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John A Douglas — CV & Bio

John A DouglasBorn in 1960, John A Douglas is a Sydney-based interdisciplinary artist working across video, performance, live art installation, photomedia, sound and objects. His practice investigates his ongoing experience of chronic illness through scientific and collaborative, immersive performance approaches. Douglas offers a unique and personal perspective as both artist and patient that intersects with biomedical science, clinical treatment, and his own human and emotional experience as a renal patient. His work seeks to map a psychological geography of the patient subject, via the narrative structures of mythologies, as a parallel world of existence in which he cycles between places of healing, regimentation, wellness and suffering. Douglas is also interested in using cinematic references and mythologies, and his large-scale multi-channel video works pay homage to the vast landscape of cinematic history whilst articulating the inner world of the patient experience.

Douglas has been artist in residence at Museum of Human Disease at UNSW, Symbiotica Lab, at UWA, Fraser Studios and The Bundanon Trust. His live, durational dialysis performance installation Body Fluid was shown at Performance Space, Carriageworks as a part of ISEA 2013. In 2016, he produced an ambitious project titled Circles of Fire, first exhibited at Galleries UNSW in a group exhibition curated by Bec Dean, The Patient: The Medical Subject in Contemporary Art. The Patient is currently touring nationally over the course of 2017/18. He is currently in the development stage for a live performance installation of Circles of Fire in 2018.

Douglas is the recipient of the inaugural 2017 CreateNSW Artist With Disability Fellowship and has been the recipient of numerous Australia Council Grants including New Work, Creative Development, Artist Initiated Residency(AIR) and Arts Projects. His work has been represented by Chalk Horse gallery since 2008 and he has exhibited in Australia, UK, Germany and Spain. His work has been acquired into notable private and public collections including Cato Council and Artbank. Douglas has been a finalist in numerous art prizes including The Blake Prize, Fishers Ghost Prize, John Fries Viscopy Prize, Bowness Photography Prize and the Josephine Ulrick photography prize. His work has also been featured in numerous publications and on radio and television.

Douglas is a freelance artsworker and educator  for emerging, mid-career and established artists and has over fifteen years experience working in the regional arts sector, galleries and arts organisations.

John A Douglas identifies as an artist with disability.

November 2017

John A Douglas

Sydney, Australia, b. 1960
Represented by Chalk Horse, Darlinghurst, NSW

Master of Fine Arts by Research, University of NSW, College of Fine Arts, School of Media Arts


Bachelor of Fine Arts — Hons (First Class), University of NSW, College of Fine Arts, School of Media Arts

Selected Solo Exhibitions



The Nine Circles, Chalk Horse, Darlinghurst, NSW


The Visceral Garden — Landscape & Specimen, MARS Gallery, Windsor, VIC


Body Fluid — The Seven Cycles (edit), Odradekaeaf, AEAF, Adelaide, SA

The Visceral Garden — Landscape & Specimen , Chalk Horse, Darlinghurst, NSW


Body Fluid II (Redux) & The Visceral Garden, Performance Space, Carriageworks, Eveleigh NSW.
Shown as part of the ISEA13 (International Symposium on Electronic Art) festival


Body Fluid — The Seven Cycles, Chalk Horse, Surry Hills NSW.

Blood of Arachne, FreeFall live art program, Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst, NSW.

Strange Land Vol I & Crash Landing, Wallflower Photomedia Gallery, Mildura, VIC.

Strange Land Vol I, The Substation, Newport, VIC


Body Fluid I (After NJP), FreeFall live art program, Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst, NSW.

Body Fluid II, Performance Space, CarriageWorks, Eveleigh, NSW.


Strange Land Vol I, Penrith Regional & Lewer’s Bequest, Emu Plains NSW.

Strange Land Vol. I (De-fragmentation), featuring Sari TM Kivinen, & Liam Benson, Chalk Horse, Sydney NSW


Screen Test (Australiana/Americana) — Fragments & Stills, Chalk Horse, Sydney NSW.

