Jes Fernie

I'm an independent curator and writer with twenty-five years’ experience working with galleries, architectural practices, and public realm organisations on public programmes, commissioning schemes, exhibitions and residency projects across the UK and abroad.

Working primarily in the public realm, I’m interested in ways that artworks are viewed, positioned, and transformed by a live relationship with audiences, contexts and conditions. Through exhibition-making, publications and lectures, I’m currently looking into the subject of failure, untold things and vulnerability in contemporary art practice.

In 2021 I launched the Archive of Destruction, an on-going, international research project and online resource about public artworks that have been destroyed by rage, boredom, fear, greed and love.

I have worked at a strategic level advising on commissioning programmes and city-wide cultural activities with the GLA, Queen Elizabeth Park, Fourth Plinth programme, Tate, Arts Council England, Oxford Street, and local authorities. I'm currently a board member of Matt's Gallery in London.

I am regularly invited to do crits and give lectures at art schools and organisations, most recently at the Slade, RA Schools, RCA, TOMA, Goldsmiths College, Valand Academy, and NYU Abu Dhabi. I regularly mentor artists who are looking for ways to reposition or rethink their practice.

I have taken part in numerous national and international talks, conferences, events, and seminars on subjects relating to contemporary sculpture, commissioning programmes, archives, and destruction.

Organisations I have worked with as a curator, writer, or lecturer include Flat Time House, Serpentine Gallery, Delfina Foundation, RIBA, Liverpool Biennial, Turf Projects, Manchester International Festival, Tate, Seventeen Gallery, Milton Keynes Gallery, Matt's Gallery, Museum of London, Skissernas Museum, Malmö Konsthall, Lund Cathedral, St Paul's Cathedral, Central St Martins, Goldsmiths, University of Essex, and the RCA.

Artists I’ve worked with include Alice Channer, Harrold Offeh, Marjolijn Dijkman, Nathan Coley, Rhys Coren, Ro Robertson, Nnena Kalu, Yinka Shonibare, Eduardo Padilha, Jesse Darling, Gary Hume, Vanessa da Silva and Alison Wilding. Writers include Joanna Walsh, Vanessa Onwuemezi, Frances Morgan, Lorenza Muñoz-Alonso and Francis Whorall-Campbell.

Here's a catalogue text I wrote for an exhibition I curated at MKGallery on contemporary sculpture in 2023.

Here's an interview I did for the BBC about an exhibition I curated at the RIBA in 2016, and film about a project I'm currently working on in Sweden.

I produced a booklet in 2018 made up of a selection of projects I’ve realised over the last ten years.

Current and recent projects:

Curator: Trickster Figures: Sculpture and the Body, exhibition at Milton Keynes Gallery (2023)

Curator: Råängen commissioning programme in Lund, Sweden (2017 - ongoing)

Curator & writer: art strategy for Jönköping, Sweden (2023)

Lecturer: Teaching at Central St Martins, BA Fine Art (2018 - ongoing), and BA Criticism, Communication & Curation (2022- ongoing)

Writer: Current and forthcoming texts: book with Askeaton Contemporary Arts (2024); catalogue text for 'Phantom Sculpture' exhibition at Mead Gallery, University of Warwick (2024); catalogue text for Emscherkunstweg art commissioning programme (2024); article for Superposition magazine (2023); text for TACO! / Dunya Kilantery (2023); exhibition text for Natasha MacVoy exhibition at Eastside Projects (2023).

Visiting Curator: Delfina Foundation and artist / curators mentoring programmes (ongoing)

Jes Fernie

Mobile: 07960687912

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