Update you browser

For the best experience, we recommend you update your browser. Visit our accessibility page for a list of supported browsers. Alternatively, you can continue using your current browser by closing this message.

The Frame, the Off-Frame and the Image

Pictures, images of the world, by their existence exclude whatever is outside the frame: what is not ‘in’ the picture can be summarised in relation to what is not present due to being outside: outside the frame in terms of space; in terms of time; or present within the frame but outside its frame of representation. Not everything that stands outside the frame has a bearing on what is inside the frame, however: in my research I am interested in what specific part of this outside can be used ‘structurally’ in the production of an artwork, activating this ‘off-frame’ in a meaningful way.

The frame is a given across a multiplicity of different forms of visual art, with its origin ultimately in architecture, derived through wall and easel painting, a legacy of representation systems present in lens based media. How the appearance of different forms of representation is shaped through their technological means is important, as a historical factor, and, as a result, how the technology of the production and dissemination of images determines the forms they take. At a historical point in the short history of photographic images where the fixed borders of the frame are becoming supplemented and supplanted by virtual and augmented reality, in a future where the frame may fall away, this research attempts to ask how the a maker of images can use what is excluded by the frame in a meaningful way, and how a viewer is tasked to understand this off-frame.

Key details

School, Centre or Area

Area of expertise

Personal links


More about Nicholas

Nicholas Middleton is an artist based in London with a background in painting and print, and interests in photography, film and video.

BA (Hons) Fine Art Printmaking, Winchester School of Art, 1997

Foundation Course Tutor, City and Guilds of London Art School, 2006-present

John Moores Prizewinner & Visitors' Choice Prizewinner, 2010; John Moores Visitors' Choice Prizewinner, 2006

Vitalistic Fantasies, Cello Factory London 2020

Picture Palace, Transition Gallery London 2020

Undertow, Sluice HQ, London 2019

Made in Britain, National Museum of Poland, Gdańsk 2019

Flight Mode, APT Gallery, London 2018

Daybreak, Maverick Projects, London, 2017

Pinhole and the Art of Invention, Monty's Gallery, London, 2017

John Moores Painting Prize 2016

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 2016

Art:Science:Life, Ipswich Art School Gallery, Ipswich, 2016

Immediacy of Paint, Waterfront Gallery, UCS, Ipswich, 2015

London Painting Survey, Barbican Arts Project Space, London, 2015

Documentary Realism: Painting In The Digital Age, The Crypt at St Marylebone, London, 2015

Contemporary British Painting, Huddersfield Art Gallery, Huddersfield, 2014

John Moores Painting Prize 2014, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 2014

Towards A New Socio-Painting, Transition Gallery, London, 2014

Provisional Cities, (solo exhibtion) The Crypt at St Marylebone, London, 2013

Francis Bacon To Paula Rego, Abbott Hall, Kendall, 2012

New East Anglian Painting, Ipswich Art School Gallery, Ipswich, 2012

Mostyn Open 2011, Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno, 2011

Diverse Realisms, Minories Art Gallery, Colchester, 2010

Black & White Paintings (solo exhibition), Arch Gallery, London, 2010

John Moores Painting Prize 2010

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 2010

"You Are Here", Liquid Gallery, London, 2009

John Moores Painting Prize 24, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 2006

John Moores Painting Prize 23, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 2004

Failsafe, APT Gallery, London, 2004

Defining The Times, Milton Keynes Gallery, 2000

Displacements, Void Gallery, London, 2000

Bandits-Mages, Bourges Film Festival, France, 1997

'The Burrow', Prova 4, 2018; Garageland #17: Society, 2015

Documentary Realism: Painting in the Digital Age, Robert Priseman, Sophie Cummings, Paul O'Kane, 2015

New East Anglian Painting, Simon Carter, 2012

'Painting and the Off-Frame', Call and Response II, NAFAE Conference 2021

"It's alright apart from the fact you can hardly see anything", A Partial History of Clear As Mud, Performance Studies International, Zagreb, 2009