Cathy Turner (artist)

Cathy Turner is a British artist and researcher, specialising in dramaturgy, site-specific performance and walking art.[1] She is a founder member of Wrights & Sites,[2] and a Senior Lecturer in Drama at the University of Exeter.[3] Turner's practice and research explore how one's life experience can influence one's perception of their environment.


Turner's dramaturgical research focuses on the relationship between performance and place,[4] an area she has explored and documented in her book Dramaturgy and Architecture: Theatre, Utopia and the Built Environment.[5]

Wrights & SitesEdit

Turner is a founding member of Wrights & Sites, a group of artist-researchers who develop site-specific artistic works. They are best known for their walking misguides, and their use of the Letterist/Situationist practice of dérive.[6]

Walking WomenEdit

In 2009 Turner collaborated with Deirdre Heddon on a series of interviews with women walking artists. In their two essays, 'Walking Women: Shifting the Tales and Scales of Mobility' and 'Walking Women: interviews with artists on the move', Heddon and Turner argue that a fraternal lineage dominates walking, with the practices of female walkers erased or marginalised. Their work introduces the voices of contemporary female artists that walk into the historical record.[7][8]

Heddon and Turner's work has sparked a series of practice-based interventions that focus on women who walk. These include 'Er Outdoors' a series of radio programs curated by Jo Norcup that make 'audible the voices of women past and present';[9] and WALKING WOMEN, a series of exhibitions, talks and events curated by Amy Sharrocks and Clare Qualmann that actively 're-write the canon' and 'imagine a future in which gender bias and skewed vision is destroyed'.[10]

Selected worksEdit


  • Ambulant Architectures (2012), Sideways Festival, Belgium[11]
  • Everything you need to build a town is here (2010), Wonders of Weston, UK [12]
  • Mis-Guided: Elsewhere in Fribourg (2008), Belluard Bollwerk International Festival, Switzerland [13]
  • Mis-Guide: Stadtverführungen in Wien (2007), Tanzquartier Wien and Wienerfestwochen, Austria[14]
  • Possible Forests (2007), Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World, Devon, UK [13]
  • Blue Boy Walks (2004), Spacex Gallery, ‘Homeland’ Exhibition, Exeter and Winchester, UK[15]
  • And On The Thousandth Night… (2002), Kunsten Festival Des Arts, Belgium[16]
  • The Quay Thing, (1999), Exeter, UK[17]


  • Nora and I (2009), Funded by Arts Council England.
  • Writing Space, (2008), Funded by The Arts and Humanities Research Council.[18]
  • An Infinite Line: (2007), contributed to Dramaturgical Labs for 2008 Brighton Festival[19]

Selected publicationsEdit

Cathy Turner (2015). Dramaturgy and Architecture: Theatre, Utopia and the Built Environment. Palgrave.

Cathy Turner and Synne Behrndt (2007).Dramaturgy and Performance. Palgrave Macmillan.

Cathy Turner, Tony Weaver, Stephen Hodge, Simon Persighetti and Phil Smith (2006). A Mis-Guide to Anywhere. Wrights & Sites.


  1. ^ Smith, Phil (January 1, 2010). "The contemporary dérive: a partial review of issues concerning the contemporary practice of psychogeography". Cultural Geographies. 17 (1): 103–122. doi:10.1177/1474474009350002.
  2. ^ "Wrights & Sites: about". Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  3. ^ "University of Exeter". University of Exeter Staff Profile: Dr Cathy Turner. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
  4. ^ Mock, Roberta (2009). Walking, Writing & Performance. Bristol: Intellect. p. 153. ISBN 9781841501550.
  5. ^ Turner, Cathy (2015). Dramaturgy and Architecture: Theatre, Utopia and the Built Environment. Palgrave.
  6. ^ Turner, Cathy (2004-11-01). "Palimpsest or Potential Space? Finding a Vocabulary for Site-Specific Performance". New Theatre Quarterly. 20 (04): 373–390. doi:10.1017/S0266464X04000259. ISSN 1474-0613.
  7. ^ Turner, Cathy; Heddon, Deirdre (2012). "Walking Women: Shifting the Tales and Scales of Mobility". Contemporary Theatre Review. 22 (2): 225–226.
  8. ^ Turner, Cathy; Heddon, Deirdre (2010). "Walking Women: Interviews with artists on the move". Performance Research. 15 (4).
  9. ^ "Resonance FM: a double-bill and Walking Women Art – Geography Workshop". Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  10. ^ "WALKING WOMEN - Events - Live Art Development Agency". Live Art Development Agency. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  11. ^ "Wrights & Sites (GB) | Ambulant Architectures". Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  12. ^ "Everything you need to build a town is here - Wonders of Weston". Archived from the original on 2016-04-13. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  13. ^ a b Rufford, Juliet (2015). Theatre and Architecture. Palgrave Macmillan.
  14. ^ Heddon, Deidre; Klein, Jennie (2012). Histories and Practices of Live Art. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780230229747.
  15. ^ Spacex. "Spacex". Spacex. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  16. ^ "Credits | And on the Thousandth Night... | KUNSTENFESTIVALDESARTS". Archived from the original on 2016-08-14. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  17. ^ Persighetti; et al. (2000). "Site-specific: "The Quay Thing" documented". Standing Committee of University Drama Departments. Studies in theatre and performance supplement.
  18. ^ "Writing Space Research Grant Propsal, RCUK". 2008. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  19. ^ "REF Case study search". Retrieved 2016-07-16.