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Fiona Crisp is an artist known for creating installations of large-scale photographs that question the ontological presence of the photographic image. 

Her works are often generated by spending periods of time in specific locations, past projects having involved working in the Early Christian catacombs of Rome and a Second World War underground military hospital in the Channel Islands. What unites these apparently disparate sites is that, contrary to their historic purpose that allowed access to a defined group of users, they have now been opened up as tourist sites where the boundaries between heritage, leisure and historical truth become blurred.

Crisp completed a postgraduate degree at The Slade School of Fine Art, London in 1993 has exhibited both nationally and internationally, spending time working in Norway and in Rome where she held a Wingate Scholarship at The British School.   In 1999/2000 she spent a period of time working in the North East of England whilst on the Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship and in 2003, after many years based in London, Crisp moved to Northumberland with her partner and children.

In 2006 Crisp undertook a residency based at the 18th Century landscape gardens at Stourhead, jointly commissioned by the British School at Rome and the National Trust. The residency produced images that have become key to Crisp's exploration of the 'construction' of view (in visual, political and philosophical terms) and culminated in her third exhibition for Matt's Gallery, Negative Capability: The Stourhead Cycle, in 2012.

Other significant solo exhibitions include the major touring show Subterrania that launched at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead in July 2009 before travelling to Impressions Gallery, Bradford and Newlyn Gallery, Cornwall in April 2010.   A monograph entitled Hyper Passive surveying Crisp’s work over the preceding ten years was published to coincide with the tour by Matt’s Gallery, London; the book includes an essay by Christopher Townsend and an interview with Alessandro Vincentelli, Curator of Exhibitions and Research at BALTIC.

Crisp is currently Professor of Contemporary Art at Northumbria University where she is founder member of the research group The Cultural Negotiation of Science. Over the last decade she has been developing dialogues with fundamental scientists regarding the visualisation of concepts and data that challenge the limits of our imaginative capacity.  Her recent project Material Sight, funded by the Leverhulme Trust pursues these questions through collaboration with three world-leading research facilities for fundamental science.

Fiona Crisp’s work is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London and is held in the collections of The Tate Gallery, The Government Art Collection, The Arts Council Collection, Worcester City Art Gallery and private collections.

More information can be found at www.matt’sgallery.org

Still Films 1999

Installation view. Camerawork, London.




Santa Maria 2003

Installation view. Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth.




Negative Capability: The Stourhead Cycle 2012

Installation view. Matt's Gallery, London.


Curriculum Vitae


Born 1966 Derbyshire, UK
Currently lives in Northumberland and works in Northumberland & London

1991 - 1993   Slade School of Fine Art, U.C.L. Fine Art - Media Postgraduate
1986 - 1989   W. S. C. A. D. (Farnham) Fine Art - Sculpture 1st Class BA(Hons)
1984 - 1985   Derbyshire College of Higher Education - Art Foundation


Solo Exhibitions


Material Sight Solo touring exhibition

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland March - May

Arts Catalyst, London June - July

2012   Negative Capability: The Stourhead Cycle  Matt's Gallery, London  June - July

Subterrania Solo touring exhibition.

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead July-Oct 2009

Impressions Gallery, Bradford, Nov 2009-Jan 2010

Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall Feb-April 2010

2006   Abteilung, The Greenhouse Gallery, St. Peter Port, Guernsey C.I.
2003   Santa Maria, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth
2000   Fiona Crisp, Matt's Gallery, London
    Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship, Berwick Gymnasium Gallery (catalogue)
1999   Still Films, Camerawork, London
1996   Omphalos, The Conductor's Hallway Gallery, London

Group Exhibitions


DIVISION/REVISION Billboards across London, Glasgow, Manchester, Sheffield, Bristol, Birmingham.  March 15-30


Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday The Courtauld Institute of Art Online

Opened 18 June


Women in Photography: A History of British Trailblazers The Lightbox

Jan - June


Tread Softly: An Arts Council National Touring Exhibition Yorkshire Sculpture Park

May - Sept


Scape - Constructing Nature  Holden Gallery, Manchester. April - May

2015   A Foreign Encounter  Galerie FOE 156, Munich.  Nov - Dec
2015   Das Träuman (NEUSCHLOSS). BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. April
2013   Looking at the View  Tate Britain. Feb - June
2013   Extraordinary Renditions (For the British Science Festival). BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. September
2011   Unfinished Business Wallington (National Trust) Northumberland. July - Sept

Extra Ordinary: Alternative Perspectives of the Everyday Apthorp Gallery, London.  Sept


Architectural Fictions  Bracknell Galleries, Berkshire. July – August

2009   Foto Grafia Photography Festival. Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome. May - Aug
2008   Ruination : Photographs of Rome  Group exhibition with catalogue curated by Richard Wrigley. Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham
    The Berwick Gymnasium Fellowships 1003-2005   Berwick Gymnasium Gallery, Berwick upoon Tweed.

