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About Dr Cian Quayle

Cian originally studied painting and printmaking and later turned his attention to photography as a result of his interest in finding and collecting images and objects, and how they are reproduced and reconfigured as artworks. Following completion of a practice-based PhD in 2005 he curated Transmission (2007). This was a select exhibition of the first tranche of artist researchers emerging from the newly formed University of the Arts London at the Arts Gallery in Davies Street.

At Chester Cian has led initiatives for exhibition, collaboration and publication, which contributed to the development of CASC (Contemporary Art Space Chester). Cian continues to support and mentor research within the Department of Art and Design and sits on the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Ethics Committee.


Cian’s teaching philosophy is rooted in lived-experience and embodied practice, which draws on the personal narratives and ways in which photography can both document and re-imagine encounters with people, places and objects. A meeting of practice, theory and context guides the development of critically reflective and independent practice using both analogue and digital formats. The moving image and photobook are also fundamental aspects of the history and contemporary practice of photography.

Photography’s relationship with other forms of visual representation including painting, sculpture, video, performance and cinema also demonstrates the wider significance of photography’s specificity as a medium. The impact of new (social) media in both its physical and immaterial form is also changing the way we experience and understand photography. Cian has been able to introduce a diverse range of practitioners, curators and writers to Chester including Markéta Luskačová, John Stezaker, Sian Bonnell, Jimmie Durham, Clive Philpot, David Bate, Anthony Luvera, Michael Hoppen, McCoy/Wynne, Craig Easton and Tom Wood. Cian has also collaborated with Tom Wood leading to exhibitions and photobooks of the DPA Work (Documentary Photography Archive).


Quayle’s research investigates ideas of place, concepts of home, and the trajectories, spaces and encounters, which index or trace the movement between one place and another. The way that artist journeys and travel activate these connections provides the basis for strategies and practices, which adopt autobiographical and layered narratives related to wider identities and exile cultures.

An eclectic array of step off points includes responses to the cinema of Michelangelo Antonioni, Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx, Fletcher Christian and the Bounty Mutineers as well as other artists and writers legacies. Cian’s formative research examined the work of artists in America using photography as a Photoconceptual and performative document including Ed Ruscha, Douglas Huebler and Bas jan Ader, and the work of artists in Europe collecting and transforming found objects and materials including Jimmie Durham, Gustav Metzger and Kurt Schwitters.

Recent projects and writing have followed in the footsteps of Dada artist Kurt Schwitters’ internment and exile, and Wirral born author Malcolm Lowry’s relationship with the sea: the Isle of Man, Vancouver and Liverpool, which he described as ‘that terrible city whose main street is the ocean.’  Clochán is a recent project which explores the landscape of Ireland and its sites of pilgrimage and shelter, boundaries and borders. Sites of the Habitus and the Filmic investigates dwelling, retail, work, and leisure, in relation to the cinematic space of the city and the contested space of the contemporary landscape.

Published Work

Solo & Group Exhibitions

Quayle. C. (2019) Clochán. Look 19 Liverpool International Photography Festival (Parallel Programme). Birkenhead: Dark Side Lab with Oliver Eglin & Tristan Poyser. Exhibition press:

Quayle, C. (2018) Cian Quayle – Detours and Dislocations – In the Footsteps of Malcolm Lowry (Liverpool Independents/Liverpool Biennial). Birkenhead: Williamson Art Gallery & Museum. Exhibiton review by Laura Robertson:

Quayle, C. (2015) Points of Departure. Isle of Man: Sayle Gallery Chester Rep:

Quayle, C. (2013) Points of Departure. Chester: Grosvenor Museum & Art Gallery Exhibition review by Stephen Clarke:

Quayle, C. (2010) BA Fine Art & Photography and University of Chester, Art & Design Staff Exhibition) Manchester: CUBE, (Curated by Cian Quayle & Jeremy Turner in conjunction with 4 Degrees North West Region,  Art & Design, University and Colleges final year exhibitions.

Quayle, C. (2009) Under the Volcano – An Exhibition for Malcolm 1909 - 1957. (Group exhbn. curated by Bryan Biggs featuring ‘The Journey that Never Ends’. Liverpool: the Bluecoat. Guardian newspaper preview: Reviewed by Colin Dilnot: 

Quayle, C. (curated 2009) The Art of Appropriation & Kurt Schwitters in England. Chester: University of Chester. Group exhbn. featuring artworks by John Stezaker and Michael Sandle  alongside artists and contributors also taking part in the international conference of the same title:

Quayle, C. (2009) Encounter. Liverpool: NOVAS Contemporary Urban Centre. Group exhibition featuring artworks by University of Chester, Department of Fine Art staff. 

