Alison Oddey

Alison Oddey


School of Art & Design


Alison is a Senior Researcher and Reader in Arts and Health, who has worked in Higher Education for nearly 30 years, writing, publishing and broadcasting on a range of visual arts practices, visual culture and contemporary performative practices. She was Adviser to the REF Unit of Assessment D34, Art and Design, History, Theory and Practice, for REF2014 and has written research returns for three universities RAE2008, RAE2001 and RAE1996. Her research at Nottingham Trent University has been concerned with developing a portfolio of work related to Narrative and Interactive Arts, Visual Arts, Health and Wellbeing.

Current interdisciplinary research projects include:Creating and making prototypes of a Self-Care and Wellbeing Artwork, developing art exhibition installations across Visual Arts, Interactive Arts, Health and Wellbeing, Nature, Art and Science. This incorporates the cultural value of the arts for health and well-being, the cultural impact of cultural activities on health, public health concerns and public engagement. It interrogates visual arts, interactive arts and performative arts for cultural health interventions.

An international performance installation in the Cappella dei Pazzi in the Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence, Italy, devised and created across Fashion and Textiles, Renaissance History, Contemporary Florentine Culture, Nature, Arts (Visual and Performative), Health and Wellbeing.

Alison is interested in supervising PhD students, if you are interested please select the Research tab to see more information about her research field.

Career overview

Alison has an established national and international research record evidenced by her publications, including seven books, and work in the public domain as a presenter for BBC Radio 4 and Royal National Theatre's Platform Events. Download Alison's latest podcast.

She has worked for six UK universities and with colleagues in Europe and North America. She has been a Professor of Contemporary Performance and Theatre Studies since 2000, and is a Visiting Professor of Visual Culture & Contemporary Performance, as well as a Holistic Practitioner and Mosaic Artist.

She is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society. She is Co-Editor of the International Journal Scene. She reviews work for major publishers in the Visual Arts and Performing Arts and is a reviewer for a variety of research bids.

Prospective clientsAlison would be happy to discuss Arts, Health and Wellbeing projects with GP practices and alternative health care providers. Additionally, the development of training programmes for General Practitioners, building on the skills of devising and problem-solving.

Research areas

Alison's current interdisciplinary research interests include:

  • Arts
  • Art and Science
  • Fashion
  • Nature
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Cultural Value of the Arts for Health and Well-being
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Visual Arts and Health Walks
  • Creative Reflections in the Visual and  Performative Arts
  • Contemporary Ceramics
  • Renaturing the City
  • Delights of the City
  • Healthy Landscapes.

Alison has supervised ten PhD students and is currently supervising two PhDs at Nottingham Trent University. Some areas of Alison's  interdisciplinary supervision include:

  • Practice as Research
  • Participatory Performance
  • Interactive Art
  • The Practice of Everyday (Virtual) Life
  • 3D Animation
  • The influence of deaf or hard-of-hearing in New Media Communication
  • Contemporary Performance
  • Performance Art
  • Visual Culture and Visual Art
  • Scenography
  • Mask Theatre
  • Community Theatre
  • Augusto Boal and Theatre of the Oppressed
  • Devised Theatre
  • Performance Practice
  • The Cultural Value of the Arts for Health and Wellbeing
  • Arts and  Science: the interface of Culture and Nature
  • Contemporary Ceramics, Crafts Practice, Health and Wellbeing, Public Engagement.

Alison would welcome enquiries from prospective students in research in any of the above but particularly welcomes students wishing to research Arts, Health and Wellbeing, and Crafts Practice in Public Spaces.

External activity

  • Co-Editor for the Journal, Scene, Intellect
  • Associate Editor for the International Journal of Health Wellness and Society, Common Ground
  • Member of International Council of Holistic Therapists, ICHT
  • Member of Association of Reflexologists, MAR
  • Member of Federation of Holistic Therapists, FHT
  • AHRC Peer Review College for Performance and Live Art; Contemporary Performance and Twentieth Century; UK, Ireland
  • Western Europe and North America
  • International Advisory Board, Scenography International
  • BBC Radio 4 and BBC 7, Stand-ups and Strumpets, writer and presenter of series of six half-hour programmes
  • Benchmarking Committee for Dance, Drama and  Performance, Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
  • Platform Events, Royal National Theatre, London
  • International Advisory Board, Studies in Theatre and  Performance, Intellect
  • Reviewer for Routledge, Palgrave, Intellect, Taylor and  Francis
  • External Examinerships for BA, MA and PhD programmes at Warwick University, Exeter University, Bristol University
  • University of East Anglia, Middlesex University, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, London, University of Winchester

