Skip to content
Danica Maier

Danica Maier

Associate Professor

School of Art & Design

Role

A member of Fine Art team for over 15 years, Danica has worked within all levels of the interdisciplinary Fine Art Program from undergraduates, postgraduates, and Doctorial level.  From 2009-2019 Danica founded and ran the Summer Lodge, a two-week artist residency held within the Fine Art studios with a focus on practice rather than outcome.

The centre of her teaching activity is now at Doctoral level where she supervises PhD candidates, as well as co-leads the programme DREAM (Doctoral Research Encounters in and through Artistic Methodologies) with her colleague Emma Cocker. Danica is interested in supervising PhD candidates working within areas that connect to or resonate with her own research interests. (Please see the below research section for more information)

Career overview

Danica Maier has been a practicing artist since 1995, with an international research profile involving exhibition, publication, performance and guest lecturing. Before joining the NTU Fine Art team in 2005 she was a core part of the teaching staff on the Postgraduate Textile course at Goldsmiths College, London.  She started her academic teaching career at the University of Delaware, USA and has taught and guest lectured at numerous art institutes across the globe. In her early career she was workshop co-ordinator and tutor at London Printworks Trust and studio assistant at the Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia.

She undertook a BFA in painting from Arcadia University, Philadelphia, during which she spent a year studying abroad at Glasgow School of Art (GSA), Scotland. Her time at GSA and in Glasgow is a core reason she was interested in working as an artist and academic in the UK. She achieved an MFA in Painting from the University of Delaware, USA, and an MA in Textile from Goldsmiths College, London. She is part of the Fellowship of Higher Education Association and in 2019 she achieved an ILM Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring. Danica is an active member of the NTU Coaching Academy from which she supports colleagues throughout the university.

Research areas

Danica’s overarching research interests focus on artistic exploration of the expanded field of textiles and the 'unrepeating repeat' (or iterative variants).  Iterative variants is explored in a multitude of ways, through: the use of historical starting points for production examined through the lens of appropriation and laborious hand reproduction; the importance of language found both as text (words) and visuals (drawing) through drawings created with repeated terms; exploration of transposition through methods and processes of textiles (embroidery, weaving, screen printing) examined through other making modes/medium (drawing, installation, 3d assemblages, sound); and the audiences experience of physically engaging with/viewing the work. Key practical methods within the research are drawing, installation, archival research, repetition, sound, and writing as practice.

Further areas of enquiry include: exploration of processes (making) through other mediums and the connection to transposition; historical objects re-interrupted and contemporarily re-created; intertextuality of artistic processes as well as within writing/words; words and pattern which sit on the intersection of language and visuals; autobiographical narratives explored through the lens of other sources and staring points; and a dialogical nature of collaborative projects which enable individual practice research to occur.

Examples of dialogical collaborative projects in which her individual practice research occurs are:

Bummock: Artists in Archives (since 2015, with Andrew Bracey, University of Lincoln,) Like the bummock – the largest part of the iceberg hidden under water – archives traditionally contain far more than is accessed. This project seeks to investigate, research and use unseen parts of archives as catalysts for artistic research. The project is examining issues around how artists approach the access to archives differently to standard practice. Using artistic research methods, the ‘controlled rummage’ has been developed by Danica and Andrew to enable access to the ‘unknown, unknown’ within archives and collection – material inaccessible to usual methods.

The larger Bummock project is set up to allow individual artist research and exploration to occur.  Within The Lace Archive, Nottingham (2017-2019), Danica’s research developed a series of artistic responses to historical lace ‘drafts’– schematic diagrams of machine-made lace – which focus on the drawn lines found within the diagrams. Through redrawing, she examined the method of creating the lace through the imperfections in the drawn line, providing new readings of these historical diagrams. Most recently, within the Tennyson Research Centre (2017-2022) her independent research focuses on the archive collection of Lord Alfred Tennyson’s great niece Fryn Tennyson Jesse. Danica’s research here highlights histories and narratives that cross between biography and autobiography; exploring Jesse’s legacy and past while intermingled within crossovers with her own family narratives. Through various and specific mediums - biographies, memories, and narratives were examined through iterative processes.

