Two prestigious Leverhulme Artists in Residences awarded to Queen Mary

Of only 11 Leverhulme Artists in Residences Awards awarded this year, Queen Mary, University of London has won two, making possible the residency of the world renowned Ron Athey and Rachel Oxley at the College. 

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Ron Athey performing
Ron Athey performing

These prestigious awards are intended to support the residency of an artist in a UK institution in order to foster a creative collaboration between the artist and the staff and students.  The scheme brings artists into research and study environments where creative art is not part of the normal curriculum or activities.

Both Queen Mary Residences will  be high profile: Ron Athey is an internationally acclaimed and highly influential performance artist and experimental theatre maker. Linked to the Centre for the History of the Emotions during his time at Queen Mary, Ron will deliver lectures about his own practice as an artist and a number of ‘in dialogue’ events where Ron will be discussing various topics with other scholars including Rhodri Hayward, Wellcome Award Lecturer in the History of Medicine at Queen mary; Adrian Rifkin, Professor of Fine Art, Goldsmiths, University of London; and Sue Golding, Professor of Philosophy in the Visual Arts & Communication Technologies, University of Greenwich.

Ron will also lead a five-day workshop for up to 10 participants which will involve a set of creative exercises inspired by texts, images and other resources associated with the history of the emotions.

“Athey’s centrality to the recent history of contemporary performance is beyond question, as demonstrated by the extensive critical attention to his work, and the debts owed to his influence by a generation of younger practitioners. His presence at the College is well suited to the concerns of the Centre for the History of the Emotions, not least because experiencing his work is deeply moving – even harrowing – as attested to by the fainting, panic, swoons and tears his performances often induce in audiences,” says Dr. Dominic Johnson, Department of Drama and Centre for the History of the Emotions.

Rachel Oxley will be Artist in Residence at the Interaction, Media and Communications group in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science.  IMC is a multi-disciplinary group, unique in the UK in its breadth and range, which applies computer science, philosophy, and psychology to explore the potential of digital technologies to enable novel forms of human action and interaction.

Rachel creates live and time-based artworks for a range of contexts including, theatre, installation or public space. The work is concerned with the dynamics, possibilities and limits of communication and often highlights the absurdities, connections and frustrations of everyday interactions. Experiments or interventions often focus on limiting factors such as gesture, speech or movement to expose the complexities of kinesics and expression.

Rachel’s time at Queen Mary, University of London will include an artist-led group project shown as public performance at the College; pilot performance experiments developed from research conversations shown to the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science and the School of English and Drama; and as part of the Inside Out Festival 2010 with a performance, ready for touring.

Gini Simpson, Business Development Manager, Queen Mary Innovation, who helped to put together both bids, says: “Queen Mary is fast becoming a fascinating host for artists’ residencies. As a research intensive university we can offer artists access to a wide range of innovative new findings, as well as energetic and dedicated students. In return, artists provide a valuable role in adding inspiration and new ways of thinking to our schools.“

The QMUL CASE Awards:

Academic: Paul Heritage

Queen Mary, University of London/Grupo Cultural AfroReggae

Brazilian based Grupo Cultural AfroReggae was formed in 1993 following a massacre in a local favela (shanty-town) and has gone on to establish an international profile for its pioneering work in taking young people out of the drug/gang culture.

The project will study the application of AfroReggae’s methodologies for creating transformational arts work with young people.  The student will research the approaches of three UK cultural organisations that have a strong commitment to youth empowerment and community engagement through the arts particularly looking at how they learn from and adapt Brazilian models of stimulating youth leadership.

Academics: Alison Blunt, Alastair Owens, Miles Ogborn

The Child in the World

Three linked collaborative doctoral awards between the V&A Museum of Childhood and Queen Mary, University of London aim to understand the changing ways in which children in Britain have understood their relationship to the rest of the world through their everyday lives.

Project 1: Children and Empire

This project will examine the ways in which children living in Britain – especially London – between c. 1870 and 1930 engaged with the idea of empire through their everyday play and leisure activities.

Project 2: Children and Diaspora

This project will explore children’s experiences of migration, their diasporic connections with other places, and the ways in which both shape their sense of home, identity and the wider world.

Project 3: Children and Global Citizenship

This project asks two related questions which direct the research programme towards the present and the future.

For more information about the Leverhulme Awards, please contact Gini Simpson on 0207 882 7003 or email

For further information, please contact:

Laura Knowles

Marketing Manager

Queen Mary Innovation Limited

0207 882 5289