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Professor Sarah Casey

Professor in Fine Arts and its Histories

Sarah Casey

The LICA Building



Tel: +44 1524 593172

My Role

I am a visual artist and researcher, Co-Director of the Practices Research Centre in Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA). My research concerns drawing as a tool for interdiscipinary dialogue. In addition to my research and teaching at Lancaster, I am LICA Undergraduate Director representing all LICA undergraduate programmes at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Research Interests

My research is practice based, undertaken primarily through studio work. An ongoing concern is in probing the complex cultural, social, material and visual value of delicacy to find ways to analyse, interpret and represent the fugitive or visually elusive. On a formal level, this practice is typically characterised by a cross-fertilization of spatial and sculptural languages, processes and materials with those of drawing. In 2021 I was awarded a visiting research fellowship at the Henry Moore Institute to develop a new project 'Emergency!' provoked the material tensions of presence and absence assocated with glacial archaeology. I am currently developing this further in dialogue with Valais Musuems, Sion Switzerland, where I was artist in residence at the Musee d'Art du Valais, in 2023.

For several years I have been investigating hybrid approaches to drawing, informed by collaborations with medics, archaeologists and conservators which explore commonalties between approaches in drawing and those in professions that must cope with the delicate or fugitive in their routine practice. I am particlarly interested in what the analytical tools of Art might share with invesigative procedure in these Sciences.

Alongside my practice as an artist I also write on this topic. In 2020 I co authored the book 'Drawing Investigations in Science Culture and Environment' ( Bloomsbury 2020) with another Lancaster University colleague Gerry Davies.

My practice-based research and the development of artworks is grounded in fieldwork/ site visits and has seen me working in collaboration with scientists and other professionals on sites from Hadrian's Wall to Kensington Palace. For example, from 2014-16 I worked with cosmologist Kostas Dimopoulos and anthropolgist Rebecca Ellis on the project ' Dark Matters which examines the different ways we work with entities that are 'imperceptible'.  Other recent projects include: Exquistite Corpses a collaboration with Canadian author, curator and reseracher Dr Ingrid Mida at Ryerson University Toronto;  Common Grounds, a collaboration with The Bowes Museum to use drawing to catalogue a series of 54 lace caps that had lain unexamined in carriage trunks for over 70 years; and Hidden Drawers, a catalogue publication and solo exhibitionat Kensington Palace which explored themes of attraction, intimacy and revelation in relation to historical traditions in drawing and values in contermporary fine art drawing practice.

Explicit aims  underpinning this work are: identifying shared practice around mutual concerns with 'delicacy'; developing new studio methods; and generating forms of documentation that facilitate understanding of studio methodologies to establish a transferable model for cross-discipline knowledge exchange.


Current Teaching

 My specialism is drawing, particlarly drawing as an object where it shares characteristics with sculture and installation.  I teach drawing sculpture and installation to on all core modules of our Fine Art degrees. I also supervise the studio practice of postgraduates in Fine Art working working across drawing and sculpture. I am keen to supervise students with interests in drawing and materiality or those interested in relationshops between art and science.

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