My artwork examines the relation between people and objects, and the impact that adverts have as producers and disseminators of social values. My photographic work blurs the boundary between self-portraiture and still-life, producing inanimate bodies and seemingly animate objects. The practical outcomes of my research include photographic and installation works, but also public interventions in physical commercial advertising spaces in cities and in virtual ones on online social networking sites.
Further examples of research can be accessed at
BOOK CHAPTER: ‘The Iconography of Disruptive Bodies: Social Media and Medical Identities’ in Bodies in Flux: Embodiments at the End of Anthropocentrism (Brill: Leiden 2019)
Consumed: Stilled Lives
Blenheim Walk Gallery, Leeds Arts University.
12th July - 22nd August 2019
Exhibition catalogue, with texts by Dr Francette Pacteau and Professor Mark Durden. Designed by Rabbit Hole.
Consumed: Stilled Lives examines the relation between people and objects, and the impact that adverts have as producers and disseminators of social values. Woolley is interested in how social ideals, particularly gender norms, are transmitted through commercial visual culture. In adverts, commodities are given human characteristics in order to make them more desirable. In turn, identities are commoditised and bodies become adverts for social ideals. Commodities are integrated into the consumer’s identity and their identity is shaped to a marketing demographic. We are what we consume. We are adverts for the commodities we consume. To reflect this, the artwork in Consumed blurs the boundary between portraiture and still-life, producing inanimate bodies and animate objects.
COMMISSION: New cover for historic Watermill on The Hepworth Wakefield site.
A nineteenth century watermill, situated next to the river Calder opposite The Hepworth Wakefield, is to be protected with a new building cover designed by artist Dawn Woolley and community groups from across the district.
Commissioned by The Hepworth Wakefield and funded by Wakefield Council, the artwork has been designed and produced to continue preserving the historic listed watermill.
The design was developed using work produced in workshops with community groups in Wakefield, including The Hepworth Wakefield’s Art Social programme and groups from Wakefield Adult and Community Education Service. During these workshops the participants worked to create a series of sculptures made out of recyclable materials responding to the site that were then photographed and creatively arranged onto the wrap by Dawn Woolley.
ARTICLE: Dawn Woolley & Zara Worth / [Im]moral Food, February 2019
PORTFOLIO: Dawn Woolley / Critical Clickbait: Artist Interventions in Commercial Visual Culture, December 2018
INTERVIEW: Dawn Woolley / The Substitute, April 2017, Interviewed by Anna McNay
Aberrant consumers: Selfies and fat admiration websites
Exhibition opening, 11th July (photographs by Hamish Irving).
hOST FIGURES (THEY LIVE) 2019
Dreamers by Dawn Woolley and Davin Watne, 2018