Stephen McNeilly

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Stephen McNeilly (born 1968) is a London-based artist and writer whose research-lead practice includes photography, filmmaking, curating and book publishing.[1] He is the Executive Director and Museum Director of the Swedenborg Society, London,[2][3] and oversees its annual Swedenborg Film Festival [4] and Artist in Residence programme.[5] He is also the founding editor of the Swedenborg Review.[6]

In 2010 he curated Fourteen Interventions,[7] a multi-disciplinary site responsive exhibition at Swedenborg house, which included work by Jeremy Deller, Bridget Smith, Iain Sinclair, Ben Judd and Olivia Plender.[8] In 2016, with Bridget Smith, he co-curated Now it is Permitted: 24 Wayside Posters,[9] an exhibition of posters designed by Bridget Smith and Fraser Muggeridge which included contributions by Cornelia Parker, Fiona Banner, Marina Warner, Chloe Aridjis, Ali Smith, Michael Landy, Gavin Turk and others. Other exhibitions curated by McNeilly include Swedenborg and the English Romantics,[10] an exhibition of artefacts and artworks by William Blake, S T Coleridge, John Flaxman, Philip James de Loutherbourg and Emanuel Swedenborg exploring conceptual tropes of the 18th century, and The Story of Swedenborg in 27 Objects, which included items by Josephine Butler, T E Lawrence, D T Suzuki, Vernon Watkins amongst others.[11]

His long-standing interest in the work of Emanuel Swedenborg informs much of his work[12] and he has published on writers as diverse as Ralph Waldo Emerson[13] and Arthur Cravan. In 2011 he set up the Swedenborg Archive imprint,[14] a project which has included contributions from the writers Peter Ackroyd,[15] Homero Aridjis, A S Byatt, J. M. G. Le Clézio, Ken Worpole,[16] Iain Sinclair[17] and Brian Catling,[18] Tomas Tranströmer and the publisher Book Works. As series editor of the Journal of the Swedenborg Society[19] he has produced a number of volumes exploring the intellectual and cultural influence of Swedenborg including Between Method and Madness,[20] The Arms of Morpheus,[21] In Search of the Absolute[22] and On the True Philosopher.[23] Notable contributors to the Journal include the poet Czeslaw Milosz and the Cambridge linguist John Chadwick. Annalisa Volpone has described the Journal as a 'mapping of the impact of Swedenborg's thought on the western literary imaginaire from romanticism to contemporary times'.[24]

McNeilly is a founding editor of Dedecus Press,[25] an interdisciplinary and collaborative publishing project, and is the overseeing editor for the Dedecus Dictionary and the Dedecus Picture Archive. Between 2004 and 2012 he was a visiting lecturer in Art, Philosophy and Critical Theory at the University of Creative Arts (Canterbury).[26]

Selected works[edit]

