Jes Fernie

I'm an independent curator and writer with twenty-five years’ experience of 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 beyond gallery walls, I'm interested in taking conversations about art and art-making into new and varied arenas. These have included lectures on buses, workshops with blacksmiths, performances at the end of the world's longest pleasure pier, cake-as-sculpture competitions, curators' tours of forgotten seaside towns, experimental performances by a choral collective in a Brutalist loading bay, up-cycling furniture classes for teenagers outside Asda, lectures by candle-light in an 18th century church, and operatic performances in a barley field. I collaborate with artists on texts, conversations and projects, and often commission experimental texts by writers for programmes I'm involved in.

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

I'm a member of many art commissioning selection panels and have worked as a curator, writer, and lecturer with organisations including Focal Point Gallery, Museum of London, Flat Time House, Serpentine Gallery, RIBA, Turf Projects, Manchester International Festival, Seventeen Gallery, Milton Keynes Gallery, Matt's Gallery, St Paul's Cathedral, Central St Martins, Goldsmiths, University of Essex, Lund Cathedral, and the RCA.

Artists I’ve worked with over the years include Alice Channer, Harrold Offeh, Marjolijn Dijkman, Nathan Coley, Rhys Coren, Ruth Ewan, Yinka Shonibare, Eduardo Padilha, Gary Hume, and Alison Wilding. Writers include Joanna Walsh, Vanessa Onwuemezi, Frances Morgan, Lorenza Muñoz-Alonso, Holly Corfield Carr, and Joanna Quinn.

I have taken part in numerous national and international talks, conferences, events, and seminars both in the UK and abroad.

I launched the Archive of Destruction in 2021, an online resource that is the culmination of ten years of research into public artworks that have been destroyed by rage, boredom, fear, greed + love.

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.

I wrote this Guardian piece about being a freakishly tall woman. Not strictly work-related, but gives you a sense of the person behind this website.

Current projects:

Curator: Archive of Destruction in partnership with Flat Time House (2021 - ongoing)

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

Curator: exhibition of contemporary sculpture, Milton Keynes Gallery (2023)

Curator & writer: art strategy for Jönköping, Sweden (2021-22)

Curator: programme of talks and learning programmes for curators and artists, in partnership with Flat Time House, UP Projects, and Liverpool biennial (2022)

Curator: Permanent commission by Rhys Coren in Hanover Square, London (2022)

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

Writer: Conversation with artist Rhys Coren, published by Seventeen Gallery (2020); texts for Parafin Gallery on the work of Nancy Holt, and Talbot Rice Gallery on Mona Yoo.

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

Jes Fernie

Mobile: 07960687912

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