Dr Sarah Bennett


I joined Kingston University in June 2016 as Head of School when the new School of Art and Architecture was established and worked with colleagues in the Departments: Fine Art; Architecture & Landscape; and Film & Photography until 2020. I am now a Visiting Fellow at Kingston School of Art and continue to supervise PhD students. 

My own research interests traverse fine art practice, cultural geography, historic buildings, visual anthropology and museology. I employ a range of artistic research methods and material processes including: digital recording and projection; facsimile object making; observational drawing; and embodied actions. Through these I aim to reveal how diverse institutional systems operate, and to question the level of complicity society affords such systems, i.e. how we are implicated in their continuance. At the same time, in my methods of making and installing work, I endeavour to imbue the artwork with an affective 'charge' that may elicit critical, interpretative and associative responses on the part of the audience. Recent artistic research projects have centred on historical and contemporary institutional archives, with specific focus on nineteenth-century psychiatry. My PhD was completed at Plymouth University in 2010 and disclosed new understandings of the workings of a former asylum, now redeveloped as exclusive housing.

Previous academic leadership positions held include - MA Fine Art Course Director at Exeter School of Art, and Head of Fine Art at Plymouth University where I subsequently became Interim Head of the School of Art and Media before joining Kingston School of Art. I have worked in international HE partnerships with Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, and Transart Institute, NYC. My examiner and adviser roles include Wimbledon College of Art (UAL); Birmingham City University; Gray's School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen; and UWIC. I am a Board member of EQ Arts and have, in that capacity, chaired or been a member of international Accreditation and Quality Enhancement panels in Belgium, Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Lithuania. 

Personal Website:  sarahbennett.org.uk

Academic responsibilities

Visiting Fellow


  • PhD Art and Media, University of Plymouth, 2010
  • BA(Hons) Fine Art, Exeter College of Art and Design, CNAA, 1980
  • Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) 2014


Research expertise

  • Affective encounters within the interactive museum experience - in Geographies of Affect and Memory in the Museo Labarotorio Della Mente, Rome
  • Non-representational theory and art practice
  • Entertainment as a therapeutic tool within nineteenth-century psychiatry - Bethlem Archives Project
  • Re-enactment as a performative and embodied method within artistic research
  • Tennyson and madness - Tennyson Archive Project
  • Methods in socially engaged art practice - through Window Sills: Art of Locality

PhD Supervision Completions

2014 Ismail, K Pudu Jail's Graffiti: Beyond the Prison Cells

2015 Baugh, T An Investigation of an Artistic Equivalence of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

2017 Knowles, R.V A translocal approach to dialogue-based art

2018 Osborn, L Encountering Statues: object oriented ontology and the figure in a sculptural practice.

2019 Geremia, A, Maker, Wearer, Viewer, Object: the reflexive destabilisation of brooches in a contemporary jewellery making practice

2020 Hakeem, R, Trace and History: an investigation of Kurdish Banner-making through contemporary art practice.


Bennett, S and Dean, A, (2020) Thematic Analysis for EQ-Arts: http://www.eq-arts.org/downloads/

Bennett, S (2019) 'Affecting Objects: the minor Gesture within a performative artistic research enquiry' in Boyd, C and Edwardes, C (Eds) Non-representational Theory and the Creative Arts, London: Palgrave Macmillan

Bennett, S (2011) 'Re-enacting Traces: The Historical Building as Container of Memory' In The Journal of Memory Connection (online) - Vol 1, No 1, 'Contained Memory' Published by Massey University and Syracuse University http://www.memoryconnection.org/journals/memory-connection-vol-01/

Bennett, S and Melling, G (2010) 'Window Sills: Art of Locality' in Szijártó Zsolt (ed) Public/Space: Concepts, perspectives and approaches, Budapest: Gondolat

Bennett, S. (2010) 'Re-forming the institution: the wall as memory archive' in Journal of Media Practice Volume 11 Number 3

