The Centre for International Visual Arts and Cultures’ (IVAC) Research Centre at Richmond University provides a framework for bringing together researchers, scholars and practitioners engaged with visual imagery and associated cultures in the broadest sense, across disciplines. IVAC’s mission is to explore the plurality of visual arts and cultures in all their aspects, from production, history, theory, media and practice to dissemination, impact, public engagement and potential futures. One of IVAC’s main objectives is to organise research and scholarly initiatives of international significance including at least one annual conference and two visiting professorships, the one a leading scholar, the other a leading professional, as well as public lectures, exhibitions, seminars and film screenings.

The IVAC Research Centre is closely affiliated with the University’s BA in Art History and Visual Culture, MA in Art History and Visual Culture, MA in Film: Science Fiction and Fantasy, and MA in Visual Arts Management and Curating.

Students enrolled on these programmes and alumni are automatically members of IVAC as junior research colleagues. IVAC offers continuing support for alumni in their professional development including networking and guest lecture opportunities.

The Centre for International Visual Arts and Cultures (IVAC) is led by Professor Robert J Wallis.

IVAC Membership

Adjunct Faculty:

  • Rose Davey
  • Mr Tom Flynn
  • Mr Sam Hepworth
  • Ms Serena Katt
  • Dr Piola Massarotto
  • Dr. Ali McGilp
  • Dr Deborah Schultz
  • Dr Fred Vermorel
  • Aislinn White
  • Anne Lotter
  • Ms Rahana Zaman
  • Dr. Max Carocci
  • Dr. Elea Himmelsbach

Visiting Professors:

  • Barry Curtis, Royal College of Art
  • Dr. Anne Massey, Independent Scholar
  • Eszter Steirhoffer, Design Museum
  • Gaia Trussardi, Trussardi Foundation
  • Nicholas Sinclair, Nicholas Sinclair Photography

Inaugural Colloquium

Dr Alex Seago
Blow Up: Photography and the English Cultural revolution of the Early 1960s

Dr Deborah Schultz
Learning through Artists’ Books

Dr Robert J. Wallis
Destabilising the Universality of Art/Shamanism: from Cave Painting to the White Cube

Dr Dom Alessio
Easter Island and the Lost Continent of Mu

Dr Nicola Mann
From SuperOther to SuperMother: The Journey towards Liberty

Nick Ferguson, Goldsmiths College
The Aesthetics of Indifference

Keynote – Dr Will Brooker, Kingston University
Keynote: Building a better Batgirl – ‘My So-Called Secret Identity’

Keynote – Rafal Niemojewski, Serpentine Gallery
Catching up with Practice: A New Approach to the History of Exhibitions and Institutions of Art in Relation to the Changing Ecology of the Expanded Artistic Field

IVAC Conferences

London is Open: Cultural Diplomacy post Brexit – 27 March 2017
Richmond held a conference, London is Open: Cultural Diplomacy post-Brexit on 27 March 2017 at the Kensington Campus.

The well-attended event included contributions from: Mafalda Damaso, Goldsmiths University; Mike Clewley, Cultural Tourism Officer; Amanda Decker, Greater London Authority; Eleanor Pinfield, Head of Art of the Underground, Transport for London; Richard Dufty, Senior Producer, Battersea Arts Centre; Chair Simon Rofe, SOAS; Aimee Fullman, University of Westminster; Ellen Wettmark, Counsellor for Cultural Affairs, Embassy of Sweden and Rebecca Walton, Regional Director EU, British Council.

The conference was organised by Dr Martin D. Brown, Dr Nick Ferguson and Dr Oonagh Murphy, in collaboration with the International Visual Arts and Culture, and the State, Power and Globalisation research centres, and with generous support from the Gul Tokay & Birgan Iseri funds.

‘Increasing Happiness and Wellbeing through Arts Participation & Play Conference’ – 18 March 2016
This event was sponsored by the Gul Tokay Fund, the Richmond Psychology Association, and the International Visual Arts & Culture (IVAC) research centre at Richmond, The American International University in London.

‘Artists Books: Collaborations’ – 20 March 2015
Collaboration with University of Northumbria and Glydwyr

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‘What is this Pop? Pop Art and Pop Design’ – 29 November 2013
Co-organised by Dr Alex Seago (Richmond University) and Dr Anne Massey (Kingston University)
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