Key facts about the artist

Whatever We Are, We Were Made to Dance (2013)

Ortonandon is sisters Katie, Sophie and Anna Orton
Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow
Preferred medium
Also known as
The Weird Sisters, Daughters of Invention and New Ortonians


About Ortonandon's work

Social cohesion, togetherness, individuality and trying to make work together without falling-out is the three sister collaboration Ortonandon. With the figure as a central motif, the sisters consider body-form in relation to social politics and how identity can be represented through actions and props. They play with popular archetypes and social norms until these are abstracted into rhythms that are then danced, drawn, re-enacted, performed, directed, sculpted and expressed together. 

Ortonandon often invite others to become part of their collaboration through anonymous call-outs, by hiring actors, utilising family and pinning-down peers. Ortonandon not only use others to populate their art but also as a resource. They observe unknown lives, personalities and groups of people. These dynamics inform their work. This pseudo scientific social research is a microcosm for observations of a society at large. 

All three sisters invest elements of their individual art practices in Ortonandon. They come together with too many ideas and cut-away at them to find one-liners or the essence of their combined thoughts. They are protective of the intuitive dynamic of being sisters. Trusting intuition and channeling the rivalry that is synonymous with sisterhood, adds a serious counterbalance to what the Ortons do.


Katie (MFA) and Sophie (BA Hons) both studied at Edinburgh College of Art and Anna (MFA) studied at Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee. They exhibited for the first time as Ortonandon in 2010 at Catalyst Arts, Belfast. Recent exhibitions and performances include: Dance like nobody’s watching or Dance like you’re not dancing, Rhubaba Gallery, Edinburgh, 2014; Let’s Pluck The Bird, Limoncello Gallery, London, 2013; Service Provider, Liverpool Biennial, 2012 and An Association of Companies Defining Movement (the act and the illusion), Newbridge Gallery, Newcastle, 2011. They have featured in Scottish fan zines Yuck ’n Yum and Zug and were commissioned by Collective gallery for the All Sided Games during the 2014 Glasgow International Festival. The sisters continue to practice separately and at different times have been on the committees of artist-run galleries Generator Projects, Dundee and The Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh. The three sisters were born in Scotland and now live in three different cities across the country.

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