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Dr Iain A. Biggs RWA

lain is a Visiting Research Fellow Bath Spa University and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Dundee. A former Associate Professor in Visual Art Practice at UWE, he is a coordinator of PLaCE International and a founding co-convener of the international Mapping Spectral Traces network. Trained as a painter and printmaker, he continues to supervise doctoral students, make art work, write, undertake research and curate exhibitions. He has a BA Hons Fine Art from Leeds University, an MA from the Royal College of Art, and a PhD from UWE, Bristol. He has taught and examined visual arts related work at Masters and Doctoral level across the UK and was the founding editor of The Journal of Visual Art Practice. His principle research interest is in deep mapping and, in the context of ecological concerns, related issues of memory, place and identity. He acts as an occasional curator for the Royal West of England Academy and publishes on a wide range of topics.


Name:                 Dr IAIN ADAM BIGGS, RWA

 Web site:            www.

Current academic positions: Honorary Research Fellow, Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art & Design, University of Dundee, Scotland; Visiting Researcher, Environmental Humanities Research Centre, Bath Spa University, England.

Other positions:

Academician, Royal West of England Academy, co-convenor of the following networks:

PLaCE International (UK)

LAND2 national network

Mapping Spectral Traces


1973 BA Hons Fine Art (2.1) University of Leeds

1982 MA (by thesis) Royal College of Art

 2005 PhD University of the West of England, Bristol

 Appointments since 2005

2017-18 External Examiner, MA Myth and Ecology, Dartington College.

2016-  Honorary Visiting Research Fellow, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee (renewed 2019).

2015- Visiting Researcher, Environmental Humanities Research Centre, Bath Spa University (renewed 2018)

2014  Moore Institute Visiting Fellowship, NUI, Galway.

2013-14  Visiting Research Fellow, UWE, Bristol.

2009 –13 Associate Professor Visual Art Practice and Director, PLaCE, UWE.

2005 -08  Senior Visiting Fellow, University of Lincoln.

 Recent examiner roles

2020          Internal Examiner, PhD (University of Dundee)

2019           External Examiner, PhD (Limerick)


External Examiner, PhD (University of Dundee)

External Examiner PhD (University of Leeds)

External examiner PhD (University College, London)


External Examiner, MA Myth and Ecology, Dartington College.

External Examiner PhD (Norwich University of the Arts).

External Examiner, PhD (Limerick School of Art and Design).

External Examiner, PhD (Falmouth University)

2016           External Examiner PhD, Trinity St David, University of Wales).

2015            External Examiner PhD (Aberystwyth University)

External grants and awards:

2015        Awarded the Derek Balmer PPRWA Painting Prize “for excellence in painting" at the 163rd RWA Annual Open Exhibition.

2008      “A Grey and Pleasant Land?: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of the Connectivity of  Older People in Rural Civic Society” Major ESRC grant.

2003        AHRB small research award.

2000        AHRB small research award.

1999         SWA grant of £1000 (as member of In House).

1994         British Council Travel Grant.

1985         $1,000 Research Grant, Marsdon Foundation, New York.

1977          Arts Council Minor Award for Printmaking.

1974         Boise Travelling Scholarship, Slade School of Art, London.

Selected professional practice, publications and other public output (2004-2021)

Publications pending:

“‘Leaving the farm gate open’: creative translation and the rural lifeworld as ‘polyverse’” in Nessa Cronin & Tim Collins (eds.) Lifeworlds: Space, Place and Irish Culture -Mapping Cultures of the Everyday Cork University Press (accepted)


Mary Modeen and Iain Biggs Creative Engagements with Ecologies of Place: Geopoetics, Deep Mapping and Slow Residency Routledge 2020. 2020


Book chapter ‘Ensemble Practices’ in Cameron Cartiere and Leon Tan (eds). Routledge Companion to Art in the Public Realm London & New York, Routledge.

‘Walking Away? From deep mapping to mutual accompaniment’ in Helen Billinghurst, Claire Hind & Phil Smith (eds). Walking Bodies: Papers, Provocations, Actions, Triarchy Press 2020.


Erin Kavanagh & Iain Biggs ‘The Crow Road: performing bridge-making’, Green Letters, 23:3, 286-305.

Performance lecture (with Erin Kavanagh) The Selkie: figuring, an essay and paper (with Ciara Healy-Musson), Animism, Thin Places, and Porous Margins: a heterodox dialogue? at the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, Cork.


‘Notitia, trust, and “creative research”’ in Katja Hilevaara & Emily Orley (eds) 2018 The Creative Critics: Writing as/about Practice London & New York, Routledge.

‘Christine Baeumler’s Mycelial Art Practice’ in Colleen J. Sheehy (ed.) (2018) Pollinators at the Plains: Christine Baeumler’s Defiant Garden for the Plains North Dakota: Plains Art Museum.


‘Re-Visioning “North” as an ecosophical context for creative practices’ in Timo Jokela & Glen Coutts (eds) 2017 Relate North: Culture, Community, and Communication Rovaniemi, Lapland University Press

Artist contributor and presenter: ‘In Praise of Wetlands’ shown at In the Open, Sheffield (ASLE UKI with LAND2 conference: CROSS MULTI INTER TRANS. Performed presentation: The Crow Road, with Erin Kavanagh.


Imagined Landscapes RWA Bristol (Feb 6th – June 12th) Co-curator and exhibiting artist.