Screen Test (Americana/Australiana), Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Paddington NSW, MFA Assessment Exhibition.


Screen Test (Australiana) — James Dean Jesus, Chalk Horse, Surry Hills, NSW.

Screen Test (Australiana ) — Suicidal Synthesis, Westspace, Melbourne VIC


Screen Test (Australiana) — Suicidal Synthesis, First Draft, Surry Hills,NSW

Screen Test #3 (Americana), Kings ARI, Melbourne, VIC


Screen Test #3 (Americana) — The War Room, Blank Space, Surry Hills, NSW

Screen Idol (Americana), Artbox, Sherman Galleries, Paddington, NSW

Selected Group Exhibitions

The Patient:The Medical Subject in Contemporary Art, Ridoch Art Gallery, Mount Gambier, SA

Fully Sick, First Draft Gallery, Woolloomoloo, NSW

Good Neighbours: Artbank Gallery, Alexandria, NSW

The Patient:The Medical Subject in Contemporary Art, Manning Regional Gallery, Taree, NSW

Cementa_17 Arts Festival, Kandos, NSW


The Patient: The Medical Subject in Contemporary Art, Galleries UNSW, COFA, Paddington, NSW


FICEA 2, International Festival of Contemporary Art, IVAM, Valencia, Spain


In Motion, pop up exhibition, Airspace, Marrickville, NSW

Conquest of Space, Galleries UNSW, Paddington, NSW

MAP Exhibition # 2, Site Specific Performance, Cave House, Woodford, NSW


Touring Blake 2013, Blake Prize Touring Exhibition, Various locations NSW, VIC, TAS

Sydney Contemporary International Art Fair, Chalk Horse, Carriageworks, Eveleigh, NSW

Home and Hosed, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, Gymea, NSW.

Cementa_13, Contemporary Arts Festival, Kandos, NSW.


Sense of Place, M & G NSW, dLux Media Arts, (national and ongoing)

Miami Scope, Chalk Horse, Florida, USA.

Melbourne International Art Fair, Chalk Horse, Carlton Gardens VIC.

Placeness, Directors’ Lounge, Berlin, Germany


The Rest is Silence, Death Be Kind, Brunswick VIC.

Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted, Chalk Horse, Surry Hills NSW.

Short Sharp Shocks, Australian Video Art Now, Barbican, London, UK.


New Ideas, Government House, Commissioned by Historic Houses Trust NSW.

Nighttime Statewide: Everyday Hero, Performance Space, Carriage Works and NSW Regional Galleries Touring Exhibition.


Reality Check, Hazlehurst Regional Art Gallery NSW,

Australia? Mildura Arts Centre, Regional Art Gallery, Mildura VIC

Selected Prizes, Awards & Residencies

Cementa17 inc, Kandos, NSW, Artist in Residence, 2016

Bundanon Trust, Illaroo, Artist in Residence, NSW, 2016

Symbiotica Lab, UWA, Crawley, WA, Artist in Residence, 2016

Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Projects For Individuals and Groups Grant, 2015

Concordia University, Beaux Arts, Hexagram, Montreal, Quebec, Visiting Artist, 2015

Symbiotica Lab, UWA, Crawley,WA, Artist in Residence, 2015

Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Australia, Creative Development Grant, 2014

Finalist, Josephine Ulrick Photography Prize, 2014

Finalist, Fishers Ghost Prize, 2013

Finalist and touring artist, The Blake Prize, 2013

Finalist, John Fries Viscopy Prize, 2013

Museum of Human Disease, Inaugural Artist in Residence, School of Medical Science, UNSW, 2012 – 2013

Performance Space, Offsite Artist in Residence, IO Myer Centre, UNSW , 2012

Australia Council for the Arts, Inter Arts AIR Grant, 2012

Fraser Street Studios, Artist in Residence, Chippendale, NSW, 2011

Australia Council for the Arts, New Work Grant Emerging, 2008

Finalist,2008 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize.

