Keith Wilson

Professor Keith Wilson

Research Professor of Sculpture


I make public exhibitions that expose the complex power relations inherent in everyday human interactions, producing sculptures that are dramatized by visitors, who have to navigate around seemingly authoritative pieces of highly ordered sculptural material. By simultaneously channelling bodies and ordering abstract ideas, my works encourage interpretative resistance and imaginative reordering of the encounter according to the visitor’s own agency. I looks to sculpt social spaces, connecting not only people but also materials and ideas across space and time, redrawing many of the most urgent issues we face using direct sculptural means.


Keith Wilson has produced curatorial ventures such as Modern British Sculpture (Royal Academy, London 2011), The Object Sculpture (Henry Moore Institute, Leeds 2001) major public works such as Steles (Olympic Commission, Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford 2012-) Park Hill Plinths (Park Hill, Sheffield 2017-) Sign for Art (Leeds University Campus, 2014-) Hopscotch (Trumpington, Cambridge 2019-) and gallery projects including Calendar (MAC, Belfast 2016) The Object Library (Graduate Center, CUNY, NYC 2018-) Things (Wellcome Collection, London 2011) Galvanised (Milton Keynes Gallery, 2004) Make it Snow (Milch, London, 2001) and Theft by Finding (Camden Arts Center, London 1995).
At Sheffield Hallam, Wilson’s research leadership includes development and refinement of research mentorship and return delivery across the UoA 32 staff team throughout the REF cycle as part of the ADMRC’s horizontal management structure. The shared working practice of senior research staff is a notable feature of the creative research ecology made in Hallam over the past 30 years, and has been key in connecting and including researchers beyond the traditional borders of Art and Design. It serves more broadly as a respectful exemplar of and template for our work with the variety of publics with whom so many of our constituent researchers produce new knowledge.
Wilson’s teaching sees him typically running collaborative projects with other research active staff and external third parties – connecting students with a wider world - he also delivers individual tutorials, presentations and group crits across BA, MA, and PhD levels. He has supervised three PhDs to completion, served twice as external examiner on PhD vivas, and was External Examiner for Ulster University’s MFA for many years. He is currently working closely with Wayne Cranton and Rory Duncan on delivering a new gallery project for the University in the Castlegate area in collaboration with S1 Artspace, with the support of Sheffield City Council as part of the city’s wider Levelling Up Fund scheme. Internally he serves on an extended campus working groups, currently as part of the Academic Workplace Workshop.
Short Academic history: Foundation at Bournville College of Art (Birmingham, 1984) was followed by BFA at the Ruskin, (Oxford University, 1988) then MFA at the Slade Sculpture Department, (UCL London, 1990). Awarded Laura Ashley scholarship to study at the Slade in the sculpture department (tutors Alison Wilding and Phyllida Barlow), subsequently won a Boise Travel Award for the final exhibition. Awarded RSA Art and Architecture Award in 2002, an Arts Council Oxford-Melbourne Fellowship in 2011. Artist in residence, subsequently Executive Director of the Center for the Humanities, City University of New York 2016-2022. Wilson was made professor at SHU in 2014, having joined Fine Art at Reader level the year previous, and has fully contributed to each REF cycle and submission since then. Wilson worked as Reader at University of Westminster (1999-2006), senior tutor in the Royal College of Art’s sculpture dept (2001-2010), Senior Lecturer at Central Saint Martin’s (1996-2001) and visiting lecturer regularly at the Ruskin, the Royal Academy, Chelsea, Slade, Brighton and Wimbledon Schools of Art.
Short Professional Service history: Trustee: Camden Arts Centre 1998-2005, Trustee: Whitechapel Art Gallery 1997-2001, Chair of Trustees: Art House Foundation 2008-2016,
Founding Member: Rural Cultural Forum 2007-2016, Advisory Board: Art Sheffield 2012-2016, Project Champion: S1 Artspace museum/gallery/research hub development project 2012-


Department of Art and Design

College of Social Sciences and Arts

Fine Art


WILSON, Keith (2014). Sign for Art (Stelae 2014). [Artefact]
WILSON, Keith (2011). Steles. [Show/Exhibition]
WILSON, Keith (2011). Modern British Sculpture. [Show/Exhibition]
WILSON, Keith (2010). British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet. [Show/Exhibition]
WILSON, Keith (2010). Things. [Show/Exhibition]

ACE are supporting Sculpture Park Hill



Wilson, K. (2014). Sign for Art (Stelae 2014). [Sculpture].


Wilson, K. (2011). Modern British Sculpture. [Exhibition and edited book]. Royal Academy, London.

Wilson, K. (2010). Things. Main Galleries, Wellcome Collection, London.

Wilson, K. (n.d.). Steles. Olympic Park, London.

Wilson, K. (2010). British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet. [Series of 4 sculptures + entry in exhibition catalogue]. Nottingham, London, Glasgow, Plymouth.

Wilson, K. (2016). Calendar. [Exhibition of Sculpture]. MAC Belfast.

Wilson, K. (2015). Park Hill Plinths / Sculpture Park Hill. [concrete, earthwork]. Park Hill Estate, Sheffield.

Other activities

External examiner Belfast MA Fine Art

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