Abbie Cairns

Student Coordinator, PhD Candidate

Abbie Cairns promotes and facilitates the GuildHE Research PhD Peer Support Group sessions, which take place monthly online.

Abbie is a full-time Ph.D. student at Norwich University of the Arts researching Artist-Teacher identity formation in Adult Community Learning (ACL). This research is motivated by her lived experience of being an artist-teacher in ACL, a subsector of further education (FE) in the UK.

A published researcher, Abbie has had work in several peer-reviewed journals, including the Internation Journal for Art and Design Education, and has presented at international conferences, including the 4th International Conference for the Association for Research in Post-Compulsory Education.

Outside her Ph.D., Abbie facilitates the SPACE studios Creative Practitioner Support Programme. A hybrid programme that helps emerging creatives develop their practice with peer support, networking, and paid opportunities.

Abbie is a practicing and exhibiting artist who has shown locally, nationally, and internationally. Her art practice is text-based and focuses on shared public language and audience interaction. In her role as an artist, Abbie sits on the board of Colchester Art Society. 

Abbie has experience teaching in FE, ACL, and higher education sectors and is currently working as a visiting lecturer in local HEIs. 

Norwich University of the Arts: Abbie Cairns – Norwich University of the Arts (