UCL Faculty of Arts & Humanities


60 seconds with... Joy Sleeman

18 October 2019

Meet Joy Sleeman, Professor of Art History and Theory at the Slade School of Fine Art. Joy will be delivering her Inaugural Lecture 'The future in retrospect: Land art to the moon and back', on Tuesday 12 November. Read on for a sneak preview...

Joy Sleeman

Tell us a little about your research...

 I first wrote about Land art for my undergraduate extended essay at UCL in 1989/90. Little did I know then that I would still be working on it now! Although my focus began with, and has continued to concern, art made in Britain, I have worked with artists from Argentina, the USA and South Africa. The art I’m interested in is as likely to be found in a forest or by walking across a moor as in a gallery or museum, and my research often takes me to such places.

Why is your research important?

I am a tiny part of a much bigger research field. Many areas of scholarship share a concern with understanding landscape and human relationships to the natural world. I hope that my research goes some way to understanding the ‘art’ bit of that relationship, and to thinking about why the art in land art and landscape art is important. 

What inspires you in your work?

I am inspired by artists and by the ways in which art can leave resonance in the world even when it has disappeared from view. I love being outside in amazing landscapes and having a research area that means I can do that as part of my work.

What has been your most memorable career moment so far?

Running out of gas in Nevada while driving with friends to see an art work in the desert. 

What passions/hobbies do you have outside of work?

Swimming, watching football and knitting Clangers.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K Le Guin. I should have read this years ago.

Register on Eventbrite for Joy's lecture

Image: Ken Sleeman, 35mm slide of the moon landing on television in Bedworth, Warwickshire, 21st July 1969

Inaugural Lecture Series 2019/20

This lecture is part of the 2019/20 series for UCL's Faculty of Arts & Humanities and Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences. The series provides an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our professors who are undertaking research and scholarship of international significance, and offers an insight into the strength and vitality of the arts, humanities and social sciences at UCL.

All our lectures are free to attend and open to all. You don't have to be a UCL staff member or student to come along.

Lectures begin at 18:30 and are typically one hour long. A drinks reception will follow, to which everyone is welcome to join.

We look forward to meeting you at one of our events.

Take a look at the full programme below and register your place on our Inaugural Lectures Eventbrite page.