“Incorrigibly plural’? Rural Lifeworlds Between Concept and Experience” Canadian Journal of Irish Studies Vol. 38 nos. 1-2 2015 pp. 260–279

Awarded the RWA’s Derek Balmer PPRWA Painting Prize at the 163rd RWA Open Exhibition for the work Washington & Vicinity (Arlington betrayed).


Jane Bailey, Iain Biggs and Dan Buzzo (2014) ‘Deep mapping and rural connectivities’ in Catherine Hagan Hennessy, Robin Means, Vanessa Burholt (eds) Countryside connections Older people, community and place in rural Britain (Bristol: Policy Press)

‘Singing Across Thresholds’ in James Elkins (ed) Artists with PhDs: On the New Doctoral Degree in Studio Art (2nd edition) New Academia Publishing pp. 159-168

Artist member of NOVA as part of the AHRC-funded project: HydroCitizenship: Re envisioning and reconnecting communities as eco-social formations through arts and humanities centred interdisciplinary research (Bristol workgroup)

Invited Speaker 12th Waddenacademie Symposium (June 11-12) Terchelling, The Netherlands

‘Beyond aestheticism and scientism:  notes towards an ‘ecosophical’ praxis’; (with Bronwyn Platten) Engagement and Embodiment: A Body of Art in Healthcare’; and (with Brett Wilson, Barbara Hawkins & Stuart Sim) ‘Voices Off’ in Brett Wilson, Barbara Hawkins, and Stuart Sim (eds) (2014) Art, Science and Cultural Understanding Champaign, Illinois: Common Ground Publishing

Keynote paper at: ‘Resilience – just do it?! A workshop for PhD candidates, early career researchers and senior researchers and practitioners, Goningen University, October 9 – 10

Exhibitor, 162th RWA Annual Open Exhibition (3 works)

‘From another place: notes on context’ for Louise Ravelli, Brian Paltridge, and Sue Starfield (eds) Doctoral Writing in the Creative and Performing Arts: the researcher/practitioner nexus. London: Libri


Selector, Drawn Royal West of England Academy Open Drawing Exhibition.

Mentor for the artist Pauline O’Connell under the Irish Connect mentoring Programme.

Landscape, Art and Uncertainty (Group exhibition) Southampton City Art Gallery (September  2013– October 2014)


Bailey, J & Biggs, I (2012) ‘Either Side of Delphy Bridge": a deep mapping project evoking and engaging the lives of older adults in rural North Cornwall’ in Journal of Rural Studies (guest editor Paul Milbourne) online publication 13-MAR-2012 -

Drawing, Permanence & Place (installation in group exhibition) at the Kronbacken – Erfurt, Germany

Drawing Permanence and Place 2, museum voor vlakglas- Ravenstein The Netherlands, Aug 19th - Nov 1st 2012

Shadows traces undercurrents October 16-November 16, 2012: Katherine E. Nash Gallery Regis Center for Art (East), University of Minnesota

The Southdean Project – essaying site as memory work”(2012) in Geography and Memory: Explorations in identity, place and becoming (eds Dr Owain Jones and Dr Joanne Garde-Hansen) London & New York: Palgrave Macmillan


'The Spaces of “Deep Mapping”: a partial account' in Journal of Arts and Communities Vol 2 No 1 (July 2011) pp.5-25.


Artist’s book: editor and contributing artist - Debatable Lands Volume Two: 'These Debatable Lands' ISBN 978-0-9560266-0-6 Wild Conversations Press, Bristol for TRACE.

5 book works in The Art of the Book: Journals Then and Now, an international travelling exhibition of artist book journals, diaries and letters - shown at: Gallery 210, University of Missouri-St. Louis, UWE Bristol, and Winchester School of Art.

‘Essaying Place: Landscape, Music, and Memory (after Janet Wolff)’ - in Process: Landscape and Text. eds Adeline Johns-Putra & Catherine Brace (Amsterdam & New York, Rodopi)

‘The Sowdun Project - testimonial imagination, Borders ballads, and the politics of (dis-) enchantment’ in Cultural Memory: Reformations of the past in the present and present in the past eds Malcolm Miles & Vardan Azatyan (2010) Plymouth, University of Plymouth Press


Artist’s book: On Mull (with Josh Biggs) Bristol: Wild Conversations Press for TRACE.


Artist’s book/DVD: 'chimaerae verae' (with Ruth Jones), Bristol: Wild Conversations Press for TRACE.

Artist’s book: Debatable Lands Vol 1 2007 (with contributions from Samira Abbassy, Jane Millar & Gary Peters) Bristol: Wild Conversations Press (for TRACE).


'Towards a Polytheistic Relationship to Landscape: Issues for Contemporary Art' in Landscape Research vol 30 no 1


Artist’s book/CD Eight Lost Songs, MakingSpace Publications.

Artist’s book: Between Carterhaugh and Tamshiel Rig: a borderline episode, Wild Conversations Press for TRACE.


Installation of major commission for Lloyds TSB at 125 Colmore Row, Birmingham. Project co-ordinator and contributing artist.











Artwork owned by:

Tate Gallery, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Lloyds TSB; University of Brighton; Joan Flasch Artists' Book Collection, John M. Flaxman Library, School of Art Institute of Chicago; All Saints Library, Manchester Metropolitan Museum; UWE, Bristol; University of Leeds; Yorkshire Arts Association; Halifax Building Society; private collectors in UK, Germany, Slovenia, The Czech Republic, USA and Israel.