Deanna Petherbridge CBE is an artist, writer and curator primarily concerned with drawing. Her practice is drawing-based (predominantly pen & ink drawings on paper), although she has also produced large-scale murals and designed for the theatre.
Since the early 1990’s she has been promoting the importance of drawing in relation to contemporary art practice in journal articles, books, catalogues, exhibitions, public lectures and conference papers including the series Drawing towards Enquiryat the National Gallery in London in 2006, in association with the University of the Arts, and Camberwell School of Art. In addition to articles, essays and chapters in books concerned with issues of drawing in a trans-historical context, her book The Primacy of Drawing: Histories & Theories of Practice, Yale University Press was published June 2010 in the USA and UK. It examines the importance of drawing as significant practice in Western art history from the fifteenth century as well as its relevance to contemporary artists working with multiple practices: the book proposes an ambitious and novel agenda for the study of drawing. Its publication was supported with a grant from the Chora Project, USA.
Her most recent solo exhibition was Petherbridge Alone with Soane, in Sir John Soane’s country house, Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing, 2008, which accompanied an exhibition of eight international artists in the PM gallery, curated by herself, entitledDrawing as Vital Practice.
Deanna Petherbridge (Professor Emeritus, University of the West of England, Bristol) was Visiting Professor of Drawing at the University of the Arts London from 2009 to 2012. She was Professor of Drawing at the Royal College of Art from 1995 to 2001 where she launched the Centre for Drawing Research, the first doctoral programme in drawing in the UK and ran an extensive course of drawing workshops and open lectures for the whole college. She was Arnolfini Professor of Drawing at the University of the West of England, Bristol between 2002 & 2006 and held a two year Research Professorship at the University of Lincoln 2007 – 2009.
As a visiting artist and academic, Deanna Petherbridge has undertaken a number of residencies and lecture tours, including Lahore Pakistan, 2005 and Melbourne, Australia in 2003. She was a Research Scholar at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles 2001 – 2001, and undertook a research fellowship at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven during 2007. She was artist-in-residence at the National Art School, Sydney during February and March 2011. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Design by Kingston University, London in 2001 and became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1998.
Other research areas of particular interest to Petherbridge are the relationship of art and science (particularly in relation to anatomy); vernacular architecture; and issues of bodily representation (for example, representations of female witches in Western Art explored in the exhibition Witches & Wicked Bodies, 2013 – 2015)