Robert Taylor – Curriculum Vitae

GayHist-36 Past                Present

Robert Taylor has published and exhibited widely over the last 30 years, with work in the V&A, the National Portrait Gallery and several other permanent collections including The Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, Oxford University and Aston University. Following service in the RAF  INTERVIEW, being called to the Bar, and educational publishing in Nigeria, his friendship with the photographer Rotimi Fani Kayode was a major influence on his decision to become a photographer himself.

Roberts current practice divides between collections of portraits commissioned by academic and scientific institutions including the Royal Society, and Oxford University colleges celebrating landmark anniversaries such as the first admission of women into hitherto all male institutions. He has also undertaken many self initiated projects, some exploring the relationship between image and text in forming an image’s interpretation, others centred around identity, including an ongoing series initiated by an ICA commission – of portraits of Black British practitioners across the arts, and an Institute of Education book commission, Portraits of Black Achievement . He has also produced work for charities in Africa and HIV charities in the UK.

 Terence Pepper – Curator of Photographs – National Portrait Gallery, referring to Roberts trademark use of short interviews in most of his commissioned collections said of Robert’s work:

“The secret of producing a good photographic portrait is to engage the subject in a collaborative effort in which both parties bring something to the final result. Clearly this is something present in Robert Taylors engaging and provocative collection of characters. By  including the voices of his subjects as they explore the surprisingly complicated business of being themselves, the whole enterprise becomes more democratic, multi-sided and ultimately worthwhile”  


Robert Taylor

07976 155 248

Recent Projects

Lincoln College Women  Lincoln College, Oxford University commissioned a one year installation of photo portraits of distinguished women alumni from the UK and overseas.

Other Heroes A commissioned exhibition of portraits of eminent LGBT folk, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of same sex activity, and LGBT History Month 2017. Exhibited at Dartington Hall, Pinsent Mason, and Doughty Chambers.

Feminae Trinitatis Trinity College, Oxford University commissioned a 2 year installation of photo portraits of distinguished women alumni from the UK and North America.

 Hertford College Women Hertford College, Oxford University marked the 40th anniversary of first admitting women by replacing its portraits in oils of great men with a one year installation of photo portraits of its women. In the following year the college commissioned a gender mixed collection, and moved the womens portraits to a nearby permanent site at the college.

Women in S.E.T. (science, engineering and technology) A six year rolling portrait commission celebrating women leaders in science, engineering and technology, several of which hang permanently in The Royal Society, Oxford and Cambridge Universities, UCL and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Aston People A portrait of a university. A permanent display of 75 large scale portraits and short interviews with students, academic and other staff, as well as very distinguished alumni, exploring the subjects relationship to the university and its city.

Offender Artists An exploration, through portraits and interviews, of creativity and rehabilitation through powerful engagement with the arts.

Light After Death Exploring some surprisingly positive aspects of bereavement. (Arts Council funded)

Tim Clarke, NOW A terminally ill man explores his feelings about imminent death.

Impressions of Tafo A specially commissioned portrait of a small impoverished West African town in the form of a small book featuring the photographers personal impressions of the people and the place.

Three-way A collaboration with a portrait painter. 16 people were painted and photographed – completely independently the subjects then compared the two media. The exhibition featured all the portraits and extracts from their responses.

Book Covers and Book Illustrations

Many images (from portfolio or specially commissioned) have been used as striking book covers, including an extensive series of the Cassel Freedom Editions, and several Institute of Education titles.

Broadcasting and Editorial

      –      Co-production of BLACK DIVAS a Channel 4 documentary 1996, followed by a

              commissioned extended first person account of the production for a contemporary film


  • Featured photographer in the 2006 BBC TV series A Digital Image of Britain.

  • Many radio appearances reviewing photography, and panel discussions.

  • Occasional feature articles and exhibition reviews in: Body Politic Magazine, Gay Times, Diva Magazine, G Spot Magazine, Geneva Post.


A range of illustrated public talks, workshops and seminars, as well as similar events delivered in the prison sector.


A great number of solo and group exhibitions,  and displays, nationally and internationally since 1989 to the present, at venues including:

ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts)

National Portrait Gallery

Victoria & Albert Museum

Museum of Natural History, Oxford

Royal Academy of Engineering

The Royal Society

Birmingham Institute of Art and Design

Aston University

Museum of Modern Art Bogota, Colombia

Glenn-Dash Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

CEPA Gallery, Buffalo NY USA

Science Museum, London

The Rivington Gallery, London

Birmingham Symphony Hall

Lilian Bayliss Theatre

London Lighthouse

Wellcome Foundation

Commonwealth Institute London

Oxford University:

      Hertford College (x 2 exhibitions)

      Said Business School Gallery

      Trinity College Oxford

      Lincoln College Oxford

Clients and Publications

Robert has illustrated a wide range of books, journals, annual reports, and campaign materials in collaboration with project partners and clients including:

Age Concern

Aston University

Carers National Association

English Theatre, Frankfurt

Government Equalities Office

ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts)

Landscape Institute

London University (Institute of Education)

London Borough of Islington

Lucent Technologies

Musgrave Group

National Foster Care Association

Oxford University

Prison Reform Trust

Probation Boards Association

Royal College of Midwives

Royal College of Nurses

Royal College of Obstetricians and


Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Royal Society

Save The Children

South Bank Employers Group

Terrence Higgins Trust

UKRC (UK Resource Centre for Women in

               Science, Engineering and Technology)

Life Data

Born in England 1950s
Educated at Leicester University (Law Honours)
Trained and qualified barrister, called to the Bar (Gray’s Inn) early 1980s


-Royal Air Force (Air Traffic Control) 1970s
-Educational Publishing in England and Nigeria, early to end 1980s (sex education, automotive engineering and cartography)
-Photography, late 1980s to present

Other work

-Rehabilitation through art in prison ( Koestler Trust ,  trustee and volunteer)
-Sustainable development projects in Ghana (Friends of Tafo, trustee and volunteer)
-Chair of an international panel of judges for a European wide photography competition challenging assumptions about living with HIV, (One Vision, 2004-2007)

 Continuing interests and enthusiasms include:

-the broad range of visual arts
-automotive engineering
-jewellery making and wearing
-public speaking (via Toastmasters)
-contemporary dance
-sustainable sartorials
-walking in central London