Approved: 16.08.2006

Fiona Curran

Artist, Lecturer / academic, Researcher

Approved: 16.08.2006

Artist Statement

Fiona Curran works with the poetics, the politics and the materialities of landscape space via the making of objects for exhibition and site-related commissions.

Curran presents landscapes that are broken down into views on the one hand and their physical/material presence on the other. Images and objects – painted, found, handmade and fabricated – sit alongside one another in differing modes of display that explore notions of the original and the copy, the natural and the artificial, the real and the imagined, and the role of technology in mediating between these positions. Using processes of editing, splicing, collage and assemblage, elements of the natural world are interspersed with representations of nature drawn from the fine and decorative arts. Works engage with unseen but sensed geographies through the use of pattern and repetition exploring notions of landscape space and landscape time, once measured through the impact of natural cycles and planetary shifts, now equally measured through digital time and the migratory flows of transnational capital. There is a strong tactile element at play that works to both mimic and counter the saturated spaces of screen technologies with their heightened colour and sleek, luminous surfaces. Objects and materials are stacked, draped, hung and folded often using the vertical and the horizontal planes in order to disrupt viewing positions and to question the different cultural values traditionally ascribed to art forms and materials across painting, sculpture and textiles.

Curran’s public commissions explore the histories of their site referencing historical and contemporary conditions and representations of power, the politics of land use and alternative ecologies.

“Curran’s work in its meditative boredoms and sickly fatigue is as much about forgetting we are already in the slow decline of the world reminding us that catastrophes may manifest suddenly, but the forces that cause them to snap build slowly in the sands of time beneath our feet.” Kit Hammonds, 2013.

“The woozy, febrile, tropical effect is helped by the fronds and palm trees, both real and replica… tune in to Curran’s atmosphere of artifice and exoticism, the languorous surfeit of surface.” Gabriel Coxhead, Modern Painters, 2014. 

Fiona read Philosophy at the University of Manchester (1992-1995) followed by a further BA(Hons) and MA at Manchester School of Art (1996-2001). Fiona is a Senior Tutor at the Royal College of Art and completed her PhD at the Slade School of Fine Art in 2016. Thesis title: Towards a fractured topography of the present: art, ecology and the political economy of speed. 

CV & Education

Solo exhibitions 

2016 The grass seemed darker than ever, Kielder Forest, Northumberland

2013 Beach Fatigue, Carslaw St* Luke's, London.

2012 - Waiting for the Perfect View, Touchstones, Rochdale 

2010 - Assembly, Chapter Gallery, Cardiff

2007 - Cornerhouse Projects, Cornerhouse , Manchester

2007 - The World Is Larger in Summer, MAC, Birmingham

Group exhibitions

2016 - Other, Royal College of Art, London

Slade MA/MFA/PhD Show, Slade School of Fine Art, London

2015 - No Matter New Matter, Ed. Varie, New York 

Signal Failure (Squared), Safe House, London

Mostyn Open 19, Llandudno, Wales

Promise of Palm Trees, Breese Little, London

Finite Project Altered When Open, David Dale Gallery, Glasgow

2014Riff, Baltic39, Newcastle, 

Situation, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, Australia,

Interchange Junctions, Howick Place, London,

Detail, H Projects, Bangkok, Transition Gallery, London,  Usher Gallery, Lincoln

2013 - Easy Does It, David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, Aid & Abet, Cambridge and Supercollider, Blackpool 

 Art Across the City, Swansea, Wales

Crocodiles With a Second Skin Thrash, Over + Out, Lincoln

2012 - Making Space, Slade School of Fine Art Research Centre, London

Untitled, Miami Beach, Miami, USA

The Yellow Wallpaper, Danson House, Bexleyheath Park, Kent

2011 - London Art Fair Projects, The Florence Trust, London Art Fair, London

Surplus To Requirements?, Slade School of Fine Art Research Centre, London

Translate/Transcribe, Central House of Artists, Moscow, Russia.

2010 - Guasch Coranty International Painting Prize, Centro Cultural Tecla Sala, Barcelona, Spain.

 Paint, Beldam Gallery, Brunel University, London 

Saatchi Northern Stars, The Blade Factory, A Foundation, Liverpool

Tatton Park Biennial, Tatton Park, Cheshire

The London Art Fair, Paul Stolper Gallery, London

2009 - Coller-Elective, Arena Gallery, Liverpool

Creekside open part 1, selected by Jenni Lomax), A.P.T Gallery, Deptford, London

Fringe MK Annual Painting Prize, Middleton Hall, Milton Keynes

Pairs, Paul Stolper, London 

The London Art Fair, Paul Stolper Gallery, London, 

Future 50, PSL, Project Space Leeds

2008 - Swap/Vaihto, Bureau and The Cable Factory, Salford and Helsinki

)Bracket This( III, Arena Gallery, Liverpool (Biennial Independents Programme)

2006 - Frenzy: L'art decoratif d'aujourd 'hui, The Metropole Galleries, Folkestone

 New Trends In Painting Since 2000, City Gallery, Leicester

 Pattern, Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead



 2008 The Florence Trust, London 

Public Commissions

2016 - Kielder Art & Architecture, Kielder Forest, Northumberland

2012 - Art Across the City, Locws International, Swansea

2009 - Vital Arts Commission, Occupational Health Centre, The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel 

Prizes and Awards, 

2012 - The Jean Spencer and Malcolm Hughes Bursary, Slade School of Fine Art

2010 - RIBA MSA small projects award (for Tatton Park Biennial project) 

2004 - Research and Development Award, The Arts Council England

Educational experience 

2014 - present,  Senior Tutor, Royal College of Art, London

2005 - 2014, Senior Lecturer Manchester School of Art, Manchester