Steven Carson

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Steven Carson

Coordinator, Graduate Research
Lecturer in Fine Arts
Art | School of Creative Arts and Media

Room Room G.54 , Hunter Street

03 6324 4438 (phone)

Dr. Steven Carson is currently Graduate Research Coordinator (Art) and Lecturer in Art, School of Creative Arts and Media.  Steven’s art practice incorporates sculpture and mixed media installations, and he has also presented exhibitions using ceramics and photography.  His current work explores materiality and process within the conceptual context of the everyday, specifically examining visualisations of tension and instability arising from daily life.


Steven Carson holds a Master of Visual Arts from Queensland College of Art, Griffith University (1997) and a PhD from University of Tasmania (2016).

Prior to undertaking his current position at University of Tasmania, Steven was employed as Studio Head – Sculpture and Installation at the South Australian School of Art, University of South Australia.  He was employed as Lecturer in Art at the Inveresk Campus of University of Tasmania and Lectured in Art and Design at Hunan University of Technology, Zhuzhou, China.

Steven completed a studio residency at Cite International des Arts in Paris in 2019, exploring the iconography of dissent and protest through archival research into the 1960s Paris Student Protests, and informed by the Gilets Jaunes / Yellow Vest movement.  As outcomes of this research, he has presented two solo exhibitions to date, in 2020 and 2021.    

Throughout 2016 and 2017 Steven undertook an Artist-in-Residence position at Alzheimer’s Tasmania, developing and delivered a program of creative arts activities for persons living with dementia and memory loss.  Through his work in this role, he curated and facilitated several exhibitions of artworks by participants within Tasmania and for the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2017.

He has exhibited professionally since 1987, and has been awarded prizes including the Whyalla Art Prize (Winner - 2007), The Moorilla Estate Prize, City of Hobart Art Prize (Winner - 1999). He was also awarded an Artist in Residence position at Sanskriti Kendra New Delhi India (2005) supported by Helpmann Academy and The Australia-India Foundation.  Artworks by Steven Carson are held in the collections of Artbank, State Library of Queensland, University of Southern Queensland, regional galleries throughout Queensland and private collections within Australia, United Kingdom and USA.

Steven served as Board Member for Sawtooth ARI (2017-18), Member for the Art for Public Places Committee for Arts South Australia (2004-09), and as Panel Member for the New Exhibitions Fund - Arts South Australia (2011).  He was a panel member of the Senior Secondary Assessment Board of South Australia(SABSA) Visual Arts Subject Advisory Committee (2004– 06).

Career summary


DegreeThesis titleUniversityCountryAwarded
PhD The ordinary everyday: exploiting sensations of uncertainty and instability in abstract sculpture and installation artworks. University of Tasmania Australia 2016
Master of Visual Arts Outsiders inside: An Investigation of the implications of collecting Outsider art and the appropriation of Outsider art by professional artists. Griffith University Australia 1997
Graduate Diploma of Arts   Griffith University Australia 1991
Diploma of Creative Arts   Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education Australia 1986

Administrative expertise

  • Graduate Research Coordinator (UTAS 2020- Current).
  • Studio Coordination – Sculpture and Time-Based Media (UTAS, Current).
  • Studio Head – Sculpture and Installation (UniSA, 2001-2012).
  • Program Director – Honours (UniSA 2004, 2009).
  • HDR Supervision (since 2003).
  • Honours Supervision (since 2000).


Contemporary Art, Visual Art, Fine Art, Sculpture, Installation, Ceramics, Pottery, Glass, Textiles, Ephemeral Art, Inter-disciplinary Art, Multi-disciplinary Art, Mixed-media, Outsider Art.

Teaching expertise

Teaching expertise extends to Contemporary Art, Visual Art, Fine Art, Sculpture, Installation, Critical Practices, Ceramics, Pottery, Glass, Textiles, Ephemeral Art, Inter-disciplinary Art, Multi-disciplinary Art, Mixed-media, Outsider Art.

View more on Dr Steven Carson in WARP


Steven’s research explores ways that investigations of ordinary and mundane things can help us to understand how humans understand, interact and intervene with their surroundings and the materials and processes of daily life.  He is interested in the impacts of uncertainty, instability, tension, and trauma and how these can be articulated through modes of abstraction, to find new ways to visualise complexities of daily life.  Framed through theories and practices of the everyday, new materialism and affect theory, and practice-led creative methods, Steven examines strategies to activate inherent meanings embedded in mundane materials. His works explore the use of intense fabrication processes and gallery installation strategies, often with ordinary, reclaimed waste and industrial scrap materials.  The outcomes of Steven’s research are primarily presented within art galleries and contemporary art spaces.

