Andy Abbott

Born 1980. Lives and works in W. Yorks. British

Andy is an artist, musician, writer and arts organiser. He has exhibited and performed internationally as an individual artist and in various collaborations including the art collective Black Dogs. He plays internationally solo and in various groups, and composes music for film, performance and installations. In 2012 he was awarded his practice-led PhD from the University of Leeds with a thesis on ‘art, self-organised cultural activity and the production of postcapitalist subjectivity’. Andy is currently Lead Artist for the This Is Nelson people and culture strand of the £25million Nelson Town Deal in East Lancashire. Prior to this he was Visiting Research Curator for the UNIDEE Residency Programs at Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Italy. In 2018 - 2019 he managed the embedded arts strand of a Landscape Partnership as Environment Programme Co-ordinator for In-Situ, and between 2016 - 2018 piloted a Centre for Socially Applied Arts as Producer Music and Visual Arts for University of Bradford.



PhD Fine Art. University of Leeds: 2008-2012
MA Fine Art. University of Leeds: 2007-2008
BA Fine Art. University of Leeds: 2001-2005
Diploma in Foundation Studies, Leeds College Art and Design: 2000-2001


Artist Statement

I am an interdisciplinary socially engaged artist. Many of my projects are co-produced with the audiences and communities who will experience the work. I work with themes of place, people, and collective imagination using research-based, embedded and conversational methods. The artistic outcomes are shaped by the process and have included print, performances, events, festivals, music compositions, video, interactive digital works and video games. My work has been presented in galleries and museums but my passion is for putting art in public and unusual spaces. I am especially interested in using art as a tool to uncover underrepresented narratives and voices and I have a deep commitment to exploring the role of art and creativity in social change.


Selected Exhibitions, Commissions and Residencies

DIY Utopia: Future of Calderdale, young people’s workshops for Artworks, Halifax
Ambient Music and Memory, artist-in-residence for NHS psychiatric ward, Pontefract
Grassroots Music in Calderdale, artist-researcher for Puzzle Hall, Calderdale

Nelson Reimagined, Lead Artist for Nelson Town Deal, Pendle (ongoing until 2025)
Exquisite Walks, for ‘Art Lab: Experiments in Collaboration', Dean Clough, Halifax
Careers in Agriculture, educational VR experiences, Myerscough College, Preston
Artwork as Toolkit & Tools for the Commons, curator of UNIDEE art labs, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy

Tools and Technologies for Embedded Arts Practice, curator of UNIDEE art lab, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy
Reet Maff'l, alternative audioguide commission for HKS, Bergen, Norway
Groundwork for Embedded Arts Practice, curator of UNIDEE residency, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy
ARC: Artistic Research at Cittadellarte, curator of UNIDEE residency for ArtEZ, Arnhem, Netherlands

Embedded Arts Practice in a Postpandemic Future, curator of UNIDEE residency, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, Italy
Future of Work: Pendle, Associate Artist research project for In-Situ, Pendle

Reet Maff'l, residency and performance for Convivio, Oaxaca Mexico
What Makes Gipton, Interactive Sculpture for East Leeds Project, Leeds
Bradford Common Space, National Science and Media Museum, Bradford
Lutopia - People Power Passion, Commission for Luton Borough Council, Luton
What Makes Thornton, Exhibition and Bespoke Video and Board Game, Bradford

Digital Artist in Residence, Digital Artist Residency and Museum of Oxford, Oxford
Catalyst Colab, University of Bedfordshire Testbeds Artist Impact Accelerator programme, Luton
In 50 Years, Collaborative 360 Animation for South Square Centre, Thornton
Nesfield Magic Garden, Collaborative 360 Animation for Nesfield Lodge Dementia Care Home and Equal Arts, Leeds

What Makes Horbury, event and publication, Horbury, Yorkshire
Virtual Reality filmmaking workshops, Nesfield Lodge Dementia Care Home, Leeds
Reet Maff'l performance for ArtLicks Festival, London
Artist in Residence, The Cluntergate Centre, Horbury, Yorkshire
Reet Maff'l commission for Cliffe Castle, Keighley

Wakefield Zodiac, performance and print for Wakefield Art Walk, Wakefield
Reet Maff'l performance for Word Gulch, Barbican, London
Reet Maff'l performance for Vespertine, Black Swan, York
An evening with Reet Maff'l, commissioned augmented reality performance, Silk Mill, Derby
Centre for Dark Matter, installation for Great Exhibition of The North bid, Bradford
Centre for Dark Matter, Wakefield Arts Partnership research and engagement commission, Wakefield
Elizabeth / Golden Meat duo, interactive sound and visual performance for children, The Tetley, Leeds
Reet Maff'l, performance for Luke Drozd WIMS, Homesession, Barcelona

Dead Air Party, silent gig UK tour supported by Sound and Music
Reet Maff'l, performance as part of Beg, Borrow, Steal, Toynbee Studios, London
Mining Poems and Odes by Callum Rice, soundtrack commission for Scottish Documentary Institute

Bradford Festival of Pastimes, commission for South Square Gallery, Thornton, Bradford
Proposition 0'00", performance for Art Licks Weekend, London
Guided Goitside Black Dogs radio play produced and broadcast for RECON festival, Bradford