Score: Mechanical Asynchronicity (2018-2022, with Martin Scheuregger, University of Lincoln): A collaborative research project between visual artist (Danica) and composer (Martin), exploring historical lace patterns as the starting point for new live and installation-based visual-musical graphic scores and performances/live events. Danica developed drawings as graphic scores which in turn generated renditions that worked as both drawing, and score. In its totality, the work involved multi-components (vinyl records and live musicians), where multiple versions can be experimented with and reassembled to create many variations of the same material.  This lack of fixedness is crucial to the work’s identity as an iterative process more than a final product.

Returns (ongoing - since 2013 – with Andrew Brown (NTU), Joanne Lee (Sheffield Hallam University) and Christine Stevens (The Clay Studio, Primary)) Working under the title Returns, the group initially came together during a 2012 residency at the former Spode ceramics factory hosed by Bergen Academy of Art. Since then, it has repeatedly returned to investigate Stoke-on-Trent, its urban landscapes, diverse communities, manufacturing and craft skills, and the material history that has made it so distinctive.  Across the last year the artists have developed new ideas through idiosyncratic fieldwork, walking, looking and listening, each following the threads emerging from their previous research.  Danica used found and sourced Spode materials – ceramic components, decorative motifs – in works that engage with a number of conceptual and material oppositions. Some of these, such as the modulation of value in found art objects, and art vis a vis craft practices, activate in the work relevant themes in critical discourse. Others, such as the relationship between drawing and ceramics, have specific resonance with the materials she worked with. Danica’s work within these oppositions combines embodied, performative, and formal exploration through constructions that trouble conventional hierarchies of practice­ – a drawing becomes the table for a tea set and pattern spills from the milk creamer onto the wall; highly ornate elements contradict the purpose of their functional design.

External activity

Danica Maier often works within collaborative independent framework in which finds a balance between giving priority to both the personal and shared interests. She is co-lead with Andrew Bracey (University of Lincoln) on a long-term research project Bummock: New Artistic Responses to Unseen Parts of the Archive. (www.bummock.org). Through artists’ residencies working within archives and collections this project seeks to investigate, research and use unseen parts of archives as catalysts for the creation of new artworks, while exploring the development of a ‘control rummage’ methodology for researching the unseen/unknown.

Danica and composer Dr. Martin Scheuregger are currently working on ongoing ACE funded project Score: Mechanical Asynchronicity. This project brings together shared interests of the disrupted repetition, the glitch and line and sees newly developed graphic scores are explored with a small ensemble of musicians, creating a multichannel / ensemble piece incorporating both musician and recording (vinyl).

Maier is part of the artist group Returns with Andrew Brown (NTU), Joanne Lee (SHU) and Christine Stevens (The Clay Studio at Primary). An established collective of artists who have sustained a dialogue across the last 8 years. The group is interested in the problems and possible futures of post-industrial cities and their communities, and in the role of making and craft skills therein. Returns formed out of and links back to the international partnership project Topographies of the Obsolete. http://topographies.khib.no/

With Emma Cocker, she co-led the No Telos research project which seeks to explore the journey of artistic process rather than outcome. The project partners included artists and academics from NTU, Bath School of Art, and The Museum of Loss and Renewal. The publication No Telos! was launched as part of the Convocation: On Expanded Language - Based Practices within the Research Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale (https://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/614742/614743). It is published by Beam Editions and can be found here: https://www.beameditions.uk/bookshop/no-telos

During the first year of Covid lockdown, Danica set up and continues to run an annual virtual residency with artist Louisa Chambers. The first iteration called Swifts: A Virtual Residency has fostered two more online residencies (Swallows and Bee Eaters) with the core focus on developing creative practice in a critical and supportive environment without any pressures of outcome.https://www.a-n.co.uk/blogs/bee-eaters-a-virtual-residency/post/52601398/

Danica is involved with mentoring and coaching artists; she peer reviews for Project Anywhere;  external examines and validators courses for UG and PG courses; is on the Arts Advisory Board for programming at the Collection Museum and Usher Gallery, Lincoln; and has been invited to give numerous artist talks both nationally and internationally.