Areas of expertise:

  • Contemporary Art, Sculpture and Installation
  • Contemporary Visual Art
  • Interdisciplinary Creative Practice
  • Contemporary Crafts including Textiles, Ceramics, Jewellery and Glass
  • Arts and Health (Dementia and Memory Loss)
  • Outsider Art and Marginal Creative activities


  • Tasmanian Research Scholarship (PhD 2012-2016).
  • Marie Edwards Travel Scholarship (2019).
  • Supervisor of the Year – Masters by Research (2010), Division of Education Arts, Social Sciences, University of South Australia.
  • Supported Researcher Award (2010), University of South Australia.
  • Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, Australian Learning and Teaching Council (2009).
  • Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, University of South Australia (2007).

Current projects

Steven Carson is a founding member of The Pet Project.

The Pet Project brings people, pets and art together. The project concentrates on connecting different members of communities across Tasmania through participatory arts workshops focused on creatively representing the relationships humans develop with their pets. The project aims to provide a platform for the exchange of stories, link people together, build new creative skills and techniques, and create opportunities for local networking.

Fields of Research

  • Fine arts (360602)
  • Cultural and creative industries (470204)
  • Culture, representation and identity (470208)

Research Objectives

  • The creative arts (130103)
  • The performing arts (130104)
  • Expanding knowledge in human society (280123)
  • Recreation and leisure activities (excl. sport and exercise) (130603)
  • Teacher and instructor development (160303)


Steven Carson has presented research through individual and group exhibitions.  Recent research has explored concepts of instability, uncertainty and unrest through creative projects and has sought to establish ways to visualise these states through contemporary forms of abstraction that emphasise materiality and process as primary sites of content, communication and meaning.

Currently, themes of social and political dissent and conflict are investigated with an aim to depict physical, psychological and referred trauma upon the human body and sites within the built environment.  The research is currently focussed on stains, abrasions, interventions in public space, to overcome constraints of literal representations of trauma and physical violence.

To explore these propositions he combines found objects, digital printing, abstract imagery, and processes of crushing and binding to produce sculptural forms and imagery. In addition, current works explore the manipulation of the gallery surfaces, for example, the binding of walls and minor acts of vandalism of the modified gallery surfaces, through suspension of forms, and the use of wooden props to hold artworks to gallery walls as installation strategies.  This approach incorporates intense physical manipulation of materials to form artworks and the activation of the exhibition space, with the aim of communicating a sense of trauma that acts of unrest and violence deposit on urban surfaces.

Total publications


Major Creative Work

(8 outputs)
2020Carson S, 'Vis-a-vis', The Barn, Rosny Farm Arts Centre, Hobart, Tasmania (2020) [Published Creative Work]

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2018Carson S, 'Debris Improvisations', Sawtooth ARI, MONA FOMA, curated by Paul Eggins, Launceston, Tasmania (2018) [Published Creative Work]

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2017Carson S, 'Mixed Messages', Sawtooth ARI, Launceston, Tasmania (2017) [Published Creative Work]

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2017Carson S, 'Flat Press', Contemporary Art Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania (2017) [Published Creative Work]

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2016Carson S, 'Soapbox #12', City of Hobart, Mathers Place, Bathurst Street and Criterion Lane, Hobart (2016) [Published Creative Work]

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2000Carson S, 'Memento - an improvised installation by Steven Carson', CAST Gallery, Hobart, pp. 2 (2000) [Other Exhibition]

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1999Carson S, '13,ooo; 26,ooo; 39,ooo', Plimsoll Gallery, University of Tasmania, Hobart, pp. 18 pp with 5 colour illustrations (1999) [Recorded Creative Work]

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1999Carson S, 'Pottery Wheel Drawings/Plate Paintings', Contemporary Art Services Tasmania, Hobart, pp. 8 pp; 12 col. illus (1999) [Recorded Creative Work]

