History of Art


Will Ballantyne-Reid

PhD supervisor: Professor Bob Mills 
Working title for PhD: 'Derek Jarman, Painter: Activism, Archives and Ephemera'

The British artist Derek Jarman (1942–1994) is best known as an experimental filmmaker and gay rights activist, and still relatively little remembered as a painter. This project represents a unique opportunity to generate new research on Jarman’s paintings and to situate them in the broader context of the artist’s activist politics, his activities as a collector of objects and ephemera, and creative responses to HIV/AIDS in Britain in the 1980s and early 1990s. In this way, my research aims to engage with the Prospect Cottage archive to shed new light on the history, politics and cultural impact of a modern pandemic in Britain. 

As a writer and curator, I have worked on projects with House of St Barnabas, i-D, Cromwell Place, Christie’s, House of Voltaire, Block336, Somerset House, Harlesden High Street, SHOWstudio, and the Royal Academy of Arts.

Conference papers and presentations 

  • Paris Ass Book Fair, Lafayette Anticipations - Paris, June 2022 (forthcoming)
  • NECS Graduate Workshop 2017, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3, 29 June - 1 July 2017


  • My PhD is fully funded by a London Arts and Humanities Partnership (AHRC) Studentship (2021-2024)