Artist and …
Jonathan Baxter is an artist, curator and peer-educator. Since 2009 Jonathan has developed an innovative approach to public engagement and peer-education through a series of socially engaged art projects, peer-education platforms, curated exhibitions, and festivals. Jonathan’s work explores a wide range of topics with an underlying commitment to social and environmental justice.
What the critics say
‘A poetic and liberating response to the city’ – The Skinny, commenting on Dundee Live: A week-long Public Art, Performance and Education Event
‘engaging and approachable … the efforts of those who strive for intelligent discourse across the so-called ‘divide’ [of humanities and science] must be lauded’ – The Times, commenting on the exhibition, Soil
‘Freud would have a field day’ – Metro, commenting on the exhibition, Self Other
‘Contemporary fine art at it’s best – skilful, playful and politically challenging in equal measure’ – Metro, commenting on the exhibition, New Skin
Education / training
2008-9: Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee University, Master of Fine Art (Distinction) – performed as a Multiple Free Association.
2008: Facilitator training, Alternatives to Violence Project, Scotland.
2005-6: Writer Development Programme, Yorkshire Art Circus, Glasshoughton, Castleford.
1998-9: Leith School of Art, Foundation Certificate, Edinburgh.
1997-8: Community Mediation Training, Community Mediation Service, Leeds.
1996-7: Strathclyde University, Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Skills, Glasgow.
1992-6: Edinburgh University, Religious Studies, MA (Hons) (1st Class) – specialising in Chinese Philosophy and Political and Environmental Theology.
2005-ongoing: Self-employed ‘artist and …’
Related and additional part-time work includes:
2016-ongoing: Visiting Artist and Lecturer, Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen – Contemporary Art Practice (BA) and Art and Design (MA).
2011-2017: Visiting Artist and Lecturer, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee University – Art, Society and Publics (MFA).
2010-15: Peer-Educator and Associate Artist, Hannah Maclure Centre, University of Abertay Dundee.
2006: Tutor, Urban Theology Unit, Sheffield.
2003-5: Coordinator and Module Director, The Centre for the Study of Theology and Health, Thirsk.
2001-2: Tutor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Bristol University.
2001-2: Researcher, Department of Sociology, Bristol University.
2009-10: Youth Worker, Community Education, Fife Council.
1999-2001: Researcher, Photographer and Group Facilitator, IRIS (Involving Residents in Solutions), Bristol.
2020-ongoing: Artist in Residence, St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh.
2014-17: Coordinator and Commons Curator, Roseangle Studios and Roseangle Cafe Arts, Dundee.
2009-14: Facilitator, Alternatives to Violence Project, Scotland.
2010-13: Committee Member, Economics, Sustainability and Peace, Quaker Peace and Social Witness.
2007-9: Community Mediator, Edinburgh Community Mediation Service.
2000-6: Committee Member, Peace, Campaigning and Networking, Quaker Peace and Social Witness.
1994-8: Group Facilitator, Counsellor, Therapist, and Tutor for various projects in Edinburgh (1994-6), Glasgow (1996-7) and Leeds (1997-8).
Art Projects and …
Note: given the overlapping nature of my practice and the multiple roles I inhabit within a project there’s an element of repetition in what follows.
2019-ongoing: I’m currently in the process of formalising A+E, a conceptual framework that braids the terms accident and emergency, art and ecology, art and education. A+E delivers art and ecology projects that address the climate and ecological crisis over a ten-year period. Current projects include EH8 (a site-responsive mapping project and community growing initiative), Reading Towards Action (a reading group exploring art, ecology and cultural action), XR Edinburgh Locals (a film night), and a research residency at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral.
2013-18: On Site Projects (OSP), an artist-led curatorial project exploring community, ecology and cultural activism. OSP organised and delivered reading groups, film screenings/festivals, a year-long artists’ development programme, the Dundee Commons Festival (2015), four gallery-based exhibitions, and a poster-based public art project co-curated with Nomas* Projects called Sharing Not Hoarding (2015-18).
