Deborah Gardner

Deborah Gardner


Research interests currently consider ways in which sculpture may re-imagine a sense of place or landscape spatially, materially or as a form of memory. From September to November 2014, I was invited to exhibit my work Yorkshire Monumentat the Musee des beaux-arts de Calais as part of a EU funded cross channel project for the commemoration of the outbreak of the first world war. Other recent projects include the completion of a Rednile unique commissioned work for the regeneration site of Burslem Port Trust, Stoke and large sculptural installations at the Armley Mills Industrial Museum, Leeds and Southampton City Art Gallery. I co-ordinate the sculpture area of the Art & Design course and oversees the placement of Art & Design student sculpture on campus. I am a sculptor and 0.7 Lecturer in Art & Design, School of Design at the University of Leeds. On completing my Master of Fine Arts Degree from Newcastle University, I won a British Council Visiting Academic Award to Australia for a year. I then completed the Arts Council funded, year long residency at Durham Cathedral before joining the London based artist co-operative Cubitt Street Artists. Deborah then moved to Yorkshire and have been lecturer at the University of Leeds for the past eight years.  I have completed residencies and fellowships in England, Czech Republic, Spain, Belgium and Australia and has been a visiting artist and academic to several educational institutions, including : Monash University (Aus) LaTrobe University (Aus) Ulster University, University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK), Waasmuster Academie (Belgium). My work has been exhibited widely in both group and solo exhibitions in the UK, Europe and overseas. I am currently a member of the national artist and academic network Land2 and the German based international group Sculpture Network. I teach within the undergraduate modules Studio Practice. I supervise dissertations at undergraduate level. I am the module manager for Studio Practice, subject areas include;

  • place and memory
  • Landscape, mapping and embodiment
  • memorial imagination, material poetics
  • phenomenological perception
  • Arte Povera and its legacy in contemporary sculpture making
  • funerary sculpture from the eighteenth and nineteenth century, relations between sleep and sculpture; classical and contemporary concepts of the private and material body.



  • Lecturer

Research interests

My research interests focus on how sculpture may engage with the embodied and the spatial, the material and the semiotic. My work points to an experience of the body and physical world, particularly aspects of presence through absence and spatial perception. The work hovers between formalism and figuration, abstraction and embodiment. In recent years, I have been interested in how sculpture may relate to landscape and the potential for a processional and dynamic encounter in both. Sculptures explore how certain places can be embodied with layers of cultural meaning and a deep sense of history, yet also be significant as an everyday landmark which draws the local landscape together and helps to physically position us within our environment. Work produced in the last three years explores how sculpture may re-present or re-collect landscape or a sense of place and this has involved a body of large sculptures and installations and collaborations with the Arts Council Collection at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Kirklees Art Collection, the artists' network Land2, Armley Mills Industrial Museum, the Inselgalerie, Berlin, EFAK, Berlin and Southampton City Art Gallery among others. Work made from these collaborations has been exhibited in national and international private and public galleries, museums, sculpture parks and temporary, site specific, public spaces.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>