Category Archives: Research

    Senior research fellow in the history of art at Kingston University, Dr Jonathan Black has released a new book detailing the representations of one of Britain’s most famous war heroes, entitled ‘Winston Churchill in British Art, 1900 to the Present Day’.

    In the heavily-illustrated book which contains 100 plates by more than 70 artists in its 280 pages, Dr Black covers the changing image of Churchill in a time of mass-produced cartoons in newspapers, through to photographs, scultpures and paintings.

    Dr Black said his book is the first on the subject of Churchill’s image. “I was interested in exploring the extent to which Churchill was complicit in the creation of his own ‘look’,” he explained. “It took me the best part of two years to research and I had the help of the Churchill Archive in Churchill College, Cambridge.”

    “The book also includes some striking, more recent images by Banksy and Marcus Harvey, which depict him as a jovial punk rocker complete with Mohican hairstyle and by Ralph Steadman in which he is transformed into a genial, cigar-smoking cat,” he said.

    The book, covered by the popular image of Churchill as a bulldog standing guard over England in June 1940, received an enthusiastic review from the London Review of Books which described it as a brisk and enjoyable biography.

    Dr Black’s book is now available for purchase.

    Cover image: Marc Atkins

    A new book on Berlin’s urban culture by Art and Design Professor Stephen Barber is forthcoming in April from prominent arts publisher Reaktion Books.

    Berlin Bodies: Anatomizing the Streets of the City examines how people have interacted with the streets, buildings, squares and spaces of the German capital, from riots and ruins to nightclubs, architectural experiments, citywide spectacles, film, art and performances, all of which have affected the structure of the city and the people who inhabit it.

    The book launches at the Whitechapel Art Gallery (Zhilka Auditorium) on 20 April 2017 from 7.00pm.

    Stephen Barber is a Professor at Kingston University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture and the author of six previous books for Reaktion, including Performance Projections (2014), Jean Genet (2004) and Projected Cities (2002).

    Phillip Warnell, Ming of Harlem: Twenty One Storeys in the Air, 2014. (Still)

    Wild Minds‘ is focused on the ambiguities and co-operations that define our relations with other species.

    Bringing together filmmakers, theorists, curators and those working directly with other species, the symposium will combine presentations, in-conversation, film, and notes on performance.

    The various contributors will consider processes by which co-presence, proximity, encounters and (impossible) relations with wild minds are established: from the origins of wild life photographic representation; generational transmission of zoo and conservation; one-to-one animal encounters; image-making solutions of contemporary artists’ film and other commercial cinema.

    Participants will share from their research specialisms, experience, theoretical frameworks and practical references, traversing livelihoods and project-based work.

    “What is opened up is not a debate about ‘animal intelligence’ with all its burdensome procession of qualitative evaluations, it is the possibility that there may be incorporations and pathways other than those captured by the human…it is, in other words, the possibility that humans do not have an exclusive claim to meaning”.

    – Jean-Christophe Bailly


    Cinema 1, London ICA, Friday March 31 2017, from 11.15am
    Symposium convener: Phillip Warnell (FADA)
    Support from FADA

    Contributions from:

    Jean-Christophe Bailly (poet and philosopher; author of ‘The Animal Side’)

    Michael Lawrence (Sussex University; editor of The Zoo & Screen Media: Images of Exhibition and Encounter)

    Lynn Turner (Goldsmiths University; editor of ‘The Edinburgh Companion to Animal Studies’)

    Filipa Ramos (curator; editor of ‘Animals’ Whitechapel Docs/MIT Press)
    Phillip Warnell (FADA (Kingston School of Art); artist-filmmaker, London)

    Honor Beddard (Wellcome collection curator, ‘making nature’ exhibition)

    Charlotte Corney (zoo director, IOW and tiger expert)

    Éléonore Saintagnan et Grégoire Motte (filmmakers, Brussels)

    Ben Rivers (filmmaker and programmer, London)

    Fevered Sleep (performance company, London)

    Myrto Farmaki (video inserts)

    The Cinema 1 programme includes a UK premiere of ‘The Wild Beasts’ (2015) by Éléonore Saintagnan et Grégoire Motte.

    An evening screening of films (in Cinema 2) is being co-programmed by Ben Rivers and Phillip Warnell. Details to be announced.

    Book your ticket.

    Electricity Supply Board exhibition kitchen in the Spring Show model farmhouse, ESB Annual Report 1961–62. Courtesy of the ESB Archives.

    Electricity Supply Board exhibition kitchen in the Spring Show model farmhouse, ESB Annual Report 1961-62. Courtesy of the ESB Archives.

    Design history lecturer Dr. Sorcha O’Brien, from the School of Art and Design History and the Modern Interiors Research Centre (MIRC), has been awarded an Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Leadership Early Career Fellowship  for her research project ‘The Electrification of the Rural Irish Home: Housewives, Electrical Products and Domesticity in the 1950s and 1960s’ in partnership with the National Museum of Ireland (NMI).

    Making use of the extensive ESB Archive, as well as several other national and institutional archives and collections, the project will look the issues surrounding the consumption of domestic electrical products in the Republic of Ireland in the wake of the Electricity Supply Board’s (ESB) rural electrification project, and will culminate in a monograph and an exhibition in the National Museum of Ireland.