2013-17: Dundee Urban Orchard (DUO) (with Sarah Gittins), a socially engaged art and horticulture project working with over 25 community and cultural organisations to plant 25 small-scale orchards in Dundee. In addition to planting orchards DUO ran orchard maintenance and care workshops, organised public discussions on food sovereignty, delivered art workshops exploring cultural and biological diversity through the metaphor of an ‘Orchard City’, developed and toured a print exhibition designed for community centres in Dundee (also shown in several libraries and schools), supported a growing network of community gardens in the city, and created gallery-based exhibitions for GENERATORprojects, Dundee (View, 2014), Tent Gallery, Edinburgh (Urbane, 2015), Triennale di Milano (City After the City, 2016), ONCA, Brighton (Harvest, 2016), and Whitespace, Edinburgh (Arrivals, 2016).
2009-12: Dundee Artists in Residence (D-AiR), a social sculpture and peer-led curatorial programme, responsible for organising and delivering two public art and performance festivals, two anchor exhibitions at Hannah Maclure Centre, University of Abertay Dundee, an exhibition and events program at University of Dundee Botanic Garden, four art residencies, a skillshare workshop, a community garden project, and an extensive programme of reading groups, performance platforms, art walks, and field trips.
2004-6: Chaplaincy Art Project (CAP), an artists’ residency working with patients in three acute psychiatric wards to refurbish three interfaith chapels and two Muslim prayer rooms for Sheffield Care Trust, NHS. CAP led to Drawing Space, a fortnightly art workshop for mental health service users living in the community. My role in both projects was that of co-initiator, lead-artist and project coordinator.
2019-20: Future Fruit, The Town is the Garden, Deveron Projects – a collaborative residency with Sarah Gittins and Benjamin Baxter-Gittins to reanimate a community orchard and rethink Huntly through the persona of Patrick Geddes.
2017: Murmur: Artists Reflect on Climate Change, An Talla Solais, Ullapool – a peer-led curatorial programme and summer exhibition – curator and contributing artist.
2015: Community Out of Bounds: Arts and Communities Programme, Creative Learning, Aberdeen City Council – artist and peer-educator.
2014-15: If the City were a Commons, Roseangle Commons, Dundee, commissioned by The Art of Living Dangerously – artist, curator and peer-educator.
2012-13: When the Future Was Now, Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Lumsden – collaborative residency with Sarah Gittins, exploring food sustainability within Lumsden and the wider region.
2013: Mappa Dundee … What Sustains?, GENERATORprojects (Takeover Exhibition), commissioned by Curating City and Space, Dundee – curator.
2012-13: The Kingdom of If … Art and Sustainability in Fife, Fife Contemporary Art and Craft – curator and contributing artist.
2010: Red Herring, Deveron Arts, Huntly – Shadow Curator for a project by Stefanie Bourne exploring food miles in Huntly.
Additional exhibitions, performances, talks, and workshops.
2021: A currently untitled walking project with young people aged 16-24, exploring roots leading into and out of Craigmillar, commissioned by Art Walk Projects, Edinburgh.
2020-21: Song Cycle Print Project (with Sarah Gittins) – an online participatory print project translating Phoebe Anna Traquair’s Song Cycle mural into a contemporary, ecological print for the 21st Century. (Subject to funding.)
2020: Free Association: Torn halves of an integral freedom, to which however they do not add up, talk and performance workshop for Free Association, CCA, Glasgow.
2017: From Here to There: A two-week print residency undertaken with Sarah Gittins as part of Murmur: Artists Reflect on Climate Change, An Talla Solais, Ullapool – based in Ullapool library with public outcomes installed in the Ullapool Ferry Terminal.
2017: Print City (intervention by Dundee Urban Orchard), Print Festival Scotland and Dundee Design Festival – a three-day community print workshop grafting Orchard City prints onto a large-scale urban print installation.
2016: Community Harvest (Dundee Urban Orchard), University of Dundee Botanic Garden and Gallery – a programme of talks, environmental art workshops, storytelling, music, dance, and a mixed media exhibition celebrating the Orchard City network and Dundee Urban Orchard’s wider work in the city.
2016: Guest speaker with Sarah Gittins for the National Galleries of Scotland’s Inspiring Impressionism lecture series – presenting work undertaken as Dundee Urban Orchard.
2016: Arrivals (group show), Whitespace, Edinburgh, curated by Leigh Chorlton – mixed media installation based on work undertaken by Dundee Urban Orchard.
2016: Performing Advocacy (with Tanja Ostojic), The Society of Advocates, Aberdeen, commissioned by the Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN) and curated by Caroline Gausden – contributing artist and Shadow Curator.
