Dr Gillian Whiteley

  • Honorary Fellow

Research groups and centres

Dr Gillian Whiteley is a Senior Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture with an MA Sculpture Studies and doctorate from the University of Leeds.

With a background in community arts/theatre and education, she previously taught at the Open University and in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.

At Loughborough, she is coordinator of the Politicized Practice Research Group and co-organiser (with Dr. Jane Tormey) of RadicalAesthetics-RadicalArt (RaRa), a research initiative with events, network and book series published by Bloomsbury (for which she is commissioning editor). She also operates as bricolagekitchen a multifaceted project space for creative-critical practice, emerging from preoccupations with the art and politics of improvisation, bricolage, assemblage and trash. As a sonic and multimedia improviser, she was part of the free-improv collective Gated Community and is currently engaged in Alchemy/Schmalchemy and an improvisatory duo ...the gathering, the chewing... See https://lboro.academia.edu/gillianwhiteley

Gillian's research interests include historical and contemporary theories and countercultural practices of creative dissent, ludic and performative protest, art activism, sites of transitory utopia, bricolage and detritus, focusing on trans-disciplinary practices and cultural production within socio-political contexts. With members of the Politicized Practice Research Group, Anarchist Research Group and Theatre and Performance Research Groups at Loughborough, she is currently working on collaborative projects around Re-imagining Citizenship and Political Violence and the Visual Arts (with Prof. Ruth Kinna, following an Independent Research Foundation flexible grants award for a two-day workshop in 2016, Gillian is working on a co-edited book, for Routledge’s Interventions series). 

Her main current research project is Art, Politics and the Pamphleteer, for a book forthcoming in the RadicalAesthetics-RadicalArt book series (Bloomsbury) and a related exhibition. This follows up archive and art research work carried out as part of her University Fellowship (2017/18) and the development of partnerships with various organisations, including the People’s History Museum, Mayday Rooms, Sparrows’ Nest and the Institut Supérieur des Beaux-Arts of Besançon. In May 2017, RaRa (Tormey and Whiteley) worked with LU Radar Arts to produce a weekend festival, For & Against: Art, Politics and the Pamphletwhich explored and celebrated the radical history and format of the pamphlet through a one-day research symposium, an exhibition at Charnwood Museum and various public events and community workshops held in Loughborough town centre and public park.

Gillian has worked extensively on historical and contemporary practices of performative countercultural politics, with research on various groups in the 1960s/70s such as the Dutch Provo and Welfare State International, eg researching and curating a retrospective exhibition Radical Mayhem: Welfare State International and its Followers (Burnley, UK, 2008) and recently publishing ‘Welfare State International’ in J.Bull and G.Saunders (eds) British Theatre Companies: From Fringe to Mainstream 1965-69, (Bloomsbury, 2016). Earlier work includes a curated project Pan-demonium (2009) at the AC Institute, New York, and the devising and performance of a Pan-demonic suite in Berlin at The Knot, (2010) a nomadic platform for art practices and experimental social interaction in the public sphere. Working with the live ensemble, Alchemy/Schmalchemy, the most recent manifestation-performance piece was Onto-epistemological hoodoo: Putting a Barad text to work at the Summer Institute in Qualitative Research in response to the theme of ‘Putting theory to work’ at Manchester Metropolitan University in July 2017. Previous performances are explored in ‘[Schm]alchemy: Magical sites and mischievous objects – episodes in a performative inquiry into the transformative and disruptive potency of stuff’ in Body Space & Technology Journal, Vol. 15.

Her work on the art and politics of trash includes: 'Situating Junk: art , garbage and trash ontologies' in M.C.L. dos Santos (ed) Design, Waste and Dignity (CNP/Olaris, 2014); ‘Scavenging from margins to mainstream; artist as bricoleur’ in Stéphanie Jamet-Chavigny et Françoise Levaillan (eds) Retour sur l’art de l’assemblage, actes du colloque international (Les Presses Universitaires de Renne, 2011); monograph Junk: Art and the Politics of Trash (IB Tauris, 2010). In 2013, with a Research and Master Teaching Fellowship at Victoria College of Arts, University of Melbourne, she contributed public talks and seminars related to two exhibitions and a published essay, Regimes of Value: Sensuous Stuff, Entangled Objects. Undoing the Order of Things.

See https://lboro.academia.edu/gillianwhiteley

  • SAA922 Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Art and Design
  • SAB931 Contemporary Art and Aesthetics
  • SAB935 Creative Dissent: Protest, Activism and Art
  • SAC940 Art and Design Dissertation
  • SAP006 Research Methodologies: Art and Design
  • SAP009 Final Project (MA)

Current PhD supervision:

  • Jennifer Hankin: Alternative futures: The experience of Utopian values within contemporary installation practice
  • Sue Warner: Community Art and Critical Citizenship  
  • Zoe Petersen: Networking Eden
  • Jaakko Karhunen: The concept of production of subjectivity in the philosophy of Félix Guattari: A study of Chaosmosis
  • Rebecca Birch: Between you and I: a lens, a screen: a fiction in process  
  • Ben Fitton: Vis-à-vis the Relations of Production: An Articulation of Correct Prescriptive Practice
  • Aria Spinelli: Politicizing Curatorial Discourse: Performativity and the Radical Imaginary in the Curated Encounter
  • Assunta Ruocca: Productivity, relationships with objects and activities without a purpose

Completed PhD supervisions include:

  • Dr. Corina Oprea: The Curatorial as an Exercise in Collective Knowledge
  • Dr. Lee Campbell: Atmospheres of Antagonism, Flavours of the Inhospitable: The Heckler and Convivial Art Practice
  • Dr. Viviana Checchia: A Mediterranean Transnational Curatorial Proposal
  • Dr. Basia Sliwinksa: Venus in the 'looking-glass': para-classicism and the trans-body in the works of Igor Mitoraj and Marc Quinn
  • Charlene Clempson: Who Am I? identity, objects, memory (MPhil awarded)
  • Kim Tyler: Richard Hamilton a "Multi-Elusive" Artist of the Modern World (MPhil awarded)

External PhDs examined include:

  • 2016 Dr Paul Landon, Heslinki Fine Arts Academy
  • 2016 Dr Jay Koh, Helsinki Fine Arts Academy
  • 2015 Dr Martin Lang, University of Kent
  • 2014 Dr Lynn Wray, John Moores University
  • 2013 Dr Antoinette McKane, University of Liverpool
  • 2013 Dr Jane Claydon, University of Liverpool
  • 2012 Dr Marcus Quaife, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • 2012 Dr Elly Thomas, Slade School of Art