Artist and …
This page is currently being updated – contributing artists and final images pending. Publication downloads will be made available in October 2019.
As an artist and curator who works predominantly through peer-education I have an ambivalent relationship to the singular title, ‘curator’. (David Balzer’s book, Curationism, is a helpful debunking.) Nevertheless, the title fits: to curate – from the Latin curatus – means, to care.
For the most part I care through a peer-education process, working with artists and non-artists to provide the necessary conditions for the public reception and engagement of their work. I’m interested in the relationship between people, place, object, and idea and the exhibitions I curate reflect that interest.
A public art programme utilising hoardings surrounding Plot 10 in Dundee’s Waterfront Development. Each exhibition consisted of 18 framed 4-sheet posters and, when possible, a public engagement event. Exhibitions were programmed in response to Dundee’s changing Waterfront Development and aimed to open up the Waterfront to a plurality of voices and community participation.
Artists, titles and dates (listed in chronological order): Owen Daily, City as Archive, Aug-Oct, 2015 (part of the Dundee Commons Festival) / Jonathan Baxter and Sarah Gittins (aka Dundee Urban Orchard), Shadow Work, Oct-Nov 2015 / Mhairi Anderson, Hayley Whelan, Jonathan Liddle, and Sue Beveridge, What does regeneration mean for you? Nov-Dec, 2015 (part of DJCAD’s Arts, Society and Publics, MFA) / Robert Orchardson, The Substance of Things Unseen, Aug-Oct, 2016 / Monica Studer and Christoph van den Berg, Viewfinder, Nov 2016-Jan 2017 (part of NEoN Festival, 2016) / Dundee Print Collective: Sarah Burt, Tom Carlile, Annis Fitzhugh, Lucia Gomez, Jonny Lyons, Fraser MacDonald, Kieran Milne, Andrea Sayers, Bobby Sinclair, and Thomas Woodcock, Dundee Publics: Past, Present and Future Subversions, Feb-April 2017 / O Street, All Welcome Here, April-June 2017 / Kieran Dodds, Gingers of Dundee, June-Aug 2017 / David “Cully” McCulloch, “She’s Game Boys”, August 2017 / The Museum of Loss and Renewal: Tracy Mackenna & Edwin Janssen, Sept-Nov 2017 / Caroline Erolin, Digital D’Arcy, Nov 2017 – Jan 2017 (part of NEoN Festival, 2017) / Tin Roof and See You on Sunday (with organising artist, Joanna Helfer), Other Spaces, Jan-March 2018 / Janice Aitken, My Silence Will Never Protect Me, March-May 2018 (part of Dundee Women’s Festival, 2018) / Dalziel + Scullion, Dundee Birds, May-July 2018 / Anna Reid and Hot Chocolate Trust, Urban Lounge, July-Sept 2018 / Menzieshill Photography Group and David Oudney, Sculpture in the City, Sept-Nov 2018 (part of a city-wide effort to document existing public art in the city, this in collaboration with University of Dundee Museum Services) / John Butler, Xerox’s Paradox, Nov-Dec 2018 (part of NEoN Festival, 2018)
Murmur: Artists Reflect on Climate Change (2017) – in collaboration with An Talla Solais
A collaboration with An Talla Solais to explore alternative approaches to curation and exhibition making. Over a six month period five artists, a curator and an ATS representative met in person and online to develop ATS’s summer exhibition and events programme. Three of the artists worked in Ullapool for an extended period to develop their work in response to the locality. The events programme included formal and informal presentations by the artists, artist workshops for adults and children, an introduction to climate change by local writer and climate change researcher, John McIntyre (pictured above), a film screening of Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival, a two week community print workshop in Ullapool Library (with the collective outcome on permanent display in Ullapool Ferry Terminal), and Ullapool’s first Green Tease event with Creative Carbon Scotland.
Artists: Sarah Gittins / Chloe Lewis / Ellis O’Connor / Meg Rodger / Saule Zuk – with support from Victoria Caine and the ATS team.
Emily Johns: The Politics of Print (co-curated with Sarah Gittins) (2016) – On Site Projects (OSP)
Emily Johns: The Politics of Print explored global conflict and oil dependency through the lens of the first Gulf War. It presented a selection of Johns’ political prints spanning a 20 year period and included a public talk by the artist. Part of Print Festival Scotland, 2016.
Artist: Emily Johns
Dundee Commons Festival (2015) – On Site Projects (OSP)
The culmination of a year-long, peer-education programme explore the theme ‘If the City were a Commons‘. The week-long festival included daily walks, talks, workshops, live art performances, music, dance, poetry, public art, co-design, and three exhibitions (consisting of drawings, prints and photography respectively). The host venue was Dundee West Hall (aka Roseangle Commons) with additional workshops and performances taking place at Discovery Point, Dundee City Square, Dundee Waterfront, Empire State Cafe, GENERATORprojects, and Hannah Maclure Centre.