2016: Reflections on the Incarnation, Nomas* Projects, Dundee – mixed media installation, reading group and art walk.
2014-17: Orchard City Print Tour (Dundee Urban Orchard), a touring exhibition of screen prints for Dundee community centres – also shown in selected libraries and schools as part of Print Festival Scotland (2015 and 2016) and Ignite Festival (2016).
2014: VIEW (group show), GENERATORprojects, Dundee – mixed media installation and community performance – drawing on work undertaken as Dundee Urban Orchard.
2014: Small Gestures (Dundee Urban Orchard), Roseangle Cafe Arts, Dundee – mixed media and community performance.
2014: Decision Time (group show, curated by Zoe Irvin and Pernille Spence), Visual Research Centre, Dundee Contemporary Arts – commissioned sculpture and Bohmian dialogue.
2014: Travelling Dialogues (a weekend programme responding to Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan’s work, Are you LOCATIONALIZED), Atlas Arts, Skye – performance intervention on a ferry.
2013: Who am I and what is our fate?… A Young Man’s Christian (Free) Associations, Cupar Arts Festival – site-responsive mixed media installation and sound piece at the Cupar YMCA, plus print-based and performance interventions in the town.
2013: Print Shift (group show) – Roseangle Cafe Arts, Dundee, part of Print Festival Scotland – curator and contributing artist with Sarah Gittins (showing as Dundee Urban Orchard).
2013: Alas, Poor Performance! We Knew You Well (solo and group performances), Dundee West Community Hall, Dundee – part of a extended On Site Projects events programme.
2013: Members’ Show (group show), GENERATORprojects, Dundee – assembled sculpture.
2012-13: The Kingdom of If … Art and Sustainability in Fife (group show), Fife Contemporary Art and Craft, Mobile Art Coach – curator and contributing artist collaborating with Sarah Gittins, Raz Ullah and community participants.
2013: Post-mortem, GENERATORprojects, Dundee – archival exhibition and events programme exploring D-AiR’s material archive.
2012: Performing Worlds (group show – anchor exhibition for a public art and performance festival by the same name), Hannah Maclure Centre, University of Abertay Dundee – interactive mixed media installation in collaboration with Sarah Gittins and community participants, showing the research and consultation process of what become Dundee Urban Orchard.
2012: Buzz Cut (group show), Glue Factory, Glasgow – video documentation of work undertaken by D-AiR Performance Collective.
2012: Members’ Show (group show), GENERATORprojects, Dundee – assembled sculpture.
2011: Bus Stop Haiku, Christmas Light Night, Dundee – interactive performance and site-responsive digital intervention into Dundee’s real time bus information system.
2011: Laying Down the Law, NeoN Festival, Dundee – site responsive performance by D-AiR Performance Collective.
2011: If there were anywhere but desert (with Sarah Gittins), Cupar Arts Festival – mixed media installation, including sound work and live performance.
2011: Soil (group show, co-curated with Claire Brennan, an anchor exhibition for Dundee Live), Hannah Maclure Centre, University of Abertay Dundee – performance installation and research platform.
2011: Dundee Live – Public Art and Performance Festival – for which I acted as curator. Included Mappa Mundi (group show), Dundee Central Library, to which I contributed as an artist – assembled sculpture.
2011: Silent Music (group show), Digital Natives, Hannah Maclure Centre, University of Abertay Dundee – sound performance and bike-powered cinema.
2011: Members’ Show (group show), GENERATORprojects, Dundee – assembled sculpture.
2010-11: Daily Action 5 Day Week (with Steven Loader), various real and virtual locations – a Monday to Friday weekly performance on- and off-line for the duration of a year.
2010: Knowledge Exchange (with Gayle Meikle), Hannah Maclure Centre, University of Abertay Dundee – interactive installation and performance.
2010: Member’s Show (group show), GENERATORprojects, Dundee – off-site performance.
2009: Feeders (with Peter Haining, curated by Jenny Brownrigg), Cupar Arts Festival – assembled sculpture.
2009: Something Nothing – A Living Archive (MFA final exhibition), Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee – performance installation and extended events programme.
2009: Vision Building for a Future Something (MFA showcase – group show), Vision Building, Dundee – performance installation and consultation for D-AiR.
