New Voices Conferences

New Voices are annual, one-day conferences of new doctoral scholarship that take place at different universities throughout the UK.

New Voices 2015: Image Matter: Art and Materiality
MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University
6 November 2015

Keynote Speakers:

Carol Mavor (University of Manchester): FULL: A Film for Visualising the Materiality of Voice
Hanneke Grootenboer (University of Oxford): The Pensive Image

How do art historians interpret matter? How about artists, makers, theorists and critics? New Voices 2015 explores approaches to materiality and the material in relation to discourses involving art history, art practice and visual and material culture studies.

Much recent art historical and visual culture literature has argued for the reinstatement of the bodily and the material in art and its encounter, rejecting the pre-eminence of a disembodied eye in favour of a wider range of somatic responses: touching, hearing, tasting, smelling. Similarly, the material physicality of the art object in its myriad forms—surface, texture, weight, spatial extension, sound etc—has recaptured our attention.

In light of a ‘material turn’ in visual culture-related disciplines, this conference poses a number of questions: How can writing about and through art accommodate affective objects? How have artists negotiated the conflict of a spectatorship which disregards hapticity, surface and substance? How do traditions of connoisseurship engage with contemporary theories of materiality? Or, perhaps pointedly, does the questionable pre-eminence of visuality also evidence an increased derogation of manual labour in lieu of the more cerebral? New Voices 2015 takes place within the intellectual and creative space of the art school, the messy realm of art production. It therefore asks how (the) material and its associated places of production and ‘consumption’—from the studio to the gallery—can be integrated in the discourses of art history and its objects.

Academic Papers:

• Thalia Allington-Wood (University College London): Fiery Fictions: Volcanic Rock and Historic Imagination at the Sacro Bosco of Bomarzo

• Alan Boardman (National College of Art and Design, Dublin): Manuel DeLanda and the Nonorganic Life of Affect

• Julie Boivin (University of Toronto): Viral Decorative Prostheses: The Affective Potential of Rococo Ornamentation

• Martha Cattell (University of York): Animal Matter: Fashioning Whalebone in the 19th Century

• Sara Davies (Manchester Metropolitan University): Rehearsing with Bergman: Examining Diasporic Touch Through Art Practice

• Tom Hastings (University of Leeds): S–105 (Eva Hesse, 1968) and the Matter of Interpreting a 'Not Quite Artwork'

• Jennifer Johnson (University of Oxford): Noli me tangere: On Not-Touching and Not Knowing in Georges Rouault’s Modernism

• Alexandra Lester-Makin (University of Manchester): The Art of Early Medieval Embroidery

• Katie McGown (Northumbria University): Fallen, Draped and Torn: The Unstable History of Cloth in 20th-Century Sculpture

• Ralph Mills (Manchester Metropolitan University): ‘Very fine, very cheap, very pretty!’: The Three-dimensional Materiality of Nineteenth-century ‘images’

• Lindsey Schreiber (Temple University, Pennsylvania): ‘Praiseworthy and Masterly’: Wood Intarsia in the Gubbio Studiolo

• Claire Shepherd (Courtauld Institute of Art): Making as Meaning in the Work of Keith Vaughan

• Harry Stirrup (University of York): Rubbed, Scratched and Recycled: The Medieval Afterlife of Some Twelfth-Century English Manuscripts

• Laurie Taylor (Birkbeck College, University of London): Superficial Matters: The Active and Passive Surfaces of Exhibition Photography

Registration includes: Two keynote lectures, fourteen papers showcasing new research; lunch, refreshments and drinks reception.

New Voices 2015 Convenors: Liz Mitchell, Rosalinda Quintieri, Tilo Reifenstein and Charlotte Stokes.

Tickets, book online:

We cannot offer refunds for this event.

Past New Voices Conferences

William Etty, 'The Sirens and Ulysses', 1837. Oil on canvas. Image detail prior to conservation in 2010. Copyright Manchester City Galleries William Etty, 'The Sirens and Ulysses', 1837. Oil on canvas. Image detail prior to conservation in 2010. Copyright Manchester City Galleries