Margaret Ayliffe

Margaret Ayliffe

Head of Wolverhampton School of Art

  • Email address
  • Phone number 01902 321970
  • Location MK Building, MK505
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts
  • Institute Wolverhampton School of Art
  • Areas of expertise

    Art & Design Education


    Painting and Feminist Art Practice

Maggie Ayliffe, BA, MA, PGCE, MPhil is a painter with a broad range of research interests including feminist art practice and art school pedagogies. She studied fine art at Humberside Polytechnic and holds both Masters and MPhil qualifications from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Ayliffe’s work focuses upon questions of gender and the feminine within the broad field of visual culture. She is an experienced lecturer in both Visual Culture theory and Fine Art practice and is an active member of a wider research community – having contributed to numerous symposia and public debates.

Ayliffe’s artistic practice engages the relationship between the feminine and painterly abstraction. She has shown her paintings extensively in the UK. Situated as it is within ongoing debates around art and gender and the current role of abstract painting, her work has been reviewed extensively in the art and national press.

More recently, Ayliffe has been working collaboratively with Dr Christian Mieves, Newcastle University to develop a  theoretical  understanding of studio based teaching and the role of the studio in creating creative communities and places of mentorship and learning

Senior Fellowship of Higher Education Academy 2016

MPhil (Practice based)

Manchester Metropolitan University 1999

Painting, Gender, Abstraction - an investigation into the sites of femininity in contemporary painting


PGCE Post 16 Art and Design Education

Bolton Institute  1997


MA Fine Art (Painting)

Manchester Metropolitan University 1993


BA (Hons) Fine Art (Painting)

Humberside Polytechnic 1990


Foundation Course in Art & Design

Bornville College 1987


  • 2016, Dirty Practice: A Painting Workshop and the Hidden Curriculum, in Teaching Painting: How Can Painting Be Taught In Art Schools?, Edited by Ian Hartshorne, Donal Moloney, Magnus Quaife, 


  • 2017, Fully Awake 2:5, Teaching Painting curated by Ian Hartshorne and Sean Kaye
  • 2015, Surface to Air, Essay by Derek Horton, & Model, Leeds,
  • 2014, (detail), Essays by Andrew Bracey, Simon Granell, Brian Curtin, James Elkins, and David Ryan, Transition Editions, London, ISBN 978-0-9568814-3-4,
  • 2003, Art of the Stitch & Sample.  Embroiderers Guild, ISBN: 0 903562 49 9,
  • 2003, Beyond the Endgame: Abstract Painting in Manchester  with essays by Ben Cook, David Sweet, Janis Jefferies & Tim Dunbar. Manchester City Galleries, ISBN 0 90167363 3,
  • 2001, Warped, Painting and the Feminine with essays by Terry Myers and Maggie Ayliffe, Angel Row Gallery, ISBN 0 90563443 8,
  • 1999, Fabrications with essays by curator, Barbara Howey and Rebecca Fortnum, Norwich Gallery, ISBN 1 872482 38 4,
  • 1999, Departure Lounge with essay by Tim DunbarPublished in conjunction with Mart Network Ltd, MMU & Trice Publications, ISBN 0 9531919 2 3,
  • 1999, Harlech Biennale No 3 ISBN  0 9524147,
  • 1997, Maggie Ayliffe, Rick Copsey, Brendan Fletcher with essay by Dave Ryan, Trice Publications, Manchester, ISBN 0 9531919 - Supported by Arts Council  A4E award.

Symposium Contributions:


  • 2018, Abstraction is a feminist issue (Paper),British Abstract Painting in the Eighties, Herbert Museum and Art Gallery & Coventry University

  • 2017, Finding Knowledge and Using It: Developing a transitional curriculum for independent learning, Co-authored with Laura Onions, Foundations of a Creative Curriculum, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead

  • 2016, Dirty Practice, Co-authored with Dr Christian Mieves: National Association of Fine Art Education: Hidden Curriculum Conference.
  • 2015, Dirty Practice, Co-authored with Dr Christian Mieves: Teaching Painting conference, Manchester School of Art,
  • 2015, Dirty Practice, Co-authored with Dr Christian Mieves: University of Wolverhampton, Faculty of Arts, Teaching and Learning Conference ,
  • 2014, Learning through Art, Co-authored with Caroline Ali (UoW Artist in Residence), University of Wolverhampton, Rich Exchanges Conference,
  • 2009, Painting as a Material Practice University of Wolverhampton and The New Art Gallery Walsall In Conversation with Dr Alistair Payne,
  • Speakers including: Prof David Rayson, Gordon Cheung, Neal Rock, Jo Bruton & Katie Pratt,
  • 2001, Warped: Painting and the Feminine Nottingham Trent University,
  • Artists in Conversation: Maggie Ayliffe, Jo Bruton, Vanessa Jackson, Valerie Jaudon, Rosa Lee,
  • 1999, Fabrications Norwich School of Art Artists’ Symposium 10 November,
  • 1999, Departure Lounge Manchester Metropolitan University Artists in Conversation,
  • 1995, Painting, Gender, Abstraction Manchester Metropolitan University Research Group.

Works in Public Collections

  • Museum of Non Conformist Art, St Petersburg, Russia,
  • Salford City Council, Salford Museum and Art Gallery: The Controllers purchased Jan. 1999,
  • University of Humberside: purchased July 1990.



  • Inner Landscape – Curated by Lisa denyer, HilbertRaum Gallery, Berlin

     Group Show Funded by ACE in conjunction with Paper Gallery


     Enough Enough is Definitely Enough (Group Exhibition)

     General Practice, Lincoln, OA Gallery Manchester, 


  • Fully Awake

          House of an Art Lover, Glasgow 

          Group Show with Catalogue


  • Surface to Air

           &Model Gallery, Leeds


  • (detail)

           H-Project space Bangkok –June 2014

           Transition Gallery, London- Sept 2014

           Usher Gallery, Lincoln – Feb 2015

           Group Show with Catalogue


  • Ludlow Open Contemporary Art Competition


  • Neither/Nor Arena Gallery, Liverpool Biennial,


  • Conversations in Painting Chapman Gallery, University of Salford,


  • Terrain Museum of Non-Conformist Art, St Petersburg,


  • Sample & Art of the Stitch (Touring),
  • Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, Wirral, August – October 2003,
  • The Dutch Textile Museum, Tilburg, Netherlands, Nov 2003 – Feb 2004,
  • Hall Place, Bexley, Kent, March – May 2004,
  • Work for Sample specially commissioned by the Embroiderers Guild,
  • Beyond the Endgame: Abstract Painting in Manchester Manchester Art Gallery - Curated by Ben Cook,
  • Thermo ’03, The Lowry, Manchester,


  • Crime and Disorder The Gallery, Gateshead - 2 person exhibition with Brendan Fletcher,


  • Warped - Painting and the Feminine - Exhibition curated by Maggie Ayliffe and including work by Jo Bruton, Joanne Greenbaum, Rosa Lee, Vanessa Jackson, Valerie Jaudon & Shirley Kaneda (Touring),
  • Angel Row, Nottingham, Jan-March 2001- Middlesbrough Art Gallery, March-May 2001,
  • Rugby Art Gallery, August - September 2001,
  • Inside Space, London October - November 2001,
  • Phenomena: 11 North West artists coming to terms with the everyday Bankley Studios Gallery, Manchester, Curated by Gary James Williams.