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Duncan Higgins


School of Art & Design


Duncan Higgins is Professor of Visual Art and Bonington Gallery Committee Chair.

Professor Higgins uses painting to explore how to (re) integrate images through art into historically active conversations concerning both shared history and contemporary experience of violence. He explores how the production of painting can communicate an understanding of violence, faith and place through a research process involving the production of paintings, photographs, videos, texts, critical reflection and fieldwork.

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Career overview

Currently Professor Higgins is also Professor of Fine Art at Bergen National Academy of Art and Design, Norway. In 2006 Professor Higgins was awarded a three year National Endowment for Science Technology and Arts (NESTA) fellowship. Professor Higgins was previously Joint programme leader for Fine Art at NTU and Visiting lecturer in Fine art at a number of art schools in UK, Scandinavia and Europe.

Research areas


In a place like thisSensuous Knowledge conference paper Sandborg and Higgins, paper delivered in a live setting of an exhibition that introduced, expanded upon and explored the research project:
In A place Like This. Rm8. Bergen, Norway. 23.01 - 25.01.2013
Paintings, photographs and digital photo display frames.

Sensuous Knowledge – 23 – 25 January 2013. Bergen Academy of Art and Design
The Sensuous Knowledge Conferences started in 2004 as an international venue for presentation and discussion of artistic research projects.
The overriding purpose of these three-day working conferences is to contribute to the creation and refining of a discourse for critical reflection on artistic research.

Platform: In the Making
Group exhibition
: Anna Barham, AUDiNT (Toby Heys + Steve Goodman), Ben Cain, Brigid McLeer, Duncan Higgins, Elizabeth Price, Graham Ellard & Stephen Johnstone, Hester Reeve, James Brown, Jerome Harrington, Mat Do, Richard William Wheater, Ross Jardine, Sarah Staton, Simon Blackmore, Sonya Dyer, Tom Woolner
Celebrating Site's Platform programme, Platform: In the Making, brings back to the gallery 15 artists and collectives who carried out residencies with us over the past seven years. The exhibition considers the impact the residency had on the artists' practice.
29 March - 1 June 2013
Site Gallery Sheffield


Five by Five5 days of screenings of unloud films
Monday 24 September – Friday 5 October 2012
Bonington Gallery, Nottingham.

Topographies of the obsoleteSite specific text installation exploring place memory and cross cultural place narratives
Text and unfired earthenware.
Closed Spode Ceramics factory Stoke. September 2012

In this placeOdds. Site-specific temporary text installation
as part of 'Odds' an international exhibition and seminar
exploring 'place – the post industrial ruin'
in Odda, Hardangar Fjord Norway. 10 to 13 October 2012

Losing Darkly.
8th November 2011. Bonington Gallery. Nottingham
Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway. 25 April 2012
40 minute looped projection of images, moving images and music.
Images. Duncan Higgins. Music. Ken Hyder. Editing. Fred Perkins

unloudSolo exhibition of unloud paintings parts 1+2+3
The National Gallery of Art. Kaunas Lithuania.
31.8 – 2.9. 2012
Consisting of 1,927 paintings, each painting 10x8cms,
58 drawings,
unloud - book,
unloud - film and artefacts.


unloud. Down on the farm.Solo Exhibition
National Academy of Arts in Warsaw, Poland.
September to October.

Tracing Mobility: Cartography and Migration in Networked Space.
23rd November to 12 December. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

Losing Darkly.
40 minute looped projection of images, moving images and music.
Images. Duncan Higgins
Music. Ken Hyder.
Editing. Fred Perkins
8th November. Bonnington Gallery. Nottingham
23RD November. USF Verftet, Bergen, Norway.

Antiphony fugeLive performance with projected images of Solovki archepelago, live sound and music manipulation.
The Harley. Sheffield. 25 October.
Room B122 Nottingham Trent University. 4th May

Down on the farm.
Dlezew, Poland.
Site specific installation of texts, sculptural objects and photographs on a disused farm in a small village in Dlezew.
30 April to 6 May

Lead artists in a creative workshop in Dlezew Poland between artists and students from The National Academy of Arts in Warsaw, Poland and The Bergen National Academy of Arts, Norway
30th April to 6th May

flowers violence landscapesRom8. Vaskerelven 8. Kunsthogskolen i Bergen, Norway
Joint exhibition with Johan Sandborg.
1- 8 April 2011

white flowers + an elephant in the roomA one day conference organised by Johan Sandborg and Duncan Higgins as part of FS3 – a series of annual seminars examining the role of the photograph in contemporary art today. Held at Bergen National Academy of Art Norway.
Speakers included:
Writer Lesley Chamberlain, Associate Professor Susie Linfield, Professor John Roberts, Johan Sandborg, Duncan Higgins and artists Jannicke Olsen


Outdoor projection.15 minute looped film.
Vaskerelven(city centre), Bergen, Norway.
Various dates and locations. April 2010.

unloudSolo exhibition of 1600 paintings.
The Czech Centre Prague.
10 February 2010 – 20 March 2010

unloud2Solo exhibitions, book launch and film screening.
Russian Centre for Culture and Science Prague.
17 – 30 March 2010.

The two exhibitions were made in collaboration with the Czech and Russian Cultural ministries in Prague, as part of the 20years celebrations since Soviet rule. This was the first collaboration in 20 years between the two ministries.
The exhibition was also selected to be a partnership event included in the ONE WORLD International Human Rights festival in Prague. 10 – 18 March 2010.


unloudProjection installation.
Leeds General Infirmary Chapel. Collaboration with artist Henry Tietzch Tyler.
25 November

*Periphery. Installation as part of the Out There Festival Great Yarmouth
Contribution of an image and text for *periphery Publication Edited by Aaron Juneau, Jonathan Watts and Harriet Mitchell
YH485 Press, September 2009

unloudSite specific installation
Gallery Kronborg Bergen, Norway.
Throughout September 2009.

unloudSolo exhibition Royal Festival Hall and Spirit Level. South Bank Centre, London.
1600 Paintings, 17 video work installation, outdoor projection on Royal Festival Hall, drawings, book launch and film screening.
During the exhibition I lead a NESTA creative seminar exploring how artistic practices can engage in the intercultural exchange of new knowledge, can construct cultural memory and enable new artistic initiatives.
Throughout September 2009.

unloud book launch and film screening.
Site Gallery Sheffield.
Collaborative event with Dust Designers, Research Group for Artists Publication (RGAP) and Site Gallery.
19 June 2009.

unloud projections.
Solovki State Museum Reserve and Salon for Arts, Arkhangelsk Russia. 2 inter-related site specific solo exhibitions.
16 January - 3 February 2009.

unloudFilm screening and unloud video installations.
Nygardsdaten 2A, Bergen, Norway.
Various dates March/April 2009.

Tethervision podcast. Joanne Lee and Duncan Higgins in conversation, to be broadcast June 2009. Thether Group Nottingham.


unloudSolo exhibition of 1600 paintings.
Bonington Gallery Nottingham. 7th to 28th November 2008.

Solovki - Sound, Image and Memory
Curated live collaboration with Concert Organist Graham Barber. three hour durational multi-video projections and live organ music.
Sheffield Cathedral. 2 November 2008

unloudSite specific video installation.
Solstrand, Bergen, Norway. 23 - 25 September 2008.

Loud and unloudCurated live church organ music and projected images.
Collaboration with organist Graham Barber. St Bartholomew's Church, Armley Leeds.
15 June.

"A Space to Think Outside the Body"An exhibition of Digital Drawing curated by Frank Abbott at Southwell Artspace, Nottingham.
Saturday 15 March to Saturday 26 April

Drawing out.Curated exhibition.
58 Drawings of imagined Russian cinemas. Bonington Gallery, Nottingham.
21 April – 9 May


unloudOne Person exhibition of paintings, video, drawings and talk.
Pushkin House, London
18th December 2007 to 22 January 2008

unloudOne person exhibition of texts, paintings, video and drawing.
Solovki State Museum Reserve. Russia
October 2007 – February 2008

58 cinemas58 Cinemas constructed in various locations on the Solovki Archipelago.
Solovki Archipelago Russia.
October 2007.

unloudOne-person exhibition of painting, drawings and video.
Fodal Centre. Kjollefjord, Norway.
July 20 – 5 August 2007.

unloudOne-person exhibition of painting, drawings and video.
Centre for Art. Oulu, Finland.
August 10 – 20 2007.


One-person exhibition.
Site Gallery, Sheffield.
15 – 18 November 2006.

unloud - "Little things".One-person exhibition.
The Museum of Fine Arts Arkhangelsk. The Art Salon of Arkhangelsk, Arkhangelsk, Russia.
17TH March – 31 March 2006.


unloud. Prt 1.
One-person exhibition.
The Museum of Fine Arts Arkhangelsk. The Art Salon of Arkhangelsk, Arkhangelsk, Russia.15 July – 20 August 2005.

External activity

  • Arts Council England and Esmie Fairburn Foundation artists Mentor
  • External examiner for Brighton University
  • Peer reviewer for Austrian Research Council

Sponsors and collaborators

  • The Hermitage
  • St Petersburg
  • British Council
  • Creative Scotland
  • The Lithuanian National Museum of Art Kaunas,
  • South Bank Centre, UK
  • Arts Council England (ACE)
  • Finmark Fylkeskommune Norway
  • Committee for Culture for Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia
  • RGAP artists publishers
  • Czech and Russian Cultural ministries in Prague
  • National Academy of Art Warsaw and Barents Regional Council.

It includes awards: A three year National Endowments Individual award from NESTA, individual grant Arts Council England, research funding from Bergen Academy of Art and Design and research funding from Solovki State Museum Russia.


Full list of publications can be found by clicking on 'go to publications' link above.

Selected publications:

HIGGINS, D. and HARRISON, G., 2011. Response and Responsibility, In DHUPA, V. and TILLER, C., (eds) An Eye on Intercultural Dialogue, London: VSDB Publishing, pp.9-12, ISBN 978-0-9565027-1-1

HIGGINS, D., 2009. Unloud. Cromford, Derbyshire: Research Group for Artists Publications (RGAP), ISBN-978-0-9558273-5-8.

HIGGINS, D., 2008. Unloud, An edition of the Sensuous Knowledge series ""Focus on Artistic Research and Development"" No.05, Norway: Bergen National Academy of the Arts (KHIB), pp.39, ISSN 1890-2154 "

HIGGINS,D. and Sandborg,J., 2013.In a Place Like This, Norway: Bergen Academy of Art and Design Norway.

See all of Duncan Higgins's publications...

Press expertise

Professor Higgins is willing to discuss topics in relation  to art and design curriculum and pedagogy, art research, Bonington Gallery and International art networks