Quayle, C. (2009) This Will Kill That. Antwerp: Dagmar de Pooter Gallery.

Quayle, C. (2009) This Was Now – The Russell Herron Collection. London: Sartorial Contemporary Art.

Quayle, C. (2008) Interzone. Antwerp: Dagmar de Pooter Gallery, Antwerp.

Quayle, C. (2009) Plaisir d’Offrir. Antwerp: Dagmar de Pooter Gallery.

Quayle, C. (2008) Mothers (Group exhbn. curated by Harry Pye). London:  Sartorial Contemporary Art. Exhibition catalogue available on request.

Quayle, C. (curated 2007) Transmission (Group Exhbn. featuring 2, lightbox and transparency photographs & 14, c-type photographs). London: The Arts Gallery, University of the Arts London. Co-exhibiting with Rob Flint, Verena Gfader, Ruth MaClennan & Uriel Orlow and Maria Morera. Exhibition catalogue available on request: ISBN978-1-905929-42-9

Quayle C. (2007) Repeat Repeat (Group exhbn.). Chester: University of Chester. Exhibition & catalogue ISBN 978-1-905929-21-4; Project manager: Chara Lewis, Editor: David Pattie & Elisa Oliver.

Quayle, C. (2006) A Que Nos Cerca (Group exhbn). Antwerp: Dagmar de Pooter Gallery.

Quayle, C. (2005) Photographic Readymades and Other Found Objects. Antwerp: Dagmar de Pooter Gallery. Reviewed by Anne Marie Poels, Photographic Readymades and Other Found Objects - Cian Quayle. Zone 3, p.42, April 12.

Quayle, C. (2005) Silent Film (with Richard Elliot). London: Camberwell College of Arts Foyer Gallery

Quayle, C. (2005) Night on Earth (Group Exhbn. curated by Mat Humphrey and Harry Pye). London: Oh - Art Gallery, Oxford House. 3, Gelatin-silver photographs and a short story by Susie Alegre.

Quayle, C. (2005) Good Morning Herr Schwitters, Guten Abend Mr Ruskin. (Group Exhbn. curated by Jill Rock and Adam Nankervis). Coniston: Brantwood.

Quayle, C. (2004). Cian Quayle and Reg Quayle. Isle of Man: Courtyard Gallery.  Reviewed by Liz Corlett, Return of the Natives in Manx Tails, p.53.

Quayle, C. (2004) Research Project (PhD Installation Viva Voce Exhibition) London: Camberwell College of Arts.

Quayle, C. (2004) First Assembly (Group exhbn. curated by Mat Humphrey and Zanna). London: The Ragged School.

Quayle, C. (2004) Mothers. London: Oh! Art Centre, Oxford House. Featured on Woman’s Hour, Radio 4, March 19th 2004. Reviewed by Jessica Lack, Guardian Guide, May 13 - 19, 2004. Exhibition catalogue available upon request.

Quayle, C. (2003) Wild Boar. London: The Red Lion.

Quayle, C (2003) ‘Mnemonic Surfaces’ in Digital Responses. London: Victoria & Albert Museum (Curated by Paul Coldwell & Barbara Rauch).CD ROM: ISBN 1 85177 414 9

Quayle, C. (2003) Return Ticket: A site-specific installation of 20, 6 x 8 feet photographs. Isle of Man: Boundary Wall of the Derby Castle Depot, Douglas. Exhibition catalogue available on request (ISBN 0901 106445).

Quayle, C. (2002) Techniken des Vorueberziehens (‘Gasthof Koreth, Innsbruck, 2002’. Lightbox and transparency). Innsbrück: Fotoforum West (Group exhbn. curated by Verina Gfader also featuring Juan Cruz, Nils Norman, Verina Gfader).

Quayle, C. (2002) I Love Art ((Group exhbn. curated by University of Portsmouth MA Fine Art students featuring ‘The Manx Arms’, 1998 ongoing). London: Cubitt Gallery.

Quayle, C. (2002) Interrogating the Surface. London Institute Gallery, Millbank. Exhibition catalogue [CD ROM] (1870540182).

