Staff profile

Caroline Locke

Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts

Caroline Locke at YSP with tuning forks


Art and Design


College of Arts, Humanities and Education


School of Arts

Research centre

Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre




Markeaton Street, Derby Campus



I am Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts. I exhibit nationally and internationally and I am known for my ecological artworks, sound sculptures and large-scale immersive installations. I have explored water and its natural circulatory systems, made works in connection to gravity, the sea and the internal body. More recently I have been recording the movement of trees and I'm exploring ways to relate this data to sound. I am activating publicly engaged projects, working closely with people and communities. My artworks are often sited in public spaces nationally and internationally as well as in galleries and performance venues. 

I am a researcher within the Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre (DMARC) in the College of Arts, Humanities and Education. I have recently lead the School of Arts Impact Case Study entitled "Catalysing Change: Artistic Encounters in a Time of Climate Emergency."  

International experience includes exhibitions and research activities in Norway, Japan, Australia, USA, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Ireland and the Czech Republic.

Teaching responsibilities

I currently teach on the BA (Hons) Fine Art Programme.

I integrate my research and practice into the curriculum which ensures up to date and high-quality learning. I involve both colleagues and students across the faculty in research projects and offer professional practice opportunities as well as innovative alternative approaches to collaborative research. I coordinate external projects, giving students exposure to real-life practical experiences.

Through these activities I teach transferable skills, ensuring that students are prepared for life after university through work-based projects. My research and practice is ongoing and by sharing my investigations I ensure that students are challenged to engage with the creation of new understandings.

I have previously been employed as an Associate Lecturer at The University of Brighton, Nottingham Trent University,  De Montfort University, New College Nottingham and South Nottingham College.

I was a visiting academic at Monash University, Melbourne, and The Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia. I taught and was postgraduate assessor for MA Fine Art Programme at Nottingham Trent University.

Professional interests

There are many significant professional achievements and interests across a long career as a professional artist and educator. My work is part of national and international contemporary art collections. I was invited as the first female sonic artist to make work for the Belgium sonic sculpture park KlankenbosThe interactive sonic arts sculpture The Frequency of trees became part of the prestigious Yorkshire Sculpture Park Open Air collection alongside some of the most influential and leading international artists. My Performing Data research projects connect with researchers at The Scott Polar Research Institute and continue to make important contributions to the international discourse of art and science in connection with the climate emergency.

Research interests

My research and practice focuses on installation practice, interactive arts, kinetic sculpture, sonic art, performance, live arts and socially engaged practices. I use tools and inventions to capture the imagination and to reveal the magic in our natural world. I collaborate with specialists, explore digital technologies and processes and find interesting ways to manipulate data. 

My work has been attuned to natural ecologies for many years. In an attempt to find ways to understand and respond to a new geological age, I develop and lead public events that reimagine ways in which to think about, interact with and relate to the earth. One of the underlying focuses of the research is on identifying the need for closer connection with and greater understanding of nature.

Current artistic research involves sound rhythms and trees. 'Significant Trees' involve recording data from trees, relating trees to movement, rhythms and frequencies. As part of these projects, I collect stories from the public, cast tree fruit in bronze and make works with bells tuned to different tree frequencies.

Membership of professional bodies

External Panels, Consultations and Committees

External Examining in association with The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) 


Undergraduate Qualifications

Postgraduate Qualifications

Recent conferences

Experience in industry

Research Projects / Artworks /Exhibitions

2020-2030 The Tree Charter Bell - An ongoing research project incorporating socially engaged practice and ceremonies involving a tower bell celebrating tree planting activities. In connection with the Woodland Trust, the project seeks to support their bid to create a mass movement for people woods and trees.

2018-2030 Significant Trees is a series of works that borrow techniques from engineers, aboriculturalists, computer and climate scientists to gather data from trees and reinvent new experiences for audiences through interactive sculptures.

2014-2025 Performing Data - An Arts Council Funded series of kinetic sculptures controlled by physical data and climate data. The works are developed in connection with scientists at The Mixed Reality Lab, The Scott Polar Institute and The Norwegian Polar Institute and explore the role of the participant as performer.

2014-2017 The Frequency of Trees is part of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) Open Air collection, is an interactive sculpture that translates abstract sound and frequencies into engaging encounters that aim to shift the way humans think about how their bodies interact with the (nonhuman) environment.

2011-2013 Singing Pools is a kinetic sound sculpture developed as part of the Sonic Sculpture Park, Klankenbos at Musica, Neerpelt, Belgium. Floating vibrating pools are anchored in a lake. The presence of people sends waves across the water surface when they trigger sensors that activate the sculpture.

2012 Interactive Sound Fountains were developed further as part of a residency in the chapel at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Possibilities for new approaches to direct audience interaction were investigated. E.g. audiences were able to explore the sight of the sound of their voice by speaking into a microphone. The sounds are processed and sent directly to the sound fountain where waves forms are made visible on the water surface.

2011 Interactive Sound Fountains at Nottingham Contemporary considered the movements of people triggering sensors around the gallery allowing them to send processed sound samples which created waves across the surface of water pools. There was a live performance where the sound of musician’s instruments were sent directly to the sound fountains, revealing the sight of sound.

International experience

Over a long career within the arts, I have been actively building international research/professional practice networks and collaborations. I have exhibited internationally in Japan, USA, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Canada and the Czech Republic.

I was invited as a Visiting Academic at The Centre for Electronic Media Art, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. I was commissioned by the University of Maastricht to install a public artwork in their new school of governance. I was invited and commissioned to make a sonic artwork for a sound art park in Belgium in 2012.

In 2019 as part of a research trip to Brisbane Australia, I worked with Queensland University of Technology researcher Alan Burdan, to collect Native Australian tree data.

Currently, I have connections with researchers at The Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, developing projects with links to climate data within Arctic regions.

In the media

Selected Reviews/Interviews/Press

Recent publications