Beauty and the Beast   Stourhead Landscape Gardens (NT) Wiltshire.


Phantasm  Market Gallery, Glasgow.

    You Shall Know Our Velocity  BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead
    Responding to Rome The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London
2005   Fiona Crisp, Matthew Tickle, Philip Warnell Matt's Gallery, London
2004   Ideen von-Kunslen-Auktion, Galerie Luecke und Partner, Berlin
    Para Sites - Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset
2002   Fiona Crisp / Mary Maclean / Ozhang, Seven Worcester Terrace Gallery, Bath
    Fellowship Exhibition, The British School at Rome (catalogue)
2001   Diari di Lavoro..., Galleria Nationale d'Arte Moderna, Rome
2000   Stadt München Photo-Biennale, Room 212, Auckland, New Zealand
    Flicker, Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery
    Stadt München Photo-Biennale, Galerie Stadt München, Amsterdam
1998   Disrupting the Scene, Cambridge Darkroom Gallery
    Dark Field, The Boiler House at Hackney Wick, London
1997   Oranges & Lemons, Peninsula Foundation, Eindhoven (catalogue)

Awards, Fellowships & Commissions
2019   Visual Artist of the Year.  Journal Culture Awards
2016   Leverhulme Trust. Research Fellow 2016-2018
2105   Residency - Madstun, Norway.
2008   Nominated for the Northern Art Prize and Sovereign Art Prize.
2007/8   The Geevor Commission - Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall.
2007   Residency - Allenheads Contemporary Art, Northumberland. May - Nov.
2006   Artist in Residence, Stourhead Landscape Gardens, Wiltshire (Commissioned by the National Trust and The Hotbath Gallery, Bath)
2005   Grants for Individual Artists, Arts Council England, North East
2004   Nominated for Beck's Futures, ICA, London
    International Artist in Residence Programme, Guernsey College, Guernsey C.I.
2003   Nominated for Citigroup Photography Prize, 2004
2001   The British School at Rome, Wingate Scholarship (October 2001 - March 2002)
    Visual Artists Award, London Arts
1999   Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship, Berwick-upon-Tweed (4 month residency)
    Nominated for Citibank Photography Prize, 2000
1998   Awards to Individual Artists, London Arts Board
1997   Art for Everyone, Arts Council (group recipient)
1996   Awards to Artists Exhibiting Abroad, The British Council


Material Sight: A Sensorium for Fundamental Physics

Artnodes, Journal on Art, Science and Technology

Published January 2020


Time, Science, Erosion, Evidence: Fiona Crisp

Trebuchet Magazine

Published May 2019


The Live Creature and Ethereal Things: Physics in Culture

Edited Fiona Crisp and Nicola Triscott Pub Arts Catalyst, London

ISBN 978-0-9927776-4-7


Negative Capability: Imaging and Imagining Fundamental Science through Productive Doubt  GeoHumanities (American Association of Geographers) Issue 1 Autumn 2015



Hyper Passive  Monograph with essay & interview. Pub. Matt's Gallery June 2009 

ISBN 978-0-907623-65-6

    Setting the Fell on Fire Pub. Allenheads Contemporary Art ISBN 978-0-9557478-3-0

Ruination: Photographs of Rome Wrigly, Richard.

Pub. Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham

ISBN 978-1-900809-51-1


The Berwick Gymnasium Fellowships an Archival Record Ed. King, Judith

Pub. English Heritage & Arts Editions North ISBN 978-0-9557478-1-6

2007   The Sheffield Pavilion  Ed. Jane Griffith. Pub. Site Gallery, Sheffield ISBN 97801899926860 (Distributed at Venice Biennale & Documenta XII
    E8 3RR Portfolio of 15 artists. Pub Matt's Gallery, London
2006   Beauty and the Beast Pub. The National Trust & Hotbath Gallery ISBN 978-1-84359-267-9
2005   Responding to Rome. British artists in Rome 1995-2005 Pub. BSR.
2004   Para Sites, Bridport Arts Centre Sept/Oct 2004
2002   The British School at Rome, Fine Arts 2001-2002 Pub. BSR.
2000   Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship , English Heritage/Fiona Crisp
1997   Welcome Back to the Human Race , Peninsula Foundation, Holland