2009: Exquisite Corpse: A Contemporary Unfolding (in response to Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Janssen’s ‘Life is Over! If You Want It’), Cooper Gallery, Dundee – solo and group performance.
2009: Members’ Show (group show), GENERATORprojects, Dundee – assembled sculpture.
2008: Play: the silo (with Anton Beaver eta.), Cupar Arts Festival – sound performance.
2008: Poets’ Corner (with the Scottish Poetry Library and the Friends of Dalmeny Street Park), Leith Festival, Edinburgh – interactive community performance.
2007: Seven Objects – for the radical transformation of a life (with Steven Loader), various indoor and outdoor locations across the UK inc. a final performance and community sharing at Evergreen, Portobello.
2007: Endeavour, various indoor and outdoor locations, Edinburgh – performance.
2006: Trace Elements, Trafalgar Studios, Sheffield – mixed media installation and performance.
2006: Art and Wellbeing (group show), Sylvester Works, Sheffield – paintings and prints.
2006: Self Other (with Michael MacGabhann), The Workstation, Sheffield – paintings, prints and assembled sculpture.
2005-6: Seven Islands (group show), Archipelago Gallery, Sheffield – paintings.
2005: The Door Remains Open, Trafalgar Studios, Sheffield – paintings and assembled sculpture.
2005: New Skin, Simunye Multicultural Arts Centre, Sheffield – paintings.
2004-5: Genius (group show), Cupola Gallery, Sheffield – paintings.
2004: Interventions, Eye Candy, Sheffield – paintings and prints.
2004: Black Sun, Trafalgar Studios, Sheffield – paintings and prints.
1999: Beautiful Dirt II, various outdoor locations along the Water of Leith, Edinburgh – installation and interactive performance.
1997: Circles, Mounds and Burials, Old Stables Gallery and Grounds, Mickley, N. Yorkshire – land art and works on paper.
1996: Icicle Park Dances, various outdoor locations, Glasgow – land art and interactive performance.
1995: Beautiful Dirt I, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA – interactive performance.
2010-11: Spacemakers, Community Education, N.E. Fife – lead artist.
2008-9: Mental Landscapes, Dept. of Spiritual Care, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Edinburgh – lead artist.
2008: Picturing Pain, Chronic Pain Clinic, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee – artist consultant.
2007: Peace Mandala (with Sarah Gittins), Festival of Spirituality and Peace, Edinburgh – lead artist and workshop facilitator.
2007-8: Poetry and Protest (with Sarah Gittins), working with various peace and justice organisations across the UK – lead artist and workshop facilitator.
2006-7: Drawing Space, Burngreave, Sheffield – lead artist and workshop facilitator.
Artist in Residence
2020-ongoing: Untitled research residency, St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh – to rethink use of the building (including artworks) and grounds in response to the climate and ecological crisis (currently reframed in response to Covid-19).
2019-20: Future Fruit (with Sarah Gittins), a socially engaged art and horticulture project working in collaboration with The Town is the Garden, Deveron Projects, Huntly.
2012-13: When the Future Was Now (with Sarah Gittins), a research residency at Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Lumsden – exploring food sustainability in Lumsden.
2011: Beautiful Dirt III, Tayside Foundation for the Conservation of Resources, Dundee – undertaken as part of D-AiR’s residency programme.
2010: Serious Games, Hannah Maclure Centre, University of Abertay Dundee – undertaken as part of D-AiR’s residency programme.
2009: Usable Sculpture (group residency), University College of York St John, led by Sarah Staton in collaboration with Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
2005-8: Peace Zone, Greenbelt Arts Festival, Cheltenham – lead artist.
2005-6: Chaplaincy Art Project (CAP) – working with patients across three acute psychiatric wards to refurbish three interfaith chapels and two Muslim prayer rooms for Sheffield Care Trust, NHS – lead artist and project coordinator.
1997: Circles, mounds and burials, Old Stables Gallery, Mickley – also included the development of an ongoing arts education programme run from Old Stables Gallery.
For the names of artists involved in the following exhibitions and festivals please see curator.
2019: XR Summerhall: Act Now, group show and events programme for Extinction Rebellion Edinburgh, Summerhall, Edinburgh Festival Fringe – co-curator of the exhibition and curator/programmer for the events programme.
