Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Design


Deborah Gardner


0113 343 3800

Clothworkers' Central

BA (Canterbury College of Art) MFA (Newcastle upon Tyne)

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, she has been invited to exhibit her work Yorkshire Monument at 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.  Deborah co-ordinates the sculpture area of the Art & Design course and oversees the placement of Art & Design student sculpture on campus.



Deborah Gardner is a sculptor and 0.7 Lecturer in Art & Design, School of Design at the University of Leeds.  On completing her Master of Fine Arts Degree from Newcastle University, she won a  British Council Visiting Academic  Award to Australia for a year. She 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 has been lecturer at the University of Leeds for the past eight years.  She has 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). Her work has been exhibited widely in both group and solo exhibitions in the UK, Europe and overseas. She is currently a member of the national artist and academic network Land2  and the German based international group Sculpture Network.  Deborah teaches within the undergraduate modules Studio Practice 2440,2441,3440 and 3441.  She supervises dissertations for the undergraduate module 3660 Independent study: Dissertation .  She is module manager for Studio Practice 2441 and 3440

Research Interests

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.

Deborah Gardner’s research interests focus on how sculpture may engage with the embodied and the spatial, the material and the semiotic.  Her 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, she has 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.


Level Subject
Level 2 DESN 2440, 2441 Studio Practice 2A & 2B
Level 3 DESN 3440, 3441 Studio Practice 3A & 3B DESN 3660 Independent Study: Dissertation


module leader 3440 and 2441

student sculpture  on campus



  • Gardner DA (2006) Eating Out In the Great Outdoors. 0-32. Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture.

  • Gardner DA (2005) That which is near Das was nahe ist. PRESS Public Relations Exclusive Schlick Stuttgart.

  • Gardner DA (2003) Embodiment. North Lincolnshire Council.


  • Gardner DA That Which Is Near (version I).

  • Gardner DA Stitched. (Accepted)

  • Gardner DA We're not in Kansas Anymore.

  • Gardner DA Outdoor Habitats.

  • Gardner DA Embodiment.

  • Gardner DA Networks, one-person exhibition.

  • Gardner DA Tactual Explorations.

  • Gardner DA Hebden Bridge Sculpture Trail.

  • Gardner DA Haunt.

  • Gardner DA Interweave.

  • Gardner DA Open Desk Ragged School Museum of the East End.

  • Gardner DA All Over the Place: Drawing Place,Drawing Space, version I.

  • Gardner DA All over the Place: Drawing Place, Drawing Space, version II.

  • Gardner DA Grounds for Designs.

  • Gardner DA That Which is Near (version II).

  • Gardner DA Curious.

  • Kacperska M Order and Incident.

  • Gardner DA Zoo-A-Logical.

  • Gardner D In the Open ( Plant and Planet).

  • Gardner DA, tucker J Placing the Mill Artists Residency at Armley Mills Industrial Museum. (In preparation)

  • Gardner DA, Millar J Conway Actants (Exhibition/Artists Residency/Publication).

  • Gardner DA, Thoma A Texture of Place. (Accepted)

  • Gardner DA Interweave Biomedical Research Unit.

  • Gardner DA Monument Time, Place and Memory project.

  • Gardner DA Re-Collect: Responses to Ideas of Place within Collections, version II. (Accepted)

  • Gardner DA European Sculpture: Difference & Diversity.

  • Gardner DA, Tucker J, Biggs I Landscape, Art and Uncertainty. (Accepted)

  • Gardner DA Re-Collect:Responses to Ideas of Place within Collections, version I.

  • Gardner DA Cellularity and Contingency.

  • Gardner DA Recumbent.

  • Gardner D Porzadek i Przypadek Order and Chance.

  • Gardner DA, thoma A Europaeische Identitaet/ European Identities:Intercultural Dialogue.

  • Gardner DA, tucker J, wilson P, thoma A Close to Home.

  • Gardner DA Summer Exhibition at Burghley Sculpture Garden, Stamford, 2003.

  • Gardner DA Take a Pew: Rites and Ritual.

  • Gardner DA What's For Dinner? Eating Out in the Great Outdoors. (Accepted)

  • Gardner DA So near, so far. (Accepted)

  • Gardner DA Hidden Depths. (Submitted)

Research Projects & Grants

2014    Monument , Musee des beaux- arts de Calais, EU funded project with Fonds Regional d’art Contemporain, Caen and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich to commemorate the outbreak of the first world war.

2013-2015  AHRC Network Research Project  Home, Crisis and the Imagination

2013  Landscape, Art & Uncertainty   collaboration between Land2 network and Southampton City Art Gallery to respond to aspects of landscape and Neo- romanticism within the art collection at Southampton

2013   Placing the Mill       Artist Residency in collaboration with Judith tucker at the Armley Mills Industrial Museum

2012  Hidden Depths     A unique commission by Rednile projects and Burslem Port Regeneration Project, Stoke

Collaboration  and construction of commissioned works in response to a regeneration site along the Burslem Branch canal in Stoke

2011 Re-Collect: Responses to Place within Collections, Collaboration with Huddersfield Art Gallery, the Arts Council Collection at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Kirklees Art Collection. Curation of a large-scale exhibition at Huddersfield Art gallery which addressed contemporary responses to ideas of place in response to sculpture selected form the Arts council collection.

