Fine Art

Why a PhD or Research Masters in Fine Art at Newcastle?

Fine Art incorporates studios in photomedia, sculpture, painting, printmaking, ceramics, fibres and textiles, and art history/theory. The University of Newcastle encourages cross-and trans-disciplinary practice, new media and reflexive practice.

PhD and Masters by Research students will benefit from our national and international reputation in creative work, scholarly research and teaching.

Newcastle's studios and teaching spaces are second to none, including state-of-the-art photomedia facilities, airy painting studios, the only university foundry on the east coast of Australia, over a dozen kilns, as well as printing and papermaking machines.

Graduate research students get the chance to materialise their ideas using technology they otherwise couldn't access, such as our laser cutter or paint labs. Our dedicated student gallery, Watt Space, also offers students the opportunity to exhibit in Newcastle city centre.

Fine Art at UON has a strong record of engagement with practice as research, the art/science nexus, arts/health, and community engagement.


Research proposals are invited in the following areas:

  • material studies
  • museology
  • queer studies
  • feminism
  • the abject
  • art and environment
  • art and science
  • trace
  • place and memory
  • digital media and multi-media practice


Methodologies include practice as research, as well as trans- and cross-disciplinary methodologies.


Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • Professor Frank Millward: the intersection between fine art, sonic art and performance, and how technology is turning the arts into a fertile ground for innovative research
  • Dr Andre Brodyk: expanded painting and drawing; interdisciplinary practices; installation art; painting paradigms; drawing paradigms; biotech art; genetic art; art & science intersections; agencies of materiality; performative research - practice as research: critical and technology-mediated practice, which explores the use of biotechnology recombinant process and materials as models of material creativity; new critiques of materials and protocols of biological science and technologies at the micro and molecular levels as the agencies of new expression
  • Dr Deidre Brollo: printmaking, artist's books and installation; perception and memory
  • Dr Miranda Lawry: photomedia - investigating the notion of trace within the landscape, evidencing both historical marking and contemporary presence to redefine notions of identity, memory and 'place'; media investigations, include early photography technologies, digital imaging photomedia interventions, artist books and installation; collaborative engagement with a focus on determining a multi level framework that enables the arts to have intrinsic value within and beyond the art gallery; arts/health research
  • Dr Faye Neilson: 3D art and its theoretical discourse, particularly in relation to contemporary art practice and installation; object materiality, analogy and signification with reference to the domestic environment, especially in the reworking of traditional fibres-textiles processes
  • Dr Angela Philp: art history and theory; museology and contemporary practice; feminism and women's art history (in particular the Sydney Society of Women Painters 1910-1934); historical and contemporary Australian art; Aboriginal art; the art market
  • Mr Kris Smith: digital media and multi-media practice; digital animation; digital photomedia; hybrid photomedia; time-lapse photography; traditional photomedia; pre-cinema time-lapse photography, modernist films of the 1920s, investigating time as the fourth dimension in art

How to apply


There are a number of research projects being undertaken by graduate students in the area of Fine Art at Newcastle. Take a look some of the current topics:

  • Narrative and Storytelling in Contemporary Art Practice
  • Can Digital Artists use Modern Art Aesthetics and Techniques to Create a Defining Post-Digital Art Aesthetic?
  • Rites of Passage - The Lost Art of Being Human
  • Calligraphy on Ceramics in Contemporary Art: A Practice-Based Research Project from the Perspective of an Iranian/Australian Artist
  • ORI* on Aesthetics and Language of Folding and Technology
  • How the Shift Towards Interconnected Creative Process is Transforming Arts Practice and Art in Public Spaces
  • Visualising the Tensions of Science and Sustainability in Contemporary Art Practice
  • Class, Nation, and Regionalism. A Study of Novocastria
  • The Perception and Phenomenology of Sculpture when Sited in a Specified Context