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David Osbaldeston

Reader in Fine Art

Some may say I do things with language. But principally, I use collage to draw directly upon the visual characteristics found in historical print, painting, and sculpture processes to examine relationships between images and words to represent actual or imagined identities.

Drawing forms the initial basis for what happens in the studio which evolves into a parallel programme of making often achieved through other kinds of media. As a result, each time a transformation takes place something different occurs. Ultimately, the process of making finds a way to speak or interfere with an established pattern of meaning such as perceptions of value, class, or identity which have always been the foundation for what I do.

A number of works are held in various public institutions including the Whitworth Art Gallery, Tate collection and library, and the British Council Collection.

I currently live and work between Manchester, London & Scotland and my work is represented in the UK by Matt's Gallery, London.

Further information:


External Examiner, MA/MFA Fine Art, & MA Art & Material Histories,
City & Guilds, London, 2022 - 26
External Examiner, BA, MA, Fine Art, UWE, Bristol, 2015-19
External Examiner, BA Fine Art, University of Reading, 2010
Lecturer in Fine Art, Painting & Printmaking,
Glasgow School of Art, 2006-8


Word Props

Through drawing, painting, and collage, a more economic approach to materials has recently generated new work best described as 'word props' where the starting point of each formal outcome is a measured space according to the width of the digits on my right hand. This approach has led to an accidental abstraction; one that pursues poetic equivalence between the interpretive power of the printed word (both its loaded connotation and as an abstract sign) and the power of drawing as an approximate measure of perception. Details…


David Osbaldeston is a member of the Art and Performance Research Hub.


Osbaldeston, D., 2024. A Pastiche of Different Techniques, Glasgow Print Studio, 5/4/2024 - 25/5/2024.

Hunt, A., Osbaldeston, D., 2022. David Osbaldeston 'A Pastiche of Different Techniques', Moon Grove, 24/11/2022 - 25/1/2023.

Osbaldeston, D., 2018. Abstract Things: The Serving Library V David Osbaldeston, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University, 2/11/2018 - 15/12/2018.

Osbaldeston, D., 2017. Drawing Biennial 2017, The Drawing Room, 02.03.17-26.04.17.

Incomplete Scenarios for an Unwritten FutureIncomplete Scenarios for an Unwritten Future

Osbaldeston, D., 2016. The Practice of Theories, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge.

Osbaldeston, D., 2015. Modern History Volume 1, 2, & 3 curated by Lynda Morris, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport, Bury Art Gallery, Manchester.

The Top & Bottom of It, Mechanism For a Future ReferenceThe Top & Bottom of It, Mechanism For a Future ReferenceThe Top & Bottom of It, Mechanism For a Future ReferenceThe Top & Bottom of It, Mechanism For a Future ReferenceThe Top & Bottom of It, Mechanism For a Future ReferenceThe Top & Bottom of It, Mechanism For a Future Reference

Osbaldeston, D., 2015. The Top & Bottom of It, Mechanism For a Future Reference, Matt's Gallery, London, 2015.

Osbaldeston, D., 2014. Annals of the Twenty Ninth Century, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge.

Osbaldeston, D., 2014. The Measure of All Things, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh., 15/3/2014 - 27/4/2014.

The Measure of All ThingsThe Measure of All Things

Osbaldeston, D., 2014. The Measure Of All Things, The City Dome, Collective Gallery, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh.

Inflection SandwichInflection SandwichLiving Matter

Osbaldeston, D., 2013. Living Matter - Inflection Sandwich, Piper Keys, London.

Combativeness (Ode to BLAST)

Osbaldeston, D., 2012. Marbled Reams, The Modern Institute, Glasgow.

Osbaldeston, D., 2010. A Model of the Serving Library (Diagram For A Search Engine), Amsterdam Kunstverein, Artists Space, New York 2011-12, Banff Centre, Canada 2011, Tate, Liverpool 2014.

Osbaldeston, D., 2010. Rijksakademie Open Ateliers, Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam.

Osbaldeston, D., 2008. Another Shadow Fight, International Project Space, University of Central England, Bourneville.

Osbaldeston, D., 2008. The Pleasure of Your Company - Nought to Sixty, ICA - The Institute of Contemporary Arts, 15/9/2008 - 22/6/2008.

Osbaldeston, D., 2008. The Pleasure of Your Company, ICA Galleries, Nought To Sixty, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

Osbaldeston, D., 2006. Your Answer is Mine, Matt's Gallery, 30/8/2006 - 8/10/2006.

Your Answer is Mine (detail)

Osbaldeston, D., 2006. Your Answer Is Mine, Matt's Gallery, London.


Osbaldeston, D., Holder, W., 2015. 'David Osbaldeston: Inflection Sandwich'.

Robin, K., Osbaldeston, D., 2007. 'A Trade Double, E3 4RR Portfolio'.

A Trade Double, lithographic print of woodcut

Osbaldeston, D, 2007. 'A Trade Double, Matt's Gallery Portfolio', A2 Folded Lithographic Ltd Edition Artwork. Made alongside 12 other national & international artists, designed by Phil Baines Professor in Typographic Design Central St Martins School of Art. Commissioned and produced by Matt's Gallery, London., Contemporary Art Society, Tate Gallery, British Council Collection, Leeds College of Art & Design, 2007-10.



Hunt, A & Osbaldeston, D, 2008. 'Another Shadow Fight: David Osbaldeston in conversation with Andrew Hunt', International Project Space, University of Central England, Birmingham.

Osbaldeston, D., 2004. 'On communication', Cornerhouse, Manchester.

Book Chapters

Osbaldeston, D., 2018. 'The Serving Library Annual 2018/19'. In The Serving Library Annual, Roma Publications.

Osbaldeston, D., 2004. 'The pen'. In Put about: a critical anthology on independent publishing, Book Works.

Journal Articles

Manifesto For a PhotocopierManifesto For a PhotocopierManifesto For a Photocopier

Osbaldeston, D., 2015. 'Manifesto For a Photocopier, Art Papers', ARTPAPERS, may/June 2015, 6.

Conference Papers

Osbaldeston, D., 2019. 'Abstract Now Abstract Then, Gustav Metzger & Contemporary Drawing', Drawing Research Forum, The Drawing Room, London, 1/11/2019 - 1/11/2019.