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Photo of Dr Daniel Fountain

Dr Daniel Fountain

Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture (E&R)

Dr Daniel Fountain is a Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Exeter. They teach modern and contemporary art across theory, history and practice, and convene the subject specialist module 'Common Threads: Art, Craft and Activism' which focuses on the relationships between craft and activism through queer, feminist and decolonial approaches.

Daniel's research interests relate to queer contemporary art and craft. His first book Crafted With Pride: Queer Craft and Contemporary Activism in Britain (Intellect and the University of Chicago Press, 2023) is an edited collection of critical essays, oral histories, and creative responses from artists, activists, academics and curators who reflect on queer craft and the material cultures of LGBTQ+ activism in Britain since the 1980s. He is now working on a monograph provisionally titled Queer Crafts: Materiality, Identity, Contemporary Practice (Bloomsbury, 2025) which will explore how creative practitioners have engaged with a broad range of craft materials and processes to explore queer identities, including creative engagements with textile, ceramic, metal, wood, paper, and glass. Daniel's research has been supported by the Association For Art History, Paul Mellon Centre, Pasold Research Fund, The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, and Arts Council England, among other institutions.

As an artist, Daniel has exhibited artwork on an international level and their work has been featured in a number of publications including Surface Design Journal, Crafts, and Embroidery: The Textile Art Magazine. Daniel also has extensive experience as a cultural producer and they have co-produced public programmes with a range of organisations such as Crafts Council, National Museums Liverpool, Watts Gallery, The Grundy Art Gallery, Tate, and Paul Mellon Centre.

Before joining Exeter in 2021, Daniel developed substantial experience in the Higher Education sector through teaching and research roles at Loughborough University, Nottingham Trent University, and Manchester Metropolitan University. He has delivered guest lectures at The Royal School of Needlework, University of Glasgow, University of Manitoba, and University of British Colombia. Daniel holds a PhD from Loughborough University where they completed a practice-based project in the Centre of Feminism, Sexual Politics and Visual Culture.

More details about Daniel’s work can be found via their website, or you can follow them on Twitter.


Pronouns: he/they

Office: Queens Building, BG33

Internal roles: Senator, LGBTQ+ Staff Network Co-Ordinator, and Non-Binary Representive for the Gender Equality Group

Research supervision

I have experience of supervising and examining both standard and practice-based PhD projects in my areas of research. I am currently accepting proposals from prospective students wishing to explore the following topics via the standard PhD route or the PhD by practice route:

  • Contemporary art, craft, and design
  • Fashion and dress history
  • Feminist, queer, and trans theory
  • LGBTQIA+ history and culture
  • Visual and material cultures of activism

Research students

2022— Sarah K. Godfrey, 'Creeping Into Myself: Smocking, Pleating and Folds as a Transgender Orientation' [Practice-based PhD]. Director of Studies. Co-supervised by Dr Conor Wilson, Bath Spa University (AHRC Funded).

2021— Cecilia Neil-Smith, ‘Mermaids and Sirens as Figures of Indeterminate Gender in Victorian Art and Literature (1860-1910)'. Co-supervised with Dr Patricia Zakreski.

Research through practice

Curated Projects

Queerly Made is a curatorial project that started as an Instagram page in May 2020 (@queerly_made), where I featured the work of LGBTQ+ artists as a means of exploring queer approaches to materials and practices. Since then, the project has evolved into a much larger platform to spotlight the work of LGBTQ+ artists. In 2021 it was selected by UK New Artists as part of their Future Producers programme and awarded funding from Arts Council England. This enabled me to commission new work by emerging UK-based artists Claye Bowler, Dan Chan and Matthew Rimmer, whose practices all explore themes of queer transformation and transitioning which led to a multi-site exhibition at Abingdon Studios and Grundy Art Gallery.

