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About Dr Tom McGuirk

Tom has been chair of the board of two artist led organizations, the Black Church Print Studio from 2000 to 2003. He was also founding member and Chair of Independent Studio Artists Ltd inTemple Bar, Dublin from 1997 to 2001.

Tom is currently a committee member of Nordic Summer University – “Study Circle 7 into Artistic Research” and has co-edited the circle’s anthology of research (2012). NSU is a Swedish non-profit organization, sponsored by the Nordic Council of Ministers.


Tom has held a number of teaching and research positions including:

  • Research Fellowship in Fine Art (practice and teaching) in the School of Art and Design, Nottingham Trent University.
  • Lecturer and Course Coordinator, KEA Copenhagen School of Design & Technology, Denmark, 2005 – 2008. 
  • Course Coordinator, Higher Diploma In Community Arts Education, National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Dublin, Ireland (2002 – 2003). 
  • Lecturer in Painting (equivalent: UK Senior Lecturer Grade), Faculty of Education, NCAD, Dublin, Ireland (1997 – 2002).   Lecturer in Painting, Faculty of Fine Art, NCAD, Dublin, Ireland (1990 – 1997.

Research supervision
2013 External examiner for PhD candidate. University of Staffordshire
2012 Internal examiner for PhD candidate. University of Chester

External Examiner and External Avisory roles
2016 - present External Examiner for the Liverpool Hope University BA(Hons) Art and Design History; module examiner for BA(Hons) Fine Art and BA(Hons) Design programmes.
2016 External Advisor for The Open University revalidation of BA(Hons) Fine Art programme at the American College of Greece in Athens.
2015 External Advisor for revalidation of Liverpool John Moores University BA(Hons) History of Art
2012 External Advisor to Liverpool Hope University for the validation of BA (Hons) in Design, Design History and Fine Art.


Tom’s research interests are in the epistemology of drawing and in questions regarding the status of practice-based and practice-led research in art and design disciplines in HE.

Reviewing and Scientific Board Membership

Reviewer for The Journal of Somaesthetics (2014). Further details here

Reviewer for the Journal of Research Practice (2011). Further details here

Member of the Scientific Board for CIPED: The International Congress of Research in Design, held at Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, October 10-12, 2011. Further details here

Published Work

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
McGuirk T. (2012) “Drawing and Intellectualism: Contested Paradigms of Knowledge” in Niedderer, K and Mey, K. (guest eds.) (2012) Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education Journal. Volume 10 Issue 2. – ISSN: 1474273X. Online ISSN: 20400896, Online here

McGuirk, T. (2011) “The 'Rift-Design' Conundrum: Drawing as Form-giving and Knowing” (online) In the journal: ACCESS: Critical Perspectives on Communication, Cultural and Policy Studies, Grierson, E. (ed.), Vol. 30(1), Melbourne, RMIT University Press, Jun: 2011, 45-56. ISSN: 0111-8889 (ACCESS was rated an A-ranked journal in The ERA Initiative 2012 conducted by the Australia Research Council). Online here

McGuirk, T. (2011). A nomos for art and design. Journal of Research Practice, 7(1), Mäkelä, M., Nimkulrat, N., Dash D. P., Nsenga, F-X. (Athabasca, Canada, 2011) Article M1. Online here

McGuirk T. (2010) “Heidegger’s Rift: The Epistemological Significance of Drawing”, in: De Freitas, N. (Ed.) Studies in Material Thinking, Edition 4, ISSN 1177-6234, AUT University, New Zealand, further details here

McGuirk, T. (2009) “Beyond Prejudice: method and interpretation in research in the visual arts”, Journal: Working Papers in Art and Design 5 2008, (Published: University of Hertfordshire) ISSN 1466-491–7, further details here

Chapters in Edited Books
McGuirk T. (2015) Drawing: Embodied and Situated Knowing. In C. Fentz, and T. McGuirk (Ed’s) Artistic Research: Strategies for Embodiment, (2015) Århus, Denmark, NSU Press: (Distribution – Århus University Press) ISBN 978-87-87564-95-3 Further details here

McGuirk T. (2012) “When Art turns its Back on the Body” in Elkins James (ed.), What Do Artists Know? University Park, PA; Penn State University Press. Vol. 3 of: “The Stone Theory Institute Series”. Further details here

McGuirk, T. (2012) “From Disegno to ‘Epistemic Action’: Drawing as Knowledge Generation”.  Granville G. (Ed.) (2012) Art Education in Contemporary Culture: Irish Experiences and International Perspectives, Bristol: Intellect, pp. 11-28.  US distribution U of Chicago. Further details here

McGuirk T. (2003) “Blue Notes: An Appreciation of the Work of the painter Pat Moran”, in Carpenter C., Lorigan H., Lyttle A., Smith D. and Webster B. (Eds.) (2003) Pat Moran (1961- 1992) A Retrospective, Kinsale: Gandon Editions, pp. 17–19.  ISBN: 0948037016 

McGuirk T. (2001) “In The Beginning Was The Word? – Drawing Analogies”, in Savage J. (Ed.) (2001) Drawing Texts, Limerick, The Occasional Press. pp. 268 - 276 (an anthology of artists essays on drawing, including two texts by John Berger and one by Michael Craig-Martin).