Quayle, C. (2001) Settings.  Medway Galleries: Rochester Art Gallery. Curated by Liz Kent  with Maria Mencia and Barbara Rauch.

Quayle, C. (2001) motor : show. London: Proof Multiples. Reviewed by Stephen Bury Motor : Show. Art Monthly, Issue 247, June, 39 - 41; and Dominic Lutyens: Living Proof. Observer, July 29, 53 - 54. Exhibition catalogue available upon request. The Observer newspaper review: Exhibition Review by Stephen Bury:

Quayle, C. (2000) Shop Tactics: Christmas in Soho (Group exhbn. curated by Mat Humphrey). London: Shop Tactics.

Quayle, C. (1999) X-Hibit (Group exhbn.). London: The Arts Gallery, University of the Arts Gallery Davies Street), London.

Quayle, C. (1997) This is This (Site-specific, 35 mm slide projection). Isle of Man: Braust Farm (Andreas) with Carolla Colley, Ed Morrey, Kate Shakespeare and Peter Thorn.

Quayle, C. (1996) Eraser-Ed. Belgium (Niel): Beeld Fotografiecollectief.

Quayle, C. (1995) Relocations. Antwerp: Dagmar de Pooter Gallery.

Quayle, C. (1994) CNW 94. Clwyd/North West Young Professionals (Group exhbn. curated by Steve Brake touring to galleries in UK and Spain). Exhibition publication available upon request.

Quayle, C. (1994) Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (‘Lift to the Scaffold’, 1993. Triptych of etchings). London: Royal Academy.

Quayle, C. (1993) Recent Prints. Barcelona: British Council in conjunction with the Festival de Musica Celta. Catalogue available upon request.

Quayle, C. (curated 1993) MA European Fine Art, Winchester School of Art MA European Fine Art Interim Exhibition: Barcelona: British Council.

Quayle, C. (1991) Paintings and Prints. Douglas, Isle of Man: AIM (Arts In Mann) Gallery.

Curated Projects and Events

Tom Wood – DPA Work: Photographs of Rainhill Hospital and Cammell Laird Shipyard (2013) Chester: CASC (Contemporary Art Space Chester) University of Chester, April 25 - May 26. In Conjunction with Look 13 Liverpool International Photography Festival.

Reg Quayle – Five Easy Pieces – A Retrospective (2014) Isle of Man: House of Manannan (Manx Museum & Manx National Heritage), October 6 - March 2.

Paul Jeff vs Moonwiring Club (2011) Cian Quayle and Guy Mayman (eds.). University of Chester Performance Space (Kingsway Campus), April 7.  Exhibition pamphlet available on request.

Art & Design Staff Portfolio Edition (2009). Cian Quayle & Mireille Fauchon (eds.) University of Chester. Editioned boxed multiple (available upon request)

The Art of Appropriation & Kurt Schwitters in England, Authenticity – Reproduction – Simulation (2009). University of Chester, An international exhibition featuring artworks by  internationally acclaimed artists John Stezaker and Michael Sandle alongside artists and contributors also taking part in the international conference of the same title

Transmission: An Exhibition of Video, Photography, Sound, Text, Performance, Sculpture (2007). Exhibition of PhD research graduates: Rob Flint, Gulsen Bal, Maria Moreira, Verina Gfader, Uriel Orlow & Ruth Maclennan). London: The Arts Gallery, University of the Arts/University of Chester. ISBN 978-1-905929-42-9

Writing inc. Book Chapters & Journal Articles

Quayle, C. (2021) Tom Wood – The DPA Work. In: C. Quayle (ed.). Tom Wood – The DPA Work: Photographs of Rainhill Hospital and Cammell Laird Shipyard. Göttingen: Steidl (forthcoming) Chester Rep:

Quayle, C. (2020) Kurt Schwitters in Isolation – An Aesthetics of Resistance. Sch… the Journal of the Kurt Schwitters Society. (8) 49 - 75 Chester Rep:

Quayle, C. (2020) Walking with Shadows – Index, Inscription and Event. In: H.Tookey and B.Biggs  (eds.). Remaking the Voyage – New Essays on Malcolm Lowry and In Ballast to the White Sea. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. Chester Rep: Open Access:

Quayle, C. (2018) Tom Wood – The DPA Work. In: C. Quayle (ed.). Tom Wood – The DPA Work: Photographs of Rainhill Hospital and Cammell Laird Shipyard. Göttingen: Steidl (forthcoming)

