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Personal profile

Research interests

Duncan Bullen is Deputy Head of School, in the School of Art at the University of Brighton, where he has responsibility for leading Research and Enterprise.
Duncan's own research interests are grounded in the materiality of manual drawing. He is mainly concerned with tactile, repetitive, reductive, non-representational drawing strategies which he aligns with the practice of mindfulness meditation. Duncan is interested in how drawing mindfully may communicate spatially and physically as a means to trace the immediacy of lived experience, through tactile, sensory and contemplative engagement with the world. With this comes an interest in arts-health and the interchange between well- being and well-doing in which the lived body, mind and environment are part of the same process of phenomenologically enacting one’s world at a transactional, integrated and visceral level.
Duncan’s research aims to contribute and build upon discussions that position drawing as phenomenology, and he situates his research within a comparative context that draws on a convergence of thinking from Eastern and Western philosophies and Japanese aesthetics. Duncan places particular value on practice-based research, which situates drawing within a first person, experience-based methodology ‘whereby theory emerges from a reflexive practice at the same time that practice is informed by theory’ (Bolt 2007).

Scholarly biography

Duncan has worked at the University since 1999, and during this time, he has held many roles within his subject area (Fine Art) and across the School of Art (SoA), previously Art, Design & Media (ADM). These included Module Leader and Course Leader (Fine Art Printmaking and Academic Programme Leader for Fine Art (FA), including an 18-month period 2014- 2015 when he was also academic programme leadership responsibility for Photography, Moving Image and Sound. Duncan is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is External Examiner for BA(Hons) Drawing and Printmaking at the University of West of England.


Duncan's day-to-day work is as Deputy Head of School for Research and Enterprise with responsibility for providing strategic, professional and academic leadership, with a particular focus on the development and implementation of the School of Art's research and enterprise plan. Duncan chairs the Schools Research and Enterprise Committee, which supports the productive and vibrant environment for research and enterprise and for raising the Schools profile internally and externally. Duncan sits on several committees within the School and across the wider leadership of the University.


Duncan initially trained in Fine Art at Leeds Polytechnic where he gained a first-class degree in 1988. He then completed an MA in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art in 1991 after which he was the recipient of a Prix d' Rome: Printmaking Scholarship, spending 1991-92 at the British School at Rome. Duncan then undertook a series of residencies at the Eremo di Santa Caterina, a former hermitage on the Italian Island of Elba, which shaped an interest in contemplative image making and mindfulness practice. Increasing interest in Asian aesthetics and philosophy have led co-curation of recent projects such as Methodology of the Edition; an International printmaking project from three universities and three 

Education/Academic qualification

Master, Royal College of Art

25 Sep 198915 Jun 1991

External positions

External Examiner, University of the West of England

16 Oct 201630 Sep 2020


  • NC Drawing Design Illustration
  • Drawing
  • Drawing Research
  • Drawing, health, wellbeing
  • Printmaking
  • Practice-Based Research
  • Material Thinking
  • Embodied Making
  • Visual Perception
  • Mindfulness

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2006 2019

Open Access
Fine Arts
Alan Reynolds

In Line

Bullen, D., 18 Jan 2018

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibitionResearch

Open Access
Sensory Perception
Wall Paintings
Video Installation

Marks Make Meaning: Drawing across the disciplines

Lyon, P. & Bullen, D., 9 Mar 2018

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibitionResearch

Open Access
field research

Stone Letter Project: Touching a Stone to Talk: lithographic print, 50x50cm 2017

Bullen, D., 6 Nov 2017

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibitionResearch

Print Media

Activities 2015 2017

  • 3 Invited talk
  • 2 Conference
  • 1 Exhibition, performance
  • 1 Oral presentation

4th International Visual Methods conference

Duncan Bullen (Participant), Jeremy Radvan (Participant)
17 Sep 2017

Activity: EventsConference

Drawing Phenomenology

Duncan Bullen (Participant)
20 Sep 2017

Activity: EventsConference


'Drawing: being present, making present'

Philippa Lyon (Presenter), Duncan Bullen (Presenter), Jane Fox (Presenter)
15 Jul 2016

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk


visual and the verbal

Duncan Bullen (Presenter)
17 Jun 2015

Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

Both/And: Drawing and Tolerance of Ambiguity

Duncan Bullen (Presenter), Angela Rogers (Presenter)
7 Nov 2015

Activity: External talk or presentationOral presentation