Professor Sheila Gaffney is Programme Director of Art and Performance and leads BA (Hons) Fine Art. Sheila has studied at Camberwell School of Art & Crafts, The Slade School of Fine Art, Goldsmiths University and the University of Leeds. Prior to her role now she acquired an extensive portfolio of teaching experiences which span Masters, BA (Hons), BTEC and Access levels of programme. She is currently External Examiner for University of Sussex, University of Teeside and University of Hull. Sheila is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was appointed as HEA Associate in September 2015, undertaking Accreditation of Frameworks and Individual Fellowship Recognition. She is a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors and a member of the steering group of the National Association of Fine Art Educators (NAFAE).

Sheila is a sculptor with a long commitment to crafts and the material object. Her research encounters psychoanalysis, life writing and making sculpture. It investigates their relationship through sculpture, drawing and scholarly writing. Using Christopher Bollas’s text The Shadow of the Object (1987) to map through and within the culture of UK sculpture pedagogy she demonstrates how a practitioner works with the psychic frame as an integral element of the sculptural imaginary.

Recent Publications

Gaffney, S. Modelling lines of sculptural thought: The use of a transcription project to interrogate, intervene and dialogue with a sculpture archive, in Le Feuvre, L. (ed) 2015 Henry Moore Institute Essays in Sculpture. 73: Active Archives, Henry Moore Foundation, ISSN 2047-2471 ISBN 978-1-905462-50-6, 2015.

Gaffney, S. Reflections On The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, in Bailey, R. (ed) Thought Positions in Sculpture: Artists’ Writing. Retrieved from, 2015 **

Gaffney, S. Embodied Dreaming in the Archive, In Bailey, R. (ed) 2015 Journal of Writing in Creative Practice. 7: 3 pp.387-401, doi: 1386/jwcp.7.3.387_1, 2014. **
Recent Creative and Critical Production

Recent Creative and Critical Production

Gaffney, S. 2016, The Future of Art Education, (Chair), Festival of Art & Design, Ulster University

Gaffney, S. 2016, Thought Positions in Sculpture, ROTOR, Huddersfield Art Gallery [Show/Exhibition]

Gaffney, S. 2015, Class Forms (Solo exhibition) Leeds Arts University Gallery [Show/Exhibition]

Bailey, R. (2015) Rowan Bailey in conversation with Sheila Gaffney -in the exhibition Class Forms @ Leeds Arts University. 16 January.

Gaffney, S. 2015, The Process Continues, Leeds Arts University Gallery [Show/Exhibition]

Gaffney, S. 2015, Shift Symposium: The Future of the Arts (panel member), University of Leeds

Gaffney, S. 2014, Tacit Knowledge, Syracuse University, NY USA (curator) [Show/Exhibition]

Gaffney, S. 2013, Sculpture, Photography and the Index, The Cooper Union School of Art, NYC, USA (curator) [Show/Exhibition]

Gaffney, S. 2012, Local Imagination, The Diego Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, CA, USA (curator) [Show/Exhibition]

Conference Papers

A conversation in, with and through sculpture: Practice Research Research Practice, University of Cumbria, July 2016

Lost Cause?: The Hidden Curriculum, NAFAE Symposium, London Metropolitan University, January 2016

On Specialism: Leeds Arts University Fine Art Symposium, Leeds Arts University, December 2015

Reflections on The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: ROTOR Thought Positions: Between Sculpture and the Archive Public Symposium, Heritage Quay University of Huddersfield, November 2015

Feminist practices, tactics and strategies in art and design education : Gender and Education Association Conference, University of Roehampton, June 2015

Embodied Dreaming in the Archive: The Process Continues Symposium, Leeds Arts University, March 2015

What role does professionalism have within the fine art curriculum?: Leeds Arts University Foundation Symposium, Leeds Arts University, December 2014

Modelling lines of sculptural thought: The use of a transcription project to interrogate, intervene and dialogue with a sculpture archive: Archival Interventions in Sculpture Panel, Association of Art Historians 40th Anniversary Conference, Royal College of Art, April 2014

Modelling lines of sculptural thought: The use of a transcription project to interrogate, intervene and dialogue with a sculpture archive: Inter-institutional Crit, The Hepworth Wakefield, April 2014

How do I know that the people who teach me know what they’re talking about?: Leeds Arts University Foundation Symposium, Leeds Arts University, November 2013

Sculpture: Looking up or down?: Class if ication Symposium, Leeds Arts University, July 2013

Locale: a case study: Close to Home: Artists Reconsider the Local, Land2 Symposium, East St Arts, July 2010

On Residencies: Professional Development Public Seminar Series, Union105 Gallery, East St Arts, 2010

Fit for Purpose: National Association of Fine Art Education Pedagogies and Practices Symposium, Swedenborg Society, March 2009

A fly in the studio – myriad viewpoints and professional development: The Diversity of Art Education Symposium, Leeds Arts University, November 2010

Theory and practice and its integration in teaching and the curriculum: Scholarship and Practice in the Arts and Humanities conference, The Open University, March 2008

Indexicality as aide memoire, and the imagined subject: AHRB CongressCATH 2005: The Ethics and Politics of Virtuality and Indexicality,
National Museum of Film and Photography, July 2005

Material Evidence: use of the figurative fragment in the construction of a social sculptural subject: The Fragmented Figure Conference, Cardiff School of Art and Design, June 2005

The Changing Class (not classification) of Sculpture: AHRB Congress CATH 2002: Translating Class, Altering Hospitality Leeds Town Hall, June 2002
Is the mainstream taboo?: Opening the Dialogues, Feminist Art Histories Network Conference, University of Leeds, June 1993

Educated for what?: Women & Art Education conference, Battersea Arts Centre, London, November 1982