Sponsors and collaborators

  • Ruthin Craft Centre, 'Emmanuel Cooper Retrospective'
  • Derby Museums and Galleries Trusts
  • Royal Crown Derby
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council bids, totalling £67,625
  • A variety of awards to support book publications, totalling £6,971
  • Collaboration with Foxhill Medical Centre, Sheffield (winner of the College of Medicine's clinical category of Innovation Awards)
  • £5000 SIS Ingenuity Award and £10,000 SIS Award with Knowledge Transfer Partner, Dr Ian Trimble, OBE, a General Practitioner of Dr Black DG and  Partners, Sherwood, Nottingham
  • Scene, peer-reviewed Journal, which explores all aspects of design contexts for live and recorded performance, giving special attention to the shaping of artistic vision, aesthetic sophistication, critical thinking and craft. The Journal covers the following: Design for Environments, Visual Arts, Virtual Environments, Theatre, Opera, Architecture, Cinema, Television, Commercials, Games Design, Interior Design, Lighting Design, Costume Design, Modes of Spectating, and published by Intellect
  • Co-convenor for the second of the Different Directions Symposia, 'Modes of Spectating'
  • External Expert for BBC productions
  • Broadcaster, Writer and Presenter for BBC Radio 4, Radio 7 and for Platform Events, Royal National Theatre


Selected publications:


Oddey, A., 2014, 'A Lifetime of Making : the public and private worlds of Emmanuel Cooper'. In Emmanuel Cooper OBE, 1938-2012. Ruthin: Ruthin Craft Centre, 2013

Oddey, A., with White, C.A., Fan Xia, Lu Ping, Sarah McNicoll, 'Entrepreneurship for the Creative and Media Arts', in Employability: Insights from Chinese and UK Universities, edited by Troy Heffernan, China Agricultural University Press, 2011.

Oddey, A., 2009. 'Tuning-In To Sound And Space: Hearing, Voicing And Walking'. In Oddey, A. and White, C.A., (Eds.) 2009. Modes of Spectating, Bristol: Intellect Ltd, pp.133-145.

Oddey, A., 2009. 'The Organics of the Rehearsal Room: Contemporary Directing Practice and the Director-Designer Relationship'. In White, C.A., (Ed.) 2009. Directors and  Designers, Bristol: Intellect Ltd, pp.86-100.


Oddey, A., ed., (2014), Scene [co-editor], 2 (1) Special Issue: Critical Costume

Oddey, A., ed., (2014), Scene [co-editor], 2 (2) Special Issue: Critical CostumeOddey, A., (2013), Co-Editor, Scene, Volume 1, Issue 3, Intellect, pp.478.
- Co-author with Di Benedetto, S., White, C.A., 'Linking Languages: Re-aligning design vocabularies'. Editorial.

Oddey, A., (2013), Co-Editor, Scene, Volume 1, Issue 2, Intellect, pp.332.
- Co-author with Di Benedetto, S., White, C.A., 'Capturing Attention in the Epoch of the Media Savvy'. Editorial.

Oddey, A., (2013), Co-Editor, Scene, Volume 1, Issue 1, Intellect, pp.154.
- Co-author with White, C.A., 'A Poetics of Imagineering: scene to screen, designing for edutainment and entertainment'. Editorial.

Conference presentations for National and  International Conferences and  Exhibitions

Oddey, A., Fourth International Conference on Health, Wellness and  Society, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 'The Cultural Value of the Arts for Health and  Wellbeing', 14-15 March, 2014.

Oddey, A., Chair, Contemporary Ceramics Conference, Derby Museum and  Art Gallery, Royal Crown Derby, University of Derby, February 21st, 2014.


Oddey, A., Co- curator, 'Emmanuel Cooper Retrospective', in collaboration with Ruthin Craft Centre, Derby Museum and  Art Gallery, Royal Crown Derby and the University of Derby, February 20th-March 28th, 2014.

Oddey, A., 'Greet the Feet', 2011, interactive event and exhibition promoting health care and reflexology, Dame Laura Knight Studio, Nottingham Trent University.

Selected Books

Oddey, A. and White, C.A., 2009. Modes Of Spectating, Bristol:Intellect Ltd, pp.265, ISBN 978-1-84150-239-7

Oddey, A., 2007, Re-framing the Theatrical. Palgrave Macmillan

See all of Alison Oddey's publications...