Approved: 16.08.2006

Dawn Woolley

Artist, Curator, Lecturer / academic, Researcher, Writer

Approved: 16.08.2006

My artistic practice encompasses photography, video, installation and performance. I use photographs of objects and people to question issues of artificiality and idealisation.

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      Artist Statement

      My artistic practice encompasses photography, video, installation and performance. I use photographs of objects and people to question issues of artificiality and idealisation.



      Primarily this artwork is self-portraiture, but not in the traditional sense. In the work I create photographic substitutes. I examine the act of looking and being looked at, frequently using my own experience of becoming an object of sight to draw attention to the power relations of exhibitionism and voyeurism. By presenting myself as an object it could be argued that I reproduce stereotypical images of the female body, but I confound the hierarchy of object and subject.


      Still Lifes

      Still life images are portraits of a type, evoking unseen subjects who possess and consume the objects on display. Drawing on both definitions of the term ‘consume’ I use food still life photography to represent different characters and positions in relation to advanced capitalist society. What I eat and how I eat is a metonym of my wider consumer habits. Food is also employed as a metaphor for the subjection of my body under capitalist systems. The commodities I consume are integrated in my identity and my identity is shaped to a marketing demographic. I am what I consume. I am an advertisement for the commodities I consume.

      CV & Education

      Qualifications and training

      2017 - PhD by Project, Fine Art, Royal College of Art, London

      2008 - MA Photography, Royal College of Art, London

      2001 - BA (Hons) Fine Art Print-making, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester

      Solo exhibitions

      2018 - Consumed: Stilled Lives, Ffotogallery, Cardiff

      2017 - Consumed: Stilled Lives, Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

      2016 - Consumed: Stilled Lives and the Pathologies of Capitalism, Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, London

      2015 - Consumer, Various commercial advertising spaces, Cardiff

      2013 - Visual Pleasure, Hippolyte Photography Gallery, Helsinki, Finland

      2012 - Short Lived Pleasure, Bloc Projects, Sheffield

      2012 - Visual Pleasure, Vilniaus Fotografijos Galerija, Lithuania

      2011 - Visual Pleasure, Ffotogallery, Penarth, Cardiff

      2010 - Interloper, Oriel Davies, Newtown, Powys

      2010 - The Substitute, Newhall College, Cambridge University, Cambridge

      2008 - Interloper, South Square Gallery, Bradford

      2006 - The Other Woman, The Lighthouse Gallery, Wolverhampton

      2003 - Because I'm worth it, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Blackburn

      2002 - Because I'm worth it, Open Artist's Studios, Manchester

      2002 - Contact Scheme, Community Venues, Lancaster

      Group exhibitions

      2018 - vis-à-vis, Contemporary Welsh artists respond to images of women from the University of South Wales Museum Collection, Oriel y Bont Gallery, Pontypridd.

      2017  - Self / Selfies, Ballarat International Foto Biennale, Australia.

      2017 - “Le Féminin” Circulation(s), Voies Off, Arles, France.

      2017 - From Selfies to Self-expression, Saatchi Gallery, London.

      2014 - All Coherence Gone? BayArts, Cardiff

      2014 - Basically. Forever. Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

      2014 - Recollection, Ruimte Morguen, Antwerp, Belgium

      2013 - Diamond Geezar, Garage, Antwerp, Belguim

      2013 - Wild Oats, Milkwood Gallery, Cardiff

      2013 - Trajector, Bloom Hotel, Brussels, Belguim

      2013 - Wastelands, Greenlease Gallery, Kansas City, USA

      2012 - 100 Curators 100 Days, Selected by Matthias Harder, Chief curator, Helmut Newton Foundation, Saatchi Online

      2012 - All Your Women Things, Paper, Manchester

      2012 - Create, Observe, Perform, Alkovi Gallery, Helsinki, Finland

      2012 - Look Attractive, UMKC Gallery of Art, Kansas City

      2011 - Worldwide @ Young Portfolio , Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Kiyosato, Japan

      2011 - Objects of Desire, Freud Museum, London

      2011 - Portmanteau, Halle 14, Spinnerei (curated by G39), Leipzig

      2011 - Time After 2011, Gallery Kortil, Rijeka, Croatia

      2011 - Virtually Real, The Audrey and Stanley Burton Gallery, Leeds

      2010 - Auxesis, Tactile Bosch, Cardiff

      2010 - New Media, Sex, and Culture in the 21st Century, Museum of New Art, Detroit

      2010 - Nude, Loudoun Gallery, Lexington, Kentucky, USA

      2010 - Virtually Real, Blyth Gallery, Imperial College, South Kensington

      2009 - Abandon Normal Devices Festival, FACT Centre , Liverpool

      2009 - Art V Film, University of Wisconsin, Madison

      2009 - Contemporary Art Projects, London Art Fair, London

      2009 - Cream International Festival for Arts and Media, Tokyo University of the Arts, Bashamichi Campus, Yokohama, Japan

      2009 - Cross Fire, Oriel Canfas, Cardiff

      2009 - Evolution Media Arts Festival, Burton Art Gallery and Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds

      2009 - Failure / Success, Tactile BOSCH studios, Cardiff

      2009 - Sensitive Material, NEU Gallery, London

      2009 - The Human Canvas, Centre for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, Colorado

      2009 - Transfixed Motion/Transitory Still, SIAD Gallery, Sheffield Hallam University

      2009 - Zero de Conduite, Elevator Gallery, London

      2008 - Ending Feminist Futures, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

      2008 - Videophile, Phoenix Art gallery, Brighton

      2007 - House, Elastic Residence Gallery, London

      2007 - I'll Be Your Mirror, Primo Alonso Gallery, London

      2007 - Success / Failure, Photomonth Festival, Krakow, Poland

      2006 - I'll Be Your Mirror, Liverpool Biennial Independants, Liverpool

      2005 - Makeshift, Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham

      2005 - We Didn't Mean to be Bad Kids, TV Made Us do it, Strathclyde University, Glasgow

      2005 - We Didn't Mean to be Bad Kids, TV Made Us do it, University of Hertford Galleries, Hertford

      2005 - Young Portfolio Acquisitions, Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, Japan

      2004 - We didn't mean to be bad kids, TV made us do it, Warrington Art Gallery, Warrington

      2003 - The Dog and Partridge, Castlefield Art Gallery, Manchester

      2002 - Art Take Away, Cornerhouse Art Centre, Manchester

      2002 - Family, (8 artists), De Montford Hall, Leicester City Art Gallery, Leicester

      2001 - Fresh Art Fair, Business Design Centre, London

      2001 - The Mancunian Candidate, Degree show, Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University Curated projects

      2006 - Another Product @ British Art Show, Cornerhouse Art Centre, Manchester

      2006 - Making Love to my Ego, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester

      2004 - Peepshow, Warsaw Space, Manchester

      2004 - Processor, Warsaw Project Space, Manchester

      2003 - Show Home, Urban Splash, Manchester


      2010 - Cut to the Measure of Desire (Homo Bulla), G39 Gallery, Cardiff

      2010 - Cut to the Measure of Desire (Homo Bulla), Shop Window, Castle Arcade, Cardiff

      2010 - Cut to the Measure of Desire (vogelen), The Park Conservative Club, Cardiff


      2014 - Studio Residency, Salzamt Atelier, Linz, Austria

      2011 - Studio Residency, Cite Des Arts Internationale, Paris

      2008 - Studio Residency, Cite Des Arts Internationale, Paris

      Competitions, prizes and awards

      2017 - Winner, Saatchi Gallery Selfie Competition

      2015 - Final Selection, Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts Young Portfolio Acquisitions

      2015 - Shortlisted, Red Mansion Art Prize, Royal College of Art

      2010 - Man Group Photo Prize, Royal College of Art, London

      2011 - Shortlisted, Constance Fairness Foundation Award, Royal College of Art

      2010 - Finalist, My World: Visions of 21st Century Feminism, European Women’s Lobby, Brussels

      2009 - The Human Canvas Juror's Selection, The Centre for Fine Art Photography, Fort collins, Colorado

      2008 - Art Source / Land Securities Award, MA Show, London