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Dr Sarah Horton

Dr Sarah Horton is Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Fine Art.

Spanning a diverse range of media, for a number of years I have been interested in multiplicity, pattern and repetition. Exploring this in various ways, whether through painting or prints and serial sculptures I have exhibited work in both gallery and non-gallery contexts.

My PhD thesis ‘Decoration: Disrupting the Workplace and Challenging the Work of Art’ critically investigates the role of disruptive intervention using decoration in the context of the corporate and commercial environment. Domestic pattern and ornamentation is placed in unlikely relationships with office furniture, e.g. an Eames chair dressed in neon polyester and wet-look PVC or oversized velvet curtains embellished with pompoms and hung at the window of a modernist high-rise office block. Through photography, painting and collage I make 2-dimensional mock-ups of these subtle and not-so-subtle interventions. Some of these are made manifest using scale and materials that reference a relationship to the body whilst challenging the ergonomic function of objects and spaces.

My practice includes sculpture, drawing and painting and is largely site-related. I have written in various journals and publications and was the Learning Co-ordinator for the Norwich leg of the British Art Show 8.

I am the Champion for the Pattern and Chaos group of collaborative, interactive and networking designers, artists, theorists and innovators in education, all of whom are based at Norwich University of the Arts. More of Sarah’s work is available to view on her website.

