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Benedict Carpenter van Barthold

Principal Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design

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


Dr Benedict Carpenter van Barthold (Ben) leads the teaching and assessment of the Fine Art in the Department of Design and Digital Arts. He is actively engaged in researching Fine Art. His research is informed by direct experience of practice. He has experience of working with industry through Knowledge Transfer in relation to art practices and Ai / web 3.

Ben’s creative interests are in drawing, bronze sculpture, and art medals.

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 sculptural commissions.

Research areas

Ben researches how art is made an understood in the context of changing technology.

One area of focus is creative practice as the exercise of embodied material knowledge through ‘machine-like’ combinations of tools, materials, humans, and other components. Recent research in this area has examined the work of David Pye, and other artist/craftspeople who use machines such as looms to make their work. This historical work informs his contemporary engagement with deep learning and image generation, and the creative potential of this new technology.

Ben has also got deep expertise in the niche area of art medals. An art medal is a specialised form of sculpture, a twin-sided low relief often bearing a portrait image and text, and sometimes employed as personal propaganda. Medals are made using specialised processes such as mechanical reduction and striking or casting.

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 van Barthold, B. (2021) ‘Holy Riders. Constantine the Great and the seals of Baldwin II’, in The Medal, Autumn 2021, pp. 4 - 12

Carpenter van Barthold, B. (2020) ‘David Pye’s Fluting Engine’ in Lee, Y. (ed.) Surface and Apparition: The Immateriality of Modern Surface, London; New York: Bloomsbury, pp. 99-115

Mosscrop, M., and Carpenter van Barthold, B. (2020) ‘Journal (2016-2018): Conversations on Looms, Cloth and Weaving’ in Lee, Y. (ed) Surface and Apparition: The Immateriality of Modern Surface, London; New York: Bloomsbury, pp. 116-123

The link below will take you to some recent publications; some older publications are here. Follow Ben on

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

Press expertise

Expertise in sculpture, public sculpture, fine art and craft: