Top image credit: Is your tesserae really necessary, 2014. Plywood, timber, plasterboard, paint, speakers (Pt.1) Audio recital (Pt.2) 500 risograph prints (Pt.3) Pt.1: 500 x 565 x 322 cm, Pt.2: 37 mins long, looped, Pt.3: 29.7 x 42 cm each. Installation view, Tramway, Glasgow. Photo: Keith Hunter. Courtesy of the Artists and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow.


Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan

Joanne Tatham (b. 1971, West Yorkshire) lives in London.
Tom O’Sullivan (b. 1967, Norfolk) lives in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan produce interrogative work that questions the roles and behaviours of contemporary art. They achieve this through re-staging and positioning a vocabulary of motifs, phrases and forms drawn from the images, objects and histories of art and visual culture. Motifs such as pyramids, standing stones and cartoon-like animals occur as sculpture, painting and architecture alongside performance, photographs and text. Together these are used to create carefully crafted displacements and diversions that are designed to cajole their audience into a state of discomforting contemplation.

Significant projects include: Are you LOCATIONALIZED, with ATLAS Arts, North Uist and Isle of Skye (2014); Is your tesserae really necessary, Tramway, Glasgow (2014); DOES THE IT STICK, Bloomberg SPACE, London (2014); A tool for the making of signs, Chapter, Cardiff (2012); The indirect exchange of uncertain value, with Collective, Fettes College, Edinburgh (2011); Direct serious action is therefore necessary, CCA, Glasgow (2010); Does your contemplation of the situation fuck with the flow of circulation, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2009); Rhetoric Works & Vanity Works & Other Works, National Collecting Scheme for Scotland with the Contemporary Arts Society commission, Newhailes, Edinburgh (2006).

Tatham and O’Sullivan represented Scotland at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005 as part of the exhibition Selective Memory and in 2013 they were shortlisted for the Northern Art Prize at Leeds Art Gallery. They began working in collaboration whilst undertaking the MFA programme at Glasgow School of Art in the mid 1990s, and their work was first exhibited at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow in 1995.