As part of my MFA at Nottingham Trent University, I’m undertaking a research project considering at what it means to work with abstraction now. I’m interested in learning about how different artists define, develop and articulate their practice to audiences.

I want to find the connections between inspirations, materials, processes and outcomes – partly to help me understand my own practice more, but to also celebrate the wonderfully diverse artists tackling abstraction today, telling one of many stories of contemporary abstraction.


Working in abstraction often makes meaning more difficult to explain in terms of its literal presentation, use of material, and the representation of ‘something’. These challenges, coupled with the limits of human perception, are fascinating and this project seeks to understand abstraction from a range of artist perspectives, historical and contemporary.

I plan to work with other artists using abstraction to collaboratively consider what creating abstract work means now, trying to identify common conceptual strands in how the artists approach their work, from the inspiration, to the use or material and process, and finally to the engagements they might create with audiences.

What is involved?
The project will involve informal interviews with artists working with abstraction from the UK, Europe and beyond, these will feature a series of discussion cues on the key themes of the research. The discussion is something that will evolve as more people become involved.
Where will the project lead?
This research project will contribute to my final year project and I will create a publication that talks about the things that join and differentiate artists working in abstraction today. Each artist who takes part in the project will receive an advance copy of the publication.
Want to find out more?
You can found out more about this project on my website: Re/Defining Abstraction Research — Paul Liptrot – Artist (