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Nathan Coley You Imagine What You Desire

Nathan Coley: You Imagine What You Desire

Nathan Coley’s work focuses on the environment in which society creates and the conflicting systems that our communities are structured upon.

Most recently at Jupiter Artland Coley created “in Memory”, which takes the form of a small family graveyard, the kind to be found in the grounds of many a country house or estate. By forming an enclosure creating a space and place, apart from its surroundings. It echoes previous works that have looked at how buildings are the articulation of beliefs – specifically places of worship ‘ In Memory’ asks us to think about how we mark lives that are passed.

George Bernard Shaw wrote, “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will”.

For Coley’s second addition to the collection and gallery exhibition he has created “You Imagine What You Desire”, an illuminated text which will exhibited in the Steading Gallery before being permanently re-sited within Jupiter Artland.


Nathan Coley (b 1967, Scotland) investigates the social aspects of our built environment, working across a diverse range of media including public and gallery-based sculpture, photography, drawing, and video. Interested in public space, the artist explores how architecture comes to be invested – and reinvested – with meaning, and how through the competing practices of place these claims and significations come into conflict.

Coley was born, lives and works in Glasgow. The artist graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1989 with a BA in Fine Art. He has enjoyed solo exhibitions at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2004), the Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbon (2001) and the Westfalischer Kunstverein, Munster (2000).

His work was included in ‘Days Like These’, a group exhibition at Tate Britain (2003), and in the ‘British Art Show 6’ at BALTIC (2005).Recent solo exhibitions include: De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, UK (2008); ’46 Brooklands Gardens’, Jaywick, Essex, England, UK (2008); Haunch of Venison, Berlin, Germany (2008); ‘Nathan Coley’, Bergen Kunsthall, Norway (2009); ‘Nathan Coley’, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne and ‘There Will Be No Miracles Here’, The National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2010). Recent group exhibitions include: ‘Tales of Time and Space’, Folkestone Triennial, Folkestone, UK (2008); ‘Mythologies’, Haunch of Venison London, UK (2009); ‘Communities without Propinquities’, Milton Keynes Art Gallery, London (2011); ‘Big Brother: Artists and Tyrants’, Dinard, France (2011) and ‘Crisis Commission’, Somerset House, London (2012). Coley’s work is represented in many European collections. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2007.