Collaborative art

Paul Gough, an artist of international renown, aims to take UWE to new heights through a focus on interdisciplinary work

June 11, 2009

Paul Gough, who will take up the newly created position of pro vice-chancellor for research, enterprise and knowledge exchange at the University of the West of England later this year, has a solid foundation to build on.

Following last year's research assessment exercise, UWE saw its research funding grow by more than 100 per cent, one of the biggest increases in the country. Professor Gough is confident that this success can drive the university to greater heights, particularly through more collaborative work within the institution.

"UWE has already shown that interdisciplinary work is effective, with the formation of centres such as the Institute for Sustainability, Health and the Environment and the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology," he said. "I hope to encourage more cross-disciplinary work in order to bring UWE more success in the future."

Professor Gough's remit will also see him unify research and enterprise activity across all subject areas at UWE. This is the core of its knowledge-exchange strategy, which aims to strengthen partnerships with industry.

"It's especially important for UWE to work in alliance with big organisations in a variety of industries, as research and enterprise activity go hand in hand," he said. "A lot of the research we do is applied and user-centred, but we need to make sure we are linked very closely to enterprise activity to ... help solve future problems."

Professor Gough is currently professor and executive dean of creative arts at UWE, and has held various managerial posts at the institution over the past 12 years. He has been an artist for various British Army regiments and the Royal Marines, and a broadcaster presenting arts programmes for ITV, Channel 4 and the BBC. He was also associate producer of the award-winning documentary Redundant Warrior, which focused on war photographer Don McCullin.

Professor Gough has a masters in painting from the Royal College of Art and a PhD on representations of conflict in British war art, which remains one of his main interests. As a painter, his work has been exhibited world-wide, including in solo shows in Australia and Canada. It has also featured in several permanent collections, including one at the Imperial War Museum in London.

Professor Gough boasts a film credit, too, for his work on the Aardman Animations movie Chicken Run (2000). He helped to compile images of the Yorkshire Dales from the 1950s, the period and setting for the film, which went on to form a scrapbook for the movie's art director, Tim Farrington. He takes up his new post on 1 September.

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