Wendy McMurdo

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Wendy McMurdo
McMurdo in 2016
Born 1962
Edinburgh, UK
Nationality British
Education University of Westminster; Goldsmiths, University of London; Pratt Institute, Brooklyn; Edinburgh College of Art
Known for Art, Contemporary Fine Art, Photography, Digital Media

Wendy McMurdo (born 1962 in Edinburgh, Scotland) is a British artist who specialises in photography and digital media. She attended Edinburgh College of Art, Goldsmiths, University of London and Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York where she first became interested in photography.


Her work centres around the relationship between technology and identity and she has produced several influential bodies of work which explore this theme.

Her first one-person show In a Shaded Place – the digital and the uncanny [1] was toured extensively by The British Council in the mid-90s. Her subsequent exhibition at the Centro de Fotografia Universidad de Salamanca in 1998 resulted in the publication of the first monograph [2] on her work. She has been included in numerous group shows, including Unheimlich, curated by Urs Stahel at the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland, Scanner, curated by Lawrence Rinder at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, California, The Anagrammatical Body – The Body and its Photographic Condition at the Neue Galerie Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum in Graz, Austria, and Only Make Believe – Ways of Playing, curated by Marina Warner at Compton Verney, UK.

Her work has been commissioned by The Science Museum in London and The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, and is in a number of collections including that of the Fotomuseum Winterthur, The British Council, agnès b, Mario Testino, the National Galleries of Scotland, and most recently Seattle's Henry Art Gallery, WA USA. Her work has been the subject of documentaries for BBC2, Channel 4 [3] and the National Galleries of Scotland [4].

Recent commissions include Indeterminate Objects (classrooms) for The Media Wall, The Photographers' Gallery, London, October 2017 - January 2018; a site-specific project "The World in London" for The Photographers' Gallery exhibited during the 2012 Summer Olympics, and The Skater [5] for the Ffotogallery in Wales, 2009, to celebrate 30 years of photographic commissioning.

Recent exhibitions include "Gravitas", curated by Christiane Monarchi for Photo50 [6] at the London Art Fair, 2017; DATA RUSH at the Old Sugar Factory in Groningen for the 22nd Noorderlicht International Photofestival; "Digital Play : Wendy McMurdo Collected Works 1995 - 2012" at Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, as part of GENERATION - 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland, a programme of exhibitions across Scotland in 2014. Her short film "Olympia" was showcased by Onedotzero as part of their Future Cities touring programme in 2011/2012. A retrospective of her photographic work was shown at the Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts, University of Bath in 2011/2012.

She is currently a board member for Stills Gallery in Edinburgh and a lecturer on the MA (Photography) programme at Falmouth University. In 2015, Wendy McMurdo was awarded a PhD by Publication from the University of Westminster for her work exploring the impact of the computer on photography and identity formation.[7] She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).


Helen, Backstage, Merlin Theatre (The Glance) 1996

PhD by Publication, University of Westminster, 2015; Honorary Research Fellow, European Centre for Photographic Research, University of Wales, 2010; Leverhulme Research Fellow, 2010; Creative Scotland Award, 2002; Leverhulme Research Fellow, 2000-2002; Henry Moore Fellow, 1993–1995; MA (Fine Art), Goldsmiths, University of London, 1993.


  • Hilde Van Gelder & Helen Westgeest (2011). Photography Theory in Historical Perspective: Case Studies from Contemporary Art. Wiley-Blackwell. Chichester, UK
  • EXIT, Imagen & Cultura Issue No. 40, (2010). About 10. Rosa Olivares & Associates, S.L. Madrid
  • Sylvia Wolf (2010). The Digital Eye: Photographic Art in the Electronic Age. Prestel. New York
  • Ffotogallery (2009). Wendy McMurdo: The Skater. Ffotogallery. Wales.
  • David Campany (Ed) (2007). Art and Photography (Themes & Movements). Phaidon Press Ltd. London
  • Charlotte Cotton (2004). The Photograph as Contemporary Art (World of Art). Thames & Hudson. London
  • Centro de Fotografia, Universidad de Salamanca (1998, 2000). Wendy McMurdo. Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca. Spain
  • David Brittain (Ed) (1999). Creative Camera: Thirty Years of Writing. Manchester University Press. Manchester
  • Gilda Williams (Ed) (1997). Strange Days – British Contemporary Photography. Charta Press. Milan


  1. ^ Thompson, J. (1996). "Magical Mystories: Wendy McMurdo at the Site Gallery" mute, Issue 3. Retrieved 16 October 2008.
  2. ^ Wendy McMurdo. Centro de Fotografia Universidad de Salamanca. Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca. 2000 [1998]. 
  3. ^ "The Mix: Express Yourself. Programme 2: Wendy McMurdo – Photographic dreamscapes," Channel 4. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Wendy McMurdo – The Digital Mirror," National Galleries of Scotland. Retrieved 25 March 2018
  5. ^ Wendy McMurdo: The Skater. Ffotogallery Wales. Ffotogallery. 2009. 
  6. ^ Gravitas, Photo50, London Art Fair 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Children and computers : collected works (1995-2014)," British Library EThOs e-theses online service. Retrieved 22 November 2015.

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