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Other Creative Work

(5 outputs)
2018Carson S, 'That Feeling: three artworks', Academy Gallery, School of Creative Arts, UTAS Invaresk Campus, Launceston, Tasmania, pp. 3 (2018) [Representation of Original Art]

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2018Carson S, 'Noncommittal Series', Poimena Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania, pp. 1-7 (2018) [Representation of Original Art]

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2015Carson S, 'Colour Me', Adelaide City Council, Town Hall Gallery, Adelaide, pp. 6 (2015) [Representation of Original Art]

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2013Carson S, 'Casting and Weeding Diptych and Tight Wound 1 and 2', Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Toowoomba, Qld, pp. 3 (2013) [Representation of Original Art]

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2013Carson S, 'Casting and Weeding Diptych (Loose Weave 3 and Pinking)', Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Toowoomba, Queensland, pp. 1 (2013) [Acquisition]

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(1 outputs)
2016Carson S, 'The ordinary everyday: exploiting sensations of uncertainty and instability to underpin an aesthetic language in abstract sculpture and installation artworks, informed by direct experiences of the daily life' (2016) [PhD]

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Other Public Output

(1 outputs)
2019Carson S, 'Interview with Catherine Zengerer', Mornings, ABC Tasmania Radio, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Hobart, 18 June (2019) [Media Interview]

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Grants & Funding

  • 2021 - City of Casey - Public Art Commission, Eliston Family and Community Centre Public Art Commission.
  • 2021 - Hutchins School Early Childhood Centre - Consultancy (Artist in Residence Magenta and Blacker Project Hutchins School Early Childhood Centre).
  • 2021 - Regional Arts Australia Grant- The Pet Project - Covid Companions (Rubenis, N; Keating, MJ; Carson, S; Watt, YM; Terhell, A).

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Artist in Residence Magenta and Blacker Project Hutchins School Early Childhood Centre (2021)$4,943
The Hutchins School has invited Dr Steven Carson to undertake an Artist-in-Residence position to work with Early Learning Centre students aged from 4-8 years (Kinder to Year 2) to produce an artwork for the schools Magenta and Blacker festival/event 2021.Magenta and Blacker is a biennial event which showcases and celebrates visual art, dance, drama and music at the school, and happens in early August:- . Through the design of the project to deliver of aims, Steven Carson will work with each of the 9 classes under the supervision of Hutchins School Teachers to produce a collaborative artwork during Term 2.Scheduling the activities is dependent on the artists vision and schedule, class timetabling requirements and a degree of flexibility. The 2021 Magenta and Blacker festival theme of Doorways provides a possible starting point and in addition the Headmaster wants the project to broadly work around a 175th school anniversary theme.The Hutchins School has previously worked with Artists-in-Residence and this project will be undertaken within guidelines for working as an external contactor specified by the school. The artist will undertake photographic and video work as well as construction to produce the final installation through consultation with and under the direction of the Teaching Staff.
Hutchins School Early Childhood Centre ($4,943)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Carson S
Eliston Family and Community Centre Public Art Commission (2021)$5,000
The project involves the submission of designs to be reproduced on the mesh covering of 3 x shade structures:The City of Casey is seeking a suitably qualified artist to develop a site-specific artwork for the Eliston Family and Community Centre (EFCC) at the corner of Vestfold Road and Eliston Avenue, Clyde, Vic.The successful artist will be awarded the opportunity to design artworks for three shade covers for structures located at the EFCC. The shade covers measure four metres in diameter and are made of a perforated PVC fitted to custom designed shelter structures. The provision of artwork designs is to be consistent with this brief, including budget and timeframe.The artwork will respond to the City of Caseys Public Art Policy which aims to: enhance peoples experience of the city; reflect Casey and its citizens and contribute to the quality of community life; play a significant role in promoting cultural heritage, local identity and sense of place; Raise the profile of Casey to be a nation leading arts and cultural city.Three artists have been invited to provide concepts for this brief, under a limited selection commission process.
City of Casey ($5,000)
Public Art Commission
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Carson S
The Pet Project - Covid companions (2021)$9,997
The projects aim is to understand how Tasmanians are experiencing and adjusting to the social, political and economic responses to COVID-19, in particular the project aims to explore the potential benefits, connections and impacts of human-companion animal relationships during and after home isolation and COVID 19 disruptions, and document the connections formed between humans and animals in home isolation situations through an arts based workshop methodology.
Regional Arts Australia ($9,997)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Rubenis N; Keating MJ; Carson S; Watt YM; Terhell A

Research Supervision

Dr Steven Carson has an excellent track record of HDR Supervision with many successful completions for candidates in Master of Fine Art and PhD programs.  He has supervised candidates in a variety of visual arts studio disciplines including Sculpture, Installation, Performance Art, Ephemeral Art, Glass, Jewellery, Photography and Ceramics.

