Title: Dr.
First Name: Jen
Surname: Clarke
Position: Lecturer
Telephone: 01224 263694

Jen is a trained anthropologist and a practicing artist (and sometime curator). Her research combines and explores the borders of art and anthropology.

In terms of teaching at Gray's School of Art, her main duties include lectures, seminars, workshops and assessment for Critical and Contextual Studies (CCS) and she is the Module Coordinator for Stage 1 (2017-).

She is also involved in PhD supervision and in delivering MA teaching.

Duties and Responsibilities

Her main duties include teaching, tutorials and assessment for Critical and Contextual Studies (CCS).

  • Stage 1 Critical and Contextual Studies Coordinator (from 2017)
  • Contribute to Stage 2 and Stage 3 Contextual and Critical Studies Programme
  • Part of PhD Supervision team and will be involved in MA course Programmes

Academic Background

  • 2013-2016 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 'Knowing from the Inside: Art, Anthropology, Architecture and Design', an ERC funded project
  • 2009-2013 PhD. 'Working Between Art and Forestry, Towards an Ecology of Practices' ESRC and FC funded PhD, at the University of Aberdeen, supervised by Tim Ingold and Jo Vergunst.
  • 2008-2009 MRes in Social Anthropology, University of Aberdeen
  • 2005-2007 Masters in Visual Anthropology and Cultural Politics (with First Class Distinction), Goldsmiths College, University of London.
  • 1997-2003 MA (Hons) in Literature, Glasgow University

Research Interests

Her work broadly explores the relationships between research and practice across anthropology, art, and ecological theory/politics.

Current Research

In 2011 a ‘triple disaster’ devastated the Tohoku region of North East Japan – the strongest earthquake since records began, followed by a tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Fukushima. Tens of thousands of people died and almost half a million lost their homes, as hundreds of thousands of buildings were destroyed or collapsed. Since 2014 I have been making work and doing research in relation to this context, through residencies and accreting exhibitions.

Her most recent exhibition 'Palimpsests and Remnants', at The Anatomy Rooms, in May 2017, was curated by Alana Jelinek. It was the sixth and final in a series of public art exhibitions and residencies that have been undertaken in Japan, Taiwan, and Scotland (2014-17), invited responses to, and interventions into, this post-disaster context. She has worked with ikebana (a Japanese tradition of flower arrangement with roots in Zen Buddhism, which can be understood as an 'act of consolation' and remembrance) printmaking and photography, and installation as well as academic writing.

Professional Memberships


External / Professional Roles

  • Honorary Research Fellow, University of Aberdeen
  • Member of Iwate Art Project, Japan