Collaboration with EFAK European Women’s Academy of Fine Arts and Sciences, Berlin- Brandenburg and the Inselgalerie, Berlin:

2010 Workshop European Identity: Intercultural Dialogue    European academy, Berlin, 19 artists from 12 European countries

2011  European Identity: Intercultural Dialogue, San Arenas, Spain ( August), Peglio, Urbania, Italy (October)
2010  European Identity: Intercultural Dialogue, Inselgalerie, Berlin (October), Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland (December),

Collaborative research project with artists/ academics based in Bristol, London and Leeds:

Land2 symposium APT gallery

2008  So near, so far ( version I) APT Gallery, London
So near, so far ( version II) Ebersberg Kunstverein, Ebersberg, Germany
2004  That which is near (version I) BadenWuertemburg Gallery,European Union, Brussels
That which is near ( version II) Only Atelier gallery, Argentenier Strasse, Vienna

Study Leave 2003     Six large-scale commissioned outdoor sculptures   20-21 Visual Art Centre, Scunthorpe

Research Centres & Groups

practice-led research group Land2        www.land2.uwe.ac.uk

European organisation for the promotion of sculpture   www.sculpturenetwork.org/en/

AHRC research network ‘Home, Crisis and the Imagination’      University of Leeds

External Appointments

External Examiner University of Kent, Tonbridge campus, BA Fine Art

External Advisor, MRes, Manchester Metropolitan University

Professional Practice

Selected Exhibitions : Solo Exhibitions
2011   Re-Collect: Sculptural Responses to Ideas of Place within Collections, collaboration with Huddersfield Art Gallery and the Arts Council Collection, YSP, Huddersfield Art Gallery
2007  In Memoriam, Camelia House, Bretton Hall, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
2004  Networks, Albury Regional Art Gallery, Albury, NSW, Australia
2003  Embodiment, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire
1999  The Heaving Line, Switchback Gallery, Monash University, Australia
Newcastle University Gallery, Newcastle, NSW,Australia
1998  Multifold/Veelvould, Blauwendael Castle, Waasmunster, Belgium

Two Person Exhibition

2013  Placing the Mill, Armley Mills Industrial Museum, Leeds

Three person exhibitions with That which is near group
2008  So near, so far ( version I) APT Gallery, London
So near, so far ( version II) Ebersberg Kunstverein, Ebersberg, Germany
2004  That which is near (version I) BadenWuertemburg Gallery,European Union, Brussels
That which is near ( version II) Only Atelier gallery, Argentenier Strasse, Vienna

Group Exhibitions

2014    Monument    Musee des beaux-arts de Calais, EU funded project to commemorate anniversary of first world war,

2013, Landscape, Art and Uncertainty, Southampton City Art Gallery

2012 Close to Home, Land2 group exhibition, East Street Arts gallery, Leeds

2012  Curious, Site-specific work for West Norwood Cemetery, London

2012    Hidden Depths   Burslem Port Branch canal, Stoke     Rednile Commission

2011  European Identity: Intercultural Dialogue, San Arenas, Spain ( August), Peglio, Urbania, Italy (October)
2010  European Identity: Intercultural Dialogue, Inselgalerie, Berlin (October), Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland (December),
European Sculpture: Diversity and Difference, curated through sculpture network, Nave   gallery, Turin, Italy
Rites and Rituals, St Augustine’s Church, Forest Hill, London
All Over the Place, Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, Leeds
2008  All Over the Place, LAND 2 touring exhibition, UWE, Bristol
EdgeCentrics Williamson Tunnel Heritage Centre, Liverpool , Liverpool Independents Biennial
2007  Sculpting the Surburban, Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, London
2006  Tactual Explorations, North Light Gallery, Huddersfield
2005  Zoo-A-Logical, Knapp Gallery, Regents Park, London
Grounds for Design, Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, London
Open Desk, Ragged School Museum, Mile End, London
2004  Outdoor Habitats, MoDA, Middlesex University, London
Haunt, Sherborne House, Dorset ( part of year long Timeline project)
2003  Summer Exhibition, Burghley House Sculpture Park, Stamford
2001  Body Beautiful, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, UK
2000  We’re not in Kansas Anymore, Poplar Baths, East India Dock Rd, London
De Sausmarez Sculpture Park, Guernsey, UK
British Group Show, Victor Christgasse, Vienna, Austria
1996  Disinformation, The Athenaeum Buildings, Leeds
          Vox Humana, Galerie U Recickych, Prague
Galerie Luzanky, Brno
Vytarne Centrum Chagall, Ostrava








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