Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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Gill Park

0113 343 4265

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BA History of Art, MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies (University of Leeds)

Gill’s research centres on contemporary art and feminist curating practices, which includes aspects of practice-led research.


Gill has a particular interest in recent and contemporary visual art that deals with the politics of representation, in particular photography and moving image work. She is interested in feminist strategies of curating as well as the theory and analysis of power, subjectivity, memory and institutional critique. From 2012-2017, Gill was Director of Pavilion, a visual arts organisation based in Leeds. In this role she worked on the commissioning and programming of new work in collaboration with artists and communities in Leeds and beyond. This include a two year programme ‘Interwoven Histories’ funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund which addressed the pertinence of the image to migrant histories and experiences in Leeds.

Research Interests

  • History of the women’s movement
  • Feminist curating practices
  • The politics of representation
  • The body in art practice
  • Photography and the moving image


From 2015-17, while completing her PhD Gill was a Teaching Assistant on the BA modules Elements of Visual Culture and New York School. From 2017-18 she was Lecturer in Museology at the University of Manchester, teaching the core module, Introduction to Museum Studies, as well as optional modules on Curating Art and Creative Learning. Since June 2018 she has been Lecturer in Curating at Newcastle University where she teaches across Museum & Gallery Studies and Fine Art. Alongside this, from September 2018 she will be Lecturer in Art Gallery, Museum and Heritage Studies at Leeds, teaching on the MA modules Interpretations and Critical Issues. She has previously been a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, Sotheby’s Institute of Art and University of Central Lancashire.

Research Projects & Grants

University 110 Anniversary Phd Scholarship (2014–17)

A Feminist Space at Leeds: Looking Back to Think Forwards, conference and exhibition co-convened with Ruth Daly, Elspeth Mitchell and Lenka Vrablikova. Funded by AHC, White Rose Consortium, Arts Council England and Vice-Chancellor Alan Langlands. (2017)

Leeds 2023 Explore Grant (June 2017)

Speak, Body: art, the reproduction of capital and the reproduction of life, conference co-convened with Rose-Anne Gush, Tom Hastings and Sophie Jones. Funded by the Centre for Practice-led Research in the Arts, University of Leeds and the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (AHRC) (April 2017)

The National Academics and Creative Exchange award with Rehana Zaman (2016)

British Council Subvention Grant (2016)

Erasmus + Mobility Grant (2016)

Curating the City Collaboration with Pavilion. Funded by a Creative Cultural Exchange Ignite grant (2015–2016)

Proper Faultless Enemy, screening programme with Rose-Anne Gush. Funded by the Centre for Practice-led Research in the Arts, University of Leeds. (2015)

Istanbul in/+ Leeds with Griselda Pollock. Funded by a Creative Cultural Exchange Ignite grant (2015)

water@Leeds SPRING grant (2015)

Intersecting Practices: assessing the role and impact of contemporary art in heritage spaces with Nick Cass. Funded by a Creative Cultural Exchange Ignite grant (2014)

Fluxus Curatorial Grant (2012)

Mondriaan Fund International Visiting Curators Award (2012)

Working Images, ongoing curatorial collaboration with Amy Charlesworth. Funded by AHRC, Arts Council England, Hannah Festival (2011–Present)

Research Centres & Groups

Centre for Critical Materialist Studies
Curating the City Collaboration with Pavilion
Migration Research Network

External Appointments

Director, Pavilion (2012–2017)

Trustee, South Square Centre (2014–2016)

Steering Group, Leeds Visual Arts Forum (2012–15)

Artistic Assessor, Arts Council England (2010–12)

Curatorial Assistant, Arts Council Collection (2008)

PhD & Postdoctoral Supervision

Supervisors: Professor Griselda Pollock and Dr Gail Day.

PhD Thesis

The Pavilion Women’s Photography Centre was founded in 1983 as a feminist photography project with a commitment to new democratic structures, art practices and radical social change. It was initiated as an independent, volunteer-run space in the Hyde Park area of Leeds to programme exhibitions, events and pedagogic activity. Gill’s thesis asks: What might we learn from a study of The Pavilion as an ‘incomplete project’, rather than a defunct one? This question opens on to a range of broader issues with regards to the impact and legacy of artistic and curatorial practices inflected by feminism, the way in which feminist projects have been both erased and historicised and the potential of feminism for art’s futures. Drawing on Marxist theory, psychoanalysis, film theory and the Social Science methodology of Grounded Theory, Gill’s analysis of the history of The Pavilion relies on two elements: its archival material and an interpretation of a particular moment of British art and cultural history that has not been fully documented or examined – that of the intersection between the women’s movement and photography as explored by a set of artists during the 1970s and 1980s. Secondly, Gill’s work explores the changing relationship between art and politics from the early 1980s until the present day. In the current moment, as financial resources for alternative, political and independent activity are virtually depleted, and as arts organisations are constantly forced to argue the ‘business case’ for their programmes, it is necessary to examine how what was initiated by feminist projects, such as The Pavilion, can be taken up as a challenge to the capitalised art world and its futures. How can an analysis of feminist art practices and initiatives enable a better understanding of feminism’s potential to confront and resist late capitalism and its effects on the contemporary art world, when, while women artists may now have been included in exhibitions and collections, feminist politics has not?




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