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Tom O'Sullivan

Senior Lecturer

Department: Arts

The context of these situations is a significant part of the work and we often work with places (and sometimes organisations) that exist outside the conventional contexts of contemporary art. More often than not our work takes the form of physical objects that are positioned in relation to the viewers encounter of space. These objects are often of a scale, and of an appearance, so as to confront the viewer and disrupt a conventional viewer-to-object relationship.

Language, in particular how it exists within contemporary art, is a significant aspect of our work. We consider how the work is titled, together with how other texts exist and circulate around the work, as part of the situation. Concurrent with this is an interest in the image, in particular how a situation might subsequently be represented and circulated. Implicit in all our work is an interest in how meaning is determined. Our work necessarily scrutinises the forms and conventions of contemporary art as a way of thinking about this.

I teach into the undergraduate Fine Art programme at Northumbria University and I am module tutor for the Year II module ‘Studio Practice and Theoretical research’. I am based in Sculpture but teach across all the Fine Art disciplines.

At Robert Gordon University (Research Fellow 2003-2011) and at Cumbria Institute of the Arts (Lecturer 1999 – 2003), I taught on undergraduate Fine Art programmes and various Masters programmes in Art and Design.

I have extensive experience as a Visiting Lecturer on undergraduate and postgraduate courses throughout the UK and in Europe.

Tom O'Sullivan


  • Fine Art MFA September 01 1992
  • Member Scottish Arts Council 2011

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • A Glasgow Spectacular (or the experience being an experience like the experience you just had), O'Sullivan, T. 2018
  • A Proposal To Ask Where Does A Threshold Begin & End, O'Sullivan, T., Tatham, J. 19 Jul 2018
  • A Successful Proposition for the Great North Exhibition, O'Sullivan, T., Tatham, J. 22 Jun 2018
  • Is this what brings things into focus?, O'Sullivan, T., Tatham, J. Apr 2017
  • An Anthology: (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so, so, so sorry), Tatham, J., O'Sullivan, T. 1 Apr 2016
  • A petition for an enquiry into a condition of anxiety, O'Sullivan, T., Tatham, J. 8 Apr 2016
  • Alternative 23, O'Sullivan, T., Tatham, J. 5 Feb 2015
  • Are we LOCATIONALIZED, O'Sullivan, T., Tatham, J. 10 Oct 2015
  • Das Traüman, Crisp, F., Danby, C., Hughes, A., Jackson, M., McCrea, R., O'Sullivan, T., Tatham, J. 21 Apr 2015
  • In Conversation, Crisp, F., Danby, C., Hughes, A., Jackson, M., McCrea, R., O'Sullivan, T., Tatham, J. 20 Mar 2015

PGR Supervision

  • Victoria Everall O'Hare Centrefold 1974: A Memoir Start: 15/05/2017
  • Clare Stephenson ‘Girl gets drunk and goes swimming’. A shift in means for the female sculptor. Start: 08/10/2013


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