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

  • 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.
  • Concrete Knowledge

    McGuirk, Tom; University of Chester (Darc Space, 26 North Great George’s Street, Dublin, 2016-05-17)
    Catalogue essay in exhibition catalogue.
  • Documentation 77001^74103 Cargo Space

    Grennan, Simon; Sperandio, Christopher; University of Chester, Rice University Houston (Hardesty Art Centre, 2014-03-01)
    A book published to accompany the public touring exhibition "Documentation 77001^74103 Cargo Space" at Hardesty Arts Centre, Tulsa.
  • Neither the One nor the Other: Photographic Errors - Subjectivity, Subversion and the In-between

    Piper-Wright, Tracy; University of Chester (MAI, 2018-02-28)
    The photographic error opens up a paradoxical space between machine and human and presents this space as a gap in the conventions of photographic practice both technologically and culturally. By undermining the certainty which attaches to our use of technology the error opens us to the possibility of playing with and against the technology we use, subverting the rules in order to create something new. In the third dimension of the error we are able to question the photographic practices and images which we are surrounded with daily. We can ask what purpose and meaning photography has to us: what are we trying to do when we take a photograph?
  • Malcolm Lowry - Detours and Dislocations - Douglas and Dollarton: Proposals for Artworks

    Quayle, Cian; University of Chester (Liverpool John Moores University & the Bluecoat, Liverpool, 2017-07-28)
    As a set of 'Proposals for Artworks' and associated writing this project builds on previous research, which retraces the footsteps of Wirral-born author of Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry. The work emerges from photography and moving image made on location in Vancouver in June 2017. A paper entitled ‘Malcolm Lowry – Detours and Dislocations – Douglas and Dollarton’ was presented at the LJMU conference: Under the Volcano – 70 Years On: An International Malcolm Lowry Conference. A 1/50 scale model of Malcolm Lowry’s 1944 shack at Dollarton, and a carousel, slide-projected, artwork of 80, 35 mm slides (Cates Park and Maplewood Mudflats) was exhibited at the Bluecoat, Liverpool as part of the conference proceedings, July 28 - 29, 2017.
  • Parables of Care. Creative Responses to Dementia Care, As Told by Carers

    Grennan, Simon; Priego, Ernesto; Wilkins, Peter; University of Chester; City, Univerity of London; Douglas College (City, University of London, University of Chester, Douglas College., 2017-09-01)
    Parables of Care presents true stories of creative responses to dementia care, told by carers, taken from a group of over 100 case studies available at http://carenshare.city.ac.uk/. Creativity, emotional intelligence and common sense are amply shown in these 14 touching and informative stories. Drawn by Dr Simon Grennan with Christopher Sperandio. Edited and adapted by Dr Simon Grennan, Dr Ernesto Priego and Dr Peter Wilkins. Created with funding from City, University of London's MCSE School Impact Fund 2017, the University of Chester, UK and Douglas College, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Albertian Perspective and Augmented Reality: Lessons from Panofsky

    Summers, Alan; McGuirk, Tom; University of Chester (Glyndwr University, 2017-09-12)
    This paper addresses the ubiquity of Albertian perspective as the dominant paradigm in the production of certain diagrams. Panofsky recognized the cultural specificity of perspective as, “a systematic abstraction from the structure of … psychophysiological space.” He considered it essential to ask with regard to artistic periods, not only whether they have perspective, but also what kind of perspective they have. This paper asks a similar question with regard to the employment of such perspective in augmented reality technologies. In East Asian culture an alternative use of floating perspectives has developed, this is recognised by cultural psychologists as indicative of the different sensitivities to contextual information. Differences in the interpretation of the visual field between Western and East Asian subjects further call into question the universal application of Albertian and Cartesian models in the design of the diagrammatic environment. Augmented reality technologies are now capable of overlaying diagrammatic information directly upon the user’s visual field. Therefore the perspectival conventions of three-dimensional visualisation techniques might potentially come to reinforce Cartesian principles, and thereby be regarded as the unjustifiable imposition of a culturally specific worldview. This paper addresses the psychological, philosophical and indeed cultural ramifications of this phenomenon.
  • The Shift Dress as Cultural Meaning

    Kealy-Morris, Elizabeth; University of Chester (Gold Word Publishing, 2018-02-08)
    This paper will offer a historic and semiotic analysis of the shift dress as essential to the middle and upper-middle class American woman’s wardrobe and its lasting influence on American sportswear and the collections of luxury brand collections as a signifier of understated feminine youthful health through movement. The shift dress can be traced back to the 1920s chemise. Dresses of that era, particularly those of Coco Chanel, featured exposed legs and arms, simple cuts, loose shapes and little waist definition. This was a move away from corsets and offered women both style and ease of movement. The shift dress became a staple of the American woman’s wardrobe in the 1960s and signified a new trend in women’s clothing as the garment promoted independence, modernity and a redefinition of the female shape. This paper argues that the shift dress’s key place in the American woman’s wardrobe reflects the unique historical and cultural influences on American dress from the birth of the new democratic nation in the Eighteenth century to the rise of the dominance of New York City’s ready-to-wear industry in the mid-Twentieth century and concurrent ideological expectations of the female form.

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