Dr. David A. Paton

Cornwall, UK



  • 2015  PhD, Department of Geography, University of Exeter [Cornwall Campus].
  • 2007  MA Contemporary Visual Art – [Award – Distinction], University College Falmouth.
  • 1992  BA Fine Art/ Sculpture  – [Award – First Class], University of Sunderland.

Teaching and Tutorials:

BA Fine Art 2018 – Associate Lecturer in Fine Art, Falmouth University

BA Geography 2016 – Centre for Geography, Environment and Society, University of Exeter, P/T Lecturer – Waste and Society module

MA Sculpture 2013 – Royal College of Art, Visiting Lecturer and stone workshops.

BA Geography 2009-2012 – University of Exeter, 1st yr tutorials.

Newlyn Art School 2010 – ongoing Stone Carving Tutor.

MA Art and Environment 2010/2011-Falmouth University, Visiting Lecturer.

BA Geography 2007 – University of Exeter, Guest Lecture.

MA Fine Art 2007 – Falmouth University, Guest lecture.

MA Fine Art 2005 – University of Sunderland, Visiting Tutor/ Lecturer.


David A. Paton is a researcher, visual artist and quarryman. Alongside public and private commissions sited nationally, he has been awarded a number of ACE grants for artist-led projects. David’s practice-based doctoral project in the discipline of geography was titled The quarry as sculpture: the place of making. His research focused on Trenoweth Dimension Granite Quarry near Penryn in Cornwall, where he investigated human/ matter relations through a range of creative, ethnographic and geographical methods.

Research Methods:


Conferences attended, presentations and research projects:

  • Tracing Granite: In search of a white cross 2017/18 – four day field trip for Groundwork International Art in Cornwall.
  • CULTIVATOR 2018 – a grant to support granite masonry training scheme.
  • Cornwall Workshop 2016 – Kestle Barton, Nr Falmouth, Cornwall – project development.
  • The Psychic Life of Granite 2016- Seminar/ performance-lecture, UofE (CEAH), National Trust & AHRC, Godolphin House, Cornwall.
  • Rock/ Body 2016– Participant in AHRC research network, UofE.
  • AHRC funded Cultural Engagement Fellow – National Trust/ University of Exeter collaborative research project, 2016 – Creative interpretation of granite building conservation and restoration methods at Godolphin House, Cornwall.
  • RGS/IBG, 2015, Attentive Geographies, Performance-paper and film showing.
  • Cornwall Workshop, 2015, Kestle Barton, Nr Falmouth, Cornwall – presentation of research and participant.
  • Visuality, Materiality and Mining, 2015, University of Brighton – invited speaker.
  • Industries of Architecture conference, 2014, Architectural Humanities Research Association, Newcastle University – presentation of film and paper.
  • Cornubian Arts and Science Trust, 2014, Helston, Cornwall – presentation of research.
  • Cornwall Workshop, 2014, Kestle Barton, Nr Falmouth, Cornwall – presentation of research and participant.
  • Tate seminar – 21 June 2014, Materials, Movements, Encounters: Modernist art networks and St Ives – live film intervention and field trip presentation.
  • Tate Research – Developmental Seminar, 20-21 May 2013 Barbara Hepworth Studios and Sculpture Garden, St Ives – seminar participant and presentation on stone working.
  • Small is Beautiful, 2011 – presentation as part of the Small is Beautiful research seminar, University of Exeter, led by Caitlin Desilvey and James Ryan.
  • Tilted Matter, 2012 – collaborative performance-lecture/ film projections, held at night in, Trenoweth Quarry, with Natalia Eernstman (PhD researcher, Falmouth University).
  • CAZ/ Rock Jam, 2012/2013 – seminars, conference papers and projects delivered as part of Falmouth University/ CAZ(Cornwall Autonomous Zone) landscape research program.
  • RGS/IBG 2010, What are Surfaces? 2010, film presentation and paper.
  • Experimenting with Geography, 2010 – week-long funded research seminar held at Edinburgh University, led by Michael Gallagher, Hayden Lorimer and Eric Laurier.

Selected Sculpture Commissions and Residencies:

2017/18 – La Vallee des Saints – Public granite carving, UK & France.

2008-2016 – Private commissions and memorials.

2008 – Arbor, Private sculpture commissions for Trewidden House, Penzance, Cornwall.

2007–2008 – TEND, artist-led ACE funded residency at Trewidden Garden, Cornwall.

2007–2008 – Part of our daily lives, Sculpture Commission for St Austell Clay Trails.

2006 – Provisional Newlyn, Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance.

2005/6 – Penzance Public Art Scheme, R&D programme of works.

2005 – ROOMERS Lead Artist, – ACE & Regional Development funding, Sunderland.

2002 – 2005 – West Park residency, parkland regeneration scheme, Darlington.

Selected Recent Exhibitions and Published work:


2017 The Psychic Life of Granite: Ritual Union – sculpture at Moncrieff-Bray Gallery, Sussex

2016 Rock/ Body Streatham Campus, UofE – performance and film showing.

2016 Godolphin House – AHRC research outputs.

2016 Newlyn Art School, Lynne Strover Gallery, Cambridge.

2016 Newlyn Art School Tutor Show, Newlyn Art Gallery, Cornwall.

2015 Reverse!Pugin curated by Sean Lynch, Lismore Castle Arts.

2013 Transition 10,  Land Matters, Newlyn Art Gallery.

2013 Newlyn Art School Tutor Show, Newlyn Art Gallery.

2009 Perspectives, Four person show. Open Space Gallery, Penryn, Cornwall.

2008 Art & Insects, The Cube3 Gallery, University of Plymouth.

2005 ROOMERS, Group Show. Sunderland.

2004 It’s About Time, Solo Show. NGCA, Sunderland.

2004 Altered Images, Group Show. The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke on Trent.


Published work:

Paton D A, (in preparation) Sculpture-as-ethnography: Part One – Rock Origin/ Part Two – when’s the best time to make a lintel?, Cultural Geographies.

Paton D A, 2015, Stitch-Split: the breath of the geologic, Architecture and Culture, 3(3): 267-270.

Paton D A, 2013, The quarry as sculpture: the place of making,  Environment and Planning A 45(5) 1070 – 1086.

Paton D A and Desilvey C, 2014, Growing granite: the recombinant geologies of sludge in Hallam E and Ingold T Making and growing: anthropological studies of organisms and artefacts, Ashgate.

Ansell J M and Paton D A, 2009, TEND, RANE & Festerman Press.