Heather Mullender-Ross

Lecturer in Fine Art

School of Art, Design and Fashion

Hanover Building, HR101


Subject Areas: Art, Fine Art, Art History, Archives

Heather’s research is concerned with finding new ways to connect with factual, instructional, historical and archival materials. Often employing the use of embodied experience as enquiry her process often involves the use of re-construction and/or re-enactment – where materials are activated and mined for their creative and interpretative possibilities. The resulting work often provides a document of those interactions and places the viewer as an active agent in how meaning and knowledge are constructed.

Full Profile


  • PhD Time Past Contained in Time Present: Investigating Schwitters’ Merz Barn Wall as a Living Fragment, University of Newcastle. 2017-Present
  • MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art, London. Award: Distinction, 2013.
  • PGHELT (Postgraduate Higher Education Teaching and Learning), The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, 2010.
  • BA(hons) Degree in Fine Art, Grays School of Art, Aberdeen, The Robert Gordon University. Award: First Class, 2005.

Teaching activities and responsibilities

  • Tutorial responsibility for the MA Studio Practice pathway and the BA Fine Art pathway. 

Research Activities and projects

Heather is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD which focusses on the German artist, Kurt Schwitters with specific focus on his final ‘Merzbau’, The Merz Barn and on his years in exile in England (1941-48). She is working closely with the Hatton Gallery, concentrating on their archive, relating to the movement of Schwitters’ Merz Barn Wall from Elterwater to the Hatton Gallery in 1965.

Heather’s most recent project entitled ‘The Losses’ employs Schwitters’ ‘Merz’ philosophy to consider how archival fragments may be re-constructed or reformed to offer new readings of his Merz Barn Wall, situated in the Hatton Gallery. In addition, how the language of conservation, restoration and archival study – as constantly evolving activities – form part of the viewer’s experience of engaging with the Wall as a fragment itself, which continues to be re-imagined.


2020 The Losses, catalogue. The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle (solo exhibition).

2018 Kurt Schwitters’ Ursonata, The Kurt Schwitters Society Newsletter (online International distribution).

2018 Towards A Gestural Archaeology of Kurt Schwitters’ Pointless Collage (or How I Learned About Schwitters’ Work Through Painting Leftovers), Intellect Journal (JAWS), London.

2017 The Caravan Press: Making Visible The Archive of Gwyneth Alban Davis, by Typ-ooo North. This publication is available at specific reference libraries which include: The British Library; The Armitt Museum; The Sprengel Museum and The Glasgow Women’s Library.

More publications

Selected Awards:

  • 2018 Northern Bridge Research and Development Grant
  • 2017 AHRC Northern Bridge Consortium Studentship Award
  • 2017 Heritage Lottery 'Sharing Heritage' Award
  • 2012 The Dewar Arts Award
  • 2012 McFarlane Charitable Trust Award
  • 2010 Alistair Salvesen Traveling Scholarship to Japan, RSA, Edinburgh.
  • 2009 Shell Premier Award, Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum
  • 2007 Royal Scottish Academy Guthrie Award
  • 2006 Royal Scottish Academy Guthrie Award
  • 2006 Scottish Arts Council Artist In Residence, His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen
  • 2006 Royal Scottish Academy Meyer Oppenheim Award
  • 2005 Royal Scottish Academy John Kinross Scholarship to Florence
  • 2005 Royal Scottish Academy Painting Prize and McLean Waters Medal

Selected Group Exhibitions:

  • 2018 Gathering, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle.
  • 2018 The State of Print (Touring DCA, Scotland; Spike Island, Bristol; Artlab, Preston)
  • 2018 Merzwomen and the Daughters of Dada, University of Cumbria, Carlisle
  • 2017 A Bird In The Head, Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, London
  • 2017 The Caravan Press: Making Visible the Archive of Gwyneth Alban Davis, Florence Mine, Cumbria.
  • 2017 Post Truth (screening) Sheffield Hallam University
  • 2017 Hanover Research Group, Bloc Projects, Sheffield
  • 2016 Film/Sound/Performance, The Brunel Museum, London
  • 2016 Works For Air, Hanover Project, Preston
  • 2016 One Minute Volume 9 (Touring Internationally)
  • 2015 Concrete Gestures, Brunel Museum, London
  • 2014 Taint, GRAD Gallery, London

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

  • 2020 The Losses, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle.
  • 2019 All The Better To Hear You With, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle
  • 2018 The Loud and the Soft Speakers, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle
  • 2018 Patterns of Consumption, Long Gallery, Newcastle University
  • 2017 All The Better To Hear You With...My Dear Gwyneth, Merz Barn, Cumbria 2015
  • Domestic Dawn Chorus, Studio 3 Arts, London. 2013
  • Things to Come, Chelsea College of Art
  • 2012 Slices of Space, Arts Complex, Edinburgh
  • 2011 Constants In Practice, The Royal Scottish Academy, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh

External Activities

  • Previous Co-Director and Founder of SKELF projects online platform
  • Co-Director of Typ-ooo North


  • 2019 The Loud and the Soft Speakers: A Practice-Based Investigation of Kurt Schwitters' 'The Silence Poem', The Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany.
  • 2019 Kurt Schwitters’ Silence Poem, RCA AHRC Conference.
  • 2018 Women in Print, Into A Better Shape, Harris Art Gallery and Museum, Preston.
  • 2018 Performing Pointlessness, TAPRA Conference, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London.
  • 2017 All The Better To Hear You With, Merz North 4, The University of York
  • 2016 Making Meaning' AHRC Postgraduate Consortium, Manchester.