Dr Joanne Tatham
School of Arts & Humanities
Reader in Contemporary Art
Joanne Tatham is a Reader and Tutor in Sculpture in the School of Arts & Humanities at the Royal College of Art.
Joanne Tatham is an artist and academic. Prior to her appointment to the Royal College of Art in 2017, Joanne was an Associate Professor (0.5) at Northumbria University, teaching into undergraduate and postgraduate Fine Art programmes and engaged in doctoral supervision in Fine Art practice.Show more
Joanne was appointed as a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University in 2011 and was made a Reader in 2015, with the role transmuted to Associate Professor in 2016. She previously held academic posts at Gray’s School of Art at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University and Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg. She has been a Visiting Lecturer at many higher education institutions, including the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford, Rotterdam’s Piet Zwart Institute, Goldsmiths College and Teesside University. She has been an external examiner for PhD students at the Royal College of Art and Glasgow School of Art.
Joanne received her first degree in Fine Art (Drawing and Painting) from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee in 1993, going on to complete her MFA at Glasgow School of Art in 1995 and receive her PhD from the University of Leeds in 2004.
She works primarily within a collaborative art practice with Tom O’Sullivan, exhibiting their first collaborative work at Glasgow’s Transmission Gallery in 1995. Their exhibitions and projects include Are you LOCATIONALIZED, with ATLAS Arts, North Uist and Isle of Skye (2014); DOES THE IT STICK, Bloomberg SPACE, London (2014); A tool for the making of signs, Chapter, Cardiff (2012); The indirect exchange of uncertain value, with Collective, Fettes College, Edinburgh (2011); Direct serious action is therefore necessary, CCA, Glasgow (2010); Does your contemplation of the situation fuck with the flow of circulation, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2009); Rhetoric Works & Vanity Works & Other Works, National Collecting Scheme for Scotland with the Contemporary Arts Society commission, Newhailes, Edinburgh (2006). They have exhibited work in group exhibitions including at Cricoteka, Krakow; Musee d'art contemporaine, Lyon; Marres Centre for Contemporary Art, Maastricht, Frankfurter Kunstverein and Artissima in Turin. They represented Scotland at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005 and in 2013 they were shortlisted for the Northern Art Prize at Leeds Art Gallery.
Joanne Tatham works in collaboration with Tom O’Sullivan to produce interrogative works that question the social role, function and status of contemporary art, working through and across the practices of contemporary art and its contexts of production, exhibition and circulation. Their work employs a vocabulary of forms or phrases drawn from the images, objects and histories of art and visual culture; motifs such as pyramids, standing stones and cartoon-like animals occur as sculpture, painting and architecture alongside performance, photographs and text. These elements are choreographed in relation to each other and their context of exhibition or dissemination to create carefully crafted displacements and diversions.Show more
Sculpture is a persistent interest, in that as a mode or form with specific histories and conventions of use, it can be re-framed or re-positioned as a means to critique art’s values and behaviours. Recent works, including an ongoing project A Proposal To Ask Where Does A Threshold Begin & End (2017) at mima in Middlesbrough, engage specifically with the forms and histories of publicly-sited sculpture, using this as a mechanism to focus on the ways in which art is variously instrumentalised within the public sphere.
Working with text, writing and language is another persistent interest, with Joanne developing a writing practice both within and independently of her collaboration. A recent collaborative publication, An Anthology; I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so, so, so sorry (2016), is a collection of written and text based works, that range from individual work titles, to a 30,000 word novella, The Slapstick Mystics with Sticks, re-published from 2003. Joanne’s PhD (Leeds, 2004) was instrumental in developing her approach to working with writing within and in relation to her art practice.
