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Born 1991

Jan McCullough is an Irish artist living and working in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her performance-based photographic work has been nominated for the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize, ICP New York Infinity Award and won the British Journal of Photography Breakthrough Award. Her book ‘Home Instruction Manual’, published by Verlag Kettler, was awarded the Kassel Fotobookfestival Dummy Award and shortlisted for the Recontres D’Arles Author Book Award. Recent installations include Gallery of Photography in Dublin, Seen Fifteen Gallery in London, Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam and Landskrona Museum in Sweden.


Photography books by Jan McCullough

  • 2016 Home Instruction Manual, Verlag Kettler

Awards and honours

  • 2018 Freelands Artist Programme 2018 – 2020
  • 2018 Nomination, Pla(t)form 2018, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland
  • 2016 Nomination, Deutsche Borse Photography Prize
  • 2016 Shortlist, Recontre D’Arles Book Award
  • 2016 British Journal of Photography Breakthrough Award
  • 2015 Kassel Fotobookfestival Dummy Award
  • 2015 Genesis Award, FORMAT Photography Festival


Solo exhibitions

  • 2016 Home Instruction Manual, Seen Fifteen Gallery, London

Group exhibitions

  • 2018 Dissolving Histories, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
  • 2018 Re/Member/Construct, Filter Space, Chicago
  • 2018 209 Women, Portcullis House, London
  • 2018 Singapore International Photo Festival, Singapore
  • 2018 TIFF Festival, CPF18, Wroclaw, Poland
  • 2018 Athens Photo Festival, Benaki Museum, Greece
  • 2018 A Place To Live, SIFEST Festival, Italy
  • 2018 10×10 Photography Festival, Gonzaga, Italy
  • 2017 International Festival of Photography, Monopoli
  • 2017 Engage, Gallery of Photography, Dublin
  • 2017 Photobookshow, Taiga, Saint Petersberg
  • 2017 FORMAT International Photography Festival, Derby
  • 2017 Interactions, Belfast Exposed Gallery, Belfast
  • 2016 The Gallery, Belfast School of Art
  • 2016 New Irish Works, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris
  • 2016 New Irish Works, The Library Project, Dublin
  • 2016 Arles Book Awards, Grand Halle, Arles
  • 2016 Fotoview: Ireland, Landskrona Museum, Sweden
  • 2016 BJP Breakthrough, Old Truman Brewery, London
  • 2016 First Edition, Cork Photo, Cork
  • 2015 Belfast Exposed Futures Gallery, Belfast
  • 2015 Espace Lhomond for Paris Photo, Paris
  • 2015 Unseen Photo Fair, Amsterdam
  • 2015 Kassel Touring Exhibitions: IED, Madrid Fotoistanbul, Istanbul Aarhus, Denmark Gothenburg, Sweden Fotogalleriet, Oslo, Kaunas Photo, Lithuania Photo Ireland, Dublin, Encontros das Imagem, Portugal
  • 2014 Reconstructions, Belfast Exposed Gallery, Belfast
  • 2014 Circulation(s) Festival, Le Centquatre, Paris


  • Vision Board Party (2018)
    Jan McCullough’s video piece, Vision Board Party, explores a ritualistic activity which aims to manifest desire into physical reality. Participants, led by the vision board party’s facilitator, cut and paste photographic images and words from magazines to construct collages which express their future desires, both emotional and physical. These are then referred to and meditated upon in the belief that these aspirations will consequently become reality.1 The film examines a Vision-Board-enthusiast named Kaya as she hosts a ‘Vision Board Party’, a celebratory gathering of people utilizing photography in a tactile manner in order to construct their desired futures.2
  • Home Instruction Manual (2014 – 2016)
    Home Instruction Manual explores the construction of identity through a series of collected ‘instructions’ or ‘truths’ about home, through the use of google, as explained here. Traditionally, instruction manuals have been the perfect source for practical solutions. Experts in specific subjects provide written authority on how to repair faults and carry out tasks from scratch. “I typed ‘how to make a home’ into Google, and was directed to an online chat forum in which self-described experts were exchanging detailed instructions. I rented an ordinary suburban house and carried out the strangers’ advice exactly over the period of two months. In complying with the instructions for making the perfect home, I contemplated the construction of an identity from scratch. The following photographs document the end result of my time living and working in the house, trying on different lives for size.3
  • Ladders (n.d.)
    Edition of 9 handmade artist books, made while I was photographing in work sheds. A group of men were working to repair specific parts of trains that required special ladders to gain access. They built and rebuilt ladders from varying materials in order to carry out their work. The books are a record of these DIY purpose-made ladders. An edition of 9 (1 for each man) printed on wood paper and small enough to fit in their jean pockets. 4


External links & References

  1. “Dissolving Histories – New Narratives” Golden Thread Gallery
  2. “Vision Board Party” Jan McCullough
  3. “Showcase: Jan McCullough” Photoworks 
  4. “Ladders” Jan McCullough