Selected Exhibitions, Conferences, Publications and Pedagogy

  • 2020 ‘The Lion King? Drawings of the Lion Garden Ornament’ in Drawing Research Theory and Practice Volume 5, Number 1, April 2020 pp. 99-109
  • 2020 Horton, S. and Stewart, J. (eds) guest editors for single issue Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, Volume 13, Number 2, 1 February 2020, pp. 165-168
  • 2020 ‘Exploring the ‘penumbra of the nonverbal’: The relationship between writing and making in a practice based Ph.D.’, Journal of Writing in Creative Practice, Volume 13, Number 2, 1 February 2020, pp. 187-199
  • 2019 ‘Serial Killers? Investigating some modernist myths about decoration, pattern and ornament through workplace interventions’ in Journal of Illustration Volume, Number 2 December 2019 pp. 305-325.
  • 2019 Presentation of paper ‘The Deviant Cloud: out-of-place artworks in the industrial work space’ at In Dialogue conference, Mansions of the Future, Lincoln
  • 2019 ‘Discerning Eye’ group exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
  • 2019 ‘Hard Graft? The office chair as a site for decorative interventions’ in Home Cultures: The Journal of Architecture, Design and Domestic Space Volume 16, Issue 1, pp. 41-61.
  • 2019 Guest editor for Drawing Research, Theory and Practice journal edition 4.1 ‘Drawing Pattern and Chaos’
  • 2018 Presentation of paper ‘The Decorative Graft: negotiating the workplace through decoration, pattern and ornament’ at the Decriminalising Ornament conference at Anglia Ruskin University
  • 2018 Joint stream organiser for ‘Writing to Think’ stream of London Conference for Critical Thought
  • 2016 Horton, S. and Longworth-West, S. ‘10 + Extend: How can we teach painting to students who already think they know what painting is?’ in Hartshorne, I., Moloney, D. and Quaife, M. (eds) Teaching Painting: how can painting be taught at art schools? UK: Black Dog Publishing
  • 2016 ‘British Art Show 8’ Learning Co-ordinator for events in Norwich including a 13m float for the Lord Mayor’s Procession; two late-night ‘takeover’ events at Norwich University of the Arts and Norwich Castle Museum; interpretation leaflet and resources room.
  • 2016 Research Fellowship award, Norwich University of the Arts
  • 2016 ‘Constellation’ exhibition, group show, The Undercroft, Norwich
  • 2016 ‘Disruptive Decoration’, solo exhibition at EAST GalleryNUA
  • 2015 ‘We all draw’ Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London. Group show selected by Tania Kovats and Kelly Chorpening
  • 2015 Presentation of paper ‘10 + Extend: How can we teach painting to students who already think they know what painting is?’ at Whitworth Gallery, Manchester, as part of the MMU’s conference Teaching Painting
  • 2015 ‘Jeff Koons’, Norwich Castle Museum. Project management of NUA Masters students production of interpretative material and interactive for the exhibition
  • 2015 ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’, group exhibition, Norwich Gallery
  • 2015 Installation of six bespoke artworks at Berendsen Plc, Norfolk
  • 2014: ‘Let’s get comfortable’ installation at Aviva Head Office, St. Helens, London
  • 2013: Open for Discussion, exhibition by PGR and PGT students, Norwich University of the Arts
  • 2013: Presentation of paper at ‘Knowing (by) designing’ conference, Brussels
  • 2013: Publication of paper ‘Developing visual proposals as a route to knowing within site-related artworks’ in Verbeke, J. (2013) ‘Knowing (by) designing’ Brussels: LUCA Sint-Lucas School of Architecture
  • 2013: Exhibition of printed multiples, part of a print portfolio produced by NUA staff and students exhibited at Impact8 ‘The Artist as Explorer’ International Printmaking conference, Dundee University
  • 2012: ‘Taught’ Staff exhibition, Norwich University of the Arts
  • 2011: ‘Chairs Re-dressed’ Work made in response to Charles Eames chairs at the Sainsbury Centre of Visual Arts
  • 2011: ‘Test Preenroll’ Staff exhibition Norwich University College of the Arts
  • 2010: ‘Dividing Lines’ STEW gallery, Norwich
  • 2010: ‘What we are’ STEW gallery, Norwich
  • 2008: ‘Salivate’ Group video projection piece, Anglia Square shopping centre, Norwich
  • 2007: Drawings published in Isaaman, MC. Drawing Workshop: Simple Steps to Success v2, Dorling Kindersley, England
  • 2006: ‘Unsere Nachbarn: England’ Kunstlerhaus Metternich Gallery, Koblenz
  • 2006: ‘20/20’ Beverley Knowles Gallery, London
  • 2006: Selector for publication Kuzemzcak, P. ‘Abandoned Chairs’ England: Norwich Gallery
  • 2006 ‘Trans’ £8k public art commission by Norwich City Council and New Writing Partnership to create site-specific art as part of the Waterways Art Trail, Norwich
  • 2006: ‘TRUTH’, an editioned portfolio of work distributed, exhibited and held in the collections of Arizona State University; California State University; Museum of Contemporary Art, Poland; University of Art, Berlin; Asagaya College of Art, Tokyo and Osaka College of Art and Design, Japan
  • 2005: context fourth edition, artist publication. Exhibited as part of ‘Publish and Be Damned’ at OUTPOST Gallery, Norwich
  • 2004/5: OUTPOST Steering committee and founder member of OUTPOST, an artist-led space in central Norwich with significant Arts Council funding. Successfully exhibited and promoted the work of Andrew Marsh, Bill Drummond, Luke Gottelier, Emily Pethick and Andrew Hunt’s Slimvolume publication, amongst others.
  • 2004: Bonaventura, P. & Farthing, S. (eds.) A curriculum for artists, University of Oxford and New York Academy of Art
  • 2004: ‘Doing Time’ A site-specific installation at The Guildhall, Norwich
  • 2004: ‘Teachers’ The Stroud House Gallery, Glos.
  • 2004: ‘Locus’ Visions Gallery, Tokyo
  • 2003: ‘Air and Light’ Salthouse, Norfolk
  • 2003 ‘trans’ Yard Gallery, Nottingham. Solo exhibition
  • 2003: Production Designer for ‘Hamlet’, Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, including set and costume design
  • 2003 Hollins, J. (ed.) Getting into Art and Design Courses, Trotman
  • 2002: Norwich Fringe Festival. Member of Visual Arts Committee for the Norwich Fringe Festival, involved in curating and organising over 30 visual arts projects and performances during September 2002.
  • 2002: ‘vanitas’ Queen of Hungary Yard, Norwich. Solo exhibition
  • 2002: ‘INFEST’ John Innes Centre, Norwich
  • 2001: AccessArt: a series of on-line photographic workshops integrating pedagogy with examples from then current photographic practice

Other Activities

  • 2014 – 2015 member of Association of Art Historians
  • 2002 – 2006: member of the National Association of Fine Art Education

Other Activities

  • Member of the NUA Research Committee
  • Currently supervising one PhD student
  • Editorial Board member for Intellect journal Drawing: Research, Theory and Practice

See more work by Sarah on the NUA Repository