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Professor

Michael Tooby

2

Personal statement

Mike Tooby is an independent curator and researcher based in Cardiff, Wales.

Mike is Professor of Art and Design at Bath School of Art and Design, Bath Spa University. Mike is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, for 2014-15.

His particular interests lie in integrating the practices which are often separated in curating in the arts and heritage settings: display, promotion, participation and learning. He has been actively involved in developing participation and learning as a curatorial concept and practice since the 1980s. His own practice centres on curating in collaborative or site-specific contexts, where negotiating and celebrating relationships with audiences are at the core of projects.

Previously Mike was Director, National Museum and Gallery, (2000 - 2003) and, Director of Learning, Programmes and Development (2003-11), for Amgueddfa Cymru. National Museum Wales.

His projects there included: a 6.5m refurbishment and redisplay of the art galleries and archaeology collections; a complete refurbishment of learning spaces at the National Museum Cardiff; and the Oriel Un gallery project at St Fagans National History Museum. All these projects embedded facilities for learners within them for the first time. He also oversaw the development of programmes for young people and older people in contexts outside the museum, working collaboratively with community and national organisations.

Between 2002 and 2011 he developed an extensive programme of collaborative projects in galleries, museums and community projects and settings in Wales. He also led the creation and co-management of the touring exhibition Turner to Czanne: Masterpieces from the Davies Collection. This was shown at five venues in the USA in 2010 and 2011. Its tour saw three venues record their highest-ever attendance for an exhibition.

He chaired the steering group for the first Wales Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2003, and was on the steering group for the 2005 Biennale. In 2006 he was a selector for the Arddangosfa Celf a Crefft, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol (National Eisteddfod Art and Craft Pavillion). He continues to serve on the Arts Council Wales' committee for Wales at Venice.

In his early career Mike worked as a curator in Cambridge, Glasgow and Sheffield. Before joining Amgueddfa Cymru, he was founding curator of Tate St Ives from 1992 to 2000 .

At Tate St Ives he was responsible for commissioning the new building, establishing the local staff, programme and audience initiatives and outreach. He was series editor of the St Ives series for Tate Publishing, as well as a variety of other publications. He took part in a variety of collaborative projects, including co-curating the 1997 project A Quality of Light, and being in the steering group for the 1999 follow-up As Dark As Light. <\ br><\ br>He was chair of engage, the organisation for learning and engagement in visual arts, from 1999 to 2004. He has been a board member of South West Arts; an advisor to Arts Council England; and has taught at art colleges and universities throughout the world. He is active in professional mentoring and is frequently called upon to facilitate a range of development and learning initiatives. He is currently a national advisor to Arts Council Wales. He was a member of AHRCs Museums and Galleries Committee, and has served on a number of AHRC award panels

Throughout his career Mike has been involved in commissioning new work in dance and music as part of a inter-disciplinary approach. In Sheffield he worked on a number of projects involving dance and music commissions, developing this work at Tate St Ives. He re-introduced music programmes to the National Museum in 2001. These embraced chamber music, rock and pop and new music, and were closely linked to initiatives for adult and younger learners.

He spent two decades working on early Canadian modernist painting, and has lectured, published and guest curated exhibitions in the UK and Canada on this subject. He has also brought to the UK projects and exhibitions from Ireland, the United States, France, Portugal, the Republic of Georgia, and Flanders, Belgium.

Since leaving Amgueddfa Cymru in 2011 he has developed a diverse portfolio of projects. He was vice chair of Hineni, a HLF funded community history project involving the Reform Judaism synagogue in in Cardiff. He advised the EU Interreg programme network called toolquiz on a transfer report on Norwegian models for participation in the arts by young people in and outside schools.

He collaborated with artist Lois Williams in curating 'Arcady' for the artist-led initiative goat major projects in Cardiff, Following the presentation in the community festival in Cardiff 'Made in Roath' of his work 'Kelvin Road Mantelpiece' in 2011 and was invited to return to make a new work called 'The Museum of Amazing Coincidences' for 2012. His collaborative performance work 'At the Mad Shepherdess' was presented in the Bar at Chapter Cardiff as part of the 2013 Diffusion international festival of lens based media.

He was one of the curatorial group for Colm Cilles Spiral, a project for Derry / Londonderry City of Culture 2013. This project generated new work by artists Richard Higlett and Beth Lewis working, shown in Derry-Londonderry in December 2013 as part of 'The Fold', a creative convention at Verbal Arts Centre and London Road Gallery.

Mike has a long standing interest in the curating of ceramics. His most recent publications on this subject are in two academic online sites : an essay on Simon Fujiwara, 'When forms become attitude : A consideration of the adoption by an artist of ceramic display as narrative device and symbolic landscape' for the AHRC funded project 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum : Ceramics in the Expanded Field' (University of Westminster); and 'Order and Disorder : Some relationships between ceramics, sculpture and museum taxonomies' in the online journal Interpreting Ceramics, Issue 14, 2012.

In 2013 Mike guest curated 'William Scott : Simplicity and Subject' for Victoria Art Gallery, Bath and. He spoke at a public seminar on Scott at Ulster Museum Belfast in November 2013.

