Reynolds took her BA Hons degree in English Literature at St Catherine's College, Oxford before attending Goldsmiths College, London to receive an MA in Fine Art in 2002. Since that time to the present she has worked through a number of residencies, including a two year Leverhulme Trust Residency at the Oxford English Dictionary (2003-2005), a Jurassic Coast Artist/Scientist Residency at the Natural History Museum & Durlston Park, and an Artist Residency at UCL Museums and Collections. In addition she has been a part-time lecturer in art at The Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University.

In Cornwall, Reynolds and her partner Andy HARPER have a live/work studio and home called ASSEMBLY in St Just, Penwith.  This doubles as a residential retreat for artists (all fields, literary and visual) and hosts events and seminars. Between London and St Just, the two artists research and develop their exhibition pieces.

Reynolds' interest in books prompts her collages and sculptures which are often composed of found photographs spliced to create fresh narratives. As a research strategy, she has created her own digital catalogue of the Guardian newspaper's picture archive. Her work is held in the Government Art Collection, Yale University Art Gallery, New York Public Library and many private collections. The clearest dialogue her work opens is with time.

In September 2014 Gallerie Raum-mit-Licht showed Reynolds' work at the Istanbul International Art Fair. In the same month, her short film 'Double Brass' premiered at The Inland Art Festival in Redruth.

In May 2016 Reynolds was awarded the prestigious BMW Art Journey Prize. She said: 'The prize allows me to make a journey to the lost libraries of the Silk Road. I plan to visit the sites of 16 libraries lost to political conflicts, natural catastrophes, and war, starting from the Eastern and Western end points and then travelling inwards as far as today’s conflict zones allow. I’ll travel across China, Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt and Italy. As I travel through the shadows of the libraries, under a working title of ‘The Ruins of Time’ I will gather representations of the libraries in various forms: 3D scans, 16mm film, photography, microscope imagery, written text, plans and cataloguing systems. Based on this I intend to create a cluster of book forms, prints, collages, and moving image works.'

Reynolds' film 'The Mother's Bones' is being shown in the autumn of 2016 at the Inland Art Festival in Penzance, Plymouth and London (Royal College of Art). Made in Dean Quarry on the tip of the Lizard Peninsula with St Keverne Brass Band, it is described as 'a representation of the quarry through a mythic lens'.

In 2017 she created a live performance piece, 'We Beat the Bounds' to celebrate the opening day of the new Tate St Ives on 14 October.

Reynolds' artwork Tre - a Window for Cornwall was unveiled in Spring of 2022 at Kresen Kernow, Cornwall's new archive centre in Redruth. This permanent work, four metres high, has been installed in an existing window space in the archive's library. It is created from a constellation of references that reaches back to the oldest Cornish texts.


Sculptured photography; film making; book arts; mixed media & installation; teaching; performance


 Solo exhibitions:

2009: The Universal Now, Seventeen Gallery, London

2010: Collider, Ambach & Rice, Seattle

2010: Mount Fear, Trade Gallery, Nottingham

2010: Strange Attractor, Seventeen Gallery, London

2011: The British Countryside in Pictures, Seventeen Gallery, London

2012: Extraction/Exchange, Exchange Gallery, Penzance

2012: Common Treasury, Ambach & Rice, Los Angeles

2013: Double Fold, Rambert, South Bank, London (performance)

2013: Ein Zeit-Punkt, Raum Mit Licht, Vienna

2013: First Light, Plymouth College of Art

2014: Box A: Accidents, Kestle Barton, Manaccan, Cornwall

2016: A Point in Time, Kuckei & Kuckei, Berlin - a selection of works from The Universal Now series (14 Oct-19 Nov)

2017: Lost Libraries, Rokeby Gallery, London (9 June-21 July)

2022: Flux, Kestle Barton, Manaccan, Helston (9 Apr-12 June)

2022: Elliptical Reading BAS9 Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University Poetry Library (26 May-4 Sep)

2022: Elliptical Reading BAS9, The Box, Plymouth (8 Oct-23 Dec)

2022: When Words are Forgotten BAS9, Levinsky Gallery, Plymouth University (8 Oct-23 Dec)

2022/3: Monuments on Paper, Vitrine Basel (12 Nov-29 Jan)

2023: CORE (a commission from FLAMM), Redruth (21 Oct)

2023: Structures for Sun and Wind, Kestle Barton, Manaccan, Cornwall (Oct)

Group exhibitions:

2010: Exquisite Trove, NAG (House of Fairy Tales)

2011: At the Edge of Logic, Plataforma Revolver, Lisbon

2012: Appropriation I, Fotogalerie Wein, Vienna

2012: Inshore Fishing: Peter Lanyon and Contemporary Artists, Rokeby Gallery, London

2013: Rituals are Tellers of Us, NAG, Cornwall

2013: The Democracy of Objects, Nettie Horn, London

2014: Cities and Other Ruins, Sir John Soane's Museum, London

2015: 8/8, Rokeby Gallery, London (26 Apr-26 June)

2017: Ledger Lines, Kestle Barton, Manaccan (27 May-9 July)

2018: Speech Acts - Reflection, Imagination, Repetition, MAG, Manchester (25 May 2018-11 Apr 2019)

2019: The Dream of the Library, Museum fur Gegenwartzkunst Siegen, Germany (31 Mar-8 Aug)

2022: British Art Show 9, Wolverhampton School of Art (22 Jan-10 Apr)


misc further info

WCAA archival file


Information by interview (2010)

Lost Libraries by Abigail Reynolds (2017) pub. Hatje Cantz

Tre: A Window for Cornwall by Abigail Reynolds (2022)

Flux : Glass from Sand and Seaweed by Abigail Reynolds (2022)