Dr Deborah Robinson

Dr Deborah Robinson


Associate Professor (Reader) in Contemporary Art Co-ordinator of ARC (Artistic Research in Context), research cluster, Faculty of Arts, Plymouth University.

Co-founder RADIX (cross disciplinary collaborators who questionof the relationship between self (humans) and environment.

Faculty member, Transart International Studio PhDprogramme, (with Plymouth)

Egenis, external fellow, University of Exeter  

Member of the editorial board Journal of Creative Technologies

Research Appointments

BAC (Baltic Arts Centre) research residency,Gotland. 2015

Bright Ideas fellowship UK Genomics Forum, Edinburgh. 2012

Residency with researchers on the Malaria Programme, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, 2012.

Guest fellowship MPIWG (Max Planck Institute forthe History of Science) Berlin. 2009


PhD "The Materiality of Text and Body in Painting and Darkroom Practices: An Investigation Through Practice" 2003. 

Professional membership

Member of steering committee Sustainable Earth Institute, Plymouth.

Teaching interests

Art, science, science studies and technology
Art and Biomedical Science
Art and Mental Health
New Materialism, film and the Anthropocence

Research interests

My artwork is collaborative and projects are generated within a trans disciplinary context. 

Art and Science

Art, Ecology and Technology

Art and the Biomedical Sciences

Art and Mental Health

Grants & contracts

2017 Wellcome Trust funding (with Exeter and Birkbeck) for 'Waiting Times' (5 yr project awarded 1.2 million)
2015 AHRC funding for the development of 'Like a Signal Falling', a film made as part of 'Modernism, Medicine and the Embodied Mind: Disorders of Self'. 
2014 Sponsorship from EU funds via Evilmalar for exhibition of 'Parasite' at Heidelberg Castle
2012 Arts Council England award for development of 'Parasite' - an artwork in response to malaria.
2011 Awarded of joint funding from the faculty of art and the faculty of science and technology, Plymouth University for 'Transpositions'.
2010 Award from the Faculty of Science and Technology, Plymouth, to support a residency with the Marine Institute, Plymouth.
2009  Arts Council England award for development of "Fish-Eye-I"  (with the department of Bioscience and Biochemistry, University of Bath). 
2009 Funding from the Institute of Interdisciplinary Contemporary Interdisciplinary Art (ICIA) to support exhibition 'Fish-I-Eye'.
2009 Guest Fellowship, funded by Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPWIG), Berlin. 
2006 Media Award Esme Fairbyrne.
2006 Major Arts Council England award as Egenis artist in residence, Exeter University. 
2006: Awarded funding from the Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Art (University of Bath) to produce a new body of photographic work.
2004: Awarded funding by Egenis (via ESRC) , University of Exeter (artist in residence).

Creative practice & artistic projects

2017 – 2020 (ongoing) Waiting Times, a Wellcome Trust funded project with Exeter andBirkbeck.

2017 NoisyEmbryos (with Radix collaborators). Exhibition at the Ruskin Gallery,Cambridge. Included a talk by Robinson, David Strang (artist), Dr Simon Rundle(biologist) and Professor Nick Hopwood, Cambridge (event with the CambridgeScience Festival).

2016 Likea Signal Falling, experimental short film (produced as part of an AHRCfunded project Modernism, Medicine andEmbodied Mind: Disorders of Self (with Bristol, Exeter and Warwick).

2015 Parasite, solo exhibition, WellcomeTrust Cultural Zone,  Cambridge.

2014 Wandering Snail exhibited atFields –patterns of social, scientific, and technologicaltransformations.Curated by RIXC.Arsenals Exhibition Hall of the LatvianNational Arts Museum (LNAM).

2014 Parasite exhibition, HeidelbergCastle, Germany. 

2014 Parasitesolo exhibition, ICIA Bath. 2014.

2013 Presentation. ESF Exploratory Workshop Homefor Science: The Anthropology of Tropical and Arctic Field Stations, Finse,Norway.

2013 Parasite  group show ShanghaiInternational Science and Art international exhibition (award winner inscience art and technology).

June – July 2013 Parasite soloexhibition Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge. Opening talk and discussion hosted by theCambridge Art and Science Circle.

2013 presentation at the Cambridge Scienceweek,  Parasite (with Dr Julian Rayner andDr MaryDobson). 

2013 Transpositions, Anglia RuskinGallery, Cambridge

March 2013 Parasite exhibited at Inspace Gallery, EdinburghUniversity Bioinformatics. Presentation at Evaporationof Things Symposium, Inspace.

2012 (October) Bright Ideas Fellowship at the UK ESRC Genomics Forum, Edinburgh University.

2012 Transpositionssolo exhibition, Peninsula Arts Gallery, Plymouth. 

2011  (ongoing) Artist in Residence withMarine Biology and Ecology Research group, University of Plymouth. 

2011  DataUnveiling (with David Strang) exhibited at  'Immersion in ScienceWorlds' exhibition, Exeter, 2011. EU funded project.

2010  DataUnveiling exhibited at the ESPCR (European Society for Pigment CellResearch) conference at the Sanger Institute, Cambridge. 

2010  ATRIA  installation (withRadix collaborators David Strang and Simon Rundle) at Plymouth UniversityFestival of Research, 20011. 

2010  Fish - Eye-I exhibited at ICIA, Bath.Bioscience and Biochemistry,University of Bath

2009 Guest fellowship at the Max PlanckInstitute for the History of Science, Berlin.

2008 Supported by Institute of ContemporaryInterdisciplinary Art and the department of Biosciences at University of Bath,for the project Fish-Eye-I

2008 Images from the series Molecular Laboratory: Re-presenting Time exhibited  at theNational Theatre at a Biocentre symposium on ethics.

2007 Phoenix Arts Center  solo exhibition Molecular Laboratory: Re-presenting Time.

2006:Funded by The Institute of ContemporaryInterdisciplinary Art (University of Bath) to produce a series of 16 pinholeimages that captured the trace of human presence in the Washington Singer Laboratory.These were exhibited March- June 2006 at ICIA and are now in the collection ofthe University of Bath. 

2006 Artist in Residence project with Egenis, Exeter.This included a residency at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (which playeda key role in providing the human genome). This residency provided the basisfor a new body of pinhole photographs that explored the relationship betweenhumans and technology.

2004:Artist in Residence Project with Egenis Genome Research Group, University of Exeter.  3 light box works exploring genetic codification and imagery. These on permanent display at Egenis,Byrne House, University of Exeter.

Research groups

  • Arts Research Collective

Reports & invited lectures


Personal website


Egenis Artist in Residence


Dialogue with Professor Gabriella Gianachi about development of Sanger Institute Residency


Fish-Eye-I residency University of Bath