Her interest in and passion for the process of artistic practice has seen her undertaken a number of artist residencies, including:  Hospitalfield, Scotland; Ringmore Hall, Devon; Project Space Plus, Lincoln; Dirty Practices, Wolverhampton, University; Primary Project Space, Nottingham; Airspace Gallery, Stoke on Trent; hARTlane Gallery, London; Spode factory as part of Topologies of the Obsolete, Stoke on Trent, led by KHIB Norway; Brazier International Workshop, Oxford; Fundación Migliorisi, Paraguay; VASL, Pakistan; and The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia.

Danica home and studio is based in rural Lincolnshire.  Further works can be seen here: www.danicamaier.com

Sponsors and collaborators

Collaborators

  • Dr. Sarah Bennett: Kingston University
  • Andrew Bracey: University of Lincoln
  • Andrew Brown: NTU
  • Joanne Lee: Sheffield Hallam University
  • Dr. Martin Scheuregger: University of Lincoln
  • Dr. Christine Stevens: The Clay Studio Primary
  • Dr. Sian Vaughan: Birmingham City University
  • Dark Inventions
  • Tennyson Research Centre
  • The Lace Archive

Current Funders

  • Arts Council England
  • arts NK
  • The Collection Musuem
  • I have previously received support and funding from (but not limited to): The Collection and Usher Gallery, a-n Artist Bursary, Arts Council England, nkARTS, Contemporary Visual Arts Networks, British Council, Arts and Business, British Council Pakistan, Fundación Migliorisi, Gasworks.

Publications

Exhibition and Performances (selected)

Solo and Co-authored

2022    ‘Bummock: Tennyson Research Centre’, The Collection Museum, Lincoln

2021    'Score: Mechanical Asynchronicity III', Prix Annelie de Man, International Harpsichordist Festival played live by Jane Chapman, Amsterdam, NL

2021    ‘Bummock: Tennyson Research Center’, The Hub: A National Centre for Craft and Design, Sleaford

2020    Score: Mechanical Asynchronicity, Lincoln Preforming Arts Center, (with Martin Scheuregger) Lincoln

2019    ‘Bummock: New Artistic Approaches to The Lace Archive’, Constance Howard Gallery, Goldsmiths College, London

2019    ‘Score: Mechanical Asynchronicity’, as part of public programming for Still Undead, the Nottingham chapter of the Bauhaus Imaginista project, The Space, Nottingham Contemporary

2019    ‘Bummock: The Lace Archive’, Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge

2018    ‘re-turning’, Airspace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent as part of the Returns group

2018    ‘Bummock: The Lace Archive’, Backlit Gallery, Nottingham

2017    ‘There but Different’, Cornerstone Gallery, Hope University, Liverpool

2016    ‘In return’, Sheffield Institute of Art, Sheffield, as part of the Returns group

2015    ‘Returns’, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham, as part of the Returns group

2014    ‘Stitch & Peacock’, The Collection Museum, Lincoln

2014    ‘2nd Supper Redux’, Terry O’Toole Theater, as part of as part of the ‘Creating a Scene’ exhibition, National Centre for Craft and Design

2009    ‘Midlands & Tooraloorals’, GEDOK Gallery (The Society of Women Artists), Karlsruhe, Germany

Group Exhibitions (selected)

2020    Enough is Defiantly Enough, Oceans Apart Gallery, Salford

2020.  ‘Asunciones/Himmelfahrten: Positions on women and society from Paraguay and Germany’, Cultural Center of the Republic, CCR Cabildo, Asunción of Paraguay Paraguayan-German Cultural Institute / Goethe Zentrum, Paraguay

2019    Party Line, 201 Telephone Box Gallery, Scotland

2019    No Telos!, performance and publication launch events as part of the Convocation within the Research Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale.

2019    ‘Enough is Definitely Enough’, General Practice, Lincoln

2018    ‘Urban Sounding’, Performance event as part of Lincoln Performing Art Centre's POPOUT Festival, Lincoln

2018    ‘Decriminalising Ornament: The Pleasures of Pattern’, Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge

2016    ‘Midpointness’, Airspace Gallery, Stoke on Trent

2013    ‘Topographies of the Obsolete: Vociferous Void’, in the British Ceramics Biennale, Spode factory, Stoke on Trent

2011    ‘Evolution of Stitch’, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham

2010    ‘Closely Held Secrets’, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham

2009    ‘Make Shift & Bend’, Café Gallery, London, England

Selected Publications

(solo or co-authored)

2022     Bummock: Tennyson Research Centre, Flipping the Bummock Press, with Sarah Bennett, Andrew Bracey and texts by Sian Vaughan, Sue Breakell, Jim Cheshire, Jenny Gleadell, Lucy Lumb

2021    Score: Mechanical Asynchronicity, published by Beam Editions, with Martin Scheuregger, Daniela Cascella, and Lauren Redhead.

