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Isabel Blanco-Fernández

MA work


#DoingItInPublic, a performative exhibition and a panel discussion to explore what it is to be public in a context of rapid privatisation.

Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall 03-06/05/2017.

The RCA 2017 Show will include audiovisual documentation of the project.

Press release:

Is it a matter of ownership or access? Does art have the power to interrogate these questions?

#DoingItInPublic aims to raise awareness, contribute to, and prompt a discussion about the post-industrial society. The focus is a specific socio-economic and geographical context around Vauxhall and Nine Elms, the biggest development site in Europe, and will question what ‘public art’ can be. The concept of public art is changing and our aim is to bring a version of it into the gallery. ‘Doing it in Public’ will conceptually engage with what is public and private in a time when public space in London is rapidly diminishing. Therefore, exhibiting an artist’s work inside a public gallery is challenging what public art can be.

Central to #DoingItInPublic are works by two artists, Paloma Proudfoot and Jakob Rowlinson, newly commissioned by the Royal College of Art Curating Contemporary Art programme. Their performative work will be presented at Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall – an oasis within an increasing jungle of privatised spaces – alongside a panel discussion between curator and writer Jes Fernie; architect Liza Fior; and Helen Nisbet, Curatorial Fellow at Cubitt Gallery.

belittle, Paloma Proudfoot
Against the rigid order of the market rhythms, what emerges as by-products in the peripheries, seams and off-times?

Every morning flowers discarded from the market will be
brought to the gallery. Through performance with artist and choreographer Aniela Piasecka, they will be composed together with Proudfoot’s ceramic sculpture and removed by the end of each day. Putting out for display and packing down will become a metaphor for the wider Nine Elms development, with its persistent focus on demolishing and rebuilding. Looking historically at the original Covent Garden market, the performances will also look to evoke the alternative culture that thrived in the pubs that opened doors at 6am; the cafes selling breakfasts at midnight to the traders alongside clubbed out revellers, and the debauchery the traders became infamous for.

The Vauxhalla Lecture Series (or how the People’s Republic of Vauxhalla gained its name), Jakob Rowlinson Can research be public art?

What intrigues Rowlinson most about Nine Elms is the various ways institutions and developers are keen to inscribe the area with a certain local history. In a similar way, he will blur the lines of fact, truth and fiction through both an online platform and a performative lecture, employing improvisation and spontaneous physical decision-making during every stage of the process. Rowlinson’s work does not only challenge the very notion of ‘public art’, but also seeks to question how vested interests go about defining a whole area, ‘cherry picking’ aspects of local history to suit their agendas. All of these questions warrant an explorative and research based practice to unsettle a situation, disrupt and occupy the everyday.

#DoingItInPublic is programmed by Curating Contemporary Art in partnership with the Sculpture Programme at the Royal College of Art and Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall. 


  • MA Degree


    School of Humanities


    MA Curating Contemporary Art, 2017

  • Born in 1984 in León, Spain, Isabel Blanco-Fernández is a London-based contemporary art curator with a particular interest in the crossover with culinary practices. Her individual work addresses food as a means towards the acquisition of knowledge and a key catalyst for human interaction, as well as an engine for innovation and a response to global urgencies.

    As a qualified architect who redirected her career into curatorial practice, she believes cross-disciplinarity is a determining factor in the process of creating value. Through her projects and research, Blanco-Fernández attempts to blur the lines between traditionally artistic and non-artistic disciplines –the ‘earthly’ and the ‘divine’–, challenging some of the long-lasting preconceptions in the art world.

  • Degrees

  • BA & MA Qualified Architect, Universidad Europea de Madrid, 2011; Postgraduate Programme Strategy and Management in Luxury Industry Degree, IE Business School, Madrid, 2012
  • Experience

  • Qualified architect, Ortiz León Arquitectos [Architecture], Madrid–Glasgow, 2013–15; Qualified architect, Rosa Bernal [Architecture and Interior Design], Madrid–Doha, 2013; Deputy manager, Espacio Valverde [Art Gallery], Madrid, 2012; Architect, Grupo Avanzia [Patrimonial Management], Madrid, 2010–11; Trainee Architect, amid.cero9 [Architecture], Madrid, 2008
  • Exhibitions

  • Architect, 'Best Architecture Thesis Projects 2011', Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid, 2012.; Curator, 'Exquisite Future', within 'Crossmodal Research Laboratory', Food Matters Live, London, November 2016.; Curator, 'Peninsula Food as Catalyst #1', within 'Brgy. South Kensington', London, January 2017.; Curator, '21 Tracks to Choke Upon', within 'The Dose Makes the Poison', Carousel, London, March-April 2017.; Curator, 'Edibility', within 'Lost Senses', Guest Projects Shonibare Studio, London, August-September 2017.
  • Publications

  • Isabel Blanco-Fernández, Activities 07–08, 2008, published by School of Architecture UEM, pp. 37,55, and 56.; Isabel Blanco-Fernández, IV In Transit Graduation Projects 2011–12, 2012, published by School of Architecture UEM, pp. 98-103.