Staff profile

Gemma Marmalade

Senior Lecturer - Photography

Gemma Marmalade giving a presentation




College of Arts, Humanities and Education


School of Arts

Research centre

Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre




Markeaton Street, Derby Campus



I am a contemporary British artist and award winning Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of Derby, specialising in experimental approaches to the radical intersections of photographic practice, video and performance. My broad practice playfully negotiates the authenticity of the artists' voice in history, science, and sexual politics.

I have been exhibited widely, including Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; The Photographers' Gallery, London; The Apulia Film Commission, Bari, Italy; the State Museum of Gulag, Moscow; and the Arquipélago Centre of Contemporary Art, Azores, Portugal.

I am currently undertaking doctoral research titled: In a Manner of Speaking: The Subversive Voice in Art at the Cambridge School of Art, scheduled to achieve Ph.D. in 2020.

Teaching responsibilities

I am a core contributor to the programme team on the BA (Hons.) Photography working in partnership with the programme leader and other senior staff.

My specialisms cover primarily theoretical contexts in photography and fine art practices and their integral relationship to professional practice.

I am a level 5 (2nd year) leader and teaches on all three years of the programme, with experience in teaching at Master level and Ph.D. advising. I coordinate international relationships with fellow institutions and leads the social media profiles for the programme.

I am a pastoral leader and personal tutor with extensive experience in wellbeing support, learning diversity, and LGBTQI+ contexts.

I won the prestigious Union of Students Lecturer of the Year for the faculty of Arts, Humanities and Education for the University of Derby, 2018, nominated by the student and staff body.

Research interests

The purpose of this doctoral research is to determine through my creative practice and its corresponding theoretical context an examination and understanding of the performing artists’ voice as, potentially, a subversive agent.

The motivation for this question comes from my process of thinking, making, and showing comedic performance-based art works that utilise my own voice, in a way that deliberately skews meaning, distorting the conventional delivery of contexts and information.

The agency of voice appears to me to have a great deal of ambiguity and nuance throughout its trajectory from conceptualisation to its presentation to an audience. There are multiple and divergent ways art practice and theory has explored this territory. This study considers how the artist/performer finds the means to challenge conventions of orality, language and communication through a performed voice that seeks to subvert meanings and intentions.

Theoretical research on the voice to date broadly exists within an understanding of linguistics, written and spoken; the properties of aural, aestheticised sound; and the object voice as an active mobiliser between sound, speech and meaning. Artists, on the other hand, have often drawn on their own experience/appropriation of voice registers within various contexts of communication and utilise the physicality of the voice as a tool of communication and/or means of expression through these modalities.

Through a series of case studies that examine performance works I have undertaken during the process of research, each in conjunction with a specific work by another artist selected for its thematic coherency or as counterpoint, this study charts a revealing of that process through a series of works that traverse some of the critical territories of the performer’s voice.




Recent conferences

Selected academic teaching, conferences and artists talks:


Experience in industry

I sit on the steering committee for international photography festival FORMAT, and participates in many research groups.

Awards and Recognition:

Recent publications

Selected Publications: