FRSA - Reader in Visual Art Practice; Director PLaCE, CAHE,UWE
Iain Biggs is Reader in Visual Art Practice and a painter who occasionally works in enamel, a printmaker, a maker and publisher of artist's books and a writer. He has a BA (Hons) Fine Art from Leeds University, an MA from the Royal College of Art and has taught in art schools across the UK. He has a particular interest in issues of memory, place and identity as relating to contemporary art and has published on this and on individual artists, including Ken Kiff, Andrea Thoma, Helen Gardner, Sian Bonnell, Kate Mellor and Amal Ghosh.
Iain co-convenes LAND2, a national network of artists associated with Higher Education who work not only in painting, print and photography but a variety of other media and are concerned with radical approaches to land and landscape, with a particular focus on memory, place and identity. Part of the UWE Research Centre plc place/location/context, LAND2 had its first conference and touring group exhibition at Dean Clough, Halifax in November 2004 and the Royal West of England Academy in June 2005.
Iain's professional practice has included working as a project coordinator and participating artist on four public art and design projects for Lloyds TSB (in Bristol, Birmingham and London), on behalf of Creative Urban Space Projects (CUSP). He is also the internal coordinator for CUSP, continues his personal art practice, has published on educational issues in refereed journals and anthologies, and currently sits on the editorial board of The Journal of Visual Art Practice for the National Association of Fine Art Education and the electronic journal of the European League of Institutes of the Arts.
In 1997 Iain set up Wild Conversations Press to facilitate the making and publishing of collaborative artists' books. He has made books with Tanya Isbarn, Berlin/Bristol: Bristol/Berlin (1997); the Bristol Art Library Nature (1998); Signs and Wonders (1999); Helen Smith Osmosis (1999); and the In House Group, In House 2 (2001) and published collaborative work by a number of contemporary artists. In 1999 he began working on From Carterhaugh to Tamshiel Rig: a Borderline Episode, which addresses issues of memory, place and identity and was published in January 2004. His most recent publication, Eight Lost Songs, came out in November 2004 and builds directly on From Carterhaugh to Tamshiel Rig: a Borderline Episode. It includes a CD of music created especially for the project. He is currently working collaboratively with the artists Ruth Jones and Bronwyn Platten. Further examples of his work with TRACE can be viewed on: www.traceisnotaplace.com/past_out.htm
He is Director of Studies for the taught Research Programme for the Bristol School of Art, Media and Design at the University of the West of England. From 1999 to 2001 was award leader for the faculty's MA Landscape Studies. He is an external examiner for MA awards at Falmouth School of Arts and Oxford Brookes University and the DFA at the University of East London and a member of the AHRB Peer Review College. He currently supervises six practice-based research degree students, has acted as an external examiner for research degrees at Derby, Leeds, Ulster and Brighton, and represents Bristol UWE on the Steering Group of the New Route PhD Consortium.