    The vast majority of post-War domestic products were imported into Ireland from Britain, the United States and several European countries such as Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, due to the very small scale of design and manufacturing in Ireland, and this project will look at the selection of products sold on the Irish market, through department stores, drapery shops and the dedicated network of ESB shops. It will consider the way which these products were promoted and sold to the rural Irish housewife, through domestic advice literature, advertising and exhibitions such as model houses at the yearly agricultural Spring Show in Dublin.

    The focus will be on the housewives themselves and the emotional meaning of domestic products in the home, particularly in the context of post-war Ireland, where new ideas about modernisation were starting to challenge the power of the establishment and the Catholic Church.

    A series of oral history interviews will be carried out in conjunction with the National Museum of Ireland, to allow these women to speak for themselves and to tell their own stories. It will also look at the role played by the ESB’s female electrical demonstrators in familiarising rural women with electricity and electrical products, as well as the involvement of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association in promoting electricity to their members.

    Museum galleries at the National Museum of Ireland Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland.

    Museum galleries at the National Museum of Ireland Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland.

    The AHRC Leadership Fellow scheme provides time for future research leaders to undertake focused individual research alongside collaborative activities which have the potential to generate a transformative impact on their subject area and beyond.

    The funding of approximately £200,000 includes provision for a six month exhibition in the National Museum of Ireland’s Country Life site in Castlebar, Co. Mayo. This award winning museum is located in a purpose-built building on the grounds of Turlough Park, and houses the Irish national collection of folk crafts, domestic life and traditional material culture.

    The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of events developed in conjunction with Age & Opportunity, the Irish organisation best known for the Bealtaine festival of creativity in older age.

    Seed funding for initial research on the project was provided by the Modern Interiors Research Centre, the Design History Society, and the Fundació Història del Disseny.

    Oreet Ashery: Revisiting Genesis at the Stanley Picker Gallery

    As a culmination of her Stanley Picker Fellowship research, Oreet Ashery presents Revisiting Genesis, a new major commission taking the form of a web-series in twelve episodes. Written and directed by the artist, Revisiting Genesis explores the philosophical, sociopolitical, practical and emotional implications of the processes surrounding death and withdrawal, digital afterlives, outsider communities, social networks and reincarnations of women artists. With a new episode released weekly, the online narrative unfolds in parallel to Ashery’s exhibition at the Stanley Picker Gallery, which transforms the space into an interactive, social environment inspired by local community centres. The display also includes Black Orchid (1956), a bronze sculpture by artist Dora Gordine, presented with its original plinth, which evokes Ashery’s fascination with the life of the artist.

    Revisiting Genesis follows two nurses, both named Jackie, who assist people actively preparing for death to create biographical slideshows serving as their posthumous digital legacy. The slideshows become a tool for reflection on cultural and social loss, friendships and memory as identity. When a group of friends request this treatment for Genesis – an artist who is dying symbolically and otherwise – Nurse Jackie attempts to activate Genesis’ memory through the making of her slideshow, which draws from elements of Ashery’s own autobiography and explores the disappearance of social and educational structures under contemporary neoliberalism. Jackie concludes that it might not be Genesis who is vanishing, but the structures she had relied upon. Presented in parallel with Genesis’ story, the twelve episodes are intercut with improvised interviews between individuals with life-limiting conditions and Nurse Jackie, played here by a practising GP.

    Developed in consultation with Medical and Death Online experts, including researchers at Kingston University, and produced with a range of artistic collaborators, Revisiting
    Genesis responds to diverse influences spanning from feminist art practice to outsider and minority politics, as well as the emergent online death industry.

    Oreet Ashery is a UK-based interdisciplinary artist whose politically charged and socially engaged practice includes exhibitions, performances, videos and writings, in an international and local context, that explore issues of gender materiality, potential communities and biopolitics. Recent presentations include Fig.2 (ICA, London 2015), Animal with a Language (waterside contemporary, London 2014), The World is Flooding (Tate Modern, London 2014) and Party for Freedom (Artangel 2012-13). A current Stanley Picker Fellow in Fine Art at Kingston University, Ashery is represented by waterside contemporary.

    Revisiting Genesis is commissioned by the Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University and supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award, public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Tyneside Cinema, Goldsmiths University of London and waterside contemporary.


    Showing at the Stanley Picker Gallery and online:

    13 April
    Episode 1
    Episode 2

    17 April
    Episode 3

    24 April
    Episode 4

    1 May
    Episode 5

    8 May
    Episode 6

    15 May
    Episode 7

    22 May
    Episode 8

    29 May
    Episode 9

    5 June
    Episode 10
    Episode 11

    12 June
    Episode 12

    Visit  for more information.


    mould-perceptionsNinela Ivanova will be exhibiting her work at the Weareable Fashiontech Festival in Paris between 9–14 February 2016. Ninela was invited to exhibit as it directly links to the theme of her PhD in design research. Fungi was the focus of a pilot in her research, which then moved on to broadly explore the potential of the t-shirt.

    Intersecting fashion, materials and sensory experience, researching the t-shirt has enabled understanding and engagement with novel and challenging concepts.

    Ninela is now working with a neuroscientist and expanding the potential of the t-shirt to actively engage individuals and groups with the concept of brain plasticity.

    Find out more at