Chair, Council of Management, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2014 – ).Show more
Board member, Market gallery, Glasgow (2009 – 2011)Advisory Panel, Banner Repeater, London (2016 – )
Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes
Selected exhibitions and artworksShow more
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2017) A Proposal to Ask Where Does A Threshold Begin & End, mima, Middlesbrough.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2016) A petition for an enquiry into a condition of anxiety, exhibited in Glasgow International 2016, The Modern Institute, Glasgow.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2014) Are you LOCATIONALIZED, exhibited in Generation: 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland, ATLAS arts, Skye and Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Art Gallery, North Uist.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2014) Is your tesserae really necessary, exhibited in Generation: 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland, Tramway, Glasgow.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2014) DOES THE IT STICK, Studio Voltaire commission at Bloomberg SPACE, London.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2014) Shall we name it our shame or is our shame the same as it, exhibited in Nothing Twice, Cricoteka, Krakow.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2013) DOES THE IT FIT, CIRCA Projects at Stephenson Works, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2013) Think, Think Thingamajig, what do you represent?, exhibited in “Costume: Written Clothing”, Tramway, Glasgow.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2013) The Reiterative Grimace, exhibited in “The Northern Art Prize”, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2012) A tool for the making of signs, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2012) The default exchange adjusted, exhibited in Object Theatre, Radar, Loughborough University (2012); Independent, with The Modern Institute, New York (2013); Reclaimed – the Second Life of Sculpture, Glasgow International, Glasgow (2014).
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2011) Rhetoric Works &Vanity Works & Other Works, exhibited in You, Me, Something Else, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2011) The indirect exchange of uncertain value, Collective offsite at Fettes College, Edinburgh.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2010) Direct serious action is therefore necessary, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2009) Three Mean Leanings, exhibited in Depression, Marres Centre for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2009) The story of how we came to be here, what we did before we got here, how you have forgotten why you asked us here and why we cannot remember why we came, or: Is this what brings things into focus, exhibited in Blinding the Ears; the Theatre project, Artissima, Teatro Gobetti, Turin (2009); Studio Voltaire, London (2012); Tramway, Glasgow (2010).
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2009) Does your contemplation of the situation fuck with the flow of circulation, Eastside Projects, Birmingham.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2009) You can take it as a thing or you can take it as a thing, La Salle de Bains, Lyon.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2009) One of the Things from Think Thingamajig and Other Things, exhibited in N’importe Quoi, Musée d’art Contemporain de Lyon.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2008) Time has gone on and thinking has gone on about the thoughts we think we had about things that already happened before, Sutton Lane, Paris.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2008) Are you feeling our meaning?, Galerie Francesca Pia, Zurich.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2016) An Anthology (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so, so, so sorry), Glasgow: The Modern Institute.
Tatham, J. and O’Sullivan, T. (2013) Amongst other things an unsuccessful proposal for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Glasgow: CCA.
Chapters/ artist pages in books
Tatham, J. (2014) ‘Rhetorical Grimace. In: P. Becker and F. Pedraglio’ (eds.) (2014) Cadavere Quotidiano. Los Angeles: Project X Projects.
Tatham, J. (2012) ‘Somniloquy’. In: L. Bovier and C. Dirié (eds.) (2012) Richard Hughes. Zurich: JRP|Ringier, 3–6.Tatham, J. (2012) ‘An unsuccessful proposal for the MFA Interim exhibition’, May 1994. In: S. Lowndes (ed.) (2012) Studio 58. Glasgow: Glasgow School of Art, 68
Awards and Grants
Saltire Society Scotland, Arts in Public Places Award for Are you LOCATIONALIZED with ATLAS Arts, Skye (2016).
Creative Scotland New Production award for Are you LOCATIONALIZED with ATLAS Arts, Skye (2014)
Outset Scotland award for Are you LOCATIONALIZED with ATLAS Arts, Skye (2014)
Elephant Trust award for work with DOES THE IT FIT CIRCA Projects, Newcastle (2013)
The Henry Moore Foundation, award for DOES THE IT FIT with CIRCA Projects, Newcastle (2013)
The Henry Moore Foundation, award for The story of how I came to be here… with Studio Voltaire, London (2012)
Creative Scotland Public Art Award for The indirect exchange of uncertain value with Collective, Edinburgh (2011)
The Henry Moore Foundation, award for Direct serious action is therefore necessary with CCA, Glasgow (2010)
Elephant Trust award for Does your contemplation of the situation fuck with the flow of circulation with Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2009)
Arts Council England Grants for all Award for We are seemingly leaning towards meaning with City Gallery, Leicester (2008)
Scottish Arts Council Artist’s Award (2008)
Her PhD thesis (Leeds, 2004) used art practice to articulate its negotiation of the public and professional contexts of contemporary art and those of academic research; an approach that has gone on to shape her interests within doctoral supervision.