Bath School of Art

The Art Research Centre (ARC) at Bath School of Art is comprised of artists, artistic researchers, makers, curators and critical writers and PhD students working across the field of contemporary art practice and theory. All our academic staff and research students exhibit and/or publish their work nationally and internationally in varied outputs ranging from solo and group exhibtions, live performances, curatorial projects, conference presentations to more traditional outputs of journal articles, book chapters and monographs. Our Research Agenda supports and encourages critical and practical investigations and explorations of a wide range of art and design contents, subjectivities and materialities, underscored by the a dynamic and productive emphasis on Thinking through Making. All of our work could be seen in the light of productive ‘semiotic technologies’, that is, the fabrication of meaning and affect through the explorations of signs, materials, processes, texts and ideas.

The aims of the Art Research Centre and the methodologies adopted are left deliberately open and flexible; the creative, imaginative, questioning and collaborative approaches our members employ. Our artistic research lies at the centre of our entire intellectual, artistic, pedagogical and operational framework. Through it, we demonstrate our values of imagination, criticality, creativity and innovation. At the heart of our approach to artistic research of all forms is a continuing enquiry into the manner in which knowledge can be seen to be produced through both material and immaterial forms.

Our aim is to ensure that this enquiry is of worth and significance to society. Our Research is pursued within a culture of creative curiosity that values equally the contribution of hand skill, machine and digital technologies and theoretical contexts as means towards this end. Through the Centre, the relations within the School of Art itself and also its relations to the wider cultural, social and political milieu will continue to be subject to interrogation in informal dialogue running alongside more disciplined and structured engagements.

Research Groups

The Schools are home to six Research groups, some emerging, some more established, whose membership includes Researchers, ESR’s and PhD students. A number of our groups, staff and PhD students are participating in the CoG project

The Groups are as follows;


Material/Making (Lead. Conor Wilson):

Exploring the relationships between material and discursive/linguistic processes which make up the 'work' of the work of art.



Material/Performativity (Lead. Young In Hong):

Exploring movement, time and liveness as raw materials.



Material/Index (Lead. Andrew Southall):

Exploring Drawing and Photography through touch, index, and time.


Material/Art, Science, environment (Lead. Mariele Neudecker):


The Group is formed to discuss questions around developments around the Arts and Sciences, historically and today. How and where do methods of working in both fields get understood and fit into our lives? Where do the ideas in Art and Science overlap and how does the importance of our imagination help up to describe and understand the world around us.


Material/Participant (Lead. Mike Tooby):

Exploring shifts in thinking around curatorial practices with an emphasis on the participatory.



This group has been running for 5 years and runs monthly open seminars in which artists, curators and researchers are invited to present and discuss issues and projects which touch upon the participatory nature of curatorial practices and art making.


Material/Pedagogy (Lead. Natasha Kidd):

Exploring diverse pedagogies emerging from Art Processes, subjectivities and methodologies.


This cluster emerges out of the art pedagogical enquiries of a number of staff, notably Tate Exchange projects


From March 2020 The Art Research Centre also became the home to the informal Research group Network, Space, Place, Practice (SPP) (Lead. Michele Whiting) which was already in existence but without an institutional home. SPP challenges and explores the interstices between embodied making and theoretical enquiry in the context of space and place, working with artists and geographers.

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