His future projects include 'A Journey to The Waste Land' , a collaborative project being devised with Turner Contemporary Margate and planned for spring 2017.

Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Imagining a university: fifty years of the University of Warwick Art collection
book

Tooby, M and Shalgosky, S, eds. (2015) Imagining a university: fifty years of the University of Warwick Art collection. University of Warwick, Warwick. ISBN 9780957040472


Julian Stair: Quietus reviewed. Archaeology of an exhibition
book

Stair, J and Tooby, M (2014) Julian Stair: Quietus reviewed. Archaeology of an exhibition. Wunderkammer Press, Bath. ISBN 9780956646293


Trevor Bell: Heatscape, the Florida six, Still: the new paintings
book

Tooby, M (2005) Trevor Bell: Heatscape, the Florida six, Still: the new paintings. Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth. ISBN 9780905173757


Colour in space: Patrick Heron: public projects
book

Tooby, M and Feary, J (1999) Colour in space: Patrick Heron: public projects. Tate Gallery St Ives, St Ives. ISBN 9781854372970


Modern home: an intervention by Edmund de Waal at High Cross House
book

Tooby, M and de Waal, E (1999) Modern home: an intervention by Edmund de Waal at High Cross House. Dartington Hall. ISBN 9780902386181


From the interior : selected sculptures 1981-1995 = O'r canol : cerflunia dethol 1981-1995
book

Tooby, M, Daniel, S and Barlow, M (1995) From the interior : selected sculptures 1981-1995 = O'r canol : cerflunia dethol 1981-1995. Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno. ISBN 9780906860298


Tate Gallery St Ives: the building
book

Tooby, M and Shalev, D (1995) Tate Gallery St Ives: the building. Tate Publishing, London. ISBN 9781854371614


Tate Gallery St. Ives, Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden : an illustrated companion
book

Tooby, M (1993) Tate Gallery St. Ives, Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden : an illustrated companion. Tate Gallery Publications, London. ISBN 9781854371188


When forms become attitude: a consideration of the adoption by an artist of ceramic display as narrative device and symbolic landscape
book_section

Tooby, M (2017) 'When forms become attitude: a consideration of the adoption by an artist of ceramic display as narrative device and symbolic landscape.' In: Petrie, K and Livingstone, A, eds. The ceramics reader. Bloomsbury, London, pp. 517-522. ISBN 9781472584427


Veronica Ryan
book_section

Tooby, M (2015) 'Veronica Ryan.' In: Making it: sculpture in Britain 1977–1986. Hayward Publishing. ISBN 9781853323294


Do not call it fixity
book_section

Tooby, M (2015) 'Do not call it fixity.' In: James Hugonin: binary rhythm: paintings 2010-2015. Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, pp. 7-37. ISBN 9780993155130


Many-roomed mansion to theatre of memories: thoughts on artists and museums
book_section

Tooby, M (2014) 'Many-roomed mansion to theatre of memories: thoughts on artists and museums.' In: Nicol, G, ed. Inspired by: your guide to art and the museum. Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, pp. 54-57. ISBN 9780993014208


Simplicity and subject
book_section

Tooby, M (2013) 'Simplicity and subject.' In: William Scott: simplicity and subject. Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bath, pp. 14-23.


Look closely
book_section

Tooby, M (2012) 'Look closely.' In: Kurt Jackson: A New Genre of Landscape Painting. Lund Humphries. ISBN 9781848221024


Rachel Nicholson: critical view
book_section

Tooby, M (2010) 'Rachel Nicholson: critical view.' In: Wilkinson, A, ed. Rachel Nicholson. Sansom & Company, Bristol. ISBN 9781906593469


The master printer
book_section

Tooby, M (2008) 'The master printer.' In: Hughes, S, Clark, M and Fitch, A, eds. Hugh Stoneman: master printer. Tate Publishing, London, pp. 14-24. ISBN 9781854378118


St Ives - is it worth saving?
book_section

Tooby, M (2007) 'St Ives - is it worth saving?' In: The St Ives school 1997-2007. Howard Gardens Gallery, Cardiff, pp. 7-12. ISBN 9780955477805


Where does the museum end?
book_section

Tooby, M (2006) 'Where does the museum end?' In: Lang, C, Reeve, J and Woollard, V, eds. The responsive museum : working with audiences in the twenty-first century. Ashgate Publishing Limited, pp. 137-150. ISBN 9780754645603


Trevor Bell
book_section

Tooby, M (2003) 'Trevor Bell.' In: Trevor Bell: a British painter in America. Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts. ISBN 9781889282145


Towards a study of Terry Setch
book_section

Tooby, M (2001) 'Towards a study of Terry Setch.' In: Tooby, M and Holman, M, eds. Terry Setch: a retrospective. Howard Gardens Gallery, pp. 9-33. ISBN 9780951577790


Light the blue touch paper
book_section

Tooby, M (2000) 'Light the blue touch paper.' In: Gage, J and Tooby, M, eds. Blue: borrowed and new. The New Art Gallery, Walsall, pp. 10-12. ISBN 9780946652525


Iwan Bala
book_section

Tooby, M (2000) 'Iwan Bala.' In: Offerings and reinventions. Seren. ISBN 9781854112804


A working environment
book_section

Tooby, M (2000) 'A working environment.' In: David Nash: chwarel goed = wood quarry. Centre for Visual Arts, Cardiff. ISBN 9781903212042


The same subject: sources and origins
book_section

Tooby, M (1998) 'The same subject: sources and origins.' In: Morley, S and Tooby, M, eds. William Scott: paintings and drawings. Merrell Publishers Ltd.