McGuirk T. (1996), (image & text) “Nula” in Sheridan N. (Ed.) (1996) NCAD 250 Drawings, 1746 – 1996, Dublin, National College of Art and Design. p.169. – ISBN 1 870225 20 1   

Refereed and published conference proceedings
McGuirk, T (2013) "Drawing as situated knowing", paper presented at the conference Drawing in the University Today, at the University of Porto, May 31 & June 1. 2013. Publications of proceedings downloadable here.

McGuirk, T. (2013) "Making as Knowing" in the book of proceedings of the conference: Knowing (By) Designing. Sint-Lucas School of Architecture, Brussels, 22-23 May 2013, published jointly by Sint-Lucas School of Architecture, Ghent/ Brussels and the KU, University of Leuven, pp. 70-79, ISBN 9789081323864. Further details here

McGuirk, T. (2011) “Drawing: thinking with the body and the world” in book of the Proceedings of Sense and Sensibility in Lisbon, the 6th UNIDCOM/IADE International Conference, IADE, Creative University, Lisbon. Further details here

McGuirk, T. (2011) “Drawing and Intellectualism: Contested Paradigms of Knowledge”, peer reviewed conference proceedings for the Conference: SkinDeep - experiential knowledge and multi- sensory communication, 23 - 24 June 2011. At the University for the Creative Arts, venue Farnham Castle, UK. Paper available online here 

Published Peer Reviewed Conference Paper: McGuirk T. (2010) "The Rift that is the Drawn Line", presented at the “Drawing Out 2010” International Conference RMIT University, Melbourne 7th - 9thApril 2010. Convened by RMIT University and University of the Arts London. Convenors: Prof. S, Farthing – The Centre for Drawing, University of the Arts London and Prof. E. Grierson, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia. Proceedings Published: ISBN 978-0-646-53254-7

Published Peer Reviewed Conference Paper: McGuirk T. (2009) "Reflecting and Making: The Need for Parity of Esteem" at the Art of Research Conference: Processes , Results and Contributions,  24thto the 25th of November 2009 at The University of Art and Design, (TaiK), Helsinki, Finland. Paper online here

Plenery Speaker’s Paper: McGuirk T. (2009) “Making: The Paragon of Knowledge”, , in Côrte-Real C. Couto A. and Duarte C. (Ed’s) (2009) Proceedings of the 5th international Conference of UNICOM/IADE “40IADE40”, IADE, Creative University, Lisbon. pp. 221-31. ISBN 978-989-95639-4-0. Abstract here

McGuirk T. (2009) “Knowing by Hand: Embodied Knowledge in Higher Education in Art and Design”, in Bottâ G. & Härmänmaa M. (Ed’s) (2009) Language and the Scientific Imagination.  Proceedings of the 11th Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas – ISSEI, 28 July–2 Aug. 2008, Publication available at Helda: The Repository of the University of Helsinki, Finland, ISBN 978-952-10-6118-9, online here

Other refereed and/or non-published conference contributions

McGuirk, T. (2011), “The Sketchbook as Prosthesis”. Presented: Recto – Verso: Redefining the Sketchbook, Conference, University of Lincoln, Feb. 10-11 2010

Conference Paper presented at The Royal Society of Arts, London at the fourth International Conference of Research into Practice – Oct. 31, 2008. (for published – Version: see above): McGuirk T. “Beyond Prejudice: method and interpretation in research in the visual arts”.

McGuirk T. (2012) Art, Research and Production within the University, paper presented at the Nordic Summer University’s Winter Symposium, Venue: The Theatre Academy, Helsinki Finland.

McGuirk T. (2011) Thinking, Perceiving and Acting paper presented at the Nordic Summer University’s Summer Conference at the Education Centre Falsterbro Sweden July 31st to Aug 7th2011. 

