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Alaena Turner

Lecturer in 2D Fine Art, BA Fine Art
Central Saint Martins
Person Type


My current research focuses on the historicisation of abstract painting, through the themes of the archive and the re-make. I completed a practice-based PhD at the University of Leeds (2015-19), funded by an AHRC doctoral scholarship, questioning how contemporary painting might ‘remember’ through strategies of appropriation and re-enactment. I studied at Slade School of Fine Art (MA Fine Art, Painting, 2006-8) and Chelsea College of Art and Design (BA Fine Art, 2003-6).

Prior to undertaking my doctoral research I was appointed as Honorary Research Associate of the Materials Research Project of Slade School of Fine Art, UCL (2013-14). In this role I developed and led an interdisciplinary project ‘Dinner with Picasso’ in collaboration with the Institute of Making, exploring food as a material and the recipe as text-form. This developed into a subsequent curatorial project, ‘Ingredients, Method, Serving Suggestion’ (2016), which was awarded the A.P.T Curatorial Fellowship Award.

Recent exhibitions include the solo presentation, ‘Second-hand Gestures’, (2019, Centre for Audio-Visual Experimentation, Leeds), and group exhibitions; ‘The Kiss or Poison Boyfriend or Jesus’ Blood’, (2018, Kingsgate Gallery, London), ‘AutoAgents’, (2017, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool), and ‘Seed’, (2016, Passatge Studio at SWAB Contemporary Art Fair, Barcelona).

I have curated several projects, including, ‘The Everynight,’ Torreloft, Copenhagen, 2017, and ‘Slow, thick fingers…’, Kingsgate Gallery, London, 2016. I have published my research in the online journal ‘Aesthetic Investigations’ (2017) and presented at numerous conferences, such as the Paradox conference, UAL, 2017 and European Artistic Research Network Conference, Venice Biennale Research Pavilion, 2017.