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Research Profile

  • Dr Richard Hollinshead is Senior Lecturer in Sculpture and Spatial Practice. His research is focused on public space and the role of creativity in the development and uses of those spaces. Trained as a sculptor, he now adopts a variety of approaches in pursuit of this research including artist, designer and curator.

    Dr Hollinshead’s interest in public space stems from his PhD research, completed in 2000, which explored the role of artists in the historic landscape of Yorkshire Sculpture Park. He has continued to explore such themes for the past 15 years.

    In 2007 he established the creative agency Grit & Pearl, a commercial agency that works with public and private sector clients to deliver public art, micro-architecture, urban design and heritage interpretation projects.

  • Dr Hollinshead teaches practice-based modules across theBA Fine Art and BA Fine Art Painting and Drawing. His research into public space informs his first-year module that explores issues of social practice, in which students are asked to consider the role they can play in a wider society; whilst the Analysis through Transcription module on the second-year Painting and Drawing programme focuses on the appreciation and understanding of previous generations of artists.

    Dr Hollinshead is excited about developing professional-level opportunities for students to work in public spaces, and to help them develop the practical and professional skills required in industry. Underpinning these approaches to teaching is a focus on a student’s continual progress as an artist, and the role of studio practice as a form of theory.

  • With all Richard Hollinshead’s research activity focusing on public spaces – both policy and physical projects – the impact of his research has been considerable. In many instances it literally transforms the environment in which significant numbers of people live. Dr Hollinshead has developed a number of high profile events and projects, most notable the Tatton Park Biennial on behalf of partners the National Trust, Cheshire County Council and Arts Council England; Magnificent Distance –five site-specific temporary projects – for the flagship 5×5 Public Art Festival in Washington, D.C; and, at the invitation of the National Trust, the Foghorn Requiem performance at Souter Lighthouse, South Shields.

    Dr Hollinshead has provided consultancy advice in the integrated fields of public art and public realm design for a number of public bodies including: the State of Virginia, USA; the National Trust; NHS Trusts (including NHS Lothian, NHS South of Tyne and NHS Tees, Esk and Wear); regeneration agencies (ONE North East; North West Development Agency; West Lakes Renaissance; Sunderland ARC; and Sunniside Partnership); and local authorities (including Cumbria; Durham; Northumberland and Cheshire County Councils; Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham City Councils; and Milton Keynes, Gateshead Borough and South Tyneside Councils). He has also provided consultancy advice for commercial bodies including: Gladedale, Downings; Home Housing; Miller Homes; and Gallaghers.

  • For publications, projects, datasets, research interests and activities, view Richard Hollinshead’s research profile on Pure, the University of Northampton’s Research Explorer.