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Nicola Foster

Dr Nicola Foster PhD

Research Supervisor

School of Art, Design and Fashion

Room no. HC106


Nicola joined Solent University in August 2017 to develop the PhD programme in visual arts, including practice-based research. Coming from an academic background in art practice (Goldsmiths College), continental philosophy and art history (Essex University), Nicola became actively involved in the debate that led to the establishment of 'practice-based' research in the UK. This led to her early engagement with practice-based supervision and examination of PhD research projects. She taught visual arts and supervised research students at the University of the Arts London, Cardiff University, Arts University Bournemouth, Arts University Norwich, the Open University and the University of Suffolk.

Nicola was a member of the AHRC College Peer Review (2007-2016) and was invited to sit on Panel B meetings, specialising in practice-based research. She served as a trustee of the Association for Art History (2011-2017). She was also a member of the Editorial Board of Women's Philosophy Review (1998-2004) and the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Artistic Research (2011-2016).

Nicola currently supervises PhD students in the following topics:

  • 'Disobedient Daughters: Anna Aitkins cyanotypes'
  • 'The State Corporate Military Complex: It's Representation, Visualisation and Constitutive Subjectivation' – the politics and ethics of war photography and representations of violence
  • 'Contemporary art practices in/with/at Natural History Museums'
  • 'Changing perceptions of east Asian art: the history of curatorial practices in private and public museums'
  • Activist Art
  • Walking with Benjamin and Freud in Japan
  • Irish input in the construction of Japanese culture
  • Visualising illness
  • Art and the internet

Previous theses included:

  • 'The Home I carry with me: Mapping the Home through drawing practices'
  • 'Drawing and Becoming Otherwise: The Archaeology of Linear Practice'
  • 'Drawing/writing (an) autobiography: uncovering/covering women's space with nushu
  • The Sharjah Biennial

Nicola welcomes enquiries from prospective students in visual arts (practice-based, practice-led, text based or other approaches to visual art and culture), art institutions, the art market, exhibitions and curatorial practices.