2021    re - turning, published by Topographies of the Obsolete, with Andrew Brown, Joanne Lee, and Christine Stevens, (co-edited with Joanne Lee)

2020    Topographies of the Obsolete: Phase Two: Rhizomatic Trajectories, Editor Neil Brownsword

2020    re - turning, published by Topographies of the Obsolete (upcoming)

2019    ‘re – turning’, co-authored and edited with Andrew Brown, Jo Lee, Christine Stevens, with Topographies of the Obsolete

2019    ‘No Telos!’, co-edited with Emma Cocker, Beam Editions

2019    ‘Bummock: The Lace Archive’, co-edited and authored by Andrew Bracey, Flipping the Bummock press

2016   ‘Grafting Propriety: From Stitch to the Drawn Line’, (Monograph publication), Black Dog Publications

Book Chapters / journal articles (selected)

2021    Unrepeating-repeat: reversal, once more, seek-seek afresh, Chapter in Victoria Mitchel and Sarah Horton (eds),  Pattern and Chaos: Meaning and Making, Intellect publishing.

2020    Topographies of the Obsolete: Phase Two: Rhizomatic Trajectories, Editor Neil Brownsword, Published by Topographies of the Obsolete, Stoke on Trent

2019    ‘Looking Again’, special edition ‘Decriminalising Ornament: The Pleasures of Pattern’, Journal of Illustration, (ed) Desdemona McCannon and Sheena Calvert

2015    ‘Forsaken Decoration’, ‘Topographies of the Obsolete: Site Reflections’. (ed) Anne Helen Mydland and Neil Brownsword, Stoke on Trent: Bergen Academy of Art.

2014    ‘On Return’, Kaunas Textiles Biennale: Unitext. Edited by Dovilė Stirbytė, published by NGO Kaunas Biennial

2013    ‘Plinths and Frames’ Topographies of the Obsolete: Vociferous Void. England: Topographies of the Obsolete Publications. Editors Anne-Helen Mydland and Neil Brownsword

Artists Residencies (selected)

2021    Bummock: Tennyson, 14-17 July, Ringmore Hall, Devon

2019    Hopsitalfield, Interdisciplinary Residency, Scotland funded by a-n Artists Bursary

2019    No Telos!, performative and launch events as part of the Convocation within the Research Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale.

2018    Primary Project Space 1, residency with the Returns artist group, Nottingham

2018    Returns, Airspace Gallery, residency with the Returns artists group. Stoke on Trent

2015-17  The Lace Archive, Nottingham Trent University, artist residency as part of the Bummock research project.

2014    Textile Archive, The Collection Museum, seven-month artist residency within the Museums textile’s archive, Lincoln

2013    Drawology Invited by curator Deborah Harty to be ‘Seer In Residence’, Bongington Gallery, Nottingham.

2012- 2013      Topographies of the Obsolete, reoccurring residency in the abandoned Spode factory, Stoke on Trent. Lead by KHiB, (Bergen, Norway) and the British Ceramics Biennale.

Conferences (selected)

2020    Invited Keynote speaker, Music Symposium, University of Lincoln

2019    Music as/and Process, Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in London

2019    Notation for Improvisers, Institute of Musical Research, Senate House London

2018    Decriminalizing Ornament: The Pleasures of Pattern, 9th International Illustration Research symposium, hosted by Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

2018    Pattern and Chaos, Norwich School of Art, from the research group

2018    Textile & Place, Manchester School of Art and the Whitworth Art Gallery

2017    Provocative Pedagogies, School of Fine & Performing Arts, University of Lincoln

2017    The Archive Unbound, Digital Cutltures Network, Cardiff University

2016    Dirty Practices Conference, Painting Department, Woverhampton University

2014    Day of the Young Artist, Museum De Pont, Tilburg, (NL)

See all of Danica Maier's publications...