Terence Quinn – PhD Personal Statement – Sept 2018

I am the first person in my extended family to stay at school past age 15. Despite having demonstrated a talent for art, given my early life circumstances, I did not consider art a viable employment option. Instead I pursued a long career in technology, including senior positions in IBM and selling my own software company, which allowed me to retrain and practice as a garden designer.

Whist designing gardens I also attended part-time courses and weekly studio practice in portrait and life drawing, first at Putney School of Art then at the Cheyne Drawing Studio based at the London Sketch Club. During this time, I exhibited at both venues and sold some of my life drawings at the Daggart Gallery, Notting Hill. I also experimented with professional digital photography using the iPhone, taking several part-time courses at Kensington & Chelsea College where a selection of my photographs were exhibited. These experiences kindled my desire to undertake a third career as an artist. I decided to join an art school where utilising my technology background, I could explore the intersection of art and technology. That led to my two-year practice led research MA in Fine Art Digital at UAL Camberwell School of Art and my recent staff appointment as a visiting practitioner. I now focus on storytelling, exploring a mixture of traditional art and the latest technologies.

My ability to add new knowledge in a practice led research PhD is evidenced by:

  • A Distinction in my MA. Transcripts include “Overall, your progress on the course has been incredible…Evidence of analysis which potentially contributes new ideas, processes or knowledge to the field or is ground breaking in a way that would be recognised as valid by experts in the field”.
  • My final MA Show exhibit, ‘The Refugees’ Crisis’ being the subject of a recent BBC Radio 4 iPM Programme. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p058pzvh .This artwork breaks fresh ground artistically by incorporating Mixed Reality (MR) into a physical installation. http://blogs.arts.ac.uk/pgcommunity/2017/09/27/the-refugees-crisis/. In February 2018, I exhibited this again and spoke at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford University.
  • My PhD research proposal following on directly from my MA research paper (Distinction grade A+), which explores the ‘digital gap’ in our cultural heritage resulting from unresolved issues with the conservation of born-digital art. https://terencemquinn91.org/2016/10/05/research-paper-digital-to-physical-made-to-last-will-functioning-digital-art-be-part-of-our-future-cultural-heritage/. One of the aims of my PhD research is to provide a possible solution.
  • Technical research for my PhD building on a long and deep experience in computer technology. Whilst waiting to start a PhD, my research has continued informally. I have exhibited at Tate Modern for Tate Exchange in 2017 and 2018, http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern/tate-exchange and at Tate Lates March 2018.
  • Regular attendance of the monthly Augmented Reality Forum held at UCL and other events including VR World and Lumen Prize.
  • Membership of EVA London (Electronic Visualisation and the Arts) and Volumetric Filmmakers NYCU.
  • Consistent visits to art galleries and museums, including Venice Biennale 2017, and the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam in 2018. I am a friend of RA and Tate.My wife is a member of the Museums Association, and a volunteer in the Theatre and Performance archives of the V&A.
  • My own home office with advanced facilities including equipment for 3D scanning, volumetric filmmaking, virtual and mixed reality, binaural audio recording, IoT and photography.


My art practice is concerned with immersive storytelling and current social issues.

I use Mixed Reality (a form of VR allowing 3D virtual objects to be combined with my physical art installations) and binaural audio in order to increase empathic response from the audience. Physical art installations consist of digitally fabricated sculpture set amongst a video background projected on all surrounding walls. Visitors first see this, then use either headphones (with inbuilt audio players) or a Mixed Reality visor, currently the Microsoft HoloLens to experience added layers to the work. These devices allow the user to freely walk around the installation while experiencing actors performing alongside huge-scale 3D replicas of the sculptures, both appearing as part of the physical installation.

I have entered my art installation ‘The Refugees’ Crisis’ for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2018, which if successful would be exhibited in Spring 2019.


Academic and practice based research for my PhD at Kingston University

I plan to submit two papers to EVA London 2019, the first based on my MA research paper concerned with issues relating to the conservation of digital art, and the second a short introduction to my PhD research.

I will investigate the possibility of working with Kingston University Centre for Augmented and Virtual Reality (CAVE), a facility of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing. In particular, I would like to set up a pilot for Volumetric Filmmaking using my own equipment, which if successful KU may wish to expand this to a full capability. This is part of my planned PhD practice based research as it is a portable facility to volumetrically record both static art (paintings and sculpture), as well as movement (art installations and performance) in a museum and art institution setting. This will contribute to an archive that will enable recorded art to be viewed as though it were physically present in a real world environment using Mixed Reality glasses, a glasses free holographic display, or AR projection mapping. Artworks in the collections of other institutions that have been captured in 3D could also be brought into this archive, and viewed in the same way.

I maintained a WordPress Blog for my MA, which I am continuing for my PhD. This can be viewed at www.terencemquinn.com .

I have already established a file of my PhD research on Evernote, with currently over 1300 items including research papers, articles, and books. I can provide access to all or part of this record to my PhD Supervisors if requested. I am in the process of building a detailed Mind Map for my PhD which can also be shared and discussed in order to agree an appropriate programme of research.







Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s