Martin John Callanan

Martin John Callanan, (born 1982 in Solihull, West Midlands)[3] is a British conceptual artist working in Scotland.[4] He taught at the Slade School of Fine Art from 2008-2019.[5][6] Key exhibitions include White Cube Mason's Yard,[7] Or Gallery, Berlin,[8] Casal Solleric, Spain,[3] Whitechapel Gallery, London,[4] Imperial War Museum,[9] International Film Festival Rotterdam[10] and Whitstable Biennale.[11] In 2013 Callanan was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize, an award for young academic researchers.[1][12][13] Callanan worked with the Bank of England for 12 months from July 2015,[14] and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Martin John Callanan
Martin John Callanan

1982 (age 38–39)
Solihull, West Midlands, England
EducationSlade School of Fine Art
Known forDigital art, installation art, Conceptual art, Performance art, Photography
Notable work
Departure of All, The Fundamental Units
AwardsFRSA, Philip Leverhulme Prize, The Leverhulme Trust[1] Alumni of the Year[2]


Well known artworks include, "The Fundamental Units", a collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory imaging the world's lowest domination coins to massive scale using the latest microscopes.[15][16][17]

I Wanted to See All of the News From Today, a web based program collecting front covers of newspapers from around the world, won an Honorary mention (best online project) at Live 2011 Grand Prix (Finland),[18] and a finalist for both File Prix Lux (Brazil),[19] and Screengrab 2010 Award, (Australia)[20]

Callanan legally changed his name by deed poll from Martin John Callanan to Martin John Callanan in 2008 and again in 2012.[21][22] The latter performance, which involved a magistrate visiting the gallery, took place at the London Open at the Whitechapel Gallery, London: curator Kirsty Ogg said "It highlights the fact that there is a particular bureaucratic process that we're all subject to but are not necessarily aware of".[22]

The 2012 Whitstable Biennale commissioned Wars During my Lifetime, about which New Statesman wrote: "A simple idea with high impact is Wars During my Lifetime by Martin John Callanan, which lists on newsprint all the wars that have taken place during his lifetime.". A town crier proclaimed the list along the seafront.[23][24]

For another artwork, published by Book Works he sent letters to several world leaders saying "I respect your authority" and published replies by figures including Hosni Mubarak; critic Jonathan Jones (journalist) found the work humorous but struggled to find any point to it: "He sent out a letter to various presidents saying, "I respect your authority." Amazingly, he got loads of replies. Hosni Mubarak seemed genuinely flattered. You laugh. Then you laugh again, but not so loud. Then you stop laughing and wonder what the point is. That world leaders are rather polite?"[25]

He has also produced an artwork out of his social media status where every update since 2007 has read "Martin John Callanan is okay".[26][27]

"Location of I" published Callanan's precise physical location every second for two years from 2007. The artwork was commissioned during a six-month residency at RIXC in Latvia. It was presented at "9th international festival Art+Communication held in Liepaja.[28][29][30]

Other worksEdit

While working at UCL Environment Institute he collaborated with science writer Richard Hamblyn[31] on a number of projects, documented in their book Data Soliloquies (Slade Press, 2009, ISBN 9780903305044).[32] A Planetary Order (2009) combines satellite images into an advanced sculpture made using high-end 3D Printing, to show the planet earth covered in clouds.[33] Text Trends was based on Google searches for terms related to climate change over a five years.[32]


  1. ^ a b "Philip Leverhulme Prizes 2013". The Leverhulme Trust. Retrieved 7 November 2013. ... to recognise researchers at an early stage of their career, whose work has already had a significant international impact, and whose future research career is exceptionally promising. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)[permanent dead link]
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Global, Casal Solleric, Martin John Callanan". Casal Solleric. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  4. ^ a b "London Open, Whitechapel Gallery". Whitechapel Gallery.
  5. ^ "Martin John Callanan, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL". University College London.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Wars During My Lifetime, Whitstable Biennale". Whitstable Biennale. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "The Fundamental Units — Martin John Callanan —".
  17. ^ "News".
  18. ^ "Turku 2011". 18 April 2017.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 November 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ "Deed Poll, London Open, Whitechapel Gallery". Whitechapel Gallery. Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  22. ^ a b Collett-White, Mike (5 July 2012). "UK art show paints dark picture of London today". Reuters. Retrieved 8 October 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ Louise, Dany (4 September 2012). "A peculiar kind of biennial". Blogs: Cultural Capital. New Statesman. Retrieved 17 September 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^ Callanan, Martin John (2012). Wars During My Lifetime. London: greyisgood. ISBN 978-1907829123.
  25. ^ Jones, Jonathan (4 July 2012). "Why has The London Open got its eyes wide shut to the capital's creatives?". Guardian (UK).
  26. ^ "Broken Dimanche". Retrieved 8 October 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ "Martin John Callanan is Okay".
  28. ^ "ART + COMMUNICATION 2007 : Spectral Ecology".
  29. ^ "Waves: Scanning".
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Richard Hamblyn".
  32. ^ a b Waelder, Pau (3 February 2010). "Data Soliloquies (Review)". Furtherfield. Archived from the original on 29 May 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  33. ^ Callanan, Martin John (August 2012). "A Planetary Order (Terrestrial Cloud Globe)". Leonardo. 45 (4): 380–381. doi:10.1162/LEON_a_00417. S2CID 57564241. (Subscription required)

External linksEdit