About me and my work

 Hello, I’m Hayley Ellis, and I’m #the_outsider_studio.

The Outsider Studio is a real place: it’s the studio at my home in Cape Town, South Africa, where I produce artworks in pen and ink, limited edition prints, ceramic sculpture, oils and acrylics on canvas. I like to use whatever resources and materials are available to me, so my works are mainly mixed media, using paper, board, linen or canvas, and even Perspex.

My paintings are often abstract and expressionist. They’re filled with lines and marks as I explore ideas, often revealing the route the work will take, drawing me towards the shape and palette. I then turn my mind inwards, contemplate, and then celebrate my communion with the instinct that makes my hand move. Sometimes my body also moves as I listen to the sounds and see the shapes in my mind’s eye. I lose myself in the rhythm and poetry of the mark-making.

I produce prints only in limited edition runs of up to twenty five on beautiful archival fine art paper. My prints are signed, numbered and shipped globally. I sometimes work in series, but it’s not a rule I adhere to – it just depends what moves me. Nature is my safe place to renew my energy and find inspiration. 

I examine gender, environmental and socio-political issues. My work often explores my place within this environment.

I also adore my little Italian greyhound and my devoted whippet, Willy and Mouse.

If you would like to commission me for a work, please do contact me.

I also like to work on my prints, creating unique mixed medium works of art. If you would like me to do that to your print, send me a message.

For more information about my work, please contact Hayley on (+27) 076 033 2465, or wishes.e@gmail.com, and follow /DM her on Instagram at #the_outsider_studio.


You can find me on instagram #the_outsider_studio. I like to share my work, my walks, visits to interesting places, and my dogs. 

Biography, About the Artist: Hayley Ellis

Hayley Ellis is a South African painter and ceramic artist from Cape Town, South Africa. She was trained in Drama, Dance and Movement, and studied Art Education at Stellenbosch University in the 1980s. In the early ‘90s she travelled to the UK and worked in London for thirteen years. Her first works were shown in a group exhibition at the Westbourne Gallery in London in 1995, an event covered by ITV’s The Southbank Show. She returned to South Africa in 2008 and dedicated herself full- time to painting, ceramics and mixed media collage, creating dreamlike mindscapes with fantastical and mythological subjects, before branching out into the realm of abstract expressionism.

Her early works were exhibited from 2011 at the D-Street Gallery in Stellenbosch, Bellville’s Art B, a digital group exhibition in New York’s Times Square in 2014.The Artemis Series was the first work to emerge from The Outsider Studio, which she established in 2016 in the heart of Cape Town’s Art quarter, Observatory. Two independent solo exhibitions followed: in 2016 ‘Myth and Movement’, the Artemis Series of abstract oils, ceramic vessels and sculpture, and 2017 ‘Artemis in Guise’: expressionist portraits and studies of women in myth, ceramic vessels and sculpture. The studio has attracted the attention of private collectors both at home and abroad, and Hayley has undertaken a number of commissions in painting and sculpture.

In 2018 and 2019 Hayley was accepted to the Berlin Art Institute for intensive studio practice, discourse and experimentation. Her series Summoning the Rain is the culmination of 18 months’ work and ongoing research. These works were exhibited during the Berlin Art Spring event. Three paintings from Summoning the Rain featured in a group exhibition at the Imibala Gallery, Somerset West, in October 2018.