He is interested in working with new candidates in inter-disciplinary, practice-led research projects, and research that explores materiality and process, the use of reclaimed or second-use local materials and objects, the experience of everyday life, art for public places, arts and health and community-engaged creative projects.  The research may also incorporate site-specificity and experimental approaches to creative practice as key methodologies.

Steven is the Primary Supervisor on Future-Making Creative Cultures: Waste, Salvage, Repair and Sustainability, and Material Cultures / Making Cultures HDR projects.



PhD: Exposing and Visualising the Process of Social Engagement: Refugee women exchanging in liminal space - Commenced 2018.

PhD: The Identity of Objects: A visual ontology of things - Commenced 2019.

Masters: Reflective Surfaces: a studio inquiry into the body as reflected within everyday materials              - Commenced 2020.

PhD: The Conceit of Materiality and Immateriality in Sound Objects – Commenced 2020.

PhD: Jewellery as Specimen: Considering intersections between nature, museums and jewellery practices as a method to produce new objects that intercede human-animal relationships, with a focus on Tasmanian invertebrates - Commenced 2020.

Completed (UTAS)

Masters: Towards Poetic Visual Communication: Negotiating a Balance between Historical Practice and Contemporary Methodologies.  Natalie Ann Wallis 2019.

Masters: Affect and the Anthropocene: The art artefact and ecological grief. Catherine Phillips 2019.

Masters: The Golden Years: Reimaging postmenopausal womanhood. Janine Miller 2019.

Completed (Other)

PhD: In vitro: Investigating time through the perception of the invisible. Caroline Ouellette 2014.

Masters: Craft as escape: women and the domestic. Lesa Farrant 2009.

Masters: This will be (me) on video: an investigation into the production and distribution of online 'vernacular' video in order to critically inform a body of original contemporary artworks. Monte Masi 2013.

Masters: Unearthing the surface: a practice-led investigation of the experience of place in sites of instability, movement and threshold.  Elizabeth Hetzel 2013.

PhD: Photo:fuge - complexity in the photographic universe. Tracy Cornish 2006.

PhD: Under the microscope: making art from science. Angela Valamanesh 2012.

Masters: un/gather: the body in the work of art: an investigation into the expressive capacities of risk in performance art. Linda Patterson (aka Linda Lou Murphy) 2008.

Masters: Discarded domesti-scape. Gary Campbell 2009.

Masters: The illusion of existence and the residue of reality: the construction of being in contemporary installation practice. Annika Evans 2011.

PhD: Coloured glass falling from fig trees. Sandra Uray-Kennett 2014.

Masters: The second artifact: an investigation of the craft object and its engagement with phenomena. Tyler Rock 2013.

Masters: Embodied Sensory Perceptions Explored Through Memory, Materiality and Tacit Knowledge. Leslie Matthews 2007.

Masters: Contemporary Production Techniques for One-Off Jewellery Pieces. Andrew Welch 2004.






PhDWeird Formalism in Practice: A studio-based inquiry into autonomy, excess, process and the art-object2019
MastersStrategies for Evoking the Sensation of Embodied Alterity: Space, mechanical movement, and soft sculpture2020
PhDThe Conceit of Materiality and Immateriality in Sound Objects2020
PhDWater work: practicing immersion with/in Tasmanian bodies of water2022
PhDIn feeling. Collaboration with nature as a driver for social change within sustainable contemporary sculpture and installation practice2022


PhDExposing and Visualising the Process of Social Engagement: Refugee women exchanging in liminal space
Candidate: Mehrangiz Modarres Tabatabaei
MastersTowards Poetic Visual Communication: Negotiating a Balance between Historical Practice and Contemporary Methodologies
Candidate: Natalie Ann Wallis
MastersAffect and the Anthropocene: The art artefact and ecological grief
Candidate: Catherine Faye Phillips
MastersThe Golden Years: Reimaging postmenopausal womanhood
Candidate: Janine Helen Miller