Fiona Jardine produces texts, presentations, curated exhibitions and publishing projects. She is interested in the way that knowledge is classified, presented and exchanged across the fields of art and design history, philosophy and literature.
Jardine often produces writing that responds creatively to the work of other artists or historical materials. Her text The Pyramid was an experimental fiction that grew out of a residency with Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan at Burghead, Morayshire (2006). Barrie Girls (2013) was a response to images from the archive of Barrie knitwear in Hawick produced as part of a collaborative exhibition with curatorial team Panel, Sophie Dyer and Maeve Redmond.
In 2011 she curated the exhibition Troglodytes for Paisley Museum as part of the Contemporary Art Society centenary projects to team artists with public collections. Troglodytes connected nineteenth-century paintings to twentieth-century studio ceramics by exploring the idea of aesthetic and biological ‘kinship’ through the role of criminology in the design theory of modernist architects and theorists like Adolf Loos and Le Corbusier. Her project Five Foot Shelf for Collective in 2012 responded to an artists’ exchange project linking Beijing, Istanbul and Edinburgh. It drew comparisons between the exchange of knowledge and international trade.
The presentation Spark for Artists took its cue from the role of art and artists in the novels of Muriel Spark and from the late philosopher Arthur Danto’s borrowing of a fictional text mentioned in one of Spark’s works. The title of Danto’s 1981 book The Transfiguration of the Commonplace: A Philosophy of Art refers to a religious tract being written by the character Sandy/Sister Helena in Spark’s most famous novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961).
A new commission, Let the Day Perish, will be presented at Hospitalfield, Arbroath in 2014. It describes a journey, its detours and coincidences, around and between the churches of Guthrie and Fowlis Easter, which sit some 15 miles apart in Angus. It is a poetic speculation that draws in layers of fiction, myth and history and an investigation into the lure of ancient artefacts, an enquiry into the possibilities of discovery and a portrait of the area. The project revisits themes, places and working methods used in The Pyramid and is scored in collaboration with the artist Sue Tompkins.