Blackburn Festival of Pastimes, commission for MAAP and CRT, Daisyfield Centre, Blackburn
Fieldworks, exhibition with Fellow in Art Caroline Hick, Gallery II, Bradford
Gasworks International Fellowship, residency, PiST/// Interdisciplinary Project Space, Istanbul


We Lucky Few: Saltaire’s Other Paths, Saltaire Arts Trail, Saltaire, Bradford
Heavy Metal Bell Pits, contribution to Pieces of Eight group exhibition, PSL, Leeds
Merzbarn Residency, Black Dogs on invitation by Littoral, Eltewater, Lake District

Next To Nothing, Black Dogs exhibition, +44 141 Gallery, Glasgow
Saltaire Food Map, exhibition for Saltaire Arts Trail, Saltaire, Bradford
A Serious Waste of Time: (Non-works in progress), Solo exhibition, Marshalls Mill, Holbeck, Leeds

MK2morrow, Black Dogs exhibition, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes
Bankside Views, Black Dogs commissioned event for Tate Community, Tate Modern, London
How Not To Sell your Soul at NSFS, Black Dogs installation at No Soul For Sale, Tate Modern, London

Silence Please, audio performance intervention for Light Night, Leeds Central Library, Leeds
Longton Festival of Pastimes, commission for Urban Vision North Staffs, Stoke-on-Trent
Tower Works Interventions, Black Dogs public art commission from Yorkshire Forward, Holbeck, Leeds

Things to Do in Sholver/ECR, public intervention events for HMR arts strategy, Oldham and Rochdale
Significant Pursuits, participatory performance for Journey with Fluxus, Flux-Fest, Birmingham
Festival of Pastimes, public intervention event, Briggate, Leeds


Dogs Vs Wolves Gallery Giveaway, Black Dogs exhibition and event, Dazed Gallery, London
Careless Talk Costs Lives, Black Dogs, Leeds Met Gallery, Leeds

Unidee Residency, Fondazione Cittadellarte, Biella, Italy
Wager Slave, Black Dogs group show, Bloc Space, Sheffield

Republic, Situation Leeds public art festival, Patrick Studios, Leeds

Arte Et Labore, Black Dogs group show, Cloth Hall, Leeds


Selected Discography, Soundtracks and Commissions

The Book of The Machines Parts I and II (Reverb Worship) 2023
Erewyrehve (ADRA Records) 2022
Six Principles of Erewyrehve (Borley Rectory) 2020

Andrew DR Abbott
Erewyrehve (ADRA Records) 2021
Dead in Chellow Dean (Cardinal Fuzz / Feeding Tube Records) 2019
Live on Daisy Hill (Bloxham Tapes) 2018

Kill Yourself

The Soft Touch of Man (Gringo Records) 2002

Walker (The Audacious Art Experiment / Obscene Baby Auction) 2014
Revision (The Audacious Art Experiment / Obscene Baby Auction) 2012

Reet Maff'l
Brass Neck Evocation / Gospel Chops (Bloxham Tapes) 2021
The Mount (Borley Rectory) 2018
Introduction to the (Your) Mind - Part One (Self release) 2017
That'll Be (Bloxham Tapes) 2015

That Fucking Tank
Document of the Last Set (Gringo Records) 2013
TFT (Gringo Records) 2012
Tanknology (Gringo Records) 2009
Day of Death By Bono Adrenalin Shock (Jealous Records) 2006
Document of the First Set (Jealous Records) 2004

Soundtracks and commissions (Film, Installation, Performance)
South Square Centre Garden Gigs for Rose Cottage Care Home Residents, Thornton 2020
A Working Day of Drone, St Marks Church, Leeds, 2016
2001, live performance for alumni event and exhibition, Leeds College of Art, 2016
Enthusiasm by Dziga Vertov, live soundtrack, Showroom, Sheffield and Leftbank Leeds, 2016
Mining Poems or Odes by Callum Rice, film soundtrack, 2015
The Wonderful World Of…, theatre soundtrack (performed live), Temple Works, Leeds, 2011
Free Films Made Freely, live soundtracking to Paolo Gioli 16mm film, Patrick Studios, Leeds, 2011
Up in Flames, live soundtracking music performance at Film and Fire event, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, 2010
Responsive Improvisation, live exhibition soundtrack at Site Gallery, Liverpool, 2007


