Title: Dr
First Name: Jonathan
Surname: Blackwood
Position: Lecturer, Critical & Contextual Studies
Telephone: +44 (0) 1224 263692
Linkedin: LinkedIn Icon

Lecturer in Critical and Contextual Studies and teaches in the final year studio in Contemporary Art Practice. An active curator and researcher

Duties and Responsibilities

Co-ordinates modules in CCS at second and third year levels, as well as supervising dissertations both at undergraduate and Masters level. Leads on the MA Curatorial Studies route. Has previously supervised two Ph.Ds to completion.

Academic Background

  • MA (Hons.) St. Andrews (1995); MA (Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, 1996);
  • Ph. D (Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, 2000).
  • I taught art history previously at the University of Glamorgan (2001-4) and was Head of History & Theory of Art at DJCAD, University of Dundee, 2004-11.

Research Interests

  • Contemporary Art
  • Art in the former Yugoslavia
  • Cultural Ecology
  • Peripherality
  • Contemporary Art and Politics
  • Contemporary Art and National Identity
  • Performance Art
  • Sound Art

Current Research

Research follows two paths; academic research into contemporary art and politics, and work as an active curator.

Since joining Gray’s in summer 2014, has published books on contemporary art in Bosnia (2015), Macedonia (2016), and has further publications on the Western Balkan region due before the end of the year.

Main interests are in cultural ecology, contemporary art and politics, peripherality and national identities.

Particular expertise in performance, installation, collectives and curatorship. Welcomes expressions of interest in Ph.D study in any of these areas. Also has an emerging interest in sound art. 

Curated exhibitions in Cetinje, Sarajevo and Zagreb (2014), and two in 2017 in Edinburgh at Summerhall. 

Research also grows out of teaching activities. Has led class trips to Skopje (2015), Vienna (2016) and Tallinn (2017) and in each visit new research opportunities and projects have been developed. 


Previous funding by the AHRB, the British Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities in Scotland.

External / Professional Roles

Regular visiting lecturer at the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh.


Blackwood, J (2018-forthcoming), “Censoring Contemporary Art in Macedonia” in Riann Coulter and Roisin Kennedy (eds.), Contemporary Art and Censorship, London : IB Tauris

Blackwood, J (2017-forthcoming), A Macedonian Modernist: Borko Lazeski 1917-93, Skopje: radnik (e-book)

Blackwood, J (2017-forthcoming), Captured State: New Art from Macedonia, Edinburgh : Summerhall

Blackwood, J (2017), Archipelago: new work by three Scottish artists, Edinburgh : Summerhall.

Blackwood, J, (2016) Critical Art in Contemporary Macedonia, Skopje: mala galerija.

Blackwood, J (2015), An Introduction to Contemporary Art in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo: duplex100m2

Blackwood, J (2011), The Sculpture of John Skeaping, London: Lund Humphries.

Blackwood, J (2004), Portrait of a Young Scotsman: A Life of Edward Baird 1904-49, London: Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation

Media Coverage

Talking about the exhibition “Archipelago” on Summerhall TV: 

Review of Archipelago show by Duncan MacMillan in The Scotsman, 10 Feb 2017: 

Carnegie Trust coverage of Critical Art in Contemporary Macedonia: