Dr Neil Chapman

Job title
Senior Lecturer, Fine Art
01326 213768 Ext: 3768

Neil Chapman is an artist, writer and researcher. His current work explores material textual practices, artists publishing, art/philosophy interdisciplinarity, questions concerning visuality, collaborative method, the evolution and politics of art-research. Neil has an undergraduate degree in Fine Art (Drawing & Painting), experience of studio and exhibiting practice including painting, sculpture, film and installation. He has an MA in Critical Fine Art Practice (Central Saint Martins, 1997). More recently his work has evolved to include writing and performance. His book Diagrams for Seriality is published by Copy Press (London, 2014) and has been described as a “meditation on the relation of seeing to saying, the possibility and impossibility of communication, and the very business of making and writing”.

In 2011 Neil Chapman completed a funded PhD in Fine Art practice-led research at the University of Reading. His thesis, entitled Protowork as Art's Expanded Writing Practice, is structured as an archive of 23 'writing-artefacts’, a form specific to this PhD comprising graphic, visual and written elements. Various forms of writing are employed in the thesis, including historical research, fiction, philosophical speculation and close readings of theoretical texts. Having no separate written component, the PhD questions common institutional divisions between research, art and writing, practice and theory. In a recent article Katy Macleod (Reader in Fine Art at Kingston University) has written that the PhD "presents the event of reading as a taxing encounter with image construction. It also presents an immanent methodology […] designed to provoke new thought about image construction determined by the practice of art.” (Macleod, K. ‘Art Project PhDs’, Theorem, Cambridge School of Art Doctoral Research 2016.)

In collaboration with David Stent (West Dean College, West Sussex) Neil has helped found and has contributed to an ongoing series of residencies, installations and reading/performances under the title Writing As Occupation (Meantime Project Space, Cheltenham, O3 Gallery, Oxford, Force8). Writing As Occupation explores the physical demands of writing, reading as performance, broadcast as dissemination, the effects of place and diverse technologies on writing, the ways in which such experiments expose new potentials of collective work.

Neil joined Falmouth University in May 2014. He teaches Fine Art Practice, Critical Studies and Art Research.


YearQualificationAwarding body
University of Reading
MA Fine Art
University of the Arts, London
BA(hons) Fine Art
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design

Honours and awards


University of Reading Post Graduate Scholarship, full funding for for PhD study.


London University of the Art, Research Award, funding towards the production and publication of The Ring Mechanism, a book with Book Works, London 2004.


City of Westminster Arts Council Bursary for Walking Is the Glue, a film and performance lecture, Curzon Cinema, Shaftsbury Avenue, London


London Arts Board Grant, Visual Arts Fund, for collaborative work with Steven Claydon towards an exhibition at Greengrassi, London (Five Works in Lieu of a Particle Accelerator)

Research interests

Research interests and expertise

Writing in Art Practice
Over recent years there has been a marked interest in writing as a practice in art. New dialogues and collaborative working processes have appeared across the traditional divisions of literature and art. Institutional interest in such forms has been evident in the term 'art-writing', the status of which remains uncertain. However, in various ways, the histories of artists' engagements with writing processes and textual material extend back much further, constituting a counter-current to mainstream art practices. How do we understand artists' current work with words in the light of these histories? What part does that understanding play in the evolution of the practices themselves? How at different historical moments have artists' writing practices worked as forms of resistance? How might they do so currently? To what extent and in what different ways do diverse writing processes in art practice constitute new branches of art's historic interrogation of the image?

Art/Philosophy interdisciplinarity
Certain branches of continental aesthetics prove popular amongst artists and useful in establishing theoretical frameworks. Increasingly, such philosophy appears in art also as material to be worked with. Non-standard or subversive readings of philosophy, fictional treatments of philosophers, unexpected or playful uses of the text: how do such working practices extend or contribute to the philosophical inquiries?

The evolving status of art-research and criticality in art teaching
Art-research is a relatively new academic field. With the recent changes in university funding and prevailing business culture, new pressures come to bear. How can art-researchers demonstrate the cultural value of criticality. How is the link between art teaching and art-research to be sustained? What are the challenges posed by new forms of experimental writing in art? As students at graduate and undergraduate levels find new ways of questioning the traditional boundaries between art, writing and research, how is rigorous academic assessment to be ensured?

The history and theory of collective practice in art
In which contemporary practices do we best see an affirmation of the as-yet-undetermined future of art? What are the material and practical effects for artists of current neo-liberal ideologies of individualism? As it becomes a standard demand on job descriptions, what is the future of the term 'creativity'? What scope is there for contemporary academic institutions to learn from self-organised structures, workers' cooperatives, the Occupy Movement, strategies that might help maintain the ecologies of research and teaching cultures, diversity and heterogeneity in the institution?

Research topics

art as circuit breaker
art-writing and the politics of writing technologies
Art/philosphy/literature cross-disciplinarity
book works and artists publications
darkness as metaphor in art and literature
Georges Perec
philosophies of the image.
philosophy of the diagram
politics of collaborative practice
the contraint
the evolving status of practice-led research in art
the history and contemporary practice of experimental writing and writing in art practice
writing as occupation

Research outputs

Publications and research outputs



Chapman, Neil (2017) Mostish Will Speak on Darkness. Haunt Journal of Art, 4. pp. 42-50. ISSN 2334-1165



Chapman, Neil (2016) Art • Writing • Diagrammatics. Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 7 (2). pp. 247-252. ISSN 1944-3919 Item availability may be restricted.
[img] [img]



Chapman, Neil (2015) Insiders. EROS, n/a (7). pp. 295-303. ISSN 2048-8352 



Chapman, Neil and Jaeger, Peter and Norwood, Tamarin and Pester, Holly and Kivland, Sharon and Jelili, Sami and LaMarre, Rebecca (2014) Jonah's Booth. Their eyes travel across the page and their hearts search out meaning, n/a (n/a). ISSN n/a



Chapman, Neil and Macleod, Katy (2014) The Absenting Subject. Journal of Visual Arts Practice, 13 (2). pp. 138-149. ISSN 1470-2029 



Chapman, Neil and Stahl, Ola (2014) Day. A Poem A Day, n/a (n/a). p. 21. ISSN n/a



Chapman, Neil and Stent, David and Lee, Adrien (2010) Labyrinth: Excerpts 54-66. Artvehicle, n/a (51). ISSN n/a


Book Chapter


Chapman, Neil and Hughes, Sarah and Stent, David and Pester, Holly and Davies, Angharad (2015) Vectors. In: Angharad Davies Rydal Mount. Compost and Height, West Dean, pp. 5-11. 



Chapman, Neil and Lally, Colm and Zaman, Rehana (2013) Neil Chapman in discussion with Rehana Zaman / Colm Lally in discussion with Neil Chapman. In: Proto-tools 1 Transcription, 16-17 November 2013 Flat Time House. Proto-tools . Event Media Projects, London, pp. 86-96. ISBN 978-0-9576627-1-1



Chapman, Neil (2013) ‘Patent Pursuit of Smoothness’. In: E:vent, 2003-2011. E:vent Media Projects, London. ISBN ISBN 978-0-9576627-0-4
[img] [img]



Chapman, Neil (2010) Glossolaris. In: Glossolaris. AND Publications, London. ISBN ISBN 978-1-907840-03-6
[img] [img]



Chapman, Neil and Stahl, Ola (2010) BLOODCRYSTALPOLLENSTAR. In: Deleuze and Contemporary Art. Deleuze Connections . Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgn, pp. 286-309. ISBN 9780748638383 (In Press)



Chapman, Neil (2008) Library Notes. In: Has Man a Function in Universe: Strategic Question #2. Strategic Questions, n/a (n/a). Book Works and Eastside Projects, Birmingham and London. ISBN ISBN 978 1 870699 88 4


Conference or Workshop Item


Chapman, Neil (2017) Untimely findings: Art-research and the Extra-disciplinary. In: Paradox Conference London 2017, 13th to 15th September 2017, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London. (Unpublished)



Chapman, Neil (2016) Writing Beyond Art. In: Words of Art, 29th November 2016, UAL Wimbledon. (Unpublished)
[img] [img]



Chapman, Neil and Stent, David (2016) Writing As Occupation #3: (Artists Talk). In: force8, 1st September 2016, Methodist Chapel (force8 project space) West Bay, Dorset. Item availability may be restricted.
[img] [img]



Chapman, Neil (2016) Five Layers of Looking. In: Falmouth School of Art Drawing Forum, Falmouth University Falmouth Campus. (Unpublished)




Chapman, Neil (2014) Diagrams for Seriality. 7 . Copy Press, London. ISBN 978-1-909570-00-9



Chapman, Neil and Stahl, Ola (2013) Spillways, Pedways, Silos. Good Press & Publication Studio, Malmö. ISBN 978-91-87577-03-1



Chapman, Neil and Stahl, Ola (2013) Earth Motifs, Shallow Designs, Outlands. Landscape Series . Publication Studio, Malmö. ISBN ISBN 978-91-977853-9-6




Wylde, Gillian and Chapman, Neil (2015) Diagramma Enflamma. [Artwork]
[img] [img]



Chapman, Neil and Stent, David (2013) Displacement Activity. [Artwork]




Chapman, Neil and Stent, David (2016) Writing As Occupation #3 (performance/installation). [Performance]
[img] [img]



Chapman, Neil (2016) Insiders (reading-performance). [Performance]



Chapman, Neil and Stent, David and Farmer, Patrick (2014) Writing As Occupation #2. [Performance]
[img] [img]



Chapman, Neil and Stent, David (2013) Displacement Activity. [Performance]


Website Content


Chapman, Neil and Berridge, David (2011) Memo Seven. [Website Content]
[img] [img]




Wylde, Gillian and Shapiro, Carolyn and Christoforidou, Maria and Chapman, Neil (2017) FOMO: Falmouth Art Publishing Fair 2017. UNSPECIFIED.
[img] [img]


Research students

Previous student supervision

Roderick Harris, Dissociative Methodology as Synthetic Assemblage: A pseudo-systematised inquiry into plastic and the zed, Kingston University, 2014.

Number of research students supervised to completion: 1

Research degrees examined

I have examined one PhD student at Falmouth University

Number of research degree examinations: 1


Areas of teaching

art contextual studies
Art practice
art writing
critical theory
history of art
history of ideas
philosophical aesthetics

Business engagement

Business start ups

Professional engagement