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Jonathan P. Watts

Jonathan P. Watts (he/him) is a fully-funded PhD candidate at Norwich University of the Arts supervised by Professor Simon Willmoth and Professor Jo Melvin at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London.

Jonathan’s research project is on EASTinternational, an annual open-submission exhibition selected by invited guests – renowned artists, critics and gallerists – that occurred at Norwich annually from 1991 to 2009. Organised by curator Lynda Morris, devised with artist-educator Manuel Chetcuti, it formed a vital part of the Norwich Gallery programme, where Morris was director from 1981–2007.

Initially known as ‘EAST National Open Art Exhibition’, EASTinternational was envisioned as a networked model to be replicated in art schools throughout the UK. EAST would be an essential component of a sustainable, decentred regional art economy networked beyond the imperial city of London. Jonathan’s research explores artist-centred exhibition-making practices, legacies of decentralisation, and transnational solidarities. Primary research is carried out in the EAST archive at Norwich, fieldwork in the institution, and through oral history interviews with participants. 

Jonathan is a research tutor in Contemporary Art Practice at the Royal College of Art, London. He is co-director of Josey gallery, Norwich. Jonathan has published widely on contemporary art.