Peter Randall-Page
book_section

Tooby, M (1998) 'Peter Randall-Page.' In: Whistling in the dark : Peter Randall-Page, drawings and prints 1983-98. Tivoli Gallery, Ljubljana.


Interpreting and learning
article

Tooby, M (2014) 'Interpreting and learning.' Engage (35). pp. 34-40. ISSN 1365-9383


Order and disorder: Some relationships between ceramics, sculpture and museum taxonomies
article

Tooby, M (2012) 'Order and disorder: Some relationships between ceramics, sculpture and museum taxonomies.' Interpreting Ceramics, 14. ISSN 1471-146X


Home and away: collections abroad
article

Tooby, M (2011) 'Home and away: collections abroad.' Engage, 28.


More than skin deep: the new Art Gallery of Ontario
article

Tooby, M (2009) 'More than skin deep: the new Art Gallery of Ontario.' Museum Practice, 45. pp. 18-23. ISSN 1359-771X


St Ives and Cardiff: two experiences of cultural tourism
article

Tooby, M (2006) 'St Ives and Cardiff: two experiences of cultural tourism.' Nexus (35). pp. 178-183. ISSN 1575-0876


A journey with T. S. Eliot’s 'The Waste Land'
conference_item

Tooby, M, Smith, R and O’ Keeffe, D (2015) A journey with T. S. Eliot’s 'The Waste Land'. In: Ilkley Literature Festival, 8 October 2015, Ilkley Playhouse, Ilkley, UK.


Another side of Stanley Royle
conference_item

Tooby, M (2015) Another side of Stanley Royle. In: Lunchtime Talk Series, 29 April 2015, Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield, UK.


Engaging young people in the arts in Norway and Wales
commissioned_report

Tooby, M (2012) Engaging young people in the arts in Norway and Wales. ACW - WAI /Toolquiz Grundtvig network.


Journeys with 'The Waste Land' [curator]
exhibition

Tooby, M (2018) Journeys with 'The Waste Land' [curator]. Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK, 3 February - 7 May 2018 (Forthcoming).


wavespeech [curator]
exhibition

Tooby, M (2015) wavespeech [curator]. The Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Scotland, 20 June - 12 September 2015.


Storio - store
exhibition

Tooby, M (2014) Storio - store. In: Settlement, Spit and Sawdust Skatepark, Cafe and Artspace, Roath, Cardiff, 17 October 2014.


At the mad shepherdess
exhibition

Tooby, M (2013) At the mad shepherdess. In: Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography., Chapter, Cardiff, 12 - 19 May 2013.


William Scott: Simplicity and Subject
exhibition

Tooby, M (2013) William Scott: Simplicity and Subject. Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, UK, 7 September - 17 November 2013.


The Museum of Amazing Coincidences
exhibition

Tooby, M (2012) The Museum of Amazing Coincidences. In: Made in Roath, Cardiff, UK, October 2012.


Kelvin Road mantelpiece
exhibition

Tooby, M (2011) Kelvin Road mantelpiece. In: Made in Roath, Cardiff, 2011.


National Museum and Gallery, Cardiff: complete redisplay of art galleries, representation of natural history gallery and learning spaces
exhibition

Tooby, M (2008) National Museum and Gallery, Cardiff: complete redisplay of art galleries, representation of natural history gallery and learning spaces. National Museum Wales, Cardiff, UK, 2008.


A Quality Of Light: A Collaborative Visual Arts Event
exhibition

Tooby, M (1997) A Quality Of Light: A Collaborative Visual Arts Event. Tate Gallery St Ives, May - July 1997. ISBN 095307000X


A journey with 'The waste land'
other

Tooby, M and Scott, T (2016) A journey with 'The waste land'. Arts & Education (8). pp. 8-9.


When forms become attitude: a consideration of the adoption by an artist of ceramic display as narrative device and symbolic landscape
other

Tooby, M (2012) When forms become attitude: a consideration of the adoption by an artist of ceramic display as narrative device and symbolic landscape. Ceramics in the Expanded Field: Behind the Scenes at the Museum.


When forms become attitude - a consideration of the adoption by an artist of ceramic display as narrative device and symbolic landscape
other

Tooby, M (2012) When forms become attitude - a consideration of the adoption by an artist of ceramic display as narrative device and symbolic landscape. Behind the Scenes at the Museum : ceramics in the expanded field, 2012 (2012).


Edmund de Waal: the hare with amber eyes [book review]
other

Tooby, M (2010) Edmund de Waal: the hare with amber eyes [book review]. Interpreting Ceramics (12). ISSN 1471-146X


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