Derek Sprawson

Derek Sprawson

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Art & Design


Derek is level leader and module leader for level 3 in Fine Art; and has teaching responsibilities in level 1, including organisation of the induction week and leading the first module. He contributes to the MA course and has supervised PhD students.

Derek has been exploring ideas of locating paintings (painted objects) along ancient pilgrimage routes. The making of paintings still defining the nature of this practice but he is looking specifically at Bardsey Island (off the tip of the Llyn peninsula in North Wales) as a specific location to site paintings. This island is known as the island of 20,000 saints who are believed to be buried there. His interest in this particular site arises out of his curiosity in people influencing places.

Career overview

  • Painting and drawing with a particular emphasis on site-specific media.
  • Faith and yearning in painting and drawing practice.

Research areas

Derek's research interests are based on his engagement in making paintings and drawings as a means of reflection and questioning 'faith and yearning' as a central stimulus for creative practice. He makes use of images that reference what might be termed as 'overlooked objects'. More recently he has become interested in placing these paintings in specific locations and making work that will be physically accommodated within a particular building or on routes across a landscape.

External activity

  • Board member, Southwell Artspace.
  • Chair, Gallery Committee, Drawingspace Gallery at Southwell Artspace.