Michael Safaric Branthwaite

Course Director - Associate Prof.

School of Digital, Technologies and Arts

I graduated from Sunderland University in 2000 with a BA Hons in Fine Art Sculpture. In June 2001 I was invited to be the first Red Gallery artists in residence, this seminal period led to my interest in site-related installation and has been a research concern for much of my professional career.

In 2003 I returned to Sunderland University to complete a MA Hons Fine Art Sculpture. From that point on I focused on site-related practice in regeneration areas or areas undergoing significant change, this led to the creation of an artist run company set-up by myself and two other artists. rednile projects ltd has since worked nationally and internationally on a vast array of projects including curation and production of Art works for bodies such as the National Trust and Tyne and Wear Metro.

Most I have also focused on my own practice exhibiting and undertaking residences nationally and internationally the most recent being a HEIF funded project working with the Centre of Science at Staffordshire University and with Zona Dynamic at Atelierhof Kruzberg in Berlin, Germany. Both of these have focused on the perception of plastic environment in relation to cultural structures and systems.


Professional memberships and activities

Director rednile projects ltd

Associate AIR Artist net-work

Academic qualifications

BA Hons Fine Art: Sculpture
MA Hons Fine Art: Sculpture
Lift: Screen Print Studio


Sculpture/Installation: focusing on reclaimed or reused domestic and industrial material re-appropriated to specific environments engaging with the conceptual understanding of place and identity

Site Related and Responsive Art: investigating and using the history and social activity in a given area to respond and generate work that interacts with and challenges social norms and assumptions. This often focuses on but is not restricted to regeneration.

Although sculpture is a core concern with in my practice I work across a broad range of materials including: Casting/Metal Work/ Wood Work/ Film/ Video/ Photography/ Screen Print/ Large Scale digital Print ( for architectural purposes).

Research interests

My research stems from an interest in the experienced world and how we manipulate our plastic environment to govern and control meaning with in our lives. This manifests itself in many ways through the varies contexts and production methods I employ as an artist, these include works that have investigated our relationship to buildings and architecture as well as objects and the fetishtic meanings we complicity generate for them by the consumption of goods and services.

In 2009 I was commissioned by the Wirksworth festival to produce a sculptural intervention in response to a field barn on the land adjacent to the National Stone Centre. The work was made in response to the serendipitous nature of the structure which although devoid of any function was still standing, essentially in limbo between a useful structure and a ruin. My response was the installation of industrial ducting in a loop; The work suggested a potential modern use of the building highlighting society’s expectation of industry but ultimately shared the field barns functionless situation and folly. Other work relating to the built environment also includes a HEIF funded project with the Centre of Science at Staffordshire University focusing on how the building is experienced by a complex range of uses through the use of multiple time-lapse cameras, this project is being developed towards the submission of a Wellcome Trust grant to allow the creation of a large scale work based on the research conducted so far.

On-going research is being focused on the role of objects and artefacts in consumer and capitalist society’s as a form of control and as a means to replace the spiritual need for religion. This manifest itself most recently at Zona Dynamics exhibition in Berlin titled MOLT! Speculative identities and at Schwartz Gallery in London for the show Disrupted Boundaries. In both cases the work was used to present questions about objects, how we come to obtain them and why. The works in each show were exhibited alongside international artists and selected by international curators signifying my interest in presenting work on an international platform to further explore the conceptual basis of my practice in new social contexts.


Art Foundation Year
BA Hons Fine Art


MOLT! Speculative Identities, Atelierhof Kreuzberg, Berlin. July 2013.
Organized and curated by Zona Dynamic-Berlin
Residency- Sound Installation: collaboration with Mary Rasmussen (USA)/ Aya Imamura (Japan)/ Aliza Maja Vrban (Croatia)/ Eliza Goldox (D).
Exhibition- Sculptural installation exploring the idea of memory through the recreation of replicas of an existing sculpture.

Disrupted Visions, Punk-Salon. Schwartz Gallery, London. 29th May-15th June.2013
3x Giclee Prints on Aluminum exploring concepts of meaning in relation to mass-produced objects with religious connotations.

Lead Artist. Staffordshire University Centre of Science. Resident |October 2012- January 2013
Final Work due March 2014.
Support by HEIF Innovation Fund.

Broomhill National Sculpture Prize 2012. May-October 2012
Top 10 Finalist and Highly Commended by Judges. Work now permanent.

Artist in Residence, PITT Projects/rednile Factory Nights. June 2012
Producing work related to appropriated architectural uses.

Creekside Open. APT London. June 2011.
Works selected by Phyillda Barlow.

Conjunction 2010 Biennial. Stoke-on-Trent. UK October 2010
Commissioned Artist- Super 8mm Film.

Saatchi Northern Stars at A Foundation Liverpool. UK. 9th April-23rdMay. 2010
Billed as the most exciting artists practicing and based in the North of England.
Curated by Saatchi Galley Director Rebecca Wilson.

Vernacular Intervention. Wirksworth Festival. Derbyshire UK Permanent. September 2009
Site specific installation around disused field Barn

Olyimpolis Project. Platamonas. Train Station Greece. July 2008
Commission for Public Art Installation using Digital Projection.

Top 15 for Teaching Quality

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

6th for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

Midlands University of the Year

Midlands Business Awards 2020