Prof Barbara Bolt

Associate Dean Research @ The Victorian College of the Arts and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

Professor Barbara Bolt holds a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of W.A., a Bachelor of Visual Art from Edith Cowan University, a Masters of Art (Visual Art) from Curtin University and Edith Cowan University and a PhD from Murdoch University. Barbara is currently Associate Dean Research at the Victorian College of the Arts and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (VCA and MCM) at the University of Melbourne.


Barbara Bolt was employed in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Melbourne in 2003. She transferred to the Faculty of VCA and MCM in 2008.  Prior to joining the University of Melbourne, she held academic positions at the University of Sunshine Coast, The Faculty of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Fine Art at The University of WA and was Head of Art and Design at Kalgoorlie College in regional Western Australia. Her outstanding contribution to teaching, research in practice-led research and research-led pedagogy, was recognized by a University of Melbourne Faculty of Arts Teaching Award in 2005.


She is a practising artist and art theorist. Her publications include two monographs Art Beyond Representation: The Performative Power of the Image (I.B. Tauris, 2004) and Heidegger Reframed: Interpreting Key Thinkers for the Arts (I.B. Tauris, 2011) and four  co-edited publications, Material Inventions: Applying Creative Arts Research (I.B. Tauris, 2014), Carnal Knowledge: Towards a “New Materialism” through the Arts (I.B. Tauris, 2013),  Practice as Research: Approaches to Creative Arts Enquiry (I.B. Tauris, 2007)  and Sensorium: Aesthetics, Art, Life (CSP, 2007).  She maintains a strong dialogue between practice and theory in her work. Publications such as ‘Elegy to an Oz Republic: First Steps in a Ceremony of Invocation towards Reconciliation’ (2015), ‘After Motherwell, after Manet and after Goya: the performative power of imaging and the intensely present’ (2015), ‘Whose Joy?: Giotto, Yves Klein and neon blue’ (2011), ‘Unimaginable happenings: material movements in the plane of composition’ (2010), ‘Rhythm and the performative power of the index: lessons from Kathleen Petyarre’s paintings’ (2006), ‘Shedding light for the matter’ (2000) and ‘Im/pulsive practices: painting and the logic of sensation’ (1997) have emerged from this dialogue. In 2008/9 she was part of a BBC World Service/Slade School of Art project A View from Here, which led to the production of the DVD production Neon Blue.


She is currently the lead researcher on an Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) project, ‘Developing new approaches to ethics and research integrity training through challenges posed by creative practice research.’ She is an ambassador for the cause of artistic research through her work on governing and editorial boards—The Society for Artistic Research, Studies in Material Thinking, Adelaide Central School of Art, Goldsmiths Press, Visual Methodologies and Studio Research. She is a member of the member of our International Reference Group GEXcel International Collegium for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies, and COST New Materialisms network on ‘How Matter Comes to Matter,” Website