Dr Antoinette Burchill is an early career researcher, who has presented her award winning research internationally. Antoinette’s interdisciplinary practice-based research is grounded in fine art theory and practice. Her specialism is politicised, performative, and participatory art practice. She uses street theatre to deliver vibrant performances that engage the public. Antoinette’s enterprising research delivers economic, social, and cultural impacts.

Antoinette holds a BA in Fine Art, and an MA in Art and the Public Sphere. She has performed in street arts festivals across the UK including Bedlam Fair, Mintfest, and Derby Festé. In 2015 founded Freckled Mischief – a street theatre company specialising in public participation. For her PhD she co-devised a model of guerrilla public engagement that embraces risk, and relies on the facilitator-performers to create safe, playful, and imaginative spaces in the public realm.

Antoinette on LinkedIn
Antoinette on Axisweb
Antoinette & Freckled Mischief 

PhD research

Exploring Agonism with Mischief: Participatory Performance in the Public Realm (Loughborough University, 2018)

The aim of Antoinette’s practice-based research is to discover what happens when street theatre performers are deliberately agonistic with participants in the public realm. In her thesis she scrutinises: (1) the definition, origin, and underpinning concepts of Chantal Mouffe’s agonism, (2) how Mouffe applies agonism to art practice, (3) how agonism relates participatory art practices, (4) how agonism can be facilitated by mischief and performed in public, (5) how the data gathered in public realm performances challenges Mouffe’s conception of agonism, and art practice, and (6) the implications and significance of agonistic art practice. The contribution to knowledge her thesis will make is specifying how agonistic art practice is valuable, and pertinent to participatory art practice.

Professor John Downey, Department of Social Sciences, and Dr Jane Tormey, School of Art, English and Drama, both at Loughborough University

Research interests

  • Participatory art practice
  • Politicised art practice
  • Art and the Public Sphere
  • Performative public engagement in the public realm
  • Agonism
  • Visual art
  • Cultural Economy

Antoinette’s future research will build upon her PhD research in participatory art practice. Specifically how a methodology of performative mischief, and the practice of clowning can enable co-authorship, conflict, and politicised discussion.