Negotiating Radical Remoteness: from Catacombs to Dark Matter Laboratories

British School at Rome Public Lecture Programme 4 Nov 2020


Spencer, C. 2018 Fiona Crisp: Material Sight

Art Monthly #416 May 2018 pp.36-37


Prtichard, D. 2018 Fiona Crisp: Material Sight

Corridor 8 April 2018


GeoHumanities Online

For the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, San Francisco 2016


Negative Capability

Contemporary Visual Arts Newtwork (CVAN) film commission hosted by this is tomorrow


BBC Cornwall.  13th February news.bbc.co.uk

The Guardian Guide.  Exhibition Previews. Robert Clark & Skye Sherwin Sat 13th Feb

Long, Jonathan (2009) Passages, Shafts, Tunnels. Source. Issue 60  pp.68-69

Elle UK.com  text by Francesca Gavin pub Aug


Dazed Digital.com text by Narinder Purba . pub 31st July

    Sky Arts at BALTIC – featuring Subterrania broadcast in November 2009.
2006   Vincentelli, Alessandro BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art Library & Archive archive.balticmill.com Fiona Crisp in conversation with Alessandro Vincentelli.
    Usherwood, Paul  Art Monthly#295 April 06 p.34 Reviews You Shall Know Our Velocity : Artists in the North East
    Hickling, Alfred  The Guardian p.36 01.02.06 Art You Shall Know Our Velocity
    Rudd, Amy  Metro p.22 31.01.06 Art Review You Shall Know Our Velocity
    Clark, Robert  Guardian Guide p.36 27.01.06 Exhibition Preview You Shall Know Our Velocity
    Glover, Michael  The Times (The Knowledge) p.34/35 14.01.06 Best of British .....
2005   James, Sarah   Art Monthly#290 October 05 Reviews Fiona Crisp, Matthew Tickle, Philip Warnell Matt's Gallery
2003   Exley, Roy Contemporary Issue 56 Autumn 2003 The Passive Eye
    Bull, Stephen  Source Issue 35 Summer 2003 Santa Maria
    Lack, Jessica Guardian Guide, May 10  Santa Maria
    Cowan, Amber The Times Play May 3 Santa Maria
    Rutter, Barry The News May 2 Santa Maria
 2001   Exley, Roy  art press 266, March  Fiona Crisp
    Exley, Roy Contemporary Visual Arts Issue 32, January  Fiona Crisp
2000   Sophie's What's On, UKlandscape.net, December  Fiona Crisp
    Coomer, Martin Time Out, Reviews, 6-13 December  Fiona Crisp
    Coleman, John What's On in London, 22 - 29 November  Fiona Crisp / Matt's Gallery
    Jevons, Richard The Leeds Guide, October Issue  Flicker
    The Times Metro, 16 September  The Big Show
    Jevons, Richard The North Guide, September Interview - Berwick Gymnasium
    Walker, Howard The Journal 11 August Berwick Gymnasium Gallery
1999   Morissey, Simon Untitled Magazine, Issue 19  Still Films
    Townsend, Chris Hotshoe International, May Issue  Still Films
    Thrift, Julia Time Out, 24 February Still Films
    Cruz, Juan Contemporary Visual Arts, Issue 21  Disrupting the Scene
1998   Lorés, Maite Contemporary Visual Arts, Issue 20  Dark Field
    Bastible, Acushla Circa Magazine, No. 85, Autumn Issue  Dark Field
    Time Out, 24 June  Dark Field
    Spaninks, Angelique Eindhovens Dagblad Oranges & Lemons

2016 -      

Professor of Fine Art Northumbria University, Newcastle

(Associate Professor 2013-2016, Senior Lecturer 2004-2013)

2007 - 2010   External Assessor Crawford College, Cork. Republic of Ireland
2002/3   Associate Lecturer Fine Art (photography) BA Camberwell, London.
1998-   Visiting lecturing: Royal Institute of Art (KKH) Stockholm, RCA, Royal Academy Schools, Slade School of Art, UCL, Camberwell, Winchester, Coventry, Newcastle, Sunderland.


Tate Gallery Collection, Arts Council Collection, Hayward Gallery, London,

The Government Art Collection, Worcester City Art Gallery & Private Collections.


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