Artist and …
This page is currently being updated – contributing artists and final images pending. Publication downloads will be made available by January 2023.
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. The exhibitions I curate reflect that interest.
The following exhibitions, programmes, festivals, and walks are cut from their wider context. They’re presented here as an off the cuff summary in need of extensive update.
Pilgrimage for COP26 – a walk and a learning journey from Dunbar to Glasgow (October 2021)
Working with artists, climate activists and a wide range of environmental and interfaith organisations, Pilgrimage for COP26 provided an alternative form of civic engagement in the lead up to COP26. The project had three aims:
We’re walking to raise awareness of the climate and ecological crisis.
We’re reflecting on that crisis as it relates to our own lives, the communities we pass through and the lives of those already impacted; both human and more-than-human.
We’re building a community of witness and resistance committed to climate justice now and in the wake of COP26
To download the programme see here.
Sharing Not Hoarding (co-curated with Nomas*Projects) (2015-2018; renewed for lockdown: 2020-22) – On Site Projects (OSP)
A public art project utilising hoardings surrounding Plot 10 in Dundee’s Waterfront Development. Each exhibition consists of eighteen framed 4-sheet billboard posters and, when possible, a public engagement event. Exhibitions are programmed in response to Dundee’s changing Waterfront Development and aim to open up the Waterfront to a plurality of voices.
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 (working as 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 in collaboration with University of Dundee Museum Services) / John Butler, Xerox’s Paradox, Nov-Dec 2018 (part of NEoN Festival, 2018). // Chris Chonarty, News From Heaven (July-Sept 2020) Sekai Machache, a BREAdTH apart (Sept-Oct 2020), B. D. Owens, Survelliance: The Paradox and the Creep (Nov 2020-January 2021), Elizabeth Kwant, Botanical Migrations (Januray-April 2021), Extinction Rebellion – Various Artists, Act Now (May-June 2021). (More recent exhibitions pending.)
Murmur: Artists Reflect on Climate Change (2017) – in collaboration with An Talla Solais
A collaboration with An Talla Solais exploring 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 of time to develop work in response to the locality. The events programme included presentations by the artists, intergenerational art workshops, 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 outcome on permanent display in Ullapool Ferry Terminal), and Ullapool’s first Green Tease 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. The two-week community print workshop was delivered by Jonathan Baxter and Sarah Gittins.
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. The exhibition presented a selection of Johns’ political prints spanning a twenty-year period and included an artist’s talk. Part of Print Festival Scotland, 2016.
Artist: Emily Johns.
Dundee Commons Festival (2015) – On Site Projects (OSP)
The culmination of a year-long artists development programme exploring 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 curated exhibitions (of drawings, prints and photographs 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 Development, 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 / 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 and contribution to If the City Were a Commons.
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 where invited to map their social, environmental and economic relationships and explore 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. They chose to work as individual artists.
Print Shift: Art, Ecology and Cultural Activism (2013) – On Site Projects (OSP)
Exploring the relationship between art, ecology and cultural activism, this exhibition and events programme focused on food sustainability, alternative economies and the formation of political subjectivities. It included performance, print, sculpture, textile, and video. The events programme included a co-design workshop (to create DUO’s Art-Science Orchard), 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 (on behalf of Dundee Urban Orchard) / Dean Kenning / Chad McCail (whose image is used above).
Cupar Arts Festival – Roseangle Studios plus (2013)
Shown as part of Cupar Arts Festival, 2013, this loosely curated group exhibition brought together work by artists from Roseangle Studios, Dundee. It included performance, print, textile, and installation, plus a series of public engagement events. Venues included Cupar’s YMCA, an empty shopfront prone to flooding, a carpark, and other outdoor locations. (The above image documents of my own site-responsive installation in the local YMCA. The exhibition was called a A Young Man’s Christian Free Association and used an archival inheritance donated by a member of the local Catholic Church.)
Artists: Jonathan Baxter / Sarah Gittins / Holly Keasey / Eilidh Mackay / Mattias Strahm.
