Jane and Louise Wilson have been working as an artist duo in collaboration for over two decades. They graduated in 1989 with a joint degree show in Dundee and Newcastle, then continued in a working collaboration through their postgraduate at Goldsmiths College, graduating 1992.
Since 1990, they have gained a national and international reputation as artists working with photography and the moving image, installation in an expanded form of cinema and lens-based media. Their early works centred on abandoned buildings, often imbued with the presence and ideology of the original occupants. Through carefully choreographed film installations, sound works and photography they have explored some of Europe’s least accessible sites, including a former Stasi Prison in former East Berlin, the British Houses of Parliament and the huge Star City complex in Moscow, a key site of the Russian Space Programme.
In 1996 they were awarded a DAAD artists scholarship in Berlin and Hanover. In 1999 they were nominated for The Turner Prize for their multi-screen installation Gamma, which was shown in 2015 at The Schaulager Museum, Basel, in the exhibition FUTURE/PRESENT.
The Wilson sisters have had held exhibitions in the UK and internationally in places such as Kazakhstan, the USA, Canada, Japan and all over Europe. They have also exhibited widely in international group shows, including the Carnegie International (1999), Korean Biennial (2000), Istanbul Biennial (2001), Moving Pictures, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2003), Remind, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2003), Out of Time, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006), Suspending Time, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal (2010-11), Tempo Suspenso, CGAC, Santiago de Compostela (2010-11), Sharjah Biennial (2011), The Toxic Camera, The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (2012), Ruin Lust, Tate Britain, London (2014) and Conflict, Time and Photography, Tate Modern, London (2014).
They completed a new commission for the Imperial War Museum, London which opened in 2014 and will tour to MIMA, Middlesbrough and Wolverhampton Art Gallery 2018. Their research at the Imperial War Museum looked specifically at archive images of early surveillance and camouflage techniques employed during the WWI. The completed film installation, Undead Sun, 2014, was commissioned by the Arts Council of England and the Imperial War Museum, to mark the Centenary of the First World War. Building on their longstanding interest in the technology and architecture of conflict, the film explores perspectives on visibility and technology.
Their most recent projects include a two-person exhibition and presentation of photographs, sculpture and video from the Sealander series at The J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California Feb-July 2017. Future projects will include a new publicly sited outdoor commission for GEON, the Great Exhibition of the North, in June 2018, a presentation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 2018 and Gapado AiR, an artist residency in Korea in Spring 2018.
Jane is a board member of DACS. Louise is a board member of the Baltic Center for Contemporary Art. Jane and Louise are appointed as joint Professors of Fine Art at Newcastle University and are honorary Visiting Professors of Fine Art at the University of Wolverhampton.
Born: 1967 in Newcastle on Tyne
Elected RA: 19 March 2018
Preferred media: Film making, Photography, and Printmaking