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Jon Blackwood


I am a researcher, curator and writer on art.

Having finished my Ph.D at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2000, I subsequently worked in the gallery sector (Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge) as well as the universities of Glamorgan and at DJCAD, as head of history & theory from 2004-11.

I spent three years living in the former Yugoslavia between 2011 and 2014, between Sarajevo and Skopje, conducting research and operating as a freelance curator and writer. I came back to Scotland in 2014 and am now a reader in contemporary art at Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

In the last few years I have curated shows in Sarajevo (“Parallel Universe”, duplex, 2014), Zagreb (“Jusuf Hadžifejzović – Property of Emptiness”, Institute of Contemporary Art, 2015), Edinburgh (“Archipelago” and “Captured State: Contemporary Art from Macedonia”, both Summerhall, 2017) and Aberdeen (“Positive Geographies”, Look Again Festival, June 2018; “Mladen Miljanović – Utopian Realism”, Peacock Visual Arts, February 2019; “In Between States”, Peacokc Visual Arts, Aberdeen, June 2019).

I have published extensively on both contemporary Scottish Art, and art from the Western Balkans. Major books include “Introduction to Contemporary Art in Bosnia-Herzegovina” (duplex, Sarajevo, 2015) and “Critical Art in Contemporary Macedonia” (mala galerija, Skopje, 2016) as well as numerous edited essays and chapters. I am also a member of the IKT and the Association of Art Historians.

In the year ahead, 2020, I have shows in development for Summerhall in Edinburgh in July (“Suspended Animation: Contemporary Art from Bosnia-Herzegovina”), as well as in North Macedonia in March-May (“Here’s the Artists: What do you Need?). I am working on an event and book with the black Essex artist Elsa James for Estuary Festival in October, in Tilbury.

I continue to divide my time between Scotland and North Macedonia.