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Benedict Carpenter van Barthold

Principal Lecturer

School of Art & Design

Staff Group(s)
Academic Division Fine Art Undergraduate and Professional Education


Benedict Carpenter van Barthold (Ben) is responsible for the management of the BA and MFA programmes in Fine Art and the academics that teach on these programmes. He is actively engaged in researching material arts practices. He is an experienced research student supervisor, and is interested in hearing from prospective research students.

Career overview

Ben has worked in UK universities since 1998. From 2013 he was employed at De Montfort University, leaving in 2019 as Associate Professor in Fine Art and Associate Head of School of Visual and Performing Arts.

Ben trained as an artist at Chelsea College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art, and has a PhD from Manchester Metropolitan University. He was awarded the Jerwood Sculpture Prize in 2001. He has exhibited at the Venice Biennale and completed a number of permanently sited commissions.

Research areas

Ben’s interests focus on the relationship of material and content in made things and the emergence of meaning in craft and arts practice. Areas of interest include:

  • Material knowledge
  • Human improvisation through mechanical systems
  • Haptic knowledge in the crafts and arts
  • The emergence of meaning in arts practice
  • Art medals
  • The arts and wellbeing, especially in custodial contexts

Enquiry from prospective research students working in these areas is welcome.

External activity

Board Memberships


  • 2013-2016: Honorary Research Fellow, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, University of Wolverhampton
  • 2009-Present: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

External Quality Assurance

  • 2017-2019: External Examiner, MA Fine Art, Swansea College of Art, University of Wales, Trinity St. David
  • 2017: External Panel Member, Validation of BA(hons) Design Crafts, University of Gloucester
  • 2017: External Panel Member, Validation for BA(hons) Fine Art, Newcastle College


Carpenter, B. (2014) thing-soul, London: Marlborough Fine Art

Walker, W. (PI), Prof. Sque, M., Carpenter, B., Roberts, S. (2014) Recognising the Gift of Organ and Tissue Donation: The views and preferences of donor families, Report to The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Organ Donation Committee

Carpenter, B. (2012) ‘This Living Hand: The medal as a tangible made object’, Médailles 2012, Portugal: FIDEM. Published conference paper at FIDEM 2012; Presented at CRASSH, Cambridge University, May 2013 in a revised and expanded form

Carpenter, B. (2012) ‘Modern Medals’, The Medal No.61, Autumn 2012, pp.48-53

Carpenter, B. (2012) ‘Cathie Pilkington’, The Medal, No. 60 Spring 2012, pp. 29-39

Notable Commissions and Exhibitions

  • 2017 Net Form 2 located at Oakham School, Rutland
  • 2012 Two sculptural commissions for Jerwood Gallery, Hastings
  • 2011 Pod, Sculptural commission for Oakham School, Rutland
  • 2011 Several drawings published in Drawing Projects, M. Maslen & J. Southern, Black Dog Press
  • 2010 Pod,EU Leader + Funded project for Candas, Spain
  • 2005 Skulptur und Zeichnung, solo show, Galerie Patricia Ferdinand-Ude, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
  • 2005 'Swansong’ in Always a Little Further, Arsenale, Venice Biennale, a collaborative artwork with the Centre of Attention
  • 2005 40,000 Years of Modern Art, Arts Council NE publicly sited sculptural project for Manhattan Gate, Middlesbrough
  • 2004 Zomibe, Group Show, Galerie Patricia Ferdinand-Ude, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
  • 2004 Schwanengesang, collectively authored performative installation, The Centre of Attention at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt, Germany
  • 2003 New Work, solo show, Henry Peacock Gallery, London, UK
  • 2002 New Religious Art, group show, Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK
  • 2001 Sculpture and Drawing, solo show, Henry Peacock Gallery, London, UK
  • 1999 Green, solo show, Mellow Birds, London, UK
  • 1999 Natural Dependency, group show, Jerwood Space, London

See all of Benedict Carpenter van Barthold's publications...

Course(s) I teach on

  • BA Fine Art
    Undergraduate | Full-time | 2020

  • MFA Fine Art
    Postgraduate taught | Full-time / Part-time (day) | 2020