Quayle, C. (2018) Grit in the Oyster and Ideas Never Completed. In: Peter Boughton (ed.). Michael Sandle – Monumental Rage. Chester: Cheshire West & Cheshire Council. Chester Rep:

Quayle, C. (2015) From San Diego to St Helens – Stephen Clarke’s End of Season. [Online]. The Double Negative. Exhibition review of Stephen Clarke – End of Season, Grosvenor Museum & Art Gallery. Available from:

Quayle, C. (2015) Merz North Seminar 3, 28 October, 2015. The Kurt Schwitters Society Newsletter (Nov.) 17 - 23. ISSN 20561 – 9648 Chester Rep:

Quayle, C. (2014) Kurt Schwitters - Island of No Return. The Kurt Schwitters Society Newsletter. (Feb.) Essay review of the exhibition Responses to Place (Curated by Fran Lloyd) Sayle Gallery, Douglas Isle of Man.  ISSN 20561 - 9648. Chester Rep: BBC coverage:

Quayle, C. (2011) An Afterword: The Art of Appropriation and Kurt Schwitters in England - Expert Pracioners (sic). [Online]. Critical Dictionary, Issue 24 (3,017 words). Referenced here:

Quayle, C. (2009) Elliptical Journeys: Malcolm Lowry, Exile and Return. In: B. Biggs and H. Tookey (eds.) From the Mersey to the World. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press & the Bluecoat, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press & the Bluecoat Gallery, 40 - 50. Additional illustrations 116 & 123. Book review:

Quayle, C. (2007) Instants of Fragmentation and Repetition – Reprise. In: D. Pattie and E. Oliver (eds.). Repeat Repeat – Negotiated Positions. Chester: University of Chester, unpaginated. ISBN 978-1-905929-21-4.

Quayle, C. (2007) Bad Carpentry and Other Wilful Misdemeanours. Visual Communication, 6 (2), pp. 234 - 239. Exhibition review of Jimmie Durham, Building a Nation, Matts Gallery, London.

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

Quayle, C. (2002) At Home and Away. Source, Issue 31, Summer, 52 - 53.

Quayle, C. (2002) Medium Specificity and Photography in the Digital Age. In: Paul Coldwell and Barbara Rauch (eds.) Interrogating the Surface. [CD-ROM]. The Integration of Computers in Fine Art Practice: London, Camberwell College of Arts. ISBN 978-1851774142.

Quayle, C. (1999) Box 1999: Portfolio of 10 artists, curated by Barbara Rauch, London, The Integration of Computers within Fine Art Practice, Camberwell College of Arts and Chelsea College of Art & Design.

Conference Papers, Lectures, Artist Talks (inc. Broadcasts)

Quayle, Cian (2020) Detours and Dislocations – In the Footsteps of Malcolm Lowry. October 20, Lunchtime Lectures, Storyhouse, Chester.

Quayle, Cian (2018) The Places of Malcolm Lowry and Kurt Schwitters. March 15, Oxford University, Department of Art History, Photography Seminar.

Quayle, C. (2018) Malcolm Lowry –  Detours and Dislocation: Douglas and Dollarton  –  Proposals for Artworks. Paper presented in Under the Volcano, 70 Years On: An International Malcolm Lowry Conference. Liverpool: Liverpool John Moores University & the Bluecoat, Gallery Liverpool, July 28 - 29, unpublished Chester Rep:

Quayle, C. (2017) The Aesthetics of Distance – Home and Away or Somewhere Else. Paper presented at Visualising the Home (Architecture as Representations of Home). Carlisle:  Institute of the Arts, University of Cumbria, July 13 – 14, unpublished

Quayle, C. (2017) Kurt Schwitters – In Absentia...; Paper presented at Merz North 4,University of York, March 22, unpublished

Quayle, C. (2016) Kurt Schwitters and Photography - Albums and Sketchbooks Family Art Travel. Paper presented at Kurt Schwitters and Norway – Kurt Schwitters Today, Romsdals  Museet and Hennie Onstad Kunssenter. Molde & Oslo, June 30 - July 1, unpublished

Quayle, C. (2016) Sunday Opinion. Malcolm Lowry’s Elephant and Colosseum: A Manx Radio Discussion. Roger Watterson with Jane Killey, Cian Quayle and Doug Sandle [radio broadcast] Manx Radio. 9 October. In conjunction with Manx Lit Fest (Sept 27 - Oct 2)

