrus Guitars

1998 Choose Evil, Dreamsong

1994 Wide World of Art / Jonah Lampey’s Psychedelic Fishing Show

1994 Hot With Fleas 2, Dollarex 2, Heart of the Party

1993 Greater Reward 2

1993 Twister, Dollarex, Animal (with JG & FT)

1991 Pilot in Hell (with SJ)

1991 Big Car, Big Car Retread (with SJ, GB, RB)

1990 All Saints Day (with SJ)

1988 Greater Reward (with SJ)

1987 Hot With Fleas (with SJ)

1985 A Million Angels (with SJ & IA)

1985 Halo

1985 Petrol, Harold and Cindy Hospital, Propellor (with SJ)

1985 Kato Gets The Girl (mentored by SJ)

1983 Dead Eyes Opened (with SJ & JP)

1983 Live at Metro TV (suite, with SJ and GB)

1983 Commodore

Stephen Jones, Garry Bradbury, Juilee Pryor, Ian Andrews, Richard Bolton, Jason Gee, Fincher Trist, Kriv Stenders

Other group exhibitions 

Selected Video Exhibitions and Compilations

2001 Penrith Performing Arts Centre

2011 NP Gallery New York – retrospective

2010 Benefit for Rainforest Rescue - live audio/visual performance

2010 Sydney Festival - live audio/visual performance

2007 QUT Creative Precinct - Gehennaland 3 screen installation

2007 Byte Me Festival Perth- live audio/visual performance

2006 UnSound 06 Wagga Wagga - live audio/visual performance

2006 Australian Centre For Photography - Syn City*

2005 The Animated Family Doctor DVD

2005 Liquid Architecture – live audio/visual work.

2004 Electrofringe Newcastle– live audio/visual work

2002 Sydney Film Festival - A Fun Night Out music video retrospective.*

2002 Electrofringe Newcastle– live audio/visual work

1998 Permanent exhibition of video studio in Cyberworlds - Powerhouse Museum*

1994 Metapus CD-ROM Interactive

1994 ABC Television music video retrospective *

1994 An Eccentric Orbit – Australian Video Works *

1991 Liverpool Video Festival UK  – interactive video installation*

1988 Australian Perspecta  – performance*

1988 Biennale of Sydney  – interactive video installation*

1985 ICA London - Kato Gets The Girl performance*

* With Stephen Jones as ‘Severed Heads’

Kato Gets The Girl (excerpt, 1985), – from Kato Gets The Girl, via Vimeo 
Ghosts of Lunches (2011), – from Ghosts of Lunches, via Vimeo 
John Frum (from Lives of the Saints), – from John Frum, via Vimeo 
Pour Chiens Moyens + Chiens Annex (2004,2011), – from Pour Chiens Moyens + Chiens Annex, via Vimeo 
Big Car Retread (1991), – from Big Car Retread, via Vimeo 
Canine (1987), – from Canine, via Vimeo