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Andrew Pepper

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Curved head shotAndrew Pepper studied Fine Art in the UK, where he began working with projected light and 3-D light installations. During this period he saw his first hologram in Paris, at an exhibition organised by Jody Burns and Posy Jackson, at the American Cultural Centre, in the City. With an eye on applying for postgraduate study, and needing a portfolio which accurately represented his current work, he felt that this visual technique would be the ideal process to document his light and projection installations in 3-D.

Accessing holography proved to be more challenging than he expected and he reverted to video and photography as a documentary process for his postgraduate applications. After securing a place on the MFA course at the University of Reading, where he continued to research spatial mark-making and projected light installations, he moved to New York and spent 2 years at the Museum of Holography, in Manhattan, as a Fulbright Scholar.  It was there that he learned how to make holograms at New York Holographic Labs. It was some time before he felt comfortable using the medium - wanting to find an alternative to the basic (but impressive)  3-D effect which had originally attracted him to the medium.

When he returned to the UK in 1982 he began lecturing and writing on creative holography and starting to produce his own work, which has now been exhibited in solo and group shows worldwide. He also completed a Ph.D. in Fine Art Holography, the first to be awarded by the Fine Art Department of the University of Reading and an early example of a practice-based Ph.D.  Based on this early research and current practice he has acted as external supervisor for a number of key Ph.D'.s exploring the creative and critical use of holography within the visual arts.

In 1988 Pepper was awarded a Lionel Robbins Memorial Scholarship which allowed him to continue his Ph.D. research and carry out extensive exploration in a specially built holography studio at the University of Reading.

In 1991 he moved to Cologne to take up a 5 year post with the newly established Academy of Media Arts which, as part of its studio activities, was offering Holography within its media arts department.

During this time in Germany, he was able to realise a project he had been working on for several years earlier and founded the Creative Holography Index, The International Catalogue for Holography, which provided a very high-quality collection of material about artists working in the medium, as well as commissioning several leading writers to give their views on the development of the field.

While at the Academy he was introduced to the Internet and World Wide Web and eventually began to ‘translate’ the paper publication into a digital one, making it accessible to a much wider audience. He has remained interested in this idea of digital publishing and delivered several papers on the subject at international conferences.

In 1996 he moved back to the UK to organise and co-chair Art in Holography2, a major international symposium, at the University of Nottingham,  which attracted speakers and delegates from all over the world to examine, and place pressure on, the creative and critical engagement by artists using holographic processes.

From 1999 - 2004 he directed the Shearwater Foundation Holography program, established by Posy Jackson in 1987. Each year it provided 100,000 US Dollars to support and encourage creative holography, as well as honouring several artists with the annual Holography Award, given to outstanding practitioners in recognition of their major contribution to the field.

During 2007- 2009 he directed the International Holography Fund, established to fill the gap left by the Shearwater Foundation which, during its short operational life, supported a wide range of creative holography projects worldwide.

Pepper spent over two decades as a visiting lecturer in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University, moving to positions as full-time senior lecturer and Head of First Year in Fine Art.  He maintains a particular interest in the transition into university life with particular emphasis on the challenges encountered by new students starting their academic journey in fine art.  He was an admissions tutor (international and none standard applications) and trained as an advanced personal tutor.   He taught fine art for several years at the University of Lincoln and has contributed to professional development modules in Fine Art at the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University's Hive Start To.. and Summer School courses.

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Andrew Pepper works with projected light, holography and installation.  Based in the UK,  he has exhibited his work in group and solo exhibitions internationally and, as a senior lecturer in fine art at Nottingham Trent University, he taught on the BA (Hons) fine art course, the Master of Fine Art course and has acted as a PhD examiner for a wide range of key project-based research submissions.


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