Artists and other contributors included: Cathy Bache / Sarah Banjo / Jonathan Baxter* / Claire Briegel* / Sonny Carntyne / Kate Clayton* / Common Good Food / Creative Cooking Society / Owen Daily / Dundee Foodbank / Dundee Social Enterprise / Dundee Girlguides / Dundee Urban Orchard (Jonathan Baxter and Sarah Gittins) / Esperi / Faith in Community Dundee / Joanna Foster* / Britta Funck-Januschke* / Jeanette Ginslov* (and dancers) / Sarah Gittins* / Beth McDonough / Duncan McLaren* / Metacandriu / Gerry O’Brien* / One World Centre / Alison Philp* / Roundabout Collective / Tina Scopa* / Pernille Spence / Karen Spy and Donald Spy* / Steeple Book Group / The Artifact / The Space / Emil Thompson / Tribal Storm / Tom Wallace* / Lada Wilson* / Wire and Wool / Chiu Yi-Chieh
Speakers: Gesa Helms / Lesley Riddoch / Mike Small / Cornelia Sollfrank / Andy Wightman
* designates regular attendance of the If the City Were a Commons programme
Mappa Dundee: What Sustains? (2014) – On Site Projects (OSP)
Part of a wider research project entitled Curating City and Space, Mappa Dundee commissioned five artists and two artist-run organisations to reflect on the question ‘What Sustains?’ The artists mapped their social, environmental and economic relationships within the city and explored the support structures available (or not) for their creative practice. As part of the opening exhibition each artist interpreted their map for the assembled audience.
Artists: Ruth Aitken* / Anton Beaver / Yvonne Billimore* / Morgan Cahn / Owen Daily / Catrin Jeans / Holly Keasey* / James Lee* / Kirsty McKeown* / Fraser MacDonald / Tin Roof Collective
*GENERATORprojects committee were invited to participate in the mapping. They chose to work as individual artists
Print Shift: Art, Ecology and Cultural Activism (2013) – On Site Projects (OSP)
Exploring the relationship between ecology and cultural activism this exhibition and events programme focused on food sustainability, alternative economies and the formation of political subjectivity. It included performance, print, sculpture, textiles, and video. The events programme included a co-design workshop to create a city centre orchard space, two community print workshops, a reading towards action event, an allotment tour, and a community meal. Part of Print Festival Scotland 2013.
Artists: Shazia Ahmed / Chris Biddlecombe / Jonathan Baxter and Sarah Gittins (aka Dundee Urban Orchard) / Dean Kenning / Chad McCail (one of whose images is used above)
Cupar Arts Festival – Roseangle Studios exhibition (2013)
Shown as part of Cupar Arts Festival, 2013, this loosely curated group exhibition brought together work by Roseangle Studios artists. It included performance, print, textiles, installation, and a series of public presentations. Venues included Cupar’s YMCA, an empty shopfront (because prone to flooding), a carpark, and various locations other outdoor locations. (The above image documents of my own site-responsive installation: A Young Man’s Christian Free Associations.)
Artists: Jonathan Baxter / Sarah Gittins / Holly Keasey / Eilidh Mackay / Mattias Strahm
Dundee Urban Orchard (2013-ongoing)
DUO continue to create exhibitions and events in Dundee and further afield. While not specifically a curatorial project, DUO have toured and installed work for a variety of contexts and exhibitions including the Orchard City print exhibition (touring in Dundee from 2014 – 2016 and now permanently displayed at Arthurstone Library), as well as a variety of other participatory and exhibition contexts. These include Roseangle Gallery, ‘Small Gestures’, Dundee (2014), GENERATORprojects, ‘VIEW’, Dundee (2014), Sharing Not Hoarding, ‘Shadow Work’, Dundee (2015), Triennale di Milano, ‘City After the City’, Milan, (2016), ONCA – Centre for Arts and Ecology, ‘Harvest’, Brighton (2016), Dundee Botanic Gardens, ‘Community Harvest’, Dundee (2016), Whitespace, ‘Arrivals’, Edinburgh (2016), and Print Festival Scotland, ‘Print City’, part of Dundee Design Festival (2017).
The Kingdom of If: Art and Sustainability in Fife (2012-13) – commissioned by Fife Contemporary
Curated for Fife’s Mobile Art Coach on behalf of Fife Contemporary (formerly Fife Contemporary Art and Craft). This exhibition explored environmental sustainability with a focus on biodiversity, food sovereignty, sustainable travel, and waste. It included animation, ceramics, mixed media sculpture, painting, photography, print, textile, sound, a programme of arts and educational events.
