Dr Sarah Chapman

Dr Sarah Chapman

Director of Peninsula Arts

The Arts Institute (Faculty of Arts and Humanities)


Director of Peninsula Arts


PhD, Puncturing the Silence: Painting Over the Found Photograph, Awarded 2014
MA Sequential Design, Brighton University, 2002
BA Hons (first class) Design Arts, Plymouth University, 1997

Roles on external bodies

Co-Chair of Visual Arts Plymouth (VAP) 2015 - to date (previously Director, Plymouth Visual Arts Consortium, 2011 - 2014).

Trustee, National Aquarium Limited (NAL), 2015 - to date

Steering group, Visual Arts South West (VASW) 2015 - to date

Artists Mentor, VASW, 2014 - 2016

Plymouth Festival of Words Steering group in partnership with Literature Works (previously Plymouth International Book Festival) 2012 - to date

Teaching interests

BA Media Arts, MA Publishing, BA/BSc Digital Arts and Technology. 

Other research

2014-2015 TFAS award (teaching fellowship) 'Teaching and Learning in the PeninsulaArts Gallery'

2012-2013 TFAS award 'Public Arts as Extra-Cirricula Learning'

Creative practice & artistic projects

Professional interest in:
  • Arts management and curation 
  • The history and development of public art galleries/collections associated with Universities
  • Multi art-form and inter/cross-disciplinary art practice
  • The benefits of a liberal arts education within H.E
  • Critical cultural writing/reviews and commentary 
  • Book design - magazine design - the artist book
  • Artists who alter the photograph through graphic means
  • Found photographs

2016: Curator - Searching for Genius: Douglas Gordon and Sir Joshua Reynolds, Peninsula Arts Gallery in association with Arts Angel, London (23 September - 19 November 2016). 

2013-2016: Executive Manager of the River Tamar Project, including It's All About the River film festival (September-October 2014).

2015: Chair of HIDDEN HISTORIES, Plymouth International Book Festival, with writer Imogen Robertson and artist Holly Davey (18 October 2015). 

2015: PRESENT TENSE: Sarah Chapman & Karen Roulstone. Exhibition exploring the relationship between the codes of painting and photography. Alamo Projects, Plymouth (26 September - 4 October 2016).

2012- 2013: Executive Director Moby-Dick Big Read www.mobydickbigread.com, featuring in Aquatopia at Nottingham Contemporary (20 July - 22 September) and TATE St Ives (October 2013 - January 2014).

2012: Curator - Knowledge Museum Kit and News After Newsjoint exhibition featuring Dan and Lia Perjovschi (Peninsula Arts Gallery, November - December 2012).

2010: Curator - Ben Hartley: A Retrospective, Co-curated with Bernard Samuels, Featuring paintings, drawings and never before exhibited personal notebooks (Peninsula Arts Gallery, November - December 2010). 

2009: Curator - (Re)Sounding signs: Polish Chopin Posters 1955-2006, Co-curator. Featuring posters from 1950's to the present day, including Henryk Tomaszewski, the Wroclaw Four group, Rafal Olbinski and Waldemar Swierzy, with the support of Adam Mickiewicz Institute (March - April 2009). 

2008: Curator - Art & Insects, an exhibition featuring over 20 national and international artists inspired by insects. Supported by the Royal Entomological Society (Cube3 Gallery, Plymouth University, September-October 2008). 

2008: Curator - Beryl Cook 1926-2008, A Retrospective. (Peninsula Arts Gallery, October - December 2008).

Editorial / Chapter contributions

2016: 'Soil Culture: Dig-it' in Soil Culture: Bringing the Arts Down to Earth, ed Clive Adams and Dr Daro Montag, (co-published by The Centre for Contemporary Art & the Natural World and Gaia Project).

2015: Plymouth Contemporary Open 2015, exhibition catalogue (Plymouth University).

2014: 'Peter Randall-Page in conversation with Sarah Chapman' in Peter Randall-Page: Drawings (Plymouth, University of Plymouth Press).

2013: 'University Galleries and public art programs within the UK' in Exhibiting Photography: A Practical Guide to Displaying Your Work (Oxford: Focal Press), 124-127. 

2012: Introduction to Dominion: A Whale Symposium, ed Angela Cockayne and Philip Hoare, (Bath: Wunderkammer Press, January 2012) p 18-20.

2011 'What Can University Galleries Offer?' in Cabinet: Changing Perceptions, ed P Quinn, (Plymouth University Press), 20-21.

2008: Beryl Cook 1926-2008, ed Jess Wilder and Sarah Chapman, (Plymouth University Press). Alongside curating the first major retrospective of Beryl Cook's work in the Peninsula Arts Gallery, following her death, the publication brought together academics and critical commentators who questioned and examined the division between the huge popularity of Cook's work and the art establishment's resistance in recognising her success whilst she was alive. 

Conference / Journal papers

2015: Winter, J., Chapman S. and treasure, K. 'Using a University Arts Gallery to Enhance the Student Learning Experience'. SEDA annual conference. Cardiff. 19-20 November 2015.

2015: Chapman, S. 'The Body which Throbs: Photography and Graphic Intervention'. Ways of Seeing Conference, Queens House, Royal Museums Greenwich, 17 July 2015.

2014: Winter J, Chapman S, & Treasure J., 'Contemporary Art as Extra-curricular Learning: Lessons from a University Art Gallery', TheInternational Journal of Arts Education.

2013: Winter J & Chapman S., 'Public Arts as extra-curricularlearning' Vice Chancellor's Conference on Teaching and Learning.  Plymouth University, UK  28 June 2013.

2013: Winter J & Chapman S., 'Public Arts as Extra CurricularLearning' The 8th International Conference on the Arts inSociety.  Budapest, Hungary  24 June 2013. 

Author / Art Direction

2012: Author and Art Direction: Dan & Lia Perjovschi, The Art of Marginalia, with essay by Crowley, D.,(Plymouth University Press). 

2009 - 2012: Art Direction and Design: Twenty Romanian Writer series (Plymouth University Press supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute).

2007- 2011: Art Direction and Design: Short Fiction, series 1-5 (Plymouth University Press).

Other academic activities

2013 Awarded two Vice-Chancellor's Enterprise Award's as part of the Moby-Dick Big Read team and the Plymouth International Book Festival team.

2012 Peninsula Arts team shortlisted for a Vice-Chancellor's Enterprise Award for Creative Initiative in helping to present the British Art Show to Plymouth ​

2011 Shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Award, Excellence and Innovation in the Arts, Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival

2009 Awarded a Vice-Chancellor's Enterprise Award for International Engagement. Paul Honeywill, Anthony Caleshu, Sarah Chapman & Simon Ible, University of Plymouth Press and Peninsula Arts.

2006 Teaching Qualification: GTA (General Teaching Award).

Additional information

Active Partnerships
Programming partnership with Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery (2013 - 2023)