Crafted with Pride emerged from my practice-research which has often used textile processes and techniques to explore themes of gender and sexuality. Commissioned by the Queer British Art Research Group, a sub-group of the Tate and Paul Mellon Centre’s British Art Network, Crafted with Pride began as a curated public programme. Rather than conceptualising craft as a fixed set of objects, I suggested that we might think about the term as a process – of crafting identity, crafting community, and crafting change. I curated a full day of discussions and workshops to explore the role of craft, broadly speaking, within queer activism in Britain. Working with a number of the academics, artists, activists, and curators who presented at the event, I am now in the process of developing an edited collection to ensure these stories of LGBTQ+ art and culture can be told more widely. The collection is under contract with Intellect Books and will be published in 2023. It has been funded by the Association For Art History, Paul Mellon Centre, and Pasold Research Fund.

Re-imagining Citizenship is an ongoing interdisciplinary research project, a collaboration of the Politicized Practice, Anarchism and Theatre Activism Research Groups at Loughborough University. Since 2014, artists, researchers and associates of the three Research Groups have organised exhibitions, installations, performances and events to explore the potential for art practices to re-imagine what citizenship means in theory and practice. This included exhibitions at the Martin Hall Exhibition Space and at Nottingham Contemporary. As part of the 2019 Venice Biennale, we also had our Activity Station work installed at Palazzo Mora, distributed copies of the Re-Imagining Citizenship Activity Book, and several members ran workshops and reading groups.



it's a joy to be here, 87 Gallery Hull, 25 March – 1 April

TIPPING POINT, Studio KIND, 7–28 January


We Are Here, Exeter Phoenix, 1 November – 1 December

ALPHA, AIR Gallery, Manchester, 23 September – 22 October

Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, 6 – 9 October

Diverse Voices in Textiles, Martin Hall Gallery, 6 June – 29 July


Breeding Grounds, Two Queens, Leicester, 16 – 18 July

Festival of Quilts, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, 29th July – 1st August


Two Queens Members Show, Two Queens, Leicester, 22 October – 31 October

TOUCH ME, Online, 19 September – 8 November

Queer Contemporaries, AIR Gallery, Manchester, 27 August – 19 September

Riposte X Club, Virtual Exhibition and Club Night, 9 May

Queer Art(ists) Now, Archive Gallery, London, 13 – 22 March 

LANDED, Loughborough University, 28 February 

Slippery and Subversive, Wellington B. Gray Gallery, North Carolina, 6 – 26 January


Personal Structures – Identities, 2019 Venice Biennale, Palazzo Mora, European Cultural Centre, 11 May – 24 November

Crafting Change, Parkside Gallery, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, 12 – 29 March

Re-Imagining Citizenship, Martin Hall Gallery, Loughborough University, 13 – 29 March


Vinylism 2.0, Tent Gallery, Edinburgh, 3 – 14 July 

Vinylism, Edinburgh Central Library, Edinburgh, 11 – 30 May


Equal/Human, University of Leicester, March


Aberystwyth Printmakers, Minerva Arts Centre, Llanidloes, 4 – 19 April 

Aberystwyth Printmakers, Oriel Q, Narbeth, 20 March – 25 April 

The Open: Young Wales, The Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy, 9 – 20 January 

External impact and engagement

I am deeply committed to working in collaboration with community partners, curators and creative practitioners to ensure that my socially-engaged research has a wider impact beyond academia. I regularly deliver public talks at museums and galleries and have been commissioned to curate a range of public programmes. Key highlights relating to external engagement and impact include:

2022    Pride at the Crafts Council: the UK’s national charity for craft commissioned me to curate a series of workshops for LGBTQIA+ families to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pride. This was delivered in collaboration with leading artists Liaqat Rasul, Al Hil, and Jacob V. Joyce. I have since acted as an independent equality advisor and have published work on their website and in their prestigious magazine Crafts about the activist-ceramicist, Angus Suttie.

2022    RAAM About Town: commissioned by Creative Arc, Exeter Culture and RAAM, I led a public engagement project with Professor Jana Funke (English, Exeter), Dr Ina linge (German, Exeter) and Lena Worwood (EDI Advisor, Exeter), to explore Exeter’s queer heritage and future.

