University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

Our research

We make a distinctive contribution to knowledge through practice-led, theoretical and art historical modes of enquiry. 97% of our research is of international standing (REF 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory; Art) and 100% of our research impact has been classed ‘outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’ (REF 2021, combining 4* and 3* submissions – Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory; Art).

Our aim is to develop innovative research in art, stimulated by an interdisciplinary environment and discussion on the production, distribution and mediation of art.

Key areas of focus

Key areas of focus include exhibition and curatorial practice, publication projects and critical art writing, underpinned by an emphasis on digital technologies as a format for the production, dispersion and interpretation of art.
We believe that emerging and innovative art practices forge new audiences and users. We work with international museums, galleries and collections in sharing our research to both specialist and non-academic audiences.

Reading International

Reading International is a three-year Arts Council-funded visual arts programme led by Reading School of Art. 

The programme forges links between artists and communities to create contemporary artworks that spark debate on local and global issues. Reaching over 45,000 people in three years, it is helping to raise the quality of cultural organisations in Reading. 

The programme of exhibitions, film screenings, workshops and public artworks was born out of a collaborative three-year research project led by Professor Susanne Clausen and an Ambition for Excellence Arts Council of England Award. 

For more information, visit the Reading International website.


Sensory Objects

The Sensory Objects arts project aims to to make museums more inclusive by listening to, and acting on, research by people with learning disabilities.

In its first three years, Sensory Objects held more than 60 workshops at the National Trust's Speke Hall in Liverpool, the Museum of English Rural Life in Reading, and the British Museum. 

Sensory Objects has helped create new working practices, made public heritage sites more inclusive and enhanced public awareness of learning disability. 

Visit the Sensory Objects website

Dwoskin archive

Stephen Dwoskin's unique and significant archive is held in our University's Special Collections. An artist and filmmaker, Dwoskin was also co-founder of the London Film Maker's Co-op.


The Dwoskin Project

"The Legacies of Stephen Dwoskin" is an interdisciplinary research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The project is a major research initiative led by Professor Rachel Garfield in collaboration with LUX, BFI and researchers from University of Glasgow and the University of Sheffield.

Exploring the historical importance of a key figure in independent film and his ground-breaking work, this project develops innovative research into the fields of experimental film, history of media arts, TV commissioning, disability aesthetics and digital humanities.

Initial iterations of the project include a dedicated dossier in Screen, a leading international journal of academic film; a major symposium at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; international exhibitions and screenings; and an homage by Filmkollectiv Frankfurt at the Deutsches Film Institute in Frankfurt.

The Dwoskin archive also has two funded students, one with the LUX as a partner.

Learn more on the Dwoskin Project website or follow the project’s blog.


Picturing ideas? Visualising and synthesising ideas as art

This Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) research project led by Professor John Russell used virtual digital imagery in exploring critical and aesthetic implications of 'picturing' or 'visualisation' of philosophical and political ideas as art.

Outputs included the production of a series of images developed in response to an on-going dialogue with specialists in the fields of philosophy, contemporary art and psychology.


ArtLab is a dedicated art and technology facility whose purpose is to support outreach and widening participation in the arts.

ArtLab was designed to bring together the University of Reading, its students, and the local community; to engage young school children and teachers alike in what it means to be creative.

Learn more on the ArtLab website.
Children at the Tate Exchange participating in clay workshop.

Tate Exchange

Each year, students and staff from the University bring their talents to the Tate Exchange to deliver a week of free workshops and activities, following a specific theme. 

Read more about our partnership with the Tate Exchange


Euronoize investigates the meaning (and sound) of cultural identity in an age of transnational mobility. 

This interdisciplinary project is led by Pil & Galia Kollectiv and involves an international consortium including Kunsthall Oslo and ARE Prague. 

Exhibitions, performances and conferences are streamed and documented on the Euronoize project website.


Collaborating with others

We lead international research collaborations in curating and exhibition making.
Our Research Platform in Curating with Zurich University of the Arts understands curating, or the curatorial, as a practice that is deeply involved in politics of display, politics of site, politics of transfer and translation and regimes of visibility. By engaging with critical research and knowledge production, we seek to innovate within the expanding field of curatorial practice. The research platform disseminates its work through a variety of formats.
A series of international symposia are staged with important figures in the field of curating and contemporary art alongside digital publishing platforms such as the e-journal and print journal
As part of Reading Assembly we collaborate as Tate Exchange associates, programming participatory workshops, activities and debates that share our research interests.
Our research has also forged creative collaborations with other departments at Reading and with other universities in the UK and beyond. The Art Research Division carries out cutting-edge interdisciplinary research under the University's Heritage & Creativity Research Theme.