The Department of Art and Design is based at Kingsway Buildings, Chester and offers Single Honours undergraduate programmes in Graphic Design, Fine Art and Photography. You can also study Photography, Graphic Design and Fine Art as part of a Combined Honours course. We also offer postgraduate programmes in Design and Fine Art.

Recent Submissions

  • Inspired by Nature

    Turner, Jeremy; University of Chester (Forestry Commission, 2018-05)
    Sculptural work included in juried exhibition, 'Inspired by Nature'. Selected members of the Royal Society of Sculptors invited to exhibit at Grizedale Forest Gallery as part of a collaboration between the RSS, Forestry Commission and Forest Artworks.
  • Death returned her to rags - Fzkke Gallery

    Dilworth, Alexe; University of Chester (2016-07-08)
    'Death returned her to rags' is a solo exhibition installed at the Fzkke Gallery, Euskirchen, Germany. It features a substantial body of work investigated through photography, print, sculpture and site-specific interventions. The work explores both the physical and mythological resonances within remote rural landscapes. The date of the show was from 8th July 2016 - 21st of August 2016.
  • The ‘Epistemic Object’ in the Creative Process of Doctoral Inquiry

    Gray, Carole; Malins, Julian; Bristow, Maxine; University of Chester (Intellect Ltd., 2018-12)
    Within the framework of practice-led doctoral research in the art and design sector, there has long been debate about the role of the artefact/creative works in the process of inquiry and in the final submission for Ph.D. examination. Their status can be ambiguous and the concept of ‘exhibition’ is – we would argue – problematic in this context. In this chapter we want to suggest an alternative way of considering the role of artefacts/creative works in a doctoral submission, by discussing the liberating concept of ‘epistemic objects’ – their possible forms and agencies, and the alternative display/sharing of the understandings generated from these through ‘exposition’ not exhibition. Whilst our experience and expertise lies within the sector of art and design, we suggest that some ideas in this chapter may resonate and be relevant to other creative disciplines in the revealing and sharing of doctoral research outcomes. This process can be difficult and provoke many anxieties for the practitioner-researcher and their supervisors, so some clarity on this might help everyone involved in the examination of doctoral work to approach it with integrity and confidence, and see it as a valuable learning experience for all involved.
  • The Marie Duval Archive: Memory and the Development of the Comic Strip Canon

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-09-23)
    This chapter describes the creation and publishing of The Marie Duval Archive, a free online image archive which brings together the known extant work of pioneering London cartoonist and theatre actress Marie Duval (1847–1890). It discusses how analysis of the current canon of nineteenth-century comic strips influenced both the purpose of The Archive and it’s form. Considering the impact of digitisation and remote archiving on the canon, this commentary finally describes the specific relationships between archive, canon and memory that The Archive articulates, relative to the disappearance from scholarly and public view of Duval’s work, with one notable exception, since the appearance of her last drawings in the 1880s.
  • Dispossession: A Novel of Few Words

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Jonathan Cape (Vintage), 2015-09-01)
    A scholarly remediation of one of the later novels of Anthony Trollope.
  • Visuality and identity in post-millennial Indian graphic narratives, by E. Dawson Varughese. 2018. Palgrave Pivot, Palgrave, New York

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2018-07-25)
    Review of Visuality and identity in post-millennial Indian graphic narratives, by E. Dawson Varughese.
  • The Hill of Dreams: Re-evaluating literary influences in the northern landscape photography of Raymond Moore.

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Northern Light: Critical approaches to proximity and distance in northern landscape photography conference 2018, 2018-07-02)
    The landscape photography of Raymond Moore (1920-1987) has been contextualised as a minor footnote in the British documentary tradition of the 1970s, yet his work deserves further scrutiny. Using the author’s previously unpublished interview with the photographer recorded in the last year of his life, this paper explores Moore’s interest in literature and charts the influences that helped to shape his unique view of the north. For Moore, reading Arthur Machen’s fantasy novel The Hill of Dreams was an epiphany – yet it is hard to think of a more unlikely source of inspiration for the photographer best known for his banal, distanced and reductive view of the north. Moore was a complex artist, not given to writing about his work and one who rarely spoke about his motives. Working outside the long-term documentary project format common amongst his peers, Moore operated without a brief or a narrative intent and was sceptical about the perceived proselytising tone of his contemporaries. Instead and like Machen, Moore saw the northern landscape as a fantasy playground – a territory rich in visual banality and a space to exercise formalism and an aesthetic sensibility imprinted from an earlier career as an abstract painter. Drawn to liminal spaces and deserted edgelands and with a fascination for the nondescript, Moore was a mute chronicler of the mundane and an unacknowledged proponent of the detached observational genre so familiar today.
  • Courir deux lièvres: un roman de peu de mots

