Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan are Glasgow-based artists who have worked collaboratively since 1995. They are perhaps known primarily for monumental sculptural works and installations such as HK (Tramway, Glasgow, 2001), The Glamour (2000, Transmission, Glasgow), A Routine Sequence of External Actions (Selective Memory, the Scottish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 2005) and Rhetoric Works and Vanity Works and Other Works (Newhailes, 2006).
The objects in their works regularly resemble esoteric props from an avant-garde play and are designed to inhabit a range of scenarios, activating their surroundings and cajoling the viewer into participating in an absurd kind of theatre. Along with these works, Tatham and O’Sullivan’s expansive practice also encompasses creative writing as an important element of the visual art work they produce. Indeed, their practice as a whole invites many parallels with the structures, systems and strategies of language. The writing they have produced has functioned variously as an integrated component of their practice, as an additional, parallel activity and as stand-alone texts for other artists. Both Tatham and O’Sullivan have written collaboratively and as single authors.
Joanne Tatham graduated from the MFA at Glasgow School of Art and has completed a practice-based PhD, Heroin Kills: Context and Meaning in Contemporary Art Practice at the University of Leeds, 2004. Tatham and O’Sullivan were Research Fellows at Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen. Tatham then worked at the University of Northumbria, and then the Royal College of Art.