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About Dr Cian Quayle

Cian is a practising artist, curator and write. He studied painting and printmaking at Bradford College (1991) and the MA European Fine Art (1993) in Barcelona and Winchester. In 2005 he was awarded a PhD from the University of the Arts (Camberwell College of Arts). The title of his thesis is Inverntory for a Reverse Journey - Photographic Image and Found Object.


The BA (Hons) Photography programme at the University of Chester is rooted in photography as a self-initiated art practice. Cian has developed the programme alongside a dedicated team since its beginning to incorporate all aspects of photography as a medium. The diversity of work produced by the students reflects a plural approach to the subject, which encompasses Fine Art, documentary and vernacular forms of photography. The course also encourages students to explore other printmaking techniques, make artist’s books and work in installation, mixed-media and moving image.  

The programme has also hosted a series of high profile artists and lecturers who contribute to teaching in the Department of Art & Design including Jimmie Durham, Clive Phillpot and Tom Wood.

Cian has taught across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate Photography and Fine Art courses and regularly gives lectures in other art and design institutions. Prior to taking up post at Chester he supervised undergraduate dissertations across all art and design programmes at Camberwell College of Arts. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Following a residential project at the Dagmar de Pooter Gallery in Antwerp in 1995 Cian has exhibited regularly in Belgium. From 1998 to 2007 he lived and work in London where he completed a practice-based PhD at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London in 2005 entitled Inventory for a Reverse Journey – Photographic Image and Found Object.

‘Inventory for a Reverse Journey is an ongoing process which incorporates archival photographs, family snapshots, found photographs, photographic postcards and my own photographs of the same place at different points in time - Douglas in the Isle of Man, where I was born and grew up. This archive is reconfigured at a distance from its place of origin as a metaphorical journey in space and time.’

The PhD thesis investigated the photographic work of Ed Ruscha, Douglas Huebler and Bas jan Ader in America. In Europe artists using found objects and materials: Jimmie Durham, Gustav Metzger and Kurt Schwitters manifest a crisis born exile as a counterpoint to the voluntary movement seen in the work of the artist-photographers in America.

Recent work has investigated the cinematic space of city and landscape. Cian is also a member of the Kurt Schwitters in England Research Group and regularly contributes to events coordinated by the Littoral Arts Trust. In 2009 he facilitated and organised a conference at the University of Chester entitled The Art of Appropriation & Kurt Schwitters in England. Keynote speakers and participants in an associated exhibition at the University included John Stezaker, Michael Sandle, Roger Cardinal and David Evans.

Published Work

Exhibitions & Publications

Group Exhibitions

2010            Intro, BA Fine Art & Photography and Art & Design Staff Exhibition CUBE, Manchester

2009            Under the Volcano, The Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool

2009            The Art of Appropriation & Kurt Schwitters in England, University of Chester, Chester

2009            Encounter, NOVAS Contemporary Urban Centre,  Liverpool

2009            This Was Now – The Russell Herron Collection, Sartorial Contemporary Art, London

2009             Plaisir d’Offrir, Dagmar de Pooter Gallery, Antwerp

2008             Mothers, Sartorial Contemporary Art, London

2007             Transmission, The Arts Gallery, University of the Arts London (curated)

2007             Repeat Repeat, University of Chester, Chester

2006             A Que Nos Cerca, Dagmar de Pooter Gallery, Antwerp

2005             Night on Earth, Oxford House, London

2005             Good Morning Herr Schwitters, Guten Abend Mr Ruskin, Brantwood, Coniston

2004             First Assembly, The Ragged School, London

2004             Mothers, Oxford House, London

2003             Mnemonic Surfaces in Digital Responses, Victoria & Albert Museum

2002             Techniken des Vorueberziehens, Fotoforum West, Innsbruck

2002             I Love Art, Cubitt Gallery, London           

2002             Interrogating the Surface, London Institute Gallery, Millbank

2001             Settings, Rochester Art Gallery

2001             motor : show, Proof, London           

2000             Shop Tactics, Christmas in Soho, London

1999             X-Hibit, The Arts Gallery, University of the Arts London, London

1994-95       CNW 94. Clwyd/North West Young Professionals, (UK and Spain)

1994             Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London

Solo Exhibitions

2009            This Will Kill That, Dagmar de Pooter Gallery, Antwerp

2008            Interzone, Dagmar de Pooter Gallery, Antwerp

2005            Silent Film, Camberwell College of Arts (with Richard Elliott)

2005            Photographic Readymades and Other Found Objects, Dagmar de Pooter, Antwerp

2004            Cian Quayle & Reg Quayle, Courtyard Gallery, Isle of Man

2004            Research Project, Camberwell College of Arts, London

2003            Return Ticket, Derby Castle Depot, Isle of Man

1996            Eraser-Ed, Beeld Fotografiecollectief, Belgium

1995            Relocations, Dagmar de Pooter, Gallery, Antwerp

1993            Recent Work, British Council, Barcelona

1991            Cian Quayle - Paintings and Prints, AIM, Isle of Man

Bibliography (selected)

Authored (chronological)

Art & Design Staff Portfolio (Edition 250). Quayle, C. & Fauchon, M. ed. University of Chester, July 2011.

Paul Jeff vs Moonwiring Club. In: Quayle, C. & Mayman, G. curated & ed. University of Chester.

Expert Pracioners (sic):  The Art of Appropriation – Authenticity, Reproduction and Simulation, Issue 24, In: Evans, D. ed. Critical Dictionary

Elliptical Journeys: Malcolm Lowry, Exile and Return. In Bryan Biggs & Helen Tookey ed. From the Mersey to the World, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press & the Bluecoat Gallery, 2009.