Australian Post Graduate Award (APA), 2004-2006

Finalist, Helen Lempriere 2006 Travelling Art Scholarship

Finalist, Citigroup Photographic Portrait Prize 2005, AGNSW

Winner, COFA Art and Design Award, 2005

Finalist, Helen Lempriere 2004 Travelling Art Scholarship

Selected Bibliography
Feature Articles, Exhibition Reviews & Interviews

Dean, Bec, ‘The Patient: The Medical Subject in Contemporary Art’, pp 32-35, 2016

Conquest of Space — Art and Science Fiction, ABC TV, Aired Novemeber 2014.

Dean, Bec, ‘Underworlds’, The Visceral Garden — Landscape & Specimen catalogue, Chalk Horse, February 2014

Mudie-Cunningham, Daniel, John A Douglas: Body Fluid II (Redux), Artlink, Volume 33 No 3, 2013, p94

Baillie, Rebecca, Kidney Patient Turns Heads, ABC TV 7:30,, 2013

Pynor Helen, Fluid Threats, Notes on the work of John A Douglas, Body Fluid II (Redux) Program Guide, Performance Space. 2014.

Artbank 20/20 video series,’Claudia Karvan — Body Fluid’, Dir. Vera Hong, 2013

Frost Andrew, The Art Life Podcast S2 Ep4,, Dec 11 2012.

Miller, Carrie, Body Fluid -The Seven Cycles,, Nov 23, 2012

O’Donnell, Ryan P, Body Fluid -The Seven Cycles, Exhibition Catalogue Essay, 2012.

Miller, Carrie, Cool Hunter Predictions, The Australian Art Collector, issue 59 Jan- March 2012, pp 124 -125, 2012

Mudie, Ella, Performance Art: Going Beyond, Realtime 106, December 2011/Jan, 2012, p44.

Muldoon, Eliza, Arts Interview: John A Douglas,, 2010

Mudie Cunningham, Daniel, Ghosts Undermine: Strange Land Vol 1, Runway Issue 17, Nov 2010, pp 16-21.

Frost, Andrew, Ten Rising Visonaries, Metro Art Cover Story, Sydney Morning Herald, October 8 -14, 2010, p4.

Frost, Andrew, The Ghost of the Town, Metro Art, Sydney Morning Herald, September 17 -23, 2010, p14.

Watts, Oliver, Strange Land Vol I, exhibition catalogue essay, 2010

Stanton,Elizabeth,Back to Reality, Art Monthly Australia, #228, April 2010.

Artscape: Sylvania Waters Project, ABC Television, Dir. Daniel Marsden, Broadcast Oct 2009 ABC 1, Nov 2009 ABC2

Cunningham, Daniel Mudie, Reality Check: Watching Sylvania Waters, Hazelhurst Regional catalogue, 2009, pp. 14, 22-29.

Dean, Bec, The Edge of Reality, Realtime 93, October 2009,

Frost, Andrew, Westworld (Interview), The Art Life, 13 May 2008

Farkas, Solange Oliveira, Panoramas of the Imagination, Videobrasil 16 Limite Festival and Exhibition Catalogue, p149.

Lee, Brendan, More Video Art Please, Artlink Vol.27 N.3, September 2007, pp 28–29

Watts, Oliver, Approaching Intimacy — contemporary miniatures, 1/2 Dozen 2006 Catalogue, pp 9–14

Frost, Andrew et al, Beard Club For Men, The Art Life, 21 Sept 2006,

Frost, Andrew, No Fighting In The War Room, The Art Life, 8 Sept 2005,


Works held in private and corporate collections in Australia since 2003, including:

Artbank Collection, NSW

Cato Council, NSW

Dlux Media Arts, NSW

Museums & Galleries, NSW

Australian Video Art Archive Collection, Monash University, Faculty of Art and Design, VIC.