Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Repetition is ubiquitous across all fields of human endeavour from clinical scientific enquiry to daily routine. It is well contextualised through philosophical consideration from Plato’s mimesis through to postmodern simulacra and beyond. It also has a fundamental position within visual art practice, it may for example be generative, accumulative or definitive of a limit or failure. Repetition is implicitly linked to time, temporality, recurrence and in Nietzschean terms to ‘this moment’. It can disrupt and disperse authorship through transient forms of presentation, (including the viewer) or equally claim its own authorship through procedural systems of production. This practice-based research will consider how repetition may operate through contemporary art practice, either towards its conception, process, presentation or form. The type of visual practice is open to the researcher’s specialism (sculpture, painting, performance, film, photography etc or a combination of). The aim is to classify more clearly the differing modes of repetition as identified through visual art practice and acknowledge the implications this may have for understanding the object of art.

  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated based on no. of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


Dr Jill Townsley is currently an ‘Artist Expert’ for the EU Commission, and has been artist in residence at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Italy. The JRC is a community of researchers appointed to advise EU policy. Jill has developed work for the EU funded ‘Resonance III festival’ in October 2019. The theme for the festival was Big Data, she is collaborating with the JRC researcher in computer systems and security, Carlo Ferigato on a project called FOREVER-DO. This multi-faceted project  utilises research on data visualisation and Petri Net systems and has resulted in a socially relational game the FOREVER-DO Game, which was presented at the Milan Digital Week in March 2019. It was further developed as the FOREVER-DO Game 2, for presentation at the JRC in October 2019 and incorporated digital tracking and visualisation alongside the analogue game. A large-scale installation the FOREVER-DO Infestation, was also presented at the Resonance III festival and a short documentary film The FOREVER-DO Project, was shown at the BOZAR(LAB) in Brussels in 2019-20.

Jill was awarded the ‘Juried Press Award’ for work exhibited in the ‘7th International Arte Laguna Prize’ held at the Venice Arsenale, Italy (2013). She was represented by Project 4 Gallery in Washington DC, and has had her work reviewed in the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Independent and the art Journal ‘Artfractures’.

Her work explores ideas of repetition, process and scientific collaboration, predominantly through large-scale sculpture and installation, often including time-based media, especially time-lapse animation that documents her process, or the temporality of her large sculptures. Her exhibitions may also explore drawing and photography. She studied Sculpture at the Royal College of Art and has a practice-based PhD in Fine Art from Liverpool University, for which she received a Gladstone Fellowship from the University of Chester.

She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Project 4 Gallery in Washington DC, USA, The Nunnery Gallery, London, University Gallery Hertfordshire,  Huddersfield Art Gallery. Her work has also been exhibited in seminal group exhibitions such as ‘Second Lives – Remixing the Ordinary’, (2008 – 09) at the Museum of Art and Design in New York, exhibiting alongside artists including Ai Weiwei, Cornelia Parker and Do Ho Suh. She has had work commissioned by the Towner Gallery for the exhibition ‘Compulsive, Obsessive, Repetitive’ (2011) and by the international architects firm Gensler for the offices of Clifford Chance in Washington DC. Jill has had an essay published in an Arts Council funded book 100 Things Not Worth Repeating: On Repetition (2011) edited by Marianne Holm Hansen and published by Lemon Melon, and conference publications in Brazil and Portugal. A book chapter ‘The FOREVER-DO Game: A big data fishing expedition’ authored with her scientific collaborator Carlo Ferigato will be published in the Springer book “Technology, Design and the Arts – Challenges and Opportunities” (eds. Earnshaw R.A. Liggett S. Excell P.S. and Thalmann D) in May 2020.

Research Expertise and Interests

Repetition embedded within the process of art production

Research Degree Supervision

Click Here to see all postgraduate research opportunities with Dr Jill Townsley


Dive into the research topics where Jill Townsley is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles


Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or