Daniel Jewesbury

Senior Lecturer

The Crafts and Fine Art Unit
Visiting address
Kristinelundsgatan 6-8
41137 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 131
40530 Göteborg

About Daniel Jewesbury

Daniel Jewesbury is an artist, a writer and researcher, and a curator. In recent years Daniel’s art work has primarily involved 16mm film and video installation, photography, text, and performance. Much of his work begins from enquiries focused on place, urban redevelopment, and the ways in which personal memory and experience collide with the more public ‘events’ which are understood to take place. His research interests range from urban studies (including enquiries into the use of public art commissioning in urban branding and social cleansing), the material cultures of nationalism and postcolonialism, the historiography of Irish and Northern Irish art, and histories of experimental cinema and artist’s film.

Daniel was born in south London in 1972 and studied Fine Art (Sculpture) at the National College of Art & Design (NCAD) in Dublin between 1992 and 1996. Upon graduating Daniel moved to Belfast, where he studied for a PhD in the Media Studies department of the University of Ulster between 1997 and 2001. Daniel’s was the first piece of part-practical research completed in the department, and one of the main outcomes was the video installation Mirage, which was presented in his first solo exhibition, at Project Arts Centre, Dublin, in 2000. The piece was a three-screen, computer-driven video installation, filmed at London Bridge, in Arizona.

At the end of 2018, Daniel completed a new film, Necropolis, shot entirely in cemeteries and graveyards in Belfast, Berlin and London. He is currently completing another project, Looking at the Woman in a Bomb Blast, comprising performance works and an artist's book. The departure point for this body of work is a controversial figurative sculpture produced during the early years of Northern Ireland’s recent ‘Troubles’.

Necropolis suggests that the modern, European ideal of the city, as a dialectical space, written and rewritten by social struggle, has died. Conflicts or debates over land and the use of land, over rights to the city, have been supplanted by a struggle by many simply to exist; and urban real estate has been transformed into complex, packaged financial instruments that are traded and re-traded globally. The profits extracted from the city grow larger, even as they become more abstract; urban space and everyday urban life are increasingly privatised, and the opportunities to come together in protest, in public, in the city, decrease and diminish. Necropolis was completed with support from the Bergman Estate on Fårö Foundation, and will be screened internationally during 2019.

Looking at the Woman in a Bomb Blast grew from research conducted into a sculpture by the Irish artist F.E. McWilliam (1909-1992), a small figurative bronze produced in 1974 entitled Woman in a Bomb Blast. Over 15 years the research has developed to encompass a survey of artistic representations of violence, sex and visual pleasure. In 2014 Daniel produced a performance ‘in conversation with’ the sculpture, for the Ulster Museum’s Art of the Troubles exhibition, which also toured to Wolverhampton Art Gallery in 2015. In 2018, Daniel extended this performance in a piece entitled Looking at the Women in the Museum, which explored certain works of painting and sculpture in the Furstenberg Galleries in Göteborgs Konstmuseum. Daniel is now completing an artist’s book investigating the visual and cultural genealogy of McWilliam’s sculpture, encompassing Classical and Renaissance art, the poetry of Baudelaire and Heaney, and McWilliam’s own scrapbooks. This will be published by Art & Theory, Stockholm, in 2019.

In 2012, Daniel collaborated with composer Ian Wilson, producing live video projections for his new opera I Burn For You, commissioned by Aldeburgh Music. The piece toured the UK in 2015, including performances at Sage, Gateshead and Nottingham Contemporary. The company included internationally respected musicians Phil Minton, Clive Bell, David Toop, Lee Patterson and Attila Csihar.

Daniel has worked as a curator and event programmer for many years. In 2010 Daniel curated the exhibition re:public at Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, in collaboration with GradCAM, the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media, with whom he was a Visiting Fellow. In 2015 he was invited to be one of the selectors of Pallas Projects’ exhibition Periodical Review #5, in Dublin. In 2016, Daniel curated The Headless City for the TULCA Festival of Visual Arts in Galway, a major exhibition employing all the visual arts spaces in the city as well as a large number of locations for site-specific projects, including the main hospital and a local army barracks. Many live works took place in public, around the city itself.

Writing has always been a central part of Daniel’s practice: he began publishing criticism while still an undergraduate student, first in Ireland’s art journal Circa, and subsequently in a range of journals and magazines including Art Monthly, Flash Art, and the contemporary photographic review Source, for which he is still a regular contributor; Daniel initiated a regular review of self-published photobooks for Source, which he wrote from 2011 until 2016. He has written catalogue essays for Willie Doherty (including a major text for Northern Ireland’s 2007 Venice Biennale catalogue,) and Duncan Campbell (most recently, a text for the 2013 Scotland at Venice exhibition catalogue), and for many others including Roderick Buchanan and Garrett Phelan. Longer critical pieces by Daniel have appeared in journals including Third Text, the Edinburgh Review and Art & Research and in various books. Daniel was a co-editor of the magazine Variant from 2000 until 2012, and has edited various other publications.

Daniel’s academic research has been published widely, in books and journals, and on topics ranging from film studies, to the material culture and political history of Irish nationalism, to public art and urban studies.

He was also a prolific contributor to Belfast’s satirical newspaper The Vacuum (though not always under his own name). The highlight of Daniel’s critical career came when he was sued for libel by property developers.

Daniel is a highly experienced public speaker and broadcaster, and has written and presented many pieces for the BBC on both TV and radio. Before joining Valand, he worked at the University of Ulster, in Northern Ireland, as a lecturer in Film Studies and Fine Art, and previously as a Research Associate in Digital Cultures.

When he’s not making art, writing, speaking, editing, curating or researching, Daniel is an enthusiastic drinker of port (and would like nothing more than to open a bottle with you).