Quayle, C. (2015) Building a Research-based Pedagogy for Photographic Practice and Teaching. Paper presented at Teaching and Learning Good Practice Exchange, University of Chester (Kingsway Campus), June 30, unpublished

Quayle, C. (2015) Kurt Schwitters in England Reprise & the AHRC Merz Barn Proposal. Paper presented at Merz North 3, University of Cumbria, October 28, unpublished

Quayle, C. (2013) Here Comes the Ocean – Bas jan Ader’s Romantic Conceptualism. Paper presented at Oceans, Landscape and the Lens, National Maritime Museum, London, February 3, unpublished

Quayle, C. (2011) The Vernacular Architecture and Psychogeography of a Victorian Seaside Resort: Douglas, Isle of Man. Paper presented at New Light on Vernacular Architecture in Britain, Ireland and the Isle of Man, Centre for Manx Studies and Liverpool University, Manx Museum, Douglas, Isle of Man, June 22 - 26, unpublished

Quayle, C. (2011) A Means to an End – Stephen Shore and Daido Moriyama. Paper presented at (David Campany & David Bate convened) Exhibiting Photography, University of Westminster, April 9 - 10, unpublished

Quayle, C. (2011) Kurt Schwitters: Manxmerz. Paper presented at (Ian Hunter & Celia Larner convened) Merzman: Kurt Schwitters in the North of England and Isle of Man, Mechanics  Institute, Manchester, March 5. Radio 4 broadcast:

Quayle, Cian (2010) Malcolm Lowry and The Isle of Man. February 25, Centre for Manx Studies, Seminar Series, School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, Liverpool  University/Centre for Manx Studies, Isle of Man.

Quayle, Cian (2009) Lowry, the Isle of Man & the Day of the Dead. November 3, Under the Volcano – Artist Talks with Pete Flowers, the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool. 

Quayle, Cian (2009) Liverpool Network Meeting: Cian Quayle. September 10, Redeye  Network Forum, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool.

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

Quayle, C. (2008) Introduction to New Study of German Artists and Writers Interned on the Isle of Man During WWII (1940 - 43). Paper presented at (Ian Hunter & Celia Larner  Convened), KS08: Kurt Schwitters & Walter Benjamin (Kurt Schwitters HerbstschüleAutumn  School), October 3 - 5, unpublished:

Quayle, C. (2008) Michelangelo Antonioni and The Death of Time. Paper presented at Italian Contemporary Cinema – Old and New Tendencies, University of Manchester, School of  Languages, Linguistics and Culture, June 12 – 14, unpublished

Quayle, C. (2004) Kurt Schwitters Aesthetics of Resistance. Paper presented at Littoral Arts Trust, Kurt Schwitters in England, Tate Britain, London, July 11, unpublished

Quayle, Cian (2004) Mnemonic Surfaces. Image Forum (Convened by Jon Kear),  Department of History and Theory of Art, University of Kent, Canterbury.

Quayle, C. (2004) Bas Jan Ader’s Shadowplay. Paper presented at The City and the Sea, University College London/Princeton University, Senate House, University College London,  October 6, unpublished

Quayle, C. (2001) Kurt Schwitters: The Semiotics of Decay. Paper presented at Semiotic Concepts for Practice-based Research (covened by Theo van Leeuwen), Camberwell College  of Arts (Wilson Road Annexe), London, March 6, unpublished

Quayle, C. (2000) Inventory for a Reverse Journey. Paper presented at (Breesha Maddrell convened) Islands: Dream and Reality, Centre for Manx Studies, Manx Museum, Isle of Man,  June 29, unpublished

Quayle, C. (1999) Identity & Dislocation. Paper presented at (Theo van Leeuwen & Gunther Kress convened) Researchers and Colloquium Visitors from Sweden and London Institute  and Institute of Education Ph.D. Researchers Institute of Education, London, May 14,  unpublished


2005 PhD University of the Arts London (Camberwell College of Arts)

Quayle, Cian (2005) Inventory for a Reverse Journey – Photographic Image and Found Object. PhD, University of the Arts London:

  • 1993 MA European Fine Art, Winchester School of Art
  • 1991 BA Art & Design, Bradford College
  • 1986 Art Foundation Diploma, Isle of Man College of Further Education