Dundee Urban Orchard (DUO) (2013-17)
DUO was a socially engaged art project. As part of DUO’s engagment I curated a number of exhibitions and public events including the Orchard City Print Tour – a series of silkscreen posters that toured Dundee’s community centres and libraries between 2014-2016. (The posters are now on permanent display in Arthurstone Library.) DUO also curated or contributed to a variety of other exhibitions. These include Small Gestures, Roseangle Cafe Arts (2014), View, GENERATORprojects (2014), Shadow Work, Sharing Not Hoarding (2015), City After the City, Triennale di Milano (2016), Harvest, ONCA – Centre for Arts and Ecology, Brighton (2016), Community Harvest, University of Dundee Botanic Garden (2016), Arrivals, Whitespace, Edinburgh (2016), and Print City, Print Festival Scotland (part of Dundee Design Festival, 2017). Further exhibitions and public art outcomes are in process.
The Kingdom of If: Art and Sustainability in Fife (2012-13) – commissioned by Fife Contemporary
Curated for Fife’s Mobile Art Coach (MAC) on behalf of Fife Contemporary, The Kingdom of If explored environmental sustainability with a focus on biodiversity, food sovereignty, sustainable travel, and waste. It included animation, ceramic, mixed media sculpture, painting, photography, textile, sound, and a public engagement programme.
Artists: Ae Phor (formerly Pete Horobin / Marshall Anderson / Peter Haining) / Jonathan Baxter and Sarah Gittins / Joanna Foster / Sean and Christine Kingsley / Edward Summerton / Raz Ullah (with Jonathan Baxter).
Line Walk Mindful Drawing (2012) – Dundee Artists in Residence (D-AiR)
Line Walk Mindful Drawing was part of D-AiR’s extended events programme. The performance took place on the first Saturday of every month between January-December 2012. It involved walking the same path, there and back, for a two-hour repeat performance observing the changing seasons within oneself and the natural world. The walk was undertaken in mindful silence but punctuated at regular intervals with a ‘call’ to make a drawing in whatever medium participants chose. The ‘call’ used the first eight words from the following quotation: ‘Look at it. Listen to it. Taste it. You will never encounter anything like it, unless you come back and sit here again, so once you have looked and listened and tasted, look around you and remember where you are. Remember where the miracle unfolds.’ (Jim Crumley)
Photographic documentation of the twelve-month performance and selection of ‘drawings’ can be downloaded here. [Pending]
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 from four divergent social art practices spanning 1969 to the present. It included a reprint and recirculation of Stephen Willats’ formerly ‘disappeared’ 1969 ‘Cognition Manifesto’.
Artists: Jonathan Baxter and Sarah Gittins (presenting for the first time as Dundee Urban Orchard) / Pete Horobin / Tracy MacKenna & Edwin Janssen / Stephen Willats
The festival explored a variety of themes inspired by the ‘Performing Worlds’ provocation. It took place in a variety of indoor and outdoor locations across the city. These included Camperdown Wildlife Centre, Dundee City Square, GENERATORprojects, Hannah Maclure Centre, Olympia Leisure Centre, Tayside Recyclers, Wellgate Library, the former Dundee Chamber of Commerce, and Broughty Ferry harbour and beach.
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. (Pending update.)
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)
SOIL – the exhibition – took place in the Hannah Maclure Centre. It explored soil from a variety of disciplinary perspectives: artistic, 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 / Original research: SIMBIOS Centre
The festival explored Patrick Geddes’s provocation that ‘the city is more than a place in space, it is a moment in time’. It included site-responsive animation, dance, film, installation, music, live art, print, sound, and a multimedia group exhibition. The festival took place in a variety of venues including Bonar Hall, GENERATORprojects, Dundee City Square, Olympia Leisure Centre, Tayside Recyclers, University of Abertay Dundee’s Quad, Botanic Garden University of Dundee, Wellgate Central Library, the numbers 1, 5, 15, 22 and 28 bus routes, and the River Tay.
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) – D-AiR (Dundee Artists in Residence)
This was the first exhibition and events programme undertaken by D-AiR. It lasted for a week and initiated a long-term engagement with University of Dundee Botanic Garden, including a year-long residency and regular use of the buildings and grounds. The programme included an exhibition of prints exploring climate change, research into environmental design, a slide show documenting D-AiR’s activity to date, two public walks exploring Dundee’s greenspace infrastructure, and a talk about Patrick Geddes’ original vision for Dundee waterfront.
Artists, designers and speakers: Mary Arnold / Jonathan Baxter / Sarah Gittins / Alasdair Hood (Curator of the Gardens) / Valeria Ossio / Yue Xu.
This page is currently being updated – contributing artists and images pending. Publication downloads will be made available by August 2022.