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Les Impressions Nouvelles, 2015-01-01)
    A scholarly remediation of one of the later novels of Anthony Trollope for the Francophone market.
  • Michael Sandle: Grit in the Oyster and Ideas Never Completed

    Quayle, Cian; University of Chester (Cheshire West and Cheshire Council, 2018-05-18)
    'Grit in the Oyster and Ideas Never Completed' appears in the book publication which accompanies the exhibition 'Michael Sandle - Monumental Rage' at the Grosvenor Museum, May 19 - October 7. The exhibition was curated by Peter Boughton, Keeper of Art at the Grosvenor Museum. The artworks in the exhibition were loaned by the artist and Flowers Gallery, London following their exhibition entitled 'Time, Transition, and Dissent', 22 January - 20 February, 2016. Michael Sandle is one of the leading sculptors of his generation with public artworks on display worldwide. The essay takes the form of an interview based on meetings and correspondence with Sandle, which focus on a collection of the artist's sketchbooks from 1965 onwards. Sandle's work is rooted in drawing as a medium as he continually works through ideas for sculpture, which are not completed in the sense that the themes and concerns, which the work addresses thematically, are unresolved in relation to their subject and content. The sketchbooks reveal the development of thoughts and ideas for artworks and their relationship with time, place, dream and memory. These ideas are continually reformulated in drawings and etchings, which are then made manifest in site-specific works of sculpture. The essay references significant events and influential works by other artists, writers and composers which have shaped Sandle's life and work. Sandle's empathy for humanity, and the injustice and catastrophic tragedy of war are also referenced in relation to Walter Benjamin's 'Theses on the Philosophy of History' (1940) via Paul Klee's drawing 'Angelus Novus'.
  • Marie Duval

    Grennan, Simon; Sabin; Waite, Julian; University of Chester, Central Saint Martins (Myriad Editions, 2018-03-22)
    General audience book presenting and analysing the work of Victorian cartoonist and actress Marie Duval.
  • Medium, knowledge, structure: capacities for choice and the contradiction of medium-specificity in games and comics.

    Grennan, Simon; Hague, Ian; University of Chester, London College of Communication (Image [&] Narrative Journal, 2018-03-01)
    Chris Ware’s Building Stories (2012) is a box containing fourteen items that can be read in any order, and for this reason it appears to offer its readers a great deal of choice over the narrative structure of the work. This paper contrasts Building Stories with the video games Fallout: New Vegas and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to demonstrate that that although Building Stories does offer choices, these choices are not ultimately meaningful because while the reader can decide the order of presentation, they cannot decide the order of events as they can in the games, and in other examples such as Marc Saporta’s novel Composition No.1. The article draws upon the work of Seymour Chatman, Gonzalo Fresca and Espen Aarseth in analysing narratives in games and texts, and concludes by considering the implications of choice in narrative.
  • Medium (un)specificity as material agency – the productive indeterminacy of matter/material

    Bristow, Maxine; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-03-22)
    In this article, I consider some of the debates brought to the fore by the proliferation of recent textile focused exhibitions; namely the tension between a continued allegiance to medium specific conventions and the richness, hybridity and heterogeneity afforded by the post-medium condition of contemporary art. Through a new body of sculptural and installational practice I propose a constellatory opening up of textile in which the medium specific can be (re)mapped in a fluid and fragmentary way. Drawing particular reference from Adorno’s conception of the constellation and mimetic comportment, this model of practice involves a mode of behaviour that actively opens up to alterity and returns authority to the affective indeterminacy of the sensuously bound experiential encounter. This is manifest through a range of practice strategies - “thingness”, “staged (dis)contiguity”, and the play between “sensuous immediacy and corporeal containment” - which mobilise a precarious relationship between processes of attachment and detachment. Acknowledging the critical currency afforded to textile through feminist and poststructuralist critique, the work moves away from “a rhetoric of negative opposition” and predetermined discursive frameworks, returning authority to the aesthetic impulse, privileging the ambiguous resonances of an abstract sculptural language over more overt strategies of representation.
  • Practical Projects for Photographers: Developing rich practice through context