2017: Murmur: Artists Reflect on Climate Change – peer-led curatorial programme and summer exhibition, An Talla Solais – curator, peer-educator and contributing artist.
2016: Emily Johns: The Politics of Print – solo exhibition, Roseangle Cafe Arts, Dundee, part of Print Festival Scotland – co-curated with Sarah Gittins.
2015-18: Sharing Not Hoarding – a public art project utilising hoardings in Dundee’s Waterfront Development – co-curated with Nomas*Projects.
2015: Dundee Commons Festival – a week-long festival of gallery-based and public art exhibitions, co-design workshops, daily talks, walks, music, poetry, and performance, working from Dundee West Community Hall and into the city – artist, curator and peer-educator.
2014-5: If the City were a Commons – peer-led artist development programme, Roseangle Cafe Arts, Dundee – lead artist, curator and peer-educator.
2014: Mappa Dundee – group show, GENERATORprojects (Takeover Exhibition), Dundee, part of a wider research project entitled, ‘Curating City and Space’ – curator.
2013: Fate – Roseangle Studios group show, Cupar Arts Festival, multiple venues – curator and contributing artist.
2013: Print Shift – group show, Roseangle Cafe Arts, Dundee, part of Print Festival Scotland – curator and contributing artist.
2012-13: The Kingdom of If … Art and Sustainability in Fife – group show, commissioned by Fife Contemporary Art and Craft for the Fife Mobile Art Coach – curator and contributing artist.
2012: Performing Worlds – group show, anchor exhibition for a larger festival programme (see below), Hannah Maclure Centre, University of Abertay Dundee – curator and contributing artist.
2012: Performing Worlds – Public Art, Performance and Education Event – various indoor and outdoor locations across Dundee – curator and contributing artist.
2011: Soil – group show, anchor exhibition for a larger festival programme (see below), Hannah Maclure Centre, University of Abertay Dundee – contributing artist and co-curator with Clare Brennan.
2011: Dundee Live – Public Art and Performance Festival – using various indoor and outdoor locations across Dundee – curator and contributing artist.
2010-11: Red Herring – socially engaged art project, Deveron Arts, Huntly – Shadow Curator.
2010: Art and Ecology … Where Two Worlds Meet – group show, University of Dundee Botanic Garden – curator and contributing artist.
2004-5: Various exhibitions and performances – the Centre for the Study of Theology and Health, Thorpe House Gallery, Thirsk – initiator and curator.
1999: Beuys in Scotland – The Labirynt – From Malta Through Eastern Europe to the Celtic World – The Demarco European Arts Foundation, Edinburgh Festival, Edinburgh – archivist and co-curator.
‘A dead man on the spot’ in ‘Functional, Aesthetic or Otherwise?’, GENERATOR Publications, Issue 4, 2014.
‘ARTocracy – a critical review’, PUBLIC issue 45: Art and Civic Spectacle, Spring 2012.
‘Contested Values and the Practice of Art’, Art and Activism, 2011.
‘Art and Oil’, Debate, a-n Magazine, September 2010.
‘Moving Images from the Attic Archive’, Review, MAP Magazine, Summer 2010.
‘Why Are Artists Poor?’, Debate, a-n Magazine, April 2010.
‘Starting Point’, Review, a-n Magazine (online), February 2008.
‘A Necessary Angel’ in Baxter, J., (ed.), Wounds that Heal: Theology, Imagination and Health. London: SPCK, 2007.
‘Mental Health Chaplaincy and the Arts: Groupwork in a Hospital and Community Setting’ in The Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, Vol. 8 No. 1, Spring/Summer 2007.
‘Face of the Deep: A Theology in Becoming by Catherine Keller’, Review, Reviews in Religion and Theology 10, September 2003.
Awards / funding
2016: Dundee Festival Trust
2015: Dundee Festival Trust
2013-16: Creative Scotland: Public Engagement Award
2011: Creative Scotland: Fife Visual Arts Award
2011: Creative Scotland: Dundee Visual Arts Award
2010: Creative Scotland: Dundee Visual Arts Award
2010-2015: Hannah Maclure Centre, University of Abertay Dundee: Endowment
2008-09: Student Award Agency Scotland
1996: Edinburgh University, Victoria Gunning Award (for outstanding academic achievement)
1995: Dartmouth Scholarship (USA)