I am an art historian and curator specialising in contemporary art. I have won UK awards for my work and have moved across full-time academic and museums roles since the 1990s. I teach and research into Scottish visual culture since 1945 and more widely across art, ecology, theory and politics. I am currently Programme Coordinator for History of Art 2 (Undergraduate).
I offer Undergraduate Honours and Masters option courses looking at some of the most recent and vibrant decades in Scottish art. These courses are always popular and take students on some great site visits around Scotland to see art 'in the flesh'. I also encourage students to devise parts of their own courses, and we invariably finish with a 'fast time' exhibition. I have had 10 successful PhD completions; and am very interested in PhD enquiries, particular in relation to art & ecology and Scottish art of the 20th century.
After years working on art/science/medicine/animal studies topics, my research has recently moved towards an ecological focus, working on a monograph (provisionally titled The Ecological Eye. Art History and Practice in the Anthropocene), developing green cultural policy ideas and co-chairing a session on Art History and Ecology for the Association of Art Historians conference (London, 2014). I work closely with art practice (from collaboration, commissioning and writing). Recent projects include collaborations with artist Ilana Halperin, commissioning art for a sports science/medicine exhibition in 2012, and co-curating an exhibition on the dark side of recent Scottish art for 2016. I have curated numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally (from London to Slovenia, Norway and Japan). I've written books on Contemporary Sculpture in Scotland(1999) and Stefan Gec (2002) and worked with artists such as Christine Borland, Alan Davie, Giuseppe Penone, Gillian Wearing, Cornelia Parker and Mona Hatoum.
In past years I have been Principal Investigator for a number of AHRC-funded projects including The Species of Origin: Evolving a Contemporary Darwin and the Arts Project (2007-8), and the award-winning Anatomy Acts. How we come to know ourselves (Scotland and Medicine: Collections & Connections, 2006). I have received other funding for projects with Creative Scotland, National Lottery Fund, Ixia and the Carnegie Trust. Between 2011-13, I directed the ARTIST ROOMS Research Partnership on behalf of the University with National Galleries of Scotland and Tate.
I have been on the HEFCE Research Assessment Exercise 2008 sub-panel for Art & Design, the AHRC Peer Review College, and various boards of the Talbot Rice Gallery, the Fruitmarket Gallery and The Arts Catalyst. He was a buyer for Contemporary Art Society.
Prior to my move to Edinburgh College of Art in 1997, I was Exhibition Organiser at the Hayward Gallery, London, and Curator in the Art Department of Glasgow Museums. I was also Associate Curator at the Laing Art Gallery (Tyne & Wear Museums, Newcastle). In 1994 I completed my PhD (The Useless and the Ugly: Industry as a Theme in Scottish Art and Aesthetics (1880-1990), Edinburgh) following a degree in Fine Art (MA) at University of Edinburgh & Edinburgh College of Art. Over that time I held the William Gillies and John Kinross Fellowships.
Current professional roles include being on the Little Sparta Trust, the board of Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN), on the Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network steering group, and the Editorial Committee of Generation (Glasgow, 2014). I also chair the judging panel of the MOP Contemporary Art Prize for Iranian Art (Dubai and London).
Modern and Contemporary Scottish Art; Ecology and Environmental Humanities