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2018-07-01)
    The book will make explicit the benefit of linking practice skills with contextual research and knowledge. Each project will point students to well-known textual and visual contextual sources which will further develop their awareness. Unlike many titles in this subject area, this book joins together contextual underpinning and practice. In essence, both skills and contextual knowledge are embedded within each project rather than delivered as separate elements, so students effectively contextualise through practice. The projects work like a briefing document containing all the necessary information required to spark off practice ideas.
  • Restoring the Faith: Vernacular repainting of Catholic devotional statuary in Ireland.

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Royal Anthropological Institute/ British Museum, 2018-06-03)
    The act of repainting and retouching allows devotees to re-tell miracle stories by proxy. Layering their own vernacular narratives onto figure groups and tableaux, this act of restoration and reconstitution provides essential maintenance to the community shrine and spiritual redemption for the decorator. Catholic devotional statuary, shrines and grottoes are a widespread and familiar sight in the Irish landscape. Rather than carved from marble, many are cast from concrete, fibreglass or plaster and require ongoing maintenance from the pervasive damp climate. Using non-traditional materials such as house paint and pebbledash local church dignitary and devotees extend their personal faith by adding the sign of their own hand to familiar tableaux. Without the sculptors grasp of form and without a painters eye for symbolism, this vicarious act of creation however, show official stories retold in a local visual dialect. Whilst not the primary narrators of miracles and visions, these statues and groups are treated as blank templates ready for customisation and local interpretation.
  • No Sign of Canals on Mars: An artist's response to the illustrated travel diaries of Eileen Burke

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Canal & River Trust/ National Waterways Museum, 2018-03-15)
    From 1960 to 1979, Eileen Burke created 23 illustrated travel diaries with her friend Flo Boyde while touring in their car and cruising the River Lee and the River Stort with their boat, the 'Lillian Maud'. The diaries are a unique example of leisure as documented by a keen amateur photographer and artist. Inspired by these diaries, Tim Daly, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chester, has produced a book: "No Sign of Canals on Mars", which includes reproductions of Eileen Burke's watercolours, drawings and excerpts from her diary pages. The exhibition celebrates the 'thingness' of the diaries especially their handmade contents and Eileen's formidable making skills.
  • Book handling as a research method

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Impact Press Publications, 2018-04-11)
    How do we conceptualise touch? Unlike most visual art, touch is a fundamental aspect of interacting with artists’ books and without such a physical interaction with the artefact it is impossible to fully make sense of it. Despite this, there is no obvious syntax for us to report our experiences of handling an artists’ publication. Without handling a book, entire swathes of intertextual nuances could be missed - the deliberate material choices of the artist and the reader’s own rich experiential past never get the chance to make meaning. It can be argued that handling books provides a type of tacit knowledge that is unavailable from viewing alone. Developing a framework for reporting this haptic experience applying notions from material culture (for touch) and from literary theory (for intertextuality) together into a discourse to enrich and enhance our understanding of artists’ book works.
  • Marie Duval: Victorian Cartoonist

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Myriad Editions, 2018-03-29)
    Book chapter.
  • Marie Duval: Laughter in the First Age of Leisure.

    Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; Waite, Julian; University of Chester, Central Saint Martins (Guildhall Library London, 2017-11-17)
    A public exhibition of the work of 19th-century cartoonist and actress Marie Duval.
  • A Theory of Narrative Drawing

    Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017-08-01)
    A theory of narrative drawing.
  • No Sign of Canals on Mars: The Illustrated Travel Diaries of Eileen Burke

    Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Fugitive Press, 2018-03-15)
    No Sign of Canals on Mars is a multi-part publication containing reproductions of Eileen Burke’s watercolours, drawings and excerpts from her diary pages presented as a spiral bound diary with ephemera inserts and tipped in souvenirs. Alongside this is a small wallet of real photographic prints printed from Eileen’s collection of colour slides. Housed in a museum style clamshell box, the publication aims to be a kind of distributed archive allowing readers to handle and scrutinise works that would otherwise be inaccessible due to their fragile condition.

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