  • 2021 The Story of Swedenborg in 27 Objects (exhibition and catalogue), Curator and Author, London. ISBN 978-0854482221 [27]
  • 2020 On the Conjugial Angel, an essay by A S Byatt (book), Editor. ISBN 978-0854481705
  • 2019 An Evening of Dreams, with contributions by Homero Aridjis, Chloe Aridjis, Eva Hoffman, Darian Leader, Tom McCarthy and Selina Mills (book). Editor. ISBN 978-0854482061
  • 2018 Swedenborg and the English Romantics (exhibition), Curator, London.[28]
  • 2018 In Celebration Of Tomas Tranströmer, with contributions by Robin Robertson, Tomas Tranströmer, Per Wåstberg and others (book). Editor. ISBN 978-0854482078
  • 2017 Ad caput capitas: the lost skulls of Swedenborg, with Iain Sinclair and Colin Dickey (exhibition), Curator, London.[29]
  • 2016 Now it is Permitted: 24 Wayside Posters (exhibition), co-curated with Bridget Smith, London.[30]
  • 2013 Swimming to Heaven: The Lost Rivers of London, an essay by Iain Sinclair, (book), Editor. ISBN 978-0854481798
  • 2013 Philosophy, Literature, Mysticism: an anthology of essays on the thought and influence of Emanuel Swedenborg (book), Editor. ISBN 978-0854481613
  • 2012 Several Clouds Colliding (book), by Brian Catling and Iain Sinclair (book). Editor. ISBN 978-1906012410 [31]
  • 2012 D T Suzuki: manuscripts and letters (exhibition), Curator, London.[32]
  • 2012 Memoirs of Swedenborg (book), Editor. ISBN 978-0854481682[33]
  • 2011 Blake's London: the Topographic Sublime, an essay by Iain Sinclair (book), Editor. ISBN 978-0854481705[34]
  • 2010 Heaven, Hell and Other Places (documentary), Executive Producer, ISBN 978-0854481736[35]
  • 2010 Fourteen Interventions (exhibition), Curator, London.[36]
  • 2010 Introducing the Mystic: an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson (publication), Editor/author ISBN 978-0854481569
  • 2010 Art lands on Alien Landscape (exhibition/catalogue), Margate.[37]
  • 2008 Dedecus: A Dictionary Pt, 2 (publication), Author. ISBN 978-0955547225
  • 2008 Dedecus: A Dictionary Pt, 1 (publication), Author. ISBN 978-0955547218
  • 2008 Maintenant, Pt, 1 (publication) Editor/Author. ISBN 978-0955547249
  • 2007 Rub-a-dub-dub (three person exhibition with Jacob Cartwright and Nick Jordan) Switzerland.[38][39]
  • 2007 The Arms of Morpheus (book), Editor. ISBN 978-0854481507
  • 2006 George Berkeley's Commonplace Book (book), Editor. ISBN 978-0955547201
  • 2005 Vertigo Gallery (solo exhibition), London.
  • 2005 Between Method and Madness (book), Editor. ISBN 978-0854481453
  • 2004 in Search of the Absolute (book), Editor. ISBN 978-0854481415
  • 2002 on the True Philosopher (book), Editor. ISBN 978-0854481347
  • 2001 on the Translator and the Latin Text; essays by John Chadwick (book), Editor. ISBN 978-0854481316
  • 1996 Bonnington Gallery, The Margaret Bryan Award, (two person exhibition with Lotte Hammer) Nottingham.[40]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Arts, Limbo. "Art Lands on Alien Landscape". Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  2. ^ Sandhu, Sukhdev (2007). Society. SteidlMACK. ISBN 978-3865214058.
  3. ^ "The Swedenborg Society". Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Swedenborg Film Festival".
  5. ^ Lines, Richard (2011). A History of the Swedenborg Society. South Vale Press. p. 161. ISBN 978-1471012747.
  6. ^ The Swedenborg Society; ISSN 2632-9360; ISBN 9780854482238
  7. ^ Suchin, Peter (April 2010). "Swedenborg House: Fourteen Interventions". Art Monthly (335).
  8. ^ Jones, Jonathan (March 2010). "Swedenborg – the man who invented the Romantics". The Guardian.
  9. ^ "Now It is Permitted: 24 Wayside Pulpits".
  10. ^ "Swedenborg and the English Romantics: Items from the Swedenborg Collection - Exhibition at Swedenborg House in London".
  11. ^ "The Story of Swedenborg in 27 Objects".
  12. ^ Arts, Limbo. "Definitions Towards a Philosophy of Alienation". Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  13. ^ Rowlandson, William (2013). Borges, Swedenborg and Mysticism. Peter Lang. p. 171. ISBN 978-3034308113.
  14. ^ "Swedenborg Archive Series".
  15. ^ "Introducing Swedenborg".
  16. ^ "The Swedenborg Society". Retrieved 15 April 2017.
  17. ^ Finlayson, Iain (24 March 2012). "Review". The Times.
  18. ^ Marshal, Richard (30 January 2013). "Exquisite Corpses". 3AM MAGAZINE. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  19. ^ "British National Bibliography". British Library.
  20. ^ Crawford, Gary Williams (November 2012). "Review". Le Fanu Studies. 7 (2). ISSN 1932-9598.
  21. ^ Davies, Keri (September 2009). "Review: Arms of Morpheus". British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. 32 (37).
  22. ^ Volpone, Annalisa (Summer 2009). "Review". The Journal of the Friends of Coleridge. 33.
  23. ^ Lines, Richard (2011). A History of the Swedenborg Society. South Vale Press. p. 160. ISBN 978-1471012747.
  24. ^ Volpone, Annalisa (Summer 2009). "Review". The Journal of the Friends of Coleridge. 33.
  25. ^ "Directors". 31 October 2012.
  26. ^ Postgraduate Prospectus (PDF). University for the Creative Arts at Canterbury. 2009–2010.
  27. ^ "The Story of Swedenborg in 27 Objects".
  28. ^ "Swedenborg & the English Romantics".
  29. ^ "Ad caput capitis: The lost skulls of Swedenborg - Exhibition at Swedenborg House in London".
  30. ^ "Now It is Permitted: 24 wayside pulpits".
  31. ^ "Several Clouds Colliding". Book Art Newsletter. Impact Press (76). September–October 2012. ISSN 1754-9086.
  32. ^ "D T Suzuki: an exhibition of manuscripts, letters and other items". Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  33. ^ Brock, Erland (January–June 2012). "Book Reviews". The New Philosophy. The Swedenborg Scientific Association.
  34. ^ Carrier, Dan (23 February 2012). "Blake's London". Camden New Journal.
  35. ^ "Heaven, Hell and Other Places". Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  36. ^ "14 Interventions". resonance fm. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
  37. ^ "Art Lands on Alien Landscape". Critical Network. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  38. ^ "RUB-A-DUB-DUB". exex. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  39. ^ Henke, Ulrike (24 May 2007). "Review". Tagblatt.
  40. ^ "Live Art Archive". Bristol University.