Mary Modeen

+44 (0)1382 384036
Associate Dean (International), Professor


Mary Modeen is an artist and interdisciplinary academic who makes art and writes. She founded and leads the Master of Fine Art (MFA) in Art and Humanities at DJCAD, University of Dundee, in a course that combines academic study with creative practice. She also supervises PhD candidates in interdisciplinary practice-led studies. Modeen’s research has several threads: perception as a cognitive and interpretive process, and place-based research, which tends to connect cultural values, history and embodied experience. As such, this work usually combines creative art with printmaking practice at its core, and writing. She co-convenes three research groups, MappingSpectral Traces and Land2, and PLaCE International (UK), which is part ofan international research consortium. A solo show of her artwork, entitled The Absolutely Other, and comprised of prints and artists books, was exhibited at the Edinburgh Print Workshop in Jan-Mar 2014.

In 2015, Modeen organised a UK-wide conference (29 Jan) and following 3rd Annual Art & Humanities Postgraduate Event (30 Jan.) entitled Vibrant Matters, focused on aspects of New Materialism, sponsored by the Land2 and PLaCE International Research Networks, with additional funding from the Scottish Centre for Continental Philosophy, School of Humanities, University of Dundee. Dr. Peta Hinton was the invited guest keynote speaker.

Between 2012-2013 as Principal Investigator, Modeen led the Invisible Scotland International Conference, as Organiser and host for nearly 100 people over five days in August 2013. This included organising two days of ‘peripatetic seminars’, with six trips ranging across Scotland. As Principal Investigator, she coordinated several international grants that were received on behalf of PLaCE International to subsidise this event. A book entitled Invisible Scotland: Revealing a Process of Interdisciplinary Discovery was published by Moray School of Art Press, University of Highland and Islands (2013).

REF Outputs and Research Projects

1. Poetry Beyond Text: Vision, Cognition and Text, funded by the AHRC. For this, Modeen commissioned and curated an exhibition of 44 artists and poets, and wrote a publication of the same title, in support of this research (2011). This work was launched at the Visual Research Centre located in Dundee, and followed by further different exhibitions at the Scottish Poetry Library, Moray Arts Ctr. and culminating for the full exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy (Nov-Dec. 2011).

2. Mapping Spectral Traces-ongoing. This has five separate component parts:

a. Co-convening a research network with members in six countries, and participating in an ongoing website.

b. Four Exhibitions:

  • Landscapes of Epiphany, Blacksburg, Virginia at the Armory Gallery, 2-person exhibition with Dr. Judith Tucker. October-2012-Jan. 2011;
  • Space, Place and Spectral Trace, BV Studio Gallery, Bristol, England. A group exhibition with 20 artists. 22-28 March 2011;
  • National University of Ireland-Galway and MST in Galway, Ireland- Untitled, (The Language of Stone), video 2:30, video presented at the Black Box theatre art exhibition. 21 April 2012; and
  • Minneapolis, two group exhibitions at Univ. of Minnesota (Nash Gallery and also Architecture Library) October 2012

c. Four Conferences with papers delivered:

  • At the Greenscapes conference at Brock University in Ontario, a paper entitled Landscapes of Epiphany.
  • MST at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia, a paper entitled Polyvalent Perception and Cultural Memory. October 2010.
  • In Bristol, Love From a Distance.
  • And at MST3 in Dublin/Maynooth at NUI-M, a panel called Groundedness.

d. Book chapter (X 3): 

  • Two book chapters in Deep Mapping & Slow Residency: New Creative Engagements with the Ecology of Place, Iain Biggs (Ed.), Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2013.
  • Neither Here Nor There, in Art is the Gap, Bristol: Wild Conversations, 2012.

e. Pending grant applications: Leverhulme International research grant application, and HERA group research application (Stage 1)

3. Engendering Dialogue (in Scotland and Beyond)-2011-2012

Modeen co-hosted a symposium with Dr. Rachel Jones (PI) of the Philosophy department in the School of Humanities, examining feminist art and philosophy and the futures of feminism in Scotland (, called Seeing Things Differently (30-31 March 2012). This was one of three symposia in the research project entitled Engendering Dialogue, funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. A concurrent exhibition with the art of three artists, Beth Fisher, Ingrid Pollard and Gina Wall was curated by Modeen for this event, and an artists’ panel was included in the proceedings.

4. Polyvalent Perception and Cultural Memory

a. First Nation research, delivery of paper entitled The Opposite of Snake, presented to the Native American Surrealisms panel of the 100th College Art Association of America’s annual conference, Los Angeles, CA (Feb. 2012) and inclusion in special issue of the Journal of Surrealism and the Americas

b. Group exhibition:  Current Voodoo, for the Southern Graphics Council International (USA) Conference entitled “Navigating Currents” at Ogden Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 2012. Followed by tour to: Wriston Galleries, Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin

c. Academic writing (X 5):

  • Book chapter: “Distancing and Foregrounding: Visual Art, Place and Memory”: Vol.2, Cartographies of Culture: Memory, Space, Representation. Literary and Cultural Theory, Vol. 35, Peter Lang Publishing, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Oxford, Wien: Germany, 2010.
  • book chapter Ahi Ka; Ahi Ka: Homefires Burning. Published in: Debatable Lands, Vol .II, Iain Biggs, Ed. Bristol, England: Wild Conversations Press (2009-10). Book chapter with images and sound files on CD-rom.
  • pending book chapter Polyvalent Perception and Cultural Memory;
  • pending journal article In Praise of Multiplicity;
  • Book chapter: Poohsticks and Rivers of Referents: Opening Out Philosophical Space and Movement in Photography and Film, for a book on movement: The Theory, Practice, and Art of Movement Capture, Analysis and Preservation, Grethe Mitchell (Ed). Publication in 2012: London: Intellect.