Return to menu
Fiona Crisp: Negative Capability: The Stourhead Cycle 20 June–29 July 2012 | Hyper Passive, In Camera, Shock 7 September–2 October 2005 | (Untitled) 25 October–17 December 2000 | Publications | Editions | Artist’s Website

Fiona Crisp | Negative Capability: The Stourhead Cycle | 20 June–29 July 2012 | Private View: 17 June 2–5pm

Fiona Crisp, Negative Capability: The Stourhead Cycle, 2012. Installation shot courtesy the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London

Fiona Crisp, Negative Capability: The Stourhead Cycle, 2012. Installation shot courtesy the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London

Fiona Crisp, Negative Capability: The Stourhead Cycle, 2012. Installation shot courtesy the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London
Press Information
The Stourhead Cycle is a series of eight large-scale photographic works that will be shown for the first time in the installation Negative Capability: The Stourhead Cycle at Matt’s Gallery, London.

Generated at the National Trust site of Stourhead (Wiltshire, UK) in 2006, the images eschew any desire to document a specific location; instead, the historic house at Stourhead, along with it’s world-famous 18th century landscape gardens, are employed by Crisp as a formal device to reflect upon the colliding imperatives of heritage, leisure and history at a site of national cultural significance.

Implicit are questions concerning the democratising of cultural ‘assets’ or the space between the public and private sphere but ideas are also articulated through a formal visual language where tensions are set up between proximity and distance, between the flat plane of the photograph and the perspectival depth of landscape or between revealing and obscuring a ‘view’.

The phrase Negative Capability was first used by the Romantic Poet John Keats in 1817 when, in a letter to his brother, he identified the ability to accept uncertainty and the unresolved as prerequisite for creativity. The relationship between knowledge and doubt has long been at the heart of Crisp's practice and is often reflected in her work's wilful instability as it oscillates between illusionistic space and explicit, functional presence.

Negative Capability: The Stourhead Cycle will be Crisp’s third exhibition for Matt’s Gallery and continues her exploration of what, in phenomenological terms, a photograph is - What is it capable of? Here the equivocal identity of Crisp’s work persists as glazed and framed photographs are removed from the plane of the gallery wall to be sited on single scaffolding poles creating a new, provisional architecture of the gallery interior.

Research and Development supported by Arts Council England, South West and the National Trust.

Generously supported by Arts Council England and The Idlewild Trust.
Arts Council England

A large print version of this document is available on request.

For further information and images please contact: Judith Carlton, General Manager

Director: Robin Klassnik

Return to top

Born Derbyshire, UK, 1966, Lives and works Northumberland, UK. Education 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 BA (Hons.); Selected Solo Exhibitions 2009-2010 Subterrania, a touring exhibition: BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, Impressions Gallery, Bradford and Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall. 2006 Abteilung, The Greenhouse, St Peter Port, Guernsey, CI. 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 Selected Group Exhibitions 2011 Unfinished Business – A Contemporary Response to William Bell Scott, Wallington, Northumberland 2010 Extra Ordinary: Alternative Perspectives of the Everyday, Apthorp Gallery, London; Architectural Fictions, Bracknell Galleries, Berkshire 2009 Foto Grafia Photography Festival, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome 2008 Ruination: Photographs of Rome, Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham University (catalogue); The Berwick Gymnasium Fellowships 1993-2005 (catalogue) 2006 Beauty and the Beast Stourhead Landscape Gardens, Wiltshire (NT) (Catalogue); 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 [catalogue] 2005 Fiona Crisp, Matthew Tickle, Phillip Warnell, Fiona Crisp, Matthew Tickle, Phillip 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, Galerie Stadt München, Amsterdam, and touring to Room 212, Auckland, New Zealand; Flicker, Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery 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 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 to 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 Wingate Scholarship, The British School at Rome, (October 2001 - March 2002); Visual Artists Award, London Arts 1999 Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship, Berwick-upon-Tweed (four 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 Teaching Current: Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Northumbria University; VT in Fine Art, BA / MA University of Northumbria, Newcastle; 2002/3 VT Fine Art (photography) BA Camberwell, London; 1998-2005 visiting lecturer at various institutions incl. Slade, Camberwell, Winchester, Coventry, Sunderland, Newcastle Collections Arts Council Collection; Hayward Gallery, London; Worcester City Art Gallery; Private Collections; Tate Gallery Collection and Government Art Collection

