The catalyst for my work is typically a hole in my understanding of something, a sensation of distance from it and a desire to get closer. I often become absorbed with seemingly simple or straightforward things, which I then earnestly study, scrutinize and unpack. I expand, repeat and blow up minute details and gestures which tend to become more significant than the subject itself. I love the simple and believe nothing is as simple as it seems.
My work is about revision: how can I alter something to better reflect my understanding and experience of it? How can I harness the overlooked? How might my work encourage an audience to find new ways to connect with a neglected, elusive or distanced subject? My work is essentially about how we come to know and learn about the world through the senses. I’m interested in agitating and disrupting the stability of facts, artifacts and historical material by creating a space to test, challenge or measure authenticity, discover discrepancies and to revel in subjective ambiguity. My tussle with (and in) this space is the work.
My interactions with a subject usually take place across a series of images or objects – emphasising the time based nature of experience and the active role of the body (of both the artist and viewer) in the production of meaning. I combine traditional artistic materials and processes with non- professional, even amateur methods, or tools within the domestic sphere, and use techniques such as re-making, copying and repetition.
I have no consistent subject matter. Past subjects of interest are eclectic and include: Various artworks by avant-garde artist Kurt Schwitters; Conservation, restoration and the re-presentation of ephemeral monuments in the Hatton Gallery’s archive; Lockdown visits to Haslam Park, Preston; The print archive of Gwyneth Alban Davis; The Observer’s Book of Birds; A newspaper photograph of Donald Trump and Theresa May; Found slides and photographs; The physical and virtual/ analogue and digital architecture of the window and screen; Bathing as a practice and ritual in Japanese culture.
I’m originally from Hamilton, Scotland, but now live and work in Preston, Lancashire. I’m a member of The Birley Artist Studios, Preston and The Kurt Schwitters Society (International). I’m currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at Newcastle University, on Kurt Schwitters’ Merz Barn Wall in conjunction with the Hatton Gallery, where the work is situated. I hold an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art, London, and a BA (hons) degree in Painting from Grays School of Art, Aberdeen. I work on a part time basis as a Lecturer in Fine Art at The University of Central Lancashire, Preston.
CV & Education
2017-present PhD (practice-based) Fine Art, Newcastle University
2012-13 MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art, London.
2009-10 PG HELT (Postgraduate Higher Education Learning and Teaching).The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.
2001-05 BA Honours Degree in Fine Art (Painting), Grays School of Art, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.
(Selected) Professional Grants and Awards
2019 Northern Bridge Placement Award (Sprengel Museum, Germany)
2017 AHRC Northern Bridge Studenship Award
2017 Heritage Lottery Grant 'Sharing Heritage.'
2013 Vice Chancellors Scholarship Award, Central St. Martin's, London
2012 The Dewar Arts Award, Scotland
2010 Alistair Salvesen Traveling Scholarship to Japan (in conjunction with RSA)
2009 Shell Premier Award, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum
2007 Royal Scottish Academy Guthrie Award and Medal for Painting
2006 Royal Scottish Academy Guthrie Award and Medal for Painting
2006 Scottish Arts Council ‘Artist In Residence,’ His Majesty’s Theatre,
2006 Royal Scottish Academy Meyer Oppenheim Award
2005 Royal Scottish Academy John Kinross Scholarship to Florence
2005 Royal Scottish Academy Painting Prize and McLean Waters Medal
2016- present Visiting Practitioner, MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art, London
2015- present 0.4 Lecturer in MA/BA Fine Art, University of Central Lancashire, Preston
2013 Visiting Practitioner, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge,
2007-12 0.5 Lecturer in Painting, Grays School of Art, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland.
2011 Visiting Lecturer, The Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (Erasmus Exchange)
2006-07 Full Time Lecturer in Painting, Grays School of Art, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland.
2018 TAPRA, Royal School of Speech and Drama, London.
2018 ARI , University of Cumbria, Carlisle.
2018 'Women in Print' , Harris Art Gallery, Preston.
2018 'Schwitters in Internment' Bury Art Gallery, Bury.
2018. Murmurations (hosted by Chris Watson and Jez Riley French)
2017 Sound and Environment, Hull.
2017 Merz North Conference, The University of York.
2016 'Making Meaning' AHRC Postgraduate Consortium, Manchester.
2016 Entartete Kunst Conference, Merz Barn, Cumbria
2016 Research Talk, Chelsea College of Art, London
2015 'Creating Sound in Context,' Panel Member/Facilitator, Sonica Festival, Glasgow
2015 Artist Talk, West End Film Festival, Glasgow
2014 Artist Talk, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
2014 LUX Seminar Member, Oberhausen Film Festival, Germany
2011 Artist Talk, The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
2010 Artist Talk, The Academy of Fine Arts, Prague
(Selected) Solo Shows
2018-19 The Loud and the Soft Speakers, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle
2018. Patterns of Consumption, Long Gallery Newcastle University
2017 All The Better To Hear You With, Merz Barn, Cumbria
2015 Domestic Dawn Chorus, Studio3Arts, London
2013 Things to Come, The Morgue, Chelsea College of Art
2011 Constants In Practice, The Royal Scottish Academy, National Galleries, Edinburgh
2009 Stages of Control , The Foyer, Gallery Aberdeen
(Selected) Group Shows
2019 The State of Print (Touring) Artlab, Preston.
2018 Merzwomen and the Daughters of Dada (with Jackie Haynes), Vallum Gallery, University of Cumbria.
2017 Post Truth Screening, Sheffield Hallum University
2017 The Caravan Press: Making Visible The Archive of Gwyneth Alban Davis, Florence Arts Centre, Egremont.
2017 A Bird In The Head, Danielle Arnaud, London
2016 Hanover Research Group, Bloc Projects, Sheffield
2016 'FSP', The Brunel Museum, London (CRISAP/EAVI)
2016 Works For Air, Hanover Project, Preston
2016 One Minute Volume 9, curated By Kerry Baldry (touring)
2015 Concrete Gestures: Brunel-Fly-By-Night, Brunel Museum, London
2015 The Programme (Film Festival), Hanover Project, Preston
2014 Taint, GRAD Gallery, London
2013 The Exchange Project: Part Two, APT Gallery, Deptford, London
2010 Nord Art, Kunst in Carlshutte, Hamburg, Germany
2017 Typ-ooo North Print Collective
2016 Co-Founder of SKELF Virtual Project Space (monthly curated projects)
2015 Brunel Fly-By-Night: Concrete Gestures, The Brunel Museum, London
2015 (Co-Curated) The Film Programme, Hanover Gallery, Preston
2013 Brunel Fly By Night: Division of Labour, The Brunel Museum, London