I am a lecturer, researcher, author and freelance exhibition curator. I teach on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and supervise PhD research in the history and theory of art and in contemporary fine art practice. The projects of my current PhD students include the sculpture of London's post-war New Towns, contemporary Albanian art, contemporary art in digital culture, and the documentation of ephemeral, transient and transformational art practices.
I currently lecture in the history and theory of art to students on BA (Hons) Fine Art, MA Fine Art and MA Film and Photography.
In my role at the University of Derby, I oversee postgraduate Arts research in the College of Arts, Humanties and Education, and am a member of the College Research Committee and College Research Ethics Committee.
Alongside my work as a lecturer and writer, I am engaged in other kinds of professional activity. I work as an independent curator, and in the past have curated exhibitions for the Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank, the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds and the University of Derby. Since 2006, I have been the regional organiser of the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association's National Recording Project in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, documenting the public sculpture of those counties for future publication. I have also served as a peer-reviewer and pre-publication adviser to publishers and authors.
My research interests are interdisciplinary and centre on the relationship between art and politics in post-war Britain, with a particular focus on the forms, display and patronage of modern sculpture. My approach to research has led me into diverse territories, including modern architecture and urban planning, the cult of health and the open air, the reform of the home and domesticity, and the ideological uses of culture in the Cold War.
My doctoral dissertation (University of Leeds, 2001) connected modern public sculpture exhibitions in post-war Britain to the political contexts of national reconstruction and international Cold War, paying particular attention to modern sculpture's display in innovative urban and parkland settings and its appropriation for political commemoration. My post-doctoral research has examined the display of modern sculpture in domestic contexts and explored the response of institutional patrons to the work of emigre sculptors from central and eastern Europe.
I have contributed chapters to several books, including Herbert Read: A British Vision of World Art (Lund Humphries, 1993), Henry Moore: Critical Essays (Ashgate, 2003), Sculpture in 20th-Century Britain (Henry Moore Institute, 2003), Sculpture and the Garden (Ashgate, 2006), The History of British Art, 1870—Now (Tate and Yale Center for British Art, 2008) and British Art in the Nuclear Age (Ashgate, 2014). I have published essays, book reviews and exhibition reviews in Apollo, Art History, Artscribe, The British Art Journal, Frieze, The Oxford Art Journal, The Sculpture Journal, and The Journal of the Twentieth Century Society.
Membership of professional bodies
Association of Art Historians
Public Monuments and Sculpture Association
I have delivered academic papers to national and international conferences and symposia, given public lectures and participated in public discussion panels. Among the most recent are:
- ' "The Geometry of Fear": modern British sculpture in the early Cold War', public lecture for Millennium Gallery, Sheffield, Jan 2019
- 'The Landscape Sculpture of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore: geology, topography and the open air', paper for Wirksworth Festival symposium, Haarlem Mill, Wirksworth, Derbyshire, Sep 2017
- 'Sculpture at the South Bank Exhibition of the 1951 Festival of Britain', paper for Homeless Sculpture symposium, Whitworth Study Centre, University of Manchester, Oct 2016
- 'Institutional Patronage of Emigre sculptors from Central and Eastern Europe in post-war "New Britain", paper for conference Emigre Sculptors in Britain 1540-2016, organised by the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association and 3rd Dimension, City and Guilds of London Art School, London, May 2016
- 'The Public Sculpture of Derbyshire Modernist Ronald Pope', public lecture for Ashbourne Festival, Derbyshire, 2015
- 'Barbara Hepworth and J.D. Bernal', paper for Barbara Hepworth seminar, Tate Britain, Mar 2013
- Panel member for public discussion, 'Who Owns Public Art?', Tate Britain, Jan 2013
- 'Ben Nicholson's 'abstract' murals for modern architectural public spaces in post-war Britain', paper for Association of Art Historians' annual conference, The Open University, Milton Keynes, Apr 2012
Experience in industry
I have acted as a consultant to two television documentaries on the use of modern art as a propaganda weapon in the Cold War.
I have attended and delivered papers at international academic conferences in Berlin and Zagreb. My writings have been published in Croatia and translated into Polish. My publications has been cited by writers based in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Poland, Switzerland and the United States.
I have published extensively on post-war British sculpture, including essays, exhibition reviews and book reviews in academic journals and books. Among my recent publications are:
- 'Institutional Patronage of Central and Eastern European Emigre sculptors in Post-war Britain, c.1945-65: moderate modernism for the social-democratic Consensus', British Art Journal, vol. XIX, no. 3, Dec 2018
- 'Geometries of Hope and Fear: the Iconography of Atomic Science and Nuclear Anxiety in the Sculpture of World War and Cold War Britain', in British Art in the Nuclear Age, ed. Catherine Jolivette (Ashgate, 2014)
- Review of the 'New Perspectives on Joseph Wright of Derby' conference at the University of Derby, January 2012
- Catalogue of and commentary on 60 contemporary works of public art in the Borough of Chesterfield, UK, 2012 (www.chesterfield.co.uk/newarttrail)
A selection of my published articles, interviews and essays is available on www.academia.edu.