Exhibitions and Residencies Record

  • 2017 - Palimpsests and Remnants. Solo Exhibition at The Anatomy Rooms, Aberdeen, as part of The Unfinishing of Things. Curated by Alana Jelinek. May 2017.
  • 2017 - Shadow Dance Public performance, contemporary dance. Choreographed by Claire Vionnet, May Festival, Duncan Rice Library, University of Aberdeen.
  • 2017- Rooms experiment: a fast installation : an exploration of the Abandoned Anatomy Rooms. Curated by Dr. Liz Hallam. May 2017
  • 2016 - Whiteout Week-long multi-disciplinary residency and performance, City Moves dance studio, Aberdeen, August.
  • 2016 - Butoh workshop, City Moves dance studio, Aberdeen
  • 2015 - 2016 - Art-Anthropology Exhibition, Artist and Curator, Invisible Matters, Artspace, James McKay Hall, University of Aberdeen, Oct 2015-March 2016 (UK) with international artists Kate Thomson (UK) and Hironori Katagiri (Japan). With invited Public Lecture for event with Japanese Consulate.
  • 2015 - Solo Residency and Exhibition Translating Entropy, Gallery Turnaround, Sendai-shi, Japan. Curated by Y. Yamaki and K. Sekimoto.
  • 2015 - Collaborative (2-person) Performance and Exhibition A Taxonomy of Lines (with Architectural theorist Ray Lucas), Gallery Turnaround, Sendai.
  • 2015 - Solo Residency and Exhibition Translating Entropy and The Generation of Inter-personal Intimacy, Taipei National Botanical Gardens, Taiwan. Curated by I-Chern Lai. May 2015
  • 2015 - Art-Anthropology Residency and Exhibition RE:3.11: What can art do? Kenreitei Gallery, Morioka, Japan (with Kate Thomson and Hironori Katagiri). Curated by Hayasako Sachiko, March 2015
  • 2014 - Artist and Curator, Collaborative Interdisciplinary Exhibition, Speculative Ground, Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh (with Kate Foster, Claire Pençak and Rachel Harkness. Secured £3k funding to cover artist rates.
  • 2014 - Curator (with R. Harkness) Speculative Ground: Proposals on Paper, a collection of creative and speculative proposals by various artists exhibited as provocations.
  • 2013 - Curator ‘Creative Work, Creative Lab Echo Chamber. CCA (Centre for Contemporary Art), Glasgow. Collaborating with artists in residence, I led an interdisciplinary theoretical lab, ‘curating conversation’, July 2013
  • 2013 - Curator On Failure with designer Christina Kinnear, part of a project I ran Creativity, Collaboration and Innovation in Scotland, St. Andrew’s House, Edinburgh, July 2013
  • 2014 - Invited speaker, participatory art project ‘Dependence/ Independence/ Interdependence’ at The Field, led by artist Alana Jelinek, Elsenham, Essex.
  • 2014 - Art installation Grounding Systems Multi-media installation, wood cut prints. Arising from investigations into material transformations, lines of transmission, interventions, earth and sky. Inspired by William Blake’s Visions of the Daughters of Albion, and the result of research in the north east of Japan in May and June 2014 (Abacá,Bromion’s Whip According to Swedenborg’s Doctrine of Correspondence; Oothon’s Unknowns; They told me that the night and day was all that I could see)
  • 2013 - Organiser ‘Hospitality Moot’; invited to lead organization of a 3 day event as part of participatory art project The Field, an ongoing project by the artist Alana Jelinek, Elsenham, Essex.
  • 2013 - Workshop Leader ‘Creative Work, Creative Lab Echo Chamber. CCA, Glasgow. Collaborating with artists in residence, I led an interdisciplinary ‘theoretical lab’, curating conversation around the notion of work and labour in the arts.
  • 2011 - Exhibitor CORE (Centre for Research into 'Environmental Dialogues, Creative Measures' digital (photographic) artwork exhibited on the BBC Big Screen, Edinburgh College of Art/ CORE, public art exhibition, June 2011.
  • 2007 - Art-anthropology film Bardo made with Ana Paula de Silva, screened at Goldsmiths and other London venues.

Presentations and Invited Talks - full list

  • June 2017 - Presentation at Conference 'Voicing Experience' at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK: ‘The Shadows of Others: Autoethnography as collective experience’. With Claire Vionnet, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • May 2017 - ‘Palimpsests and Remmants’ Exhibition Talk and interview with artist and Curator Alana Jelinek, about my exhibition, Anatomy Rooms, Aberdeen, as part of the 'Unfinishing of things' events, University of Aberdeen.
  • February 2017 - Paper Presentation ‘Apocalyptic sublimes: material traces of disaster’. Connecting Materialities / Material Connectivities International Symposium at the Center for Advanced Studies (CAS), LMU Munich
  • September 2016- Invited presentation ‘Acts of Deferral: Paraethnography and art in ‘post apocalyptic’ Japan. Research Seminar, Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen.
  • July 2016 - Convenor (with R. Sansi) for the panel ‘Anthropology, the Arts, and New Materialisms’ 14th Biennial Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA16), University of Milano-Bicocca in July 2016.
  • July 2016 - Convenor and Discussant for the panel ‘Encountering Materialities’
  • July 2016 - Convenor (with R. Harkness) ‘Efficiency and Excess’ (conveners Harkness, Clarke), Conference of the Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA16) to be held at the University of Durham, UK, in July 2016. Conference Presentation
  • March 2016 - Public Lecture: ‘Invisible Matters’ University of Aberdeen, 16 March
  • March 2016 - Workshop leader, with artist Alana Jelinek. Devised and led week long series of workshops on Art and Ethics, green wood working, Botanical Gardens, University of Aberdeen, March 1st-4th.
  • February 2016 - Workshop leader with Taiwanese artist I-Chern Lai. Paradise Gardens and Dream Machine, Botanical Gardens, University of Aberdeen, and The Anatomy Rooms Studios
  • January 2016 - Workshop leader Devised and led one day workshop on Graphic Anthropology with graphic artist Mitch Miller, artist and political scientist Heather Lynch, and architectural theorist and anthropologist Ray Lucas.
  • December 2015 - Speaker and Organiser, Learning With Materials: New Perspectives in Anthropology, Education and Design, University of Aarhus, Copenhagen.
  • November 2015 - Invited Talk: On Dreaming with Materials, The Cultural Techniques Research Lab, University of Erfurt, Germany
  • November 2015- Workshop and Seminar on Photography and Anthropology with the Anthropology Society, University of Aberdeen
  • October 2015 - Invited Talk on ‘Culture’ in Aberdeen, by public design company, Snook.
  • August 2015 - Performance/Presentation: Psi: Tohoku: Beyond Contamination
  • November 2014 - Invited Talk, CRASSH, Cambridge, ‘Invisible Matters and Dark Ecologies’
  • May 2014 - Convenor (with R. Harkness) Forging Futures, IUAES2014 inter-congress: the future with/of anthropologies, Chiba, Japan.
  • June 2014 - Conference Presentation ‘Ecological Art as Ethical Praxis’, on the panel when means and ends coincide: beyond utility. ASA Annual Conference.
  • August 2014 - Conference presentation/workshop ‘An ecology of practices: Interventions into land use strategies’ EASA Laboratories, Tallin. (withdrawn)
  • August 2014 - Conference Presentation ‘Anthropology with Art, and ecology of practices’ on the panel Anthropologies of Art, EASA Annual Conference Tallin (withdrawn)
  • August 2013 - Convenor with R. Sansi. Material Traces. Panel of the IUAES World Congress/
  • August 2013 - Conference Paper: Working with art and ecology: Tools, toolkits and the trickeries of naming’ IUAES World Congress, Manchester.
  • June 2013 - Conference Paper RAI Seeing the Wood through the Trees Doing Art and Anthropology in the Forest’ Edinburgh University, Edinburgh.
  • May 2013 - Workshop leader ‘Anthropology's Sideways Glance: the place of the university’, University of Aberdeen. May Festival Workshop; worked with local community using with focus on young people, using drawing and collaborative mapping techniques.
  • July 2012 - Conference Paper: Objective Chance? Making Art in Forests'. EASA Annual Conference, Nanterre University, Paris.
  • June 2012 - 'Critical Pathways in Design Anthropology' Invited Panel Discussant, RAI Annual Conference, 'Anthropology in the World’ British Museum, London.
  • June 2012 - Workshop Leader ESRC Doctoral Training Centre Summer School, University of Edinburgh. Co-curated and facilitated workshop on Creative Practices in Social Science Research.
  • June 2012 - Invited Talk 'Thinking through 'creativity', working through art and forestry', Oxford University Ingold Reading Group, Green Templeton College.
  • October 2011 - Workshop Leader ESRC Festival of Social Science Scotland's Trees: Creativity and Well-Being Connections'. Devised and led workshop, with Scottish government.
  • November 2011 - Conference Paper ‘Moralising Ecological Art’ AAA Conference, Montreal, Canada.
  • October 2011 ‘Working through art and forestry’ invited presentation to curators of Suomen Valokuvataiteen Museo (Finnish Contemporary Photography Museum), Helsinki, Finland.
  • September 2011 - Convenor of panel, 'By Leaves We Live' with R. Harkness, at ASA Annual Conference, Trinity St. David University, Lampeter, Wales.
  • September 2011 - Conference paper: ‘Planning, planting and posters: contested forest restructuring and the role of visualisations in Loch Arklet’ at above ASA.
  • July 2011 - Conference paper' Drawing, as a practice of investigating place'. With Kate Foster. University of Aberdeen.

MA and PhD Research Supervision

Jen is interested in supervising dissertations on a wide range of topics including: socially engaged and participatory art, environmental or ecological art and design, installation art, gender and feminist theory. She has a working practice and interest in the relationships between photography and film, print and drawing, and (more recently) painting, and is open to practice and process led research. As Jen has lived and worked in Japan, Taiwan, and Finland as well as the UK, she has experience and interest in cross-cultural artistic and anthropological practices, as well as the politics and practice of curating, internationally.