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Joan Smith

Joan Smith
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  • Biography
I have a long standing interest in the cross-overs between art and science, in particular themes related to the history of medicine. I make paintings, prints, drawings and objects, choosing materials which fit conceptually with my research themes. By examining archives of objects, images and texts I aim to view the world through others’ perspectives, allowing me to embed historic references within a contemporary context. I am inspired by cross-disciplinary collaborations, particularly with experts in archaeology, anthropology and medicine; these connections allow me to step outside my own discipline to explore it from the outside.
My recent work includes ‘Traces’, a Europe-wide, Horizon 2020 funded project which brought together anthropologists, artists and museum professionals to explore contentious collections. Inspired by this work, I am currently working on ‘Skull Colour Chart’, an installation of over 1000 clay objects which aims to create a new, post-colonial narrative about the collection of skulls in the University of Edinburgh. In 2018-19 I worked with fellow artist, Susie Wilson, to develop an exhibition and artists’ book inspired by Surgeons’ Hall’s archive from the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in World War 1. I made oil paintings on copper, in response to the glass lantern photographic images of the nurses and camp hospitals in Serbia.
My work is held in public and private collections including: The Royal Scottish Academy; Heriot Watt University; Edinburgh College of Art
Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries; Edinburgh City Art Centre; Paintings in Hospitals (Scotland); Sakima Art Museum, Japan; Norsjo civic collection, Sweden

Graduated 1987 with MA Hons Degree in Fine Art (University of Edinburgh) and 1989 Master of Fine Art (Edinburgh College of Art)

Senior Lecturer, Edinburgh College of Art, to 2021
Professional Member of the Society of Scottish Artists
Member of Visual Art Scotland
Member of ‘Fusion’ and ‘Bone Collective’ research groups, University of Edinburgh
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Recent Exhibitions and Research Projects:
Skull Colour Chart at the SSA Annual Exhibition November 2021
Here and Now selected group exhibition at Tatha Gallery, Newport, 2021
Contemporary Figure SSA selected online group exhibition, 2021
Field Notes exhibition Surgeons Hall Museum, Edinburgh, with Susie Wilson. 2018 –2019
TRACES collaborative EU research project 2016 – 2019.
Dead Images exhibition Edinburgh Art Festival 2018
The Bone Library Summerhall Edinburgh, 2014
In a Jiffy group exhibition, Meffan Art Gallery, Forfar, 2014
Word of Mouth banner installation, Surgeons Hall Museum 2014
Big Print Small Print group exhibition at the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design, Wroclaw 2012
Cast Contemporaries group exhibition at Edinburgh College of Art 2012
Smugglerius Unveiled exhibition at the Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh December 2009 – March 2010
Prints Tokyo International Print Exhibition, Tokyo and Sakimi Art Museum, Okinawa, Japan 2007

Twenty-one works by Women 1992 Edinburgh Printmakers’ Workshop co-publication
The Sea, The Sea 1993 Edinburgh Printmakers’ Workshop co-publication
Drawing Comparisons ISBN: 0-9531180-0-2 1997/8
Cast Contemporaries 2012 ISBN 978-0-9565433-5-6
Field Notes 2018
Exposure: The ethics of making, sharing and displaying photographs of human remains J.Smith, L.Fibiger, T.Adler, J.Harries and A.Szöke 2017, Human Remains and Violence, vol. 4, no 1.

1992 Margins international artists’ residency in Sutherland, Scotland.
1994 Konstnarskoloni i Norsjo, international artists’ residency in Norsjo, Sweden.
Field Notes
  • Joan Smith
  • Field Notes
  • Painting
Red Cross
  • Joan Smith
  • Red Cross
  • Painting
  • Joan Smith
  • Laundry
  • Painting
Hospital Ward 1
  • Joan Smith
  • Hospital Ward 1
  • Painting
  • Joan Smith
  • Archive
  • Drawing
  • Joan Smith
  • Lorica
  • Drawing
  • Joan Smith
  • Document
  • Screenprinting
  • Joan Smith
  • Walkers
  • Screenprinting