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Dr Catherine Dormor


  • Catherine Dormor
  • Area

    Research, Knowledge Exchange & Innovation


    Head of Research Programmes

  • Catherine works to oversee, develop and expand the College’s current MPhil/PhD programme. This includes the introduction and growth of research Master's programmes (including MRes degrees), developing and introducing alternative doctoral routes (including industry-facing and flexible professional doctorates) and PhDs by publication, and leading on the development of professional research training for RCA staff, students and external clients. 

    She works with colleagues to manage the RCA’s externally funded research degree provision and future applications to RCUK and other funders. 

  • Biography

  • With a background in both Maths and Textiles, Catherine is a practising artist and researcher.  Her research is concerned with bringing together the materiality, imagery and language of cloth as a way for thinking, making and writing about materiality and making. Catherine's practice incorporates stitch, photography, video installation and sculpture, always referencing cloth, its structures and behaviours. Theoretical perspectives are drawn from feminist art theory and philosophies, material culture and ideas surrounding the communication of tacit knowledge.

    These theoretical frameworks feed into her pedagogical practice, which is based upon the concept of knowledge exchange as dialogic and shared.

    Catherine's current publication project, under contract from Bloomsbury, is a book focusing upon ways and means of bringing practice-based and theoretical approaches to textile: A Philosophy of Textile: Practice & Theory. This will develop thinking through exploration of The Seam, Fraying Edges, Folded Cloth, The Caress, The Shimmer and The Viscous. She has also contributed a chapter to The Erotic Cloth: Seduction and Fetishism in Textiles (Bloomsbury, 2017) and Caressing Cloth, edited by Professor Lesley Millar and Professor Alice Kettle. 

    Catherine has worked in private and public collections both in the UK and overseas, including the Roberta Ahmandson Collection.

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  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Dormor, C. (2017) A Philosophy of Textile: Between Practice & Theory. London: Bloomsbury

    Robinson, Kokoli & Dormor (eds) (2017) Women & Art: Critical & Primary Sources. London: Bloomsbury

    Dormor, C. (2009) ‘skin:textile:film’, Textile: The Journal of Cloth & Culture. Vol 6:3. London: Berg Publishers

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Research interests

Catherine's research is concerned with bringing together the materiality, imagery and language of cloth as a way for thinking, making and writing about materiality and making. 

Catherine's practice incorporates stitch, photography, text, video installation and sculpture, always referencing cloth, its structures and behaviours. Theoretical perspectives are drawn from feminist art theory and philosophies, material culture and ideas surrounding the communication of tacit knowledge.

Catherine's research is increasingly concerned with notions of generosity, and openness in an age of austerity and the individual. In this sense, she sees stitch and cloth as a means for performing becoming cosmopolitan and being community.

Research students