Bennett, S. (2008) 'Crossing the Line' in Coutts, G and Jokela, T (2008) (Eds) Art, Community and Environment: Educational Perspectives (Readings in Art and Design Education) Bristol: Intellect

Bennett, S. Butler, J. Kirkham, N and Miles, M (2004)'A Comparative Evaluation: Projects in Exeter, Barcelona, London and Tyneside in Miles, M and Hall, T (Eds) Interventions: Art and Urban Futures Vol 4, Portland, USA and Bristol: Intellect

Bennett, S (2000) 'Crossing the Line' in International Journal of Art Education Vol 19 No 3

Bennett, S and Butler J (2000) (Eds) Locality, Regeneration and Diversities, Art and Urban Futures Vol 1, Bristol and Portland, USA: Intellect

Conference/seminar Papers

2018 Affective Encounters at Musei, Memorie e Narrazio per la Salute Mentale, Museo del Manicomio di San Servolo, Venice, 26 Oct

2018 Contemporary Museum Geographies with Boyd, C in Felt Knowledges Panel RGS-IBG Annual International Conference: Geographical landscapes / changing landscapes of geography

2015 Creative Partnerships: supporting the Arts Ecology of Plymouth, at HEEG conference, Southampton Solent University 11th and 12th June

2013 Affect and agency in the archived objects of the Museo Laboratorio della Mente, at Museum Futures in an age of Austerity Conference, Art, Design, & Museology Department of Culture, Communication & Media, Institute of Education, University of London, 14th -16th June

2012 Shared Traits in the panel 'Interdisciplinary Geographies: Art, Design and Poetics' at Royal Geographic Society Annual Conference "Security of geography/geography of security" Edinburgh 2nd-5th July

2011 Tracing Absence: between bodies and buildings at American Anthropological Association Annual Conference  'Traces, Tidemarks and Legacies' Montreal 16th -20th November

2011 Fixed: architecture, incompleteness and change, University of Plymouth 7th-8th April 2011

2010: Wall-wounds: the wall as memory archive at Contained Memory Conference, Museum of New Zealand, Wellington 9th -11th December

2010 Dis-placing memory: the wall as memory archive at 'Creativity and Place' Conference (AHRC funded), University of Exeter 23rd - 25th June.

2010 Re-forming the Institution: Re-enactment as an artistic research method in 'Embodied Methodologies' strand at the Association of American Geographers annual conference, Washington DC  13th -18th April

2009 Reforming the Institution: Wall as Memory Archive, Journal of Media Practice Symposium 'Mediating Memory', University of Sussex 13th July

2006 The Importance of Names: an analysis of changing nomenclature in two former asylums at Connections No.5: An Interdisciplinary Conference of Research Students, University of Bristol February 16th -17th

Research projects/exhibitions

2018 Materiality: Provisional States, Hestercombe Gallery, Somerset, UK 10 Nov - 24 Feb 2019

2018 solo installation Safe-keeping (Custodia) at Museo del Manicomio di San Servolo, Venice 27 Oct - 23 Nov

2017 Safe-keeping (Custodia) curated by at Museo Laboratorio della Mente, in Montefiascone, Italy  September 9th - 16th

2014 Safe-keeping (Custodia) at Museo Laboratorio della Mente, Rome October 31st- 30th Nov (group).

2012 Institutional Traits Series 1 and 2, installation at the former Exeter College of Art and Design building in Exeter as part of 'Revisions and Propositions'

2012 Geographies of Memory and Affect: international collaborative and interdisciplinary project at the Museo Laboratorio della Mente, Rome

2010 Re-formations Reg Vardy Gallery, University of Sunderland 11th nov-10th Dec (solo)

2010 Spaces Inbetween, Concent Art, Berlin (group)

2000 Window Sills: Art of Locality funded by Regional Arts Lottery Fund (research project)

Research student supervision


Number of items: 23.


