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Debra Swann

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham School of Art & Design


Debra teaches across all three levels of the BA fine Art. She organises and facilitates workshops, seminars and has a tutor group in level two. She is also the workshop coordinator for Fine Art.

Career overview

  • Visiting Lecturer in a variety of institutions across the UK
  • Self Employed, Workshop coordinator for various organisations and art institutions
  • Technical Tutor at Bournemouth School of Art and Design

Research areas

Debra is a studio-based practitioner, working in sculpture and photography. She often makes things she can wear or use in a performative sense. Presenting themselves as possible artefacts or specimens, the objects she creates are gadgets, adornments or trophies that she collects. Acting as props the objects imply function and substantiate the fabrication of the myth or inferred narratives she creates. The photography acts as a document of the experience.

Appealing directly to our own curiosity the work sets up a strange relationship where fantasy draws on reality and creates a strange authenticity and value, in turn, questioning our belief systems and the process by which history is written and established as truth. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, is interested in working site specifically and has completed artist residencies which have culminated in solo exhibitions.

Sponsors and collaborators

Debra has been involved with a project set up by Anne Helen Mydland from the Academy of art and design in Bergen, Strømgt.1, 5015 Bergen Norway at Spode Factory in Stoke. This is ongoing and she hopes to continue working on this in 2013 working towards the ceramic bienaile.


Debra is interested in working site specifically and has completed artist’s residencies, which have culminated in solo exhibitions such as Trouble in Paradise at the Wasp Room Gallery, Tether, Nottingham (2009) and Curiosity Shop at Coleman Project Space in Bermondsey (2006). She completed an international artist residency and group exhibition A Comedy of Errors at Artspace in Sydney, Australia (2007).

Debra is working towards another residency at Spode Factory (see above) in March 2013 and will start a residency at Primary in November this year with Lynn Fulton called Event Horizon (2012).

Recent Exhibitions:

  • Pile (2011) Chapter Art Centre, Cardiff/ Surface Gallery, Nottingham (group exhibition)
  • Implements and off-cuts (2011) Broadcaster Project, Lincoln (solo exhibition)

See all of Debra Swann's publications...