Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan in conversation with Fiona Jardine

For this special event, Tatham and O’Sullivan will discuss their practice at large, new work and their first–ever permanent commission The Institute For The Magical Effect Of Actually Giving A Shit (a note to our future self), which opened in 2021 as part of The Studio Voltaire Capital Project.

The Institute For The Magical Effect Of Actually Giving A Shit (a note to our future self) emerged from Tatham and O’Sullivan’s long–standing relationship with Studio Voltaire, having collaborated on projects together since 2004. Testing the specific context of a public toilet, their work uses both humour and exacting design principles to further challenge the status and function of art in public space.

Jardine is a long–time collaborator of the artists, and her own research focuses on authenticity, appropriation and authorship in the visual arts as well as contemporary critiques of design and craft narratives. With Jardine, Tatham and O’Sullivan will reflect on their commission now it has been open and in use by the public for six months. 

Supported by 

About Tatham and O’Sullivan

Working across sculpture, installation, performance, and publishing, Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan (b. 1971/1967, West Yorkshire/Norfolk) have collaborated since 1995. Together they have developed a distinctive visual language that is rich in content and attitude. The artists’ are interested in sculpture as a mode or form with specific histories and conventions of use, which can be reframed or repositioned as a means to critique art’s values and behaviours. 

The duo emerged from an important generation of Glasgow–based artists who brought international attention to Scotland’s contemporary art scene, and have staged significant commissions at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (2018); Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (2017) and Tramway, Glasgow (2014; 2010; 2001). In 2005 they represented Scotland at the 51st Venice Biennale. Tatham and O’Sullivan are represented by The Modern Institute / Toby Webster Ltd (Glasgow).

About Fiona Jardine

Fiona Jardine (b. 1970, Galashiels, Scotland) is an interdisciplinary artist, writer and academic based in Glasgow.

Jardine works collaboratively with curators, designers and community groups on research-led projects involving specific histories, collections and archives. In 2019, Jardine designed a trade union banner for ScotPep (a Scottish charity promoting sex-worker’s rights) with the film-maker Petra Bauer and Collective, Edinburgh. She also works with curators and designers Panel, Maeve Redmond and Sophie Dyer, as a co-publisher of The Persistence of Type, a sporadic broadsheet devoted to creative interpretations of Scotland’s advertising and typographic histories. Her work has been the subject of solo commissions at Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow (2007); and the ICA, London (2008). She has also featured in group exhibitions at The Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (2021); Tramway, Glasgow (2015); Glasgow International (2014); Dundee Contemporary Arts (2009); and Transmission, Glasgow (2006).

Jardine currently teaches at The Glasgow School of Design as Lecturer in Design History & Theory. Her PhD (2008–2013) analysed the changing construction of artists’ signatures in their material forms, with specific reference to Marcel Duchamp’s readymade, Fountain (1917).


Image credit

Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan, The Institute For The Magical Effect Of Actually Giving A Shit (a note to our future self), 2021. A Studio Voltaire commission. Image courtesy of the artists and The Modern Institute, Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow. Photo: Francis Ware