Dan Robinson - The Open College of the Arts

Dan Robinson

My role at OCA is Program Leader Photography, Moving Image & Short Courses. I am also current chair of the Program Leader Group.

My creative practice spans disciplines—photography, writing, installation, drawing, sculpture and sound. I’m curious about how collaboration and artistic process can apply to different situations. I’ve made work ‘in residence’ for organisations, buildings and spaces often with materials and voices found in-situ. This has included nature reserves, a derelict National Trust farmhouse, a swimming pool, allotments, a town hall, underground station and art schools in the UK and Europe. As an artist, writer, curator and educator, my outcomes have included photography and prints, installations, exhibitions, books, screenings, workshops and courses. My PhD was in site-specific art practice as dialogue.

I studied BA (hons) Fine Art & History of Art at University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1997). I worked with multimedia artist Georgina Starr on Tuberama – an art gallery musical for Ikon Gallery. An invitation to create work for the disused Aldwych tube station, led me into site-specific art as practice-research. I was awarded an AHRC scholarship to do my MA (2003) and a PhD (2008) in Fine Art at University of Leeds. My Phd involved collaborative and co-created projects with partners, including Situation Leeds festival; Leeds Arts University; Cittadellarte – Pistolleto foundation; and Grizedale Arts —with whom I developed an Arts Council funded residency. Working with Grizedale led to Thinking Space for the North (2005), an art project to reinvent a Lake District farmhouse, with artist-architect Bryan Davies and photographer Polly. I co-founded Mud Office art agency (2007) with artist Charlie Jeffery and we made exhibitions, residencies and live performances in France. In 2017, I shifted focus to fiction writing and won a Northern Writers’ Award (2018), did an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths University (2019) and published short stories including Ramona’s Square in This New North Northern Short Story Festival / Valley Press (2021).

I joined OCA in 2018 and have been a tutor and developer in Creative Arts, Fine Art, Drawing, Photography and Short Courses. I co-developed Arts & Environment study visits and resources with Melissa Thompson and a case study for Investigating Place with Psychogeography . I became Programme Leader for Photography and Moving Image in 2020, taking over from Gina Lundy.

Prior to OCA, I worked for 20 years in FE and HE art education. At Leeds Arts University (2002-15) I was program leader BA (hons) Art & Design Interdisciplinary and led course revalidation by Open University; I led the Media strand and final year of BA (hons) Fine Art; and founded a Crossing Borders practice-research cluster; I was college lead Group for International Design Education (student-staff exchange in Europe, China, US). I was awarded Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2015. I have been a visiting tutor and workshop lead at Universities in UK, France and Europe and held tutor and technician posts on Foundation, BA and MA at UCA Farnham; UAL Chelsea & Camberwell since 1998.

dan robinson