Bad Carpentry and Other Wilful Misdemeanours. Visual Communication, 6 (2), 2007, 234- 239.

Instants of Fragmentation and Repetition - Reprise. In: Bristow, M. & Oliver, E. ed. Repeat Repeat – Negotiated Positions, 2007.

Inventory for a Reverse Journey: Photographic Image and Found Object - An investigation of travel and material transformation as a paradigm of artist's practice: Ed Ruscha, Douglas Huebler, Bas jan Ader, Jimmie Durham, Gustav Metzger, Kurt Schwitters. (unpublished PhD thesis) London: University of the Arts London, March 2005.

Mnemonic Surfaces - Stone to Light. Visual Communication, 2 (3), 363-373, 2003.

Mnemonic Surfaces, In: exh. curated Paul Coldwell & Barbara Rauch & ed. Digital Responses [CD-ROM]. The Integration of Computers in Fine Art Practice, Camberwell College of Arts. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 2003.

Terra Incognita. In Cian Quayle ed. Return Ticket, 2003, u.p.

At Home and Away. Source, Issue 31, summer, 52-53, 2002.

Medium Specificity and Photography in the Digital Age, In: Coldwell, P. & Rauch B. ed. Interrogating the Surface, [CD-ROM]. The Integration of Computers in Fine Art Practice, Camberwell College of Arts, 2002.

Other author (bibliographical)

Corlett, L., 2004. Return of the Natives. Manx Tails, 53.

Flint, R., 2003. Cian Quayle’s Return Tickets. In Quayle, C. ed. Return Ticket, u.p.

Flint, R., 2001. motor : show. Flint, R. & Renton, L. ed. London: Proof Multiples.

Bury, S., 2001. Motor : Show. Art Monthly, Issue 247, 1 June, 39-41.

Isle of Man Examiner, 2003. Cian Quayle’s Exhibition is Just the Ticket. Isle of Man Examiner, 3 June, 6b.

Kent, L., 2001. Settings. Exh. Press Release, Rochester Art Gallery.

Luytens, D., 2001. Living Proof. Observer, 29 July, 53-54.

Poels, A.M., 2005. Photographic Readymades and Other Found Objects - Cian Quayle. Zone 3, 12 April, 42b.

Rawson, J., 1999. The Artist as Nomad. Inheritance, No. 3, 62-64.

Triming, L., 2007. Contents Unknown. In: Quayle, C. ed. Transmission, Chester: University of Chester, u.p.

Conferences and Presentations (selected)

The Vernacular Architecture & Psychogeography of a Victorian Seaside Resort. In: Catriona Mackie ed. New Light on Vernacular Architecture – Studies in Britain, Ireland & the Isle of Man. Centre for Manx Studies & Liverpool University, 22 - 25 June 2011, Manx Museum, Isle of Man.

A Means to an End – Stephen Shore and Daido Moriyama. In: David Campany & David Bate ed. Exhibiting Photography, 9 - 10 April 2011, University of Westminster, London.

Malcolm Lowry & The Isle of Man. In: Catriona Mackie ed. Centre for Manx Studies, Seminar Series, School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, Centre for Manx Studies & Liverpool University, 25 February 2010, Isle of Man.

Lowry, the Isle of Man & the Day of the Dead. In: Bryan Biggs ed. Under the Volcano – Artist Talks with Pete Flowers, 3 November 2010, the Bluecoat, Liverpool.

Cian Quayle. In: Lawrence Giles ed. Redeye Network Forum, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, 10 September 2009           

The Art of Appropriation & Kurt Schwitters in England – Authenticity, Reproduction, Simulation. Exhibition & conference organised by Cian Quayle, University of Chester, 10 - 11 July 2009

Michelangelo and The Death of Time. In: Cesario, M. & Ciconte, F. ed. Italian Contemporary Cinema, 12 - 14 June 2008, University of Manchester.

Instants of Fragmentation and Repetition – Reprise. In: Bristow, M. & Oliver, E. ed. Repeat Repeat, 19 - 20 April 2007, University of Chester.

Kurt Schwitters Aesthetics of Resistance. In: Ian Hunter & Celia Larner Littoral Arts Trust) ed. Kurt Schwitters in England, 11 July 2004, Tate Britain, London.

Mnemonic Surfaces. In: Jon Kear ed. Image Forum, Department of History and Theory of Art, University of Kent, Canterbury, 2004

Bas Jan Ader’s Shadowplay. In: University College London/Princeton University ed. The City and the Sea, 6 October 2001, University College London.

Kurt Schwitters: The Semiotics of Decay. In: Theo van Leeuwen ed. Semiotic Concepts for Practice-based Research, 6 March 2001, Camberwell College of Arts London.

Inventory for a Reverse Journey. In: Centre for Manx Studies, Maddrell, B. ed. Islands: Dream and Reality, 29 June 2000, Manx Museum, Isle of Man.

Identity & Dislocation. In: Leeuwen, T, van & Kress, G. ed. Researchers and Colloquium Visitors from Sweden and London Institute and Institute of Education Ph.D. Researchers, Institute of Education,14 May 1999, Institute of Education, London.

Collections & Awards

University of the Arts London Art Collection, 2006

British Council (London) Grants to Artists, 2005

Manx Museum & Manx National Heritage Art Collection, 2002

British Council (Madrid) Travel Grant, 1995

British Council Art Collection (Barcelona) 1993

John Nicholson Travel Grant, (Kellett Robinson Architects Award) 1992


  • Camberwell College of Art, Ph.D. 2000 - 2004
  • Winchester School of Art, MA European Fine Art, 1992 - 93
  • Bradford College, BA Art & Design, 1986 - 91