2021    First Outing: a multi-site exhibition at the Grundy Art Gallery and Abingdon Studios in Blackpool, funded by UK New Artists (UKNA) and Arts Council England. Included a micro-residency for LGBTQIA+ artists Claye Bowler, Dan Chan and Matthew Rimmer to explore marginality and research findings presented at the 2021 a-n Assembly, titled ‘The Coast is Queer’. We also received a range of press coverage, including a feature in Corridor8.

2021    Crafted With Pride: curated an online symposium in collaboration with the Queer British Art Network, Tate, Paul Mellon Centre and National Museums Liverpool. It featured workshops, talks, and in-conversations with artists, heritage professionals, curators, activists and academics. With many of these collaborators, I have produced an edited collection which is due to be published with Intellect Books.

2020    Being Human Festival: collaborating with Dr Freya Gowrley and Dr Cath Feely on producing a series of podcasts and virtual events with Derby Museums, Derbyshire Record Office, Derby Local Studies Library and the National Trust. Workshops I ran have been cited as a case of exemplary creative pedagogy in E. Bassett et al., ‘Getting Scrappy in the Classroom During COVID-19: Collaboration, Open Educational Resources, and Hands-on Learning for Humanities Students’, KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination and Preservation Studies, 6 (1), pp. 1-18.

2019    Re-Imagining Citizenship: I worked with members of the Politicised Practice Research Group at Loughborough University to organise exhibitions, installations, performances and events that sought to redefine ideas of citizenship and nationhood that are not prescribed or restricted by the language of the political establishment or the media, but rather opened up and expanded by artistic research methods. This led to the publication of the Re-Imagining Citizenship Book (2019) and an exhibition at the European Cultural Centre - Pallazo Mora as part of the 2019 Venice Biennale.

Contribution to discipline

I am an Advisory Board Member of The Journal of Dress History; the academic publication of The Association of Dress Historians (ADH) through which scholars can articulate original research on the history of dress, textiles, and accessories in a constructive, interdisciplinary, and peer reviewed environment.

From 2019-2021 I served on the Association for Art History’s Doctoral and Early Career Researcher (DECR) Network Committee which provides a support system and platform for current PhD students and Early Career Researchers engaged with Art History and Visual Culture. I delivered an extensive annual programme of events and initiatives including our annual Professional Development Day, Dissertation Prizes, and symposia such as our 2020 New Voices Conference, Global New Voices: Art, Craft and Industry, which I co-organised. This conference provided a key opportunity for researchers, makers and practice-researchers to open a dynamic discussion about the similarities, divergences and interconnectivity of art, craft and industry taking place in a global context.

I have peer-reviewed book manuscripts for Bristol University Press and for journals including TEXTILE: Cloth and CultureCraft Research and Revenant: Critical and Creative Studies of the Supernatural.


My artwork has been featured in a range of publications including Surface Design Association’s issue on Spontaneity and Play in Fiber Art, the Festival of Quilts Magazine, and Embroidery: The Textile Art Magazine. Alongside artists such as Catherine Opie and Zanele Muholi, Rise Art selected me as one of seven world-leading LGBTQ+ artists 'challenging the canon' of art history and I am also a featured artist on Craft Conscious as part of their ‘Craft and Gender’ series alongside artists including Harmony Hammond, Sheila Pepe and Faith Wilding.

I have written a range of art criticism for a range of popular journals such as Decorating DissidenceBurlington Contemporary, and MAP Magazine.


I teach across a range of modules at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level. I am Module Convener for Common Threads: Art, Craft and Activism (AHV2019) and Contemporary Visual Practices (AHV2007). I also teach on the MA Curation: Contemporary Art and Cultural Management. In 2020, I was appointed a Fellow of Advance HE and have completed several qualifications on disability and mental health awareness.

Modules taught

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