Selected Publications and Presentations

Reflections on Embedded Arts Practice: UNIDEE Residency Programmes 2020 – 2022, (Cittadellarte Fondazione-Pistoletto / Corridor8), 2023
‘Born To Rewild: Cultivating Authentic Connections in DIY and Low-Intervention (Agri)Culture’, article for Counterflows Festival Zine, Glasgow, 2023
'We’ll Start All Over Again: Embedded Arts Practice and the Post-industrial North', article for Corridor8, 2021
'Embedded Practice and the Future of (Art) Work', blog series for In-Situ, 2020
‘DIY to UBI’, Tormey and Whiteley (eds.), Art, Politics and the Pamphleteer, (Bloomsbury, London), 2020
'DIY Bother? Reasons To Just Keep Doing It', in Don't Make A Scene: A Field Guide To Putting on DIY Gigs, Edinburgh 2014
'Fieldworks: Research and Experiments within Art and Culture', exhibition catalogue, University of Bradford 2013
'Open Door', Tyman and Rushton, The Good Life (Castlefield Gallery, Manchester) 2013
'Just Doing It: Art, Self-organised Cultural Activity and the Production of Postcapitalist Subjectivity', Mika Hannula et al (eds.), Artist as Researchers: A New Paradigm for Art Education in Europe, (FAFA, Helsinki) 2013
'Garden Nomad: Artistic Journeying and Postcapitalist Subjectivity', Sanat Dünyamız, Istanbul 2012
'A Serious Waste of Time', self-published art-book with Audio CD 2012
‘Forever Young; Self-organisation in music, art and the institution’, Moot Points Catalogue. Glasgow 2008

Presentation / Workshop / Lecture
Basic Income For The Arts In Ireland - What Can We Learn?, UBI Lab Arts, 2022 - 2024
Nelson Reimagined, interdisciplinary conversation series for This Is Nelson, 2022 - 2025
Reimagining Post-industrial Towns with Embedded Arts Practice, presentation for In-Situ, Nelson 2021
From DIY to UBI, panel discussion contribution for The Institute of Radical Imagination's One Income Many Worlds assembly at Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid 2021
Lutopia: Art as a tool for facilitating discussions about UBI and Postwork Futures, BIEN conference 2021
Unknotting Socially Distanced Engaged Practice with Digital Tools, Accademia UNIDEE, Biella Italy 2020
Immersive Digital Experiences Connecting People and Place,, Virtuality in Art Panel for Yorkshire Sculpture International, Leeds 2019
Lutopia Workshop, PARSE Art and Work Conference at Skogen, Gothenburg 2019
Art’s Use in The Real World, University of Leeds 2017
Full Scale, Arts Use in the Real World, Bradford College 2017
Sounding Out The Commons in Leeds and Bradford, Tetley, Leeds 2016
Dark Matter: Lessons From Bradford's Counter-culture, video presentation for Keep It Simple Make It Fast conference, University of Porto, Portugal 2016
Dark Matter: Lessons From Bradford's Counter-culture, presented at Reflections on the Work of Albert Hunt/Within the Art School and Without, Bradford College 2016
Panelist for 'Make Your Own Culture - The Future of DIY Venues & Autonomous Cultural Space', Profound Sound festival, Folkestone 2016
DIY Bother?, Valand Academy, Gothenburg 2015
Panelist for 'DIY Discussion’, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead 2015
Panelist for 'DIY Strategies for Sound And Music', The Custard Factory, Birmingham 2014
'Just Do(ing) It. DIY Culture and Postcapitalist Imaginaries' paper presented at Keep It Simple Make It Fast conference, University of Porto, Portugal 2014
Just Do(ing) It, Again, organiser of conference on self-organised culture, 1 in 12 Club, Bradford 2013
'The Radical Ethics of DIY in Self-organised Art and Cultural Activity', presentation for Ixia Public Art and Self-organisation conference, Leeds 2012
'Garden Nomad', presentation at Anarchist Studies Network Conference, Loughborough 2012
Just Do(ing) It, organiser of conference on self-organised art as part of RaRa, S1 Artspace, Sheffield 2011
‘A Serious Waste of Time: Artistic Praxis and the Production of Post-Capitalist Subjectivity’, presentation for Artistic Research conference, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds 2011
’Garden Nomad’, presentation for Artistic Research conference Finnish Academy of Arts, Helsinki, Finland 2009
Your Arms! presentation, O2k Knowledge economy conference, Thessaloniki, Greece 2007


Selected Employment, Organisations and Steering Groups

Lead Artist, This Is Nelson / In-Situ: 2022 - date
Visiting Research Curator, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto: 2020 - 2022
Environment Programme Co-ordinator, In-Situ: 2018 - 2019
Producer Music and Visual Arts, University of Bradford: 2011 - 2018
Associate Lecturer Fine Art, Leeds College Of Art: 2006 - 2011

UNIDEE Residency Programs, steering group: 2022 - date
Puzzle Hall Inn, events committee: 2022 – date
Fountain Arts CIC, director: 2022 - date
Art in Unusual Spaces, director: 2011 - 2020
Bradford Threadfest director: 2012 - 2015
Recon Festival, director/producer: 2013 - 2016
Founding member of UBI Lab Arts: 2020 - date
Founding member of Black Dogs artist collective: 2003 - 2015
Founding member of Obscene Baby Auction DIY record label and music collective: 2001 - 2012
Editor/producer of The Mirrored Hammer, radio show and newspaper: 2012 - 2015
Club Secretary of Wharf Chambers Co-operative Club: 2011 - 2013
Steering group for Leeds Creative Timebank: 2010 - 2013
Steering group for Leeds Visual Art Forum: 2010
Board for Lumen AV arts organisation: 2007 - 2010
Steering group for Situation Leeds 07 festival: 2007
Board for A Delicate Matter gallery: 2005 - 2007