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Professor Alec Shepley

Dean of Faculty, Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology

Staff Profile

Professor Alec Shepley

Room: Room 2, Regent Street


+44 (0) 1978 294454


Alec is Professor of Contemporary Art Practice and the Dean of Faculty, Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology and at Wrexham Glyndŵr University.

He has held a number of senior posts in HE UK and has been a practising artist for over 30 years.

Alec’s individual and collaborative research has attracted funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the British Council, the Arts Council of England and the Arts Council of Wales and his work has been exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally, with pieces held in a number of public and private collections in North America, Europe and Asia.

He has been an active participant in national and international artistic research for several years and his individual and socio-collaborative art research has attracted funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the British Council, the Arts Council of England and the Arts Council of Wales.

In his artistic practice, Alec explores fragmentation, labour and dematerialisation. Through processes which extend and stretch the language of painting and sculpture into video, performance and installation, his works become more a means of encounter rather than an end in themselves, providing a document of art as social engagement. Through intertwining reality and fiction, he engages in urban pilgrimages and improvised sites of engagement, which often draw in members of the public.

PhD Fine Art (2000) ‘Installation art practice and the fluctuating frame’ Manchester Metropolitan University

MA Fine Art (1993) Sheffield Hallam University

PGCE (1987) Manchester Polytechnic

BA (Hons) Fine Art (1983) Wolverhampton Polytechnic

BA (Hons) Fine Art

MA Art Practice & Design Practice

PhD and MPhil Supervision


Idiosyncratic Spaces and Uncertain Practices: Drawing, Drifting and Sweeping Lines Through the Sand’ Book Chapter (7) in Journeaux, J. & Gorrill, H. 2018 Drawing Conversations: Collective and Collaborative Drawing in Contemporary Practice Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2018

The Art School as Heterotopia and the Hidden Curriculum 12th International Conference on The Arts in Society, The American University of Paris, Paris, France 14–16 June 2017

Disclosing ambivalence and uncertainty: contouring, drawing and the paradox of escapology Association of Art Historians, 43rd Annual Conference 6-8April 2017


The Persistence of Escapology: The Relevance of Indeterminate Practices in Contemporary Art and Thinking through Unmaking 11th International Conference on the Arts in Society: The Practice of Art in the Age of the Anthropocene. University of California, 10-12 August, 2016


Yet to be determined: space, site and overlapping concepts of drifting and drawing as tools for social interaction (aka ideated idiocy….) Drawing Conversations: Reflecting upon Collective and Collaborative Drawing Experiences Conference, University of Coventry, 4 December 2015

Brief Encounters: delayed closure as a social art practice Sharing Cultures International Conference, Lagos, Portugal, 21-23 September 2015

Disclosing ambivalence. Thinking through uncertainty and the paradox of escapology Paradox Conference, Paradox European Forum, 9-11 September 2015, University of the Arts, Poznan, Poland

Student as Curator: Exhibition Methodologies Expanded + Reimagined Symposium on Embedding Partnership in Teaching and Learning in HE, 6 June 2015, University of Lincoln.

Ibid Sisyphean Projects ISBN: 978-0-9931928-0-7 published March 2015 (


Insert: Draft for an Operating Manual, Score for Choreography, Plan for Exhibition Raqs Media Collective, Published by Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation, Mumbai. (February 2014)

Camping in a Mud House: Ruins and Fragments as Tropes of Reflexivity, Conference paper, 9th International Conference on the Arts in Society,
Sapienza University of Rome, 25-27 June 2014 (conference paper & article in The International Journal of Arts Theory and History. ISSN 2326-9952 


Entropic Union Shepley, A. with contextual essay by Professor Nick Temple, University of Huddersfield. Published by Galeria Legnica, Poland (June 2013) ISBN: 978-83-62534-31-9.


Site Drawing : Drawing Site, Shepley, A.  Tyler School of Art, USA (January 2011) ISBN: 978-1-905527-26-7.


My road to ruin: the studio without walls. International Sensuous Knowledge Conference 5, 23-26 September 2008, Kunsthøgskolen/National Institute for the Arts, Bergen.

Songs for Artists, Shepley, A. Nunnery Gallery, Bow Arts Trust (September 2008) ISBN  978-0-946881-58-1.


Un-framing: Towards Repeated Acts of Deferral and Fracture in Fine Art Practice, Production and Consumption Repeat, Repeat Conference, University of Chester

Border Crossing, Shepley, A. Arts Council of Wales, Wrexham Arts Centre & Galeria Bielska, Bielsko-Biala, Poland, April 2007. ISBN 978-0946881-47-2.


Borderlines, Shepley, A. Galeria Bielska, Bielsko-Biala, Poland, April 2005. ISBN     0946881316.

Contemporary art practice and social engagement.


  • Grants for the Arts — The Arts Council of England, 2014
  • Travel Award — British Council, 2010
  • Research Fellowship — University of Wales, 2007
  • Individual Artist’s Grant — The Arts Council of Wales, 2006
  • Collaborative Research Training Provision — AHRC, 2006
  • Collaborative Research Training Provision — AHRC, 2004

Professional Affiliations

External Activities and Consultancy

  • Journal Article Reviewer for Austrian Science Fund (FWF) Program for Arts-based Research (PEEK)
  • Associate Editor for The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice (Common Ground Publishing)
  • Member of East Midlands Visual Arts Network (EMVAN)