David Cleary

David Cleary is a North Wales based curator from Hull, East Yorkshire.

“As a curator working in the rural, I’m interested in collaborative production outside of urban centres, but also questioning the expectations of institutions and funders when working with artists with socially engaged practices. Where are lines of social responsibility re/drawn, who is drawing them, and how are curators navigating the frictions and tensions of these boundaries to best support artists? As welfare and social care continue to be broken down by authority, how can curators create space for artists so they can fulfil their creative role and don’t become substitutes for social services? How can institutions learn from artists and communities to be reciprocal and truly put into practice embedded forms of access and care into programmes and the way they operate internally.”

David is the current Curator of Learning and Engagement at Mostyn. His practice aims to question the civic responsibilities of art institutions through site responsive artistic commissions, continuous work to improve access, and producing public programmes which centre artist-led collaboration and mutual knowledge sharing with communities within regional and coastal settings.

Projects include cwrdd â mi wrth yr afon (2022), an offsite rural engagement and digital commission with artist Frances Disley, artist collective Utopias Bach and a collective of local North Wales plants and community groups; Sense Us (2022), a mini-residency and exhibition with artist/curator Sam Metz and Eliffant, a group of artists formed through Disability Arts Cymru; and Fruit Factory Network (2019-20), a professional development programme for visual artists in the Hull and East Yorkshire region.


Image courtesy of artist