Bennett, Sarah (2011) Re-enacting traces : the historical building as container of memory. Memory Connection, 1(1), pp. 143-156. ISSN (online) 2253-1823

Bennett, Sarah (2010) Re-forming the institution : the wall as memory archive. Journal of Media Practice, 11(3), pp. 199-214. ISSN (print) 2574-1136

Bennett, Sarah (2000) Crossing the line. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 19(3), pp. 272-279. ISSN (print) 1476-8062


Bennett, Sarah and Butler, John, eds. (2000) Locality, regeneration & divers[c]ities. Bristol, U.K. : Intellect Books. 158p. (Advances in art & urban futures, 1) ISBN 9781841500461

Book Section

Bennett, Sarah (2019) Affecting objects : the minor gesture within a performative, artistic research enquiry. In: Boyd, Candice P. and Edwardes, Christian, (eds.) Non-representational theory and the creative arts. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 103-116. ISBN 9789811357480

Bennett, Sarah (2008) Crossing the Line. In: Coutts, Glen and Jokela, Timo, (eds.) Art, community and environment: educational perspectives. Bristol, U.K. : Intellect Books. pp. 113-122. ISBN 9781841501895

Bennett, Sarah, Butler, John, Kirkham, Nicola and Miles, Malcolm (2005) A comparative evaluation: projects in Exeter, Barcelona, London and Tyneside. In: Miles, Malcolm and Hall, Tim, (eds.) Interventions: advances in art and urban futures : Volume 4. Bristol, U.K. : Intellect Books. pp. 145-174. 4 ISBN 9781841501185

Bennett, Sarah and Melling, Gill (2000) Window sills : art of locality. In: Bennett, Sarah and Butler, John, (eds.) Locality, regeneration & divers[c]ities. Bristol, U.K. : Intellect Books. pp. 113-128. ISBN 9781841500461

Conference or Workshop Item

Boyd, Candice and Bennett, Sarah (2018) Contemporary museum geographies. In: RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2018; 28 - 31 Aug 2018, Cardiff, Wales. (Unpublished)

Bennett, Sarah (2015) Creative partnerships : supporting the Arts Ecology of Plymouth. In: Higher Education Entrepreneurship Group conference 2015; 11 - 12 Jun 2015, Southampton, U.K..

Bennett, Sarah [Artist] (2014) Institutional dwelling. In: Safe-keeping (Custodia); 31 Oct 2014, Rome, Italy.

Bennett, Sarah (2013) Sarah Bennett. In: Artists' talk; 04 Jun 2013, Plymouth, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Bennett, Sarah (2011) Tracing absence : between bodies and buildings. In: Traces, Tidemarks and Legacies : American Anthropological Association Annual Conference; 16-20 Nov 2011, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

Bennett, Sarah (2010) Wall-Wounds : the wall as memory archive. In: Contained Memory; 09 - 11 Dec 2010, Wellington, New Zealand.

Bennett, Sarah (2010) Dis-placing memory : the wall as memory archive. In: Creativity and Place; 23-25 Jun 2010, Exeter, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Bennett, Sarah (2010) Re-modelling the model : a critique of an institution through artistic research. In: Egenis Seminar; 26 May 2010, Exeter, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Bennett, Sarah (2010) Re-forming the institution : re-enactment as an artistic research method. In: 2010 Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting; 14 - 18 Apr 2010, Washington D.C., U.S.. (Unpublished)

Bennett, Sarah (2007) Refuge for the 'mad' or refuge from the 'mad'. In: 8th International Utopian Studies Society Conference; 12 - 14 Jul 2007, Plymouth, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Bennett, Sarah (2015) Disordering Chaos. Fringe Arts Bath 2015. .

Bennett, Sarah [Artist] (2014) Safe-Keeping (Custodia). Safe-keeping (Custodia). .

Bennett, Sarah [Artist] (2013) Wall-wounds. .

Still/Graphic Work

Bennett, Sarah [Artist] (2012) Institutional traits. (Photographs).


Bennett, Sarah (2010) Traces, boundaries, surfaces : an investigation through art practice of institutional sites with particular reference to a former lunatic asylum. (PhD thesis), Plymouth University, .

This list was generated on Sun Jun 23 07:35:23 2024 BST.