Director of Research, Hamilton Kerr Institute
Spike has a BSc in Chemistry (Southampton, 1978), a Masters in Knowledge-based Computing (South Bank, 1988), and a PhD in History of Art (Cambridge, 1996). He worked in TV (Spitting Image) and films (Star Wars) in the 1980s. He trained as a painting conservator at the Hamilton Kerr Institute, a Department of the Fitzwilliam Museum, where he now teaches a post-graduate course and undertakes research.
His main research interest is historic artists' materials and methods. Previous work has had a medieval focus following the examination of altarpieces (Westminster, c.1260 and Thornham Parva, c.1330) and manuscripts (Macclesfield Psalter, c.1330). This lead to work on East Anglian rood screens (up to c.1530), a project that continues. He is currently researching the materiality of a Dutch still life (c. 1760) painted in Norfolk. He is responsible for overseeing research into the archives of two British suppliers of artists' materials (Roberson, c.1820-1930 and Winsor and Newton, c.1830-2010).
The Alchemy of Paint, Marion Boyars, London, 2009.
The Riddle of the Image, Reaktion, London, 2014.