Staff Profile

The silhouette of a white head and shoulders of a person against a grey background

Nathan Ward


I am passionate about the creative arts - the positive contribution they can make to our physical environment and the way we think about the world. This passion extends into art and design education as a context for exploring ideas, challenging assumptions and encouraging the production of engaging and thought-provoking work which has cultural and social value.

At various times I have worked as a freelance designer/illustrator undertaking projects for design companies, magazines and the theatre and have worked as an art technician transporting and installing artworks in prominent museums and galleries. I have sold work for retail display, created a large-scale installation for a shopping centre in Sweden, undertaken private commissions and sold work through galleries.

These diverse creative experiences have informed and underpinned my teaching philosophy, particularly on foundation courses but at other levels too. Whilst fostering rigorous and analytical art and design methodologies, I also believe it is important to explore cross-disciplinary approaches, to experiment with materials and media, taking creative risks and exploiting ‘happy accidents’. Encouraging this creative playfulness provides the learner the confidence to create genuinely personal and innovative work leading to fresh, exciting and relevant solutions.

My research practice largely consists of making 3-dimensional work, an approach which began whist studying graphic design at St Martins School of Art and was evolved during my master’s degree in illustration at the Royal College of Art. I am interested in implied narratives and themes which explore the desire for lightness and liberation. I am inspired by ideas from literature and music in particular, but also the work of practitioners at the margins of mainstream visual culture. The work itself crosses boundaries between design, illustration and art. I am a passionate photographer, make films and animations of my 3-d work. I continue to show work, most recently being asked to exhibit a group of pieces, ‘Carnival of Misfits’ at a highly respected design studio in London.