Our Arts research

The Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre (DMARC) is the academic research centre for our School of Arts. Our focus for DMARC is to increase understanding of the shifting boundaries and new relationships within artistic research practice and theory.


DMARC is the home to artistic research from the disciplines of Performing Arts, Music, Media, Art and Design within the School of Arts. Among other forms, our researchers explore the potential of hybrid art forms made possible by using digitalisation alongside the traditional arts, collaboration and working across disciplines. We share our research through our practice, exhibitions and published text.

We are active in many national and international research events and activities, such as the FORMAT International Film and Photography Festival held in Derby and the Heritage Lottery-funded DerwentWISE project. 

An exhibition of the artistic research of our academics celebrates the uniqueness of artistic research and its possibilities. Books, films, objects, drawings and prints are among the creative artefacts included to show the diversity of artistic delivery that is possible. We held our Arts Research Exhibition 2018 at our Markeaton Street site in Derby.

Angela Bartram dogs and owners

Our research groups

Our DMARC research is based around six research groups.


Animal is a term used widely to name any living creature other than the human. We use it to describe physiological, behavioural or psychological difference. And it designates the non-human in a manner that is often pejorative.

The interdisciplinary field of animal studies has, as a consequence, grown in significance in recent years. It has scholars and artists dedicated to challenging anthropocentrism (centred on humans) and exploring what it is to be animal in its many forms.

The researchers in our group contribute to this debate, as they interrogate what it is to be beyond the human. We look at microbes, mammals, political action, marginalisation, extremity, resistance and beastly behaviour.

This group offers thoughtful and provocative readings of this world of difference through practical and theoretical acts of research and dissemination. It is led by Ang Bartram and Steve Baker.

Commercial cultures

We aim to produce meaningful outcomes by changing the ways we view and create commercial work. The group is led by Mark Hall.

Future music, soundscapes and auditory perception

An art-meets-science grouping that focuses on sound as a fundamental raw ingredient in human experience. The group is led by Peter Lennox.


We will explore disability and inclusiveness in a project that will include two feature-length films, articles and exhibitions. The group is led by Christine Templeton-Parker.

Material worlds and haptic humans

We look at our relation to spaces and things through the senses of touch and vision. The group is led by Tim Shore and Tracy Tomlinson.

Women artists in history

We focus on the issues of research, curating and exhibiting women’s art in history. The group is led by Teresa Forde.

Alice Marshall dance performance
Robert Burstow Sculpture in the Home Exhibition

Your PhD - study with us

We welcome applications for PhD artistic research study in practice and theory. We can offer you an intellectually stimulating environment through the subject clusters of Media, Performing Arts, Art and Design. Our PhD programme gives you a freedom to pursue new and innovative ideas within and beyond these areas, guided by experienced and leading academics in the field and sector.

Interdisciplinary and cross-school research projects are considered, such as those that straddle Arts and Health and Arts and Humanities. We are open to discussing proposals that stimulate and engage through creative exploration and invite you to enquire about ways we can support your PhD study.

If you would like to discuss your project proposal with us, then please contact Dr Angela Bartram, Head of Arts Research and DMARC, at a.bartram@derby.ac.uk and Dr Robert Burstow, Post-Graduate Research Lead for the School of Arts, at r.burstow@derby.ac.uk.

Sadie Wechsler's Takeoff of a rocket heading through the clouds

FORMAT International Photography Festival

FORMAT is the UK’s leading biennial festival of contemporary photography and is organised in Derby by QUAD and our Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre (DMARC).

Find out more about FORMATFind out more about FORMAT

Our objectives

The objectives of DMARC are to:

Marc Bosward Untitled Work in Progress collage

Our events

We hold our regular Arts Talk series with guest speakers. 


Paul Hurley

5-6pm Wednesday 28 November

Room MS146 School of Arts,
Markeaton Street,

Michael Schwab

5-6pm Wednesday 14 November

Room MS023 School of Arts,
Markeaton Street,

Steve Baker
Between theory and practice: art and the question of contemporaneity

5-6pm Wednesday 31 October

Room MS146 School of Arts,
Markeaton Street,

Dr Michael Lent

5-6pm Wednesday 17 October

Room MS146 School of Arts,
Markeaton Street,

Tim Etchells  5-6pm Wednesday 26 September Room MS146 School of Arts,
Markeaton Street,
actor wearing a mask

Research with us

We are particularly interested in applications for doctoral research that address specific areas.

Our research interest areasOur research interest areas