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Desmond Brett

Desmond Brett is a Senior Lecturer in BA (Hons) Fine Art (Sculpture). He previously worked as a Lecturer in Fine Art at York St. John University and prior to that was Programme Leader in Fine Art at Hull School of Art & Design. Desmond graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, with a BA (Hons) Fine Art (Sculpture) and an MFA in Sculpture. Currently a PhD candidate in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, he is interested in how the traditions and currency of sculpture can be expanded, interrogated and re-imagined through material-led enquiry.


My practice is driven by a preoccupation with materiality, process and a growing interest in the space of painting and its relationship to sculptural form. I am interested in how a sculpture might be made as a discreet object or intervention that evades specific recognition and exists as an allusion to events, memories, gestures and things.

I consider my practice to be predominantly abstract, site or material responsive, graphic, idiomorphic and informed by the methods of its own making. Through a process of modelling in with materials such as clay, plaster and wax, to making assemblages, I create forms that emerge as physical responses to speculative drawings. The general condition of making sculpture for me is one of improvisation and the ‘informe’ that isn’t necessarily derived from observation. Desmond’s work is available to view on his website.

Research Outputs

  • 2017: Daybreak, RCA Research exhibition, Safehouses, Peckham, London.
  • 2017: Fountain ’17, touring exhibition celebrating the legacy or Marcel Duchamp, Gallery Eleven, Hull; The Bathroom, Clerkenwell & Gladstone Pottery Museum, Stoke-on-Trent.
  • 2015: Thought Positions, Huddersfield Gallery (curated by Dr. Rowan Bailey), group exhibition.
  • 2015: Headless in a Beat Motel, York College Gallery.
  • 2014: On the Endless Here, Gallery Eleven, Hull, group exhibition.
  • 2014: Art in the Garden, Hillier Gardens, Hampshire, group exhibition.
  • 2014: The Fitting Room, Princess Quay, Hull, (curated by Lou Hazlewood), group exhibition.
  • 2013: Objectness, selected by Peles Empire, Outpost Gallery, Norwich, group exhibition.
  • 2013: A Place in Time, The Avenue Gallery, University of Northampton, group exhibition.
  • 2013: Remain-Dismantle-Replace, The Avenue Gallery, University of Northampton, group exhibition.
  • 2013: Groundbound, The Minories Gallery, Colchester, Essex.
  • 2012: Dash, The Cornaro Institute, Larnaca, Cyprus, group exhibition.
  • 2012: Sculptures I Will Never Make, Queen of Hungary, Aylesham, Norfolk.
  • 2011: Banter, (with Lee Grandjean), The Cut, Halesworth, Suffolk, group exhibition.
  • 2011: Eastern Pavillions, Bethnal Green, London, group exhibition.
  • 2011: The Savill Garden Sculpture Exhibition, The Royal Landscape, London, group exhibition.
  • 2011: The Class Of…, Waterfront Gallery, University Campus Suffolk, group exhibition.
  • 2011: Image to Object, Red Gate Gallery, London, group exhibition.
  • 2011: The Moment Of Privacy Has Passed, Usher Gallery, Lincoln, group exhibition.
  • 2010: Point of Address, selected by Peter Suchin, Outpost Gallery, Norwich, group exhibition.
  • 2010: Horror Vacui, Waterfront Gallery, University Campus Suffolk.
  • 2010: Closed Shop, Hobson St. & Sussex St., Cambridge.
  • 2009: Workforce Ha Ha, with Lee Grandjean & Maaike Sietzema, De Fabriek, Eindhoven, Netherlands, group exhibition.
  • 2009: Late Shift, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art, University of East Anglia, (curated by Liz Ballard), group exhibition.
  • 2008: Drawings & Sculpture, Halesworth Gallery, group exhibition.
  • 2008: Symbols are Promiscuous, Harlow Library, Essex.
  • 2007: Hearts of Oak, Taverham Hall, Norfolk, installation, (curated by Stephanie Douet), group exhibition.
  • 2007: The Myth of Recognition, Outpost Gallery, Norwich.
  • 2006: Off, (Coinciding with East International), Duke Street, Norwich, group exhibition.
  • 2005: Who needs public sculpture anyway?, Graham & Oldham Gallery, Ipswich, group exhibition.
  • 2004: Demarkation, (curated by Kirsten Lavers) Cambridge, group exhibition.
  • 2004: Rural Idyll, Little Dodnash Farm, Bentley, Suffolk, group exhibition.
  • 2003: The Simple Truth (curated by Michelle Cotton), Norwich Gallery, St.Georges Street, Norwich, group exhibition.
  • 2003: Roof Rack, Taxi Gallery, 38 Stanesfield Road, Cambridge.
  • 2001: Day of the Unread 1, (curated by Caroline Jupp), House Gallery, London, group exhibition.