Glasgow International 2020

Theo Cleary

Theo Cleary (b.1991, Manchester, England) lives and works in Edinburgh.

Cleary is an artist primarily interested in generating endless 2D images of obscure narrative, based on half-forgotten dreams and half-remembered folktales. His compulsive semi-automatic drawings pursue recurring motifs, alternate realities & the collective unconscious in order to present the static slices of an evolving and immersive man-made mythology. Iconoclasm, ideology, gender, sexuality, violence, utopia, submission, power, worship and transformation all bubble beneath the surface.

In addition to figurative and landscape scribbling, Cleary’s work can often include costumes, textile sculptures & effigies in order to bring certain gods and monsters into our world. Noise performance and sound installation sometimes feature to generate temporal and sensory dreamlike atmospheres. The unifying quest to this stream-of-consciousness art is to explore how the body flows through fiction, and on what terms does fantasy meet reality?


Group exhibitions: MELON (Slice One), Edinburgh Art Festival – The Number Shop, Edinburgh (2017); GOULASH (Step Five), Edinburgh Art Festival – The Number Shop, Edinburgh (2016); Tabula Rasa with New Ruins – Bargain Spot, Edinburgh (2016); WORK OUT, Edinburgh Art Festival – The Number Shop, Edinburgh (2015); Primordial Soup, Edinburgh Science Festival- The Number Shop, Edinburgh (2015); Resident Ghosts with Urban Space Epics – MeetFactory, Prague, Czech Republic (2014).

For more information visit:


The Number Shop Studios and Gallery: Natasha Russell, Alessandro Di Massimo, Flo Gordon, Theo Cleary, Fiona Beveridge, Beck Tait, Iain Sommerville, Joe Coghill, Lewis Matheson, Natalie Doyle, Alistair Grant & Amalia Turkieltaub



The twelve artists of The Number Shop present REFRACTION: a sequence of screen-based works that mutate from the starting theme of Binge Watching. Taking the framework of the parlour game Telephone, REFRACTION brings together fields of stop-motion, digital animation, illustration and film in a 24-hour collaborative loop.

Tue 20 April – Tue 15 May
24 hours

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