Artists: Ae Phor (formerly Pete Horobin, Marshall Anderson and Peter Haining) / Jonathan Baxter and Sarah Gittins / Joanna Foster / Sean and Christine Kingsley / Edward Summerton / Raz Ullah
Line Walk Mindful Drawing (2012) – Dundee Artists in Residence (D-AiR)
Line Walk Mindful Drawing was part of D-AiR’s extended events programme. It took place on the first Saturday of every month from January to December 2012 and involved walking the same path, there and back, for a two hour repeat performance to observe the changing seasons within oneself and the natural world. The walk was undertaken in silence and participants were encouraged to pause at key moments and respond to their environment by making a drawing in whatever medium they chose. [Incomplete]
Performing Worlds: A Public Art, Performance and Education Event / A week long festival and extended exhibition programme (2012) – Dundee Artists in Residence (D-AiR)
The exhibition took place at Hannah Maclure Centre and presented the work of four divergent social art practices from the late 1960s to the present. It included a reprint and recirculation of Stephen Willats’ formerly ‘disappeared’ 1969 ‘Cognition Manifesto’.
Artists: Dundee Urban Orchard (Jonathan Baxter and Sarah Gittins) / Pete Horobin / Tracy MacKenna & Edwin Janssen / Stephen Willats
The festival explored a variety of themes inspired by the provocation of ‘Performing Worlds’. It took place in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations across the city including Camperdown Wildlife Centre, Dundee City Square, GENERATORprojects, Hannah Maclure Centre, Olympia Leisure Centre, Tayside Recyclers, Wellgate Library, and the former Dundee Chamber of Commerce.
Artists: Ruth Aitken / Jonathan Baxter / Yvonne Billimore / Morgan Cahn / Tara Chaloner / Charlotte Ginsborg / Sarah Gittins / Alexander Gordon / Jeremy Hardingham / Holly Keasey / Sylvia Law / Theresa Lynn / Gerry O’Brien / Beth Savage / Catherine Sloan / Pernille Spence / et al.
Speakers: Timothy Collins and Reiko Goto / Anne Lolly and Susannah Silver / Tracy MacKenna & Edwin Janssen / Neil Mulholland
Dundee Live: A Public Art, Performance and Education Event / A week long festival and extended exhibition programme (2011) – Dundee Artists in Residence (D-AiR)
The exhibition, entitled ‘SOIL’, took place in the Hannah Maclure Centre, and explored soil from a variety of perspectives: aesthetic, environmental, sociological and scientific. It included film, performance, print, sculpture, and original research undertaken by University of Abertay Dundee’s SIMBIOS Centre.
Artists: Jonathan Baxter / Stephanie Bourne / Dalziel and Scullion / Sarah Gittins / Jan Hendry / Ashley Nieuwenhuizen / SIMBIOS Centre
The festival explored Dundee as a city in performance. It included site-responsive animation, dance, film, installation, music, live art, print, sound, and a group exhibition. The festival took place in a variety of venues including Bonar Hall, GENERATORprojects, Dundee City Square, Olympia Leisure Centre, Tayside Recyclers, The Quad University of Abertay Dundee, Botanic Garden University of Dundee, Wellgate Central Library, the numbers 1, 5, 15, 22 and 28 bus routes, and the Tay River .
Artists: Helen Angell-Preece / Lindsay Brown (Stray Seal) / Glasgow Open School / Guerrilla Gallery / Sarah Gittins / Derek Lodge / Scottish Dance Theatre / Mary Somerville / Pernille Spence / Karen Spy / The Space Dancers / and the Mappa Mundi exhibitors and performers: Joss Allen / Jonathan Baxter / Tara Chaloner / Joanna Foster / Sarah Gittins / Holly Keasey / Loads of Women Singing / Kevin McCabe / Nigel Mullan / Gerry O’Brien
Art and Ecology: Where Two Worlds Meet (2010)
A week long arts and education programme at Botanic Garden University of Dundee. The programme included an exhibition of prints exploring climate change, research into environmental design, a film work documenting D-AiR’s activity in the city (focussing on a Tayside Recyclers residency and the development of an urban garden), two public walks exploring Dundee’s greenspace infrastructure (one of which included the planting of a guerrilla garden), and a talk about Patrick Geddes and his vision for Dundee waterfront.
Artists and other contributors: Sarah Gittins / staff at Botanic Garden University of Dundee eta.
This page is currently being updated – contributing artists and images pending. Publication downloads will be made available in October 2019.