Return to top

2006 You Shall Know Our Velocity: Artist in the North East, Paul Usherwood, Art Monthly 295, April p34; You Shall Know Our Velocity, Alfred Hickling, The Guardian 1 February, p36; You Shall Know Our Velocity, Amy Rudd, Metro 31 January, p22; You Shall Know Our Velocity, Robert Clarke, Guardian Buide 27 January, p36; Best of British... Michael Glover, The Times (The Knowledge), 14 January p34/35 2005 Fiona Crisp, Matthew Tickle, Phillip Warnell, Sarah James, Art Monthly, issue 290, October; Fiona Crisp, Matthew Tickle, Phillip Warnell, Helen Sumpter, Time Out, issue 1831, 21-28 December 2003 The Passive Eye, Roy Exley, Contemporary, Issue 56, Autumn; Santa Maria, Stephen Bull, Source, Issue 35, Summer; Santa Maria, Jessica Lack, Guardian Guide, May 10; Santa Maria, Amber Cowan, The Times ‘Play’, May 3; Santa Maria, Barry Rutter, The News, May 2 2001 Fiona Crisp, Roy Exley, artpress 266, March; Fiona Crisp, Roy Exley, Contemporary Visual Arts, Issue 32, January 2000 Fiona Crisp, What’s On,, December; Fiona Crisp, Martin Coomer, Time Out, Reviews, 6-13 December; Fiona Crisp / Matt’s Gallery, John Coleman, What’s On in London, 22-29 November; Flicker, Richard Jevons, The Leeds Guide, October; The Big Show, The Times Metro, 16 September; Interview - Berwick Gymnasium, Richard Jevons, The North Guide, September; Berwick Gymnasium Gallery, Howard Walker, The Journal, 11 August 1999 Still Films, Simon Morissey, Untitled Magazine, Issue 19; Still Films, Chris Townsend, Hotshoe International, May; Still Films, Julia Thrift, Time Out, 24 February; Disrupting the Scene, Juan Cruz, Contemporary Visual Arts, Issue 21 1998 Dark Field, Maite Lorés, Contemporary Visual Arts, Issue 20; Dark Field, Acushla Bastible, Circa Magazine, No. 85, Autumn; Dark Field, Time Out, 24 June 1997 Oranges & Lemons, Angelique Spaninks, Eindhovens Dagblad Publications 2009-2010 Subterrania (, a touring exhibition, various reviews 2010 Visibility Good (PDF download), Baker H., Usherwood P., Crisp F. et al Exhibition catalogue. Pub Gallery North, March 2010 2009 Sky Arts at BALTIC Broadcast November 2009 Fiona Crisp Hyper Passive Monograph published by Matt's Gallery, London, July, 2009 2008 The Berwick Gymnasium Fellowships: an Archival Record Pub. English Heritage & Arts Editions North 2008 ISBN 978 0 9557478 1 6 Wrigley, R. Ruination: Photographs of Rome (PDF download), Pub. Djanogly Gallery 2008 ISBN 978-1-900809-51-1 2006 Responding to Rome, British Artists in Rome 1995-2005 Pub. BSR. 2006 ISBN 0-904152-49-9 Beauty and the Beast, Pub. The Hotbath Gallery & The National Trust 2006, ISBN 978-1-84359-267-9 2002 The British School at Rome, Fine Arts 2001-2002, Pub. BSR. 2000 Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship, Pub. English Heritage/Fiona Crisp 1997 Welcome Back to the Human Race, Pub. Peninsula Foundation, Holland

Return to top

Fiona Crisp, Pantheon from Tree 645, 2006/2012. Courtesy the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London

Fiona Crisp, Temple of Apollo, 2006/2012. Courtesy the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London

Fiona Crisp, The Pantheon, 2006/2012. Courtesy the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London