Site-specific art


I was doing Urban Exploration! Exploring forbidden derelict strange places. 
I'm fascinated by History.
I'm interested in how art can communicate in ways that conventional texts such as books and news reports cannot.


 Karen Janody and I co-founded Creative City, to create public art in a regenerated housing estate. The Haggerston Monoliths, made by sculptor Bobbi Fennick, is a participatory project with the residents of Haggerston and Kingsland Estates. and was completed in October 2019.  View



In 2011 I curated the King's Land project by Nazir Tanbouli, to over a condemned housing estate with hand-drawn /painted murals. And I made a documentary about it, which has been screened widely. View. 

My MA Fine Art was on Site Specific art. A portion of the thesis is represented in the website



I founded the group Luna Nera with Valentina Floris and Sandrine Albert after my undergraduate degree and we worked for ten years as a successful international art group making large scale site-specific projects.


Luna Nera's sites of practice

● The Old Colosseum, a Victorian Theatre, London
● Natwest Bank Vault, London
● The House of Detention, Underground Prison, London
 Electricity-generating plant, Russia, Nizhny Novgorod
● Battery Factory, Oberschoeneweide, Berlin, Germany.
● Cabinetmakers Workshop, London
● Paper factory, Zurich, Switzerland
● Naval base Kronstadt St Petersburg Russia,
● Mattatio di Testaccio Slaughterhouse, Rome, Italy
● Cold Storage Building, Berlin Germany
● Midland Grand Hotel, St Pancras London
● Harland and Wolff Shipyard, Belfast, N. Ireland
● Flour Mill, Barcelona Spain,
● River Embankment, Prague, Czech Republic,
● Former Tram Depot, Weimar, Germany
● Parade of empty shops, Oberschoeneweide Berlin Germany.
● winter landscape, Wysing Arts Cambridge

Additionally, Luna Nera had exhibitions in:

Spider & Mouse Gallery, Moscow 
Moscow Art Fair
Tactical Gallery London
Atelier Alexandria, Egypt
PS2 Gallery, Belfast
291 Gallery, London
Optica Festival Gijón Asturias, España
00130Gallery, Helsinki
Factory-Berlin, Berlin
6e Bienniale Champ Libre manifestation internationale Vidéo Et Art Électronique, Montréal
Whitechapel Gallery, London
Globe Gallery,  Newcastle
Centre for Contemporary Art Nizhny Novgorod
La Nau, Valencia
Loophole, Berlin
Manege, St Petersburg

Luna Nera can be found on

[images, from top: The House of Detention, London; Wysing Art Cambridge, Harland and Wolff Shipyard Belfast;  Prague; Loophole Berlin; The Foundry; DadaFestwochen Sihlpapierfabirk, Zurich;The House of Detention; Manege St Petersburg; performance Natasha Mayran]





Luna Nera has been supported  by grants and project grants from  the Arts Council of England, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, NAN, Awards for All, the National Lottery, the Canada Council, Pro Helvetia, Berlin Hauptstadtkulturfonds, the National Centre for Contemporary Art Russia, the Soros Foundation and private donations.


Site specific art explores the artistic, social and cultural issues surrounding the "reclamation" of public space through art. The city becomes a zone of experimentation and perspective shift, encouraging the artist and the audience to see the landscape and objects within it in a new way. Questions about time, impermanence, memory, artifice and locality arise, providing raw materials for the artist and points of access for the audience.

History is not so much about facts as about perceptions of the world around us, and a sense that we belong to something that has existed before we did. That is why these forgotten places have the ability to hold such resonance.

Titanic HQ project Belfast, Luna Nera 2005 artist Derek Szteliga

Work site-responsively, the artist concerned with the experience of being in those spaces, in the inter-relationship of the past and present, imprints of history and current activity, the physical feel and texture of the space and with bringing those experiences out to the public. The work has the ability to make the audience think about where they are, to reintegrate the lost fragmented forgotten place back into their consciousness.


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© Gillian McIver