McGuirk T. (2010) “A Drawing Laboratory” Study Circle 7”: Conference Paper Theme: Artistic Research, Strategies for Embodiment at Nordic Summer University, 2010, Majvik, Finland. 24th – 31st of July 2010

McGuirk T. (2010) “Knowing Hands: Embodied Knowledge in Art and Design Education” at the NSU – Nordic Summer University’s, "Winter Symposium – 2010 Study Circle 7”: Theme: Artistic Research – Strategies for Embodiment. Venue: Artisten: Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, 25-27 February 2010. Further information here

Co-editor of the forthcoming Anthology: Fentz, C. and McGuirk, T. (2015) Artistic Research, Strategies for Embodiment: Århus, Denmark; NSU Press. (Distributed by Århus University Press). ) ISBN 978-87-87564-95-3. Further information here

Other Publications
McGuirk, T. (2016) Concrete Knowledge catalogue essay for the exhibition: Made and Considered of drawings by Dorothy Smith at darc space, 26 Nth Gt Georges St, Dublin 1, 20 May – 17 June 2016, Further information here

McGuirk T. (2012) Rococco Kipper (Image and text) in Quayle C. and Fauchon M. (Ed’s) (2010) Art & Design Staff Portfolio (Edition 250), Chester; University of Chester.

Curatorial Experience
2016–2017 Modern Drawings: Vision and Temperament, Exhibition, Grosvenor Museum, Chester. Further information here

2005 Exchange exhibitions between The Black Church Print Studio, Dublin and Danske Grafikere ­– The Danish Printmakers Association. Venues: The Original Print Gallery, Dublin, Ireland and Danske Grafikere Hus, Copenhagen, Denmark.

2003 Exchange exhibition between Black Church Print Studio and he New York Society of Etchers exhibitions in the Original Print Gallery Dublin and at various venues in New York, US.

2002  “Print/Estampe 2001: An Exchange of Irish and French Contemporary Prints. Participants: Le Trait, Paris, The Black Church Print Studio, and The Graphic Studio, Dublin. Venues – Dublin: The Original Print Gallery, the Graphic Gallery and Temple Bar Gallery and Studios.  Venues: Cité Internationale des Arts and Galeries Michele Btoutta, Paris. Grant aided by the Cultural Committee of Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, the French Embassy in Ireland and L’AFAA – L’Association Française d’Action Artistique, France, (see publications above).

2013 Bird-boxes in the outdoor exhibition "Above and Below" at Yarrangall Green Farm, Simmonds Hill, Manley, Frodsham, Cheshire. Work by staff, studnets and alumni from the Department of Art & Design at the University of Chester.
2012 Staff Portfolio Exhibition at CASC (Contemporary Art Space Chester) Chester, UK.
2004 Invited Artist: Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin.
2002 ‘Focus On Drawing’, Limerick City Gallery, Crawford Gallery Cork, and NCAD, Dublin.
2000 ‘Wish You Were Here’ Original Print Gallery, Dublin, Triskel Gallery Cork.
1998 ‘The Nude’ Solomon Gallery Dublin
1997 Group Show, Lambay Contemporary Art, Howth, Co. Dublin.
1996 NCAD 250, Drawings 1746–1996, (250 Anniversary of NCAD), Gallagher Gallery, Dublin.
1996 ‘Irish Painting’, Dillon Gallery London.
1995 Black Church Print Studio Exhibition, Original Print Gallery, Dublin.
1995 Invited Artist Royal Hibernian Academy Banquet Exhibition, RHA Gallagher Gallery Dublin.
1994 Arnotts National Portrait Award Exhibition, Dublin
1994 Oircachtas Annual Exhibition Guinness Hop Store, Dublin
1993 “X Marks” Artists from New Art Studios, RHA Gallagher Gallery Dublin
1991 John Ross, Belfast
1990 Portfolio, the New Arts Studio, Dublin.
1988 “A Place of Work” artists from New Artists Studios – Royal Hospital Killmainham,
1990 to 1996 & 1998 to 1999: RHA Annual Exhibitions, RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin
1987 Group Show, Kilkenny Arts Week “Five Artists”, James O’Donahue Gallery, Kilkenny.
1986 N.C.A.D. Decade Show, Guinness Hop Store, Dublin.
1986 National Portrait Award Exhibition, Arnotts, Dublin.
1984 Royal Dublin Society, Arts and Crafts Exhibition Award Winners, RDS, Dublin (see above)
1984 Graduate Show –Selected Graduates from Irish Art

Awards and scholarships
(1998) The Don Niccolo D’Ardia Caracciolo – Royal Hibernian Academy, Gold Medal for painting
(1986) Italian Government Scholarship to study drawing and printmaking at the Academia Della Belli Arti – Pietro Vanucci, Perugia, Italy
(1984) Royal Dublin Society Taylor Award and Higgins Scholarship.



Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
PhD in Art and Design Education, National University of Ireland. 2003
BA (Hons) Fine Art – Painting, National College of Art and Design. Dublin (NCAD), Ireland.1984
Diploma (ANCAD), Fine Art – Painting, National College of Art and Design. Dublin (NCAD), Ireland. 1983

Member of the Association of Art Historians (AAH) 2017
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) (UK)  2014