Ms Helen Potkin

School: School of Critical Studies and Creative Industries
Position: Principal Lecturer

Biography

I am Principal Lecturer in Art History and my research and teaching interests are in modern and contemporary art, particularly in artistic practices that can be understood as situated 'beyond' the gallery space (though by no means disconnected from it) including public sculpture, performance art and installation art. I'm currently working on project exploring the current significance and relevance of the monument and the various ways in which contemporary artists have interacted with it as a site of memory and politics. Alongside this, in 2013-14 I will be teaching a special topics module: Encounters with Sculpture: Monuments, Objects, Events, exploring developments in sculpture as well as the nature of our encounter with sculpture such as in unveiling ceremonies or protests that take place around monuments to films and photographs of sculptors in their studios and also considering more recent collaborative/participatory practices.

I am also the Course Director for the BA History of Art, Design & Film and for the half field BA Museum & Gallery Studies. I completed my undergraduate studies at York University in History/History of Art and then gained an MA in Sculpture Studies from Leeds University.

Related links

Research expertise

In the broadest terms, my research and scholarship questions assumptions about my discipline, its canon, its omissions, and its boundaries and margins. Since taking the MA in Sculpture Studies at Leeds University, I have increasingly focused on sculptural practices and become concerned with how a focus on sculpture (as opposed to Art History's traditionally dominant medium of painting) can open up new and critical histories which challenge or potentially dismantle existing narratives. My work then has moved through a series of interconnected fields, into public sculpture and monuments, installation and performance art, continuing to investigate the blurring of distinctions between forms of practice, to reposition and reframe the ideologically problematic, with the overall aim of opening up new spaces for dialogue within art history.

My current research interest develops from my work on public monuments on the one hand and contemporary art on the other and is located in relation to a recent resurgence of interest in monumental forms and commemorative practices within contemporary art, which questions traditional conceptions of its relevance for current audiences. The aim is to explore the role and significance of the monument in contemporary culture, through art practices addressing the multiple ways in which the monument has become a site around which events take place, a symbolic exchange or offers potential for grafting of new meanings and interpretation of history.

I welcome research students in pursuing research in any of these areas:
Sculpture, especially public sculpture; the monument and monumentality; Installation art; Performance art.

Teaching areas & responsibilities

Course Director for Course Director for the BA History of Art, Design & Film and for the half field BA Museum & Gallery Studies
Admissions Tutor for BA History of Art, Design & Film and for the half field BA Museum & Gallery Studies
Faculty Teaching and Learning Committee
Faculty Curriculum Development Committee
University Academic Regulations Committee

Professional activity

  • 2013Validation, BA(Hons) Museum & Gallery Studies, Kingston University
  • 2013Validation, BA (Hons) History of Art, Design & Film, Kingston University
  • 2011Validation, BA(Hons) History of Art, Design & Film, Kingston University
  • 2010 - presentExternal Examiner for Art and Design History, University of Derby
  • 2009Validation, MA Museum & Gallery Studies, Kingston University
  • 2008Validation panel member, BA(Hons) Arts Market, Kingston University
  • 2008Validation panel member, MA Design with Learning & Teaching in Higher Education, Kingston University
  • 2008Validation panel member, MA Fine Art with Learning & Teaching in Higher Education, Kingston University
  • 2007Validation panel member, BA(Hons) Dance, Kingston University
  • 2007 - 2010External Examiner for BA Media Arts, Thames Valley University
  • 2006Validation, BA(Hons) Museum & Gallery Studies, Kingston University
  • 2006Validation, MA Art & Design History, Kingston University
  • 2004Validation, BA(Hons) Visual & Material Culture, Kingston University
  • 2004 - 2005Co-ordinating External Examiner for the Combined Studies programme, School of Arts, University of Surrey
  • 2001 - 2005External Examiner for Art History component of the Combined Studies programme, School of Arts, University of Surrey

Educational and professional qualifications

  • 1991MA Sculpture Studies Leeds University
  • 1988BA(Hons) History/History of Art York University

Conferences & events

Conference Papers:
Sleeping with Art: Hotel Room as Installation, Duration Conference, Culture Lab, Newcastle University 29-31 March 2012

In-habiting site: contemporary art practices within the historic(al) interior, Living in the Past: Histories, Heritage and the Interior, Kingston University, London, 14-15 May 2009

Talks:
Lecture: 'Installation' Whitechapel Salon, Whitechapel Art Gallery, October 2008

Panel member: Sculpture & Beyond: Encounters through the Art School, Kingston University, November 2007

Grants, funding and awards

  • 2007AHRC Travel Grant

Research groups & programmes


Publications

Number of items: 4.

Book

Lloyd, Fran, Potkin, Helen and Thackara, Davina (2011) Public sculpture of Outer South and West London. Liverpool, U.K. : Liverpool University Press. 404p. (Public sculpture of Britain) ISBN 9781846312250

Book Section

Potkin, Helen (2011) In-habiting site: contemporary art practices within the historic(al) interior. In: Fisher, Fiona , Lara-Betancourt, Patricia , Keeble, Trevor and Martin, Brenda, (eds.) Performance, fashion and the modern interior: from the Victorians to today. London, U.K. : Berg. pp. 207-218. ISBN 9781847887825

Potkin, Helen (2000) Performance art. In: Carson, Fiona and Pajaczkowska, Claire, (eds.) Feminist Visual Culture. Edinburgh, UK : Edinburgh University Press. pp. 75-88. ISBN 0748610464

Conference or Workshop Item

Potkin, Helen (2009) In-habiting site: contemporary art practices within the historic interior. In: Living in the Past: Histories, Heritage and the Interior: 6th Modern Interiors Research Conference; 14 - 15 May 2009, Kingston upon Thames, U.K.. (Unpublished)

This list was generated on Mon Jun 26 04:25:21 2017 BST.