School of Arts and Cultures

Our Research Strategy

Our Research Strategy


Our strategy is fundamentally rooted in evolving Fine Art practice.

We have a distinguished history of studio-based activity. The first British works of Pop Art were made in our studios by Richard Hamilton.

Today we respect equally the value, importance and distinctiveness of:

  • individual practices
  • collaboration
  • interdisciplinary work

We actively promote visual art generated at the nexus of established and new practices, technologies and methodologies. This sits alongside work in painting, sculpture, printmaking,  and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

We are a small, focused unit. We sit within the broader creative, intellectual and technological environment of a large and well-resourced university. 

Read more about our strategy on:

Initiatives and Resources

Our research plays a key role in several university-wide initiatives.

Culture Lab

Culture Lab is a bold initiative that situates a unique, world-class digital infrastructure at the heart of the university.

It opens up novel media terrain at the interface of the arts and sciences, and facilitates new forms of knowledge transfer in partnership with the creative industries and wider community.

Newcastle Institute for Creative Arts

We are a key partner in the newly-launched Newcastle Institute for Creative Arts Practice (NICAP).

NICAP was formed in recognition of the critical mass of creative, practice-led and theoretical research in the university. It provides a substantial framework for cross-unit dialogue, collaboration, exchanges of methodologies, PGR training, and cross-fertilisation of ideas, for both staff and research students.

The Hatton Gallery

The Hatton Gallery, located in the Fine Art Building, is available as a research resource and has been the base for previous projects such as Richard Grayson's This Will Not Happen Without You and A Secret Service.

Research themes

Our strategy and initiatives combine to complement our continuing key research themes in Fine Art.

We have three current research themes:

  • Material and Process
  • Digital Media
  • Exhibiting, Curating and Siting

These broad areas of interest were framed to reflect and embrace the range of research in visual art across the school and Culture Lab.

Research aims

The themes embrace practice-based research. This is at the root of much of our activity as well as theoretical and historical research.

They aim to encourage intellectual and practical exchange between academic staff, our visiting artists and students.

They are intended to be inclusive and permeable, with much work crossing their boundaries.

Our work

Through these themes we interrogate work developed within specific disciplines, individual practices and cross-disciplinary and collaborative projects.

These themes allow us to respond to the research directions of new staff, and new directions in the methods and research interests of existing staff.

Associated events

They act as the focus for postgraduate students looking to join the unit. Each theme isg linked when possible to seminars, workshops, lectures and other events.

For example, the cross-disciplinary Connecting Principle seminars and events presents broad interdisciplinary and collaborative opportunities for postgraduates.

Cross-Disciplinary Research

Across all of our themes, we are concerned with generating research that extends traditional Visual Art practice through the exchange of specialist knowledge with other subject areas.

We aspire to enrich research territory with work that tests established boundaries and methodologies. For example, we were involved in the following cross-disciplinary projects.

Northumbrian Exchanges

This was an AHRC–funded project. It ran between 2013 and 2014. It investigates the role of culture in regeneration. It brings together expertise from Fine Art and Music, the University’s Centre for Rural Economy, and the Creative Economy Unit within the Business School.


This project was funded by EC Culture, and ran between 2007 and 13. It involved fine art, archaeology and architecture. It focused on difficult histories and heritage, such as those stemming from conflicts and wars across Europe.

Find out more on the Recall website.