Who’s Who: Amy Jane Barnes

Who are you and what do you do at the OU? What modules are you involved in/have been involved in?

My name is Amy Jane Barnes and I’m a Staff Tutor in Art History at The Open University. A big part of my role entails supporting and managing the associate lecturers who teach OU students on the Level 1 undergraduate module, ‘Discovering the Arts and Humanities’: an interdisciplinary course that introduces students to the different disciplines taught at The Open University in the Arts and Humanities – art history, history, classics, philosophy, religious studies, music and creative writing.

What got you interested in Art History?

It was quite by accident really. I was accepted onto an undergraduate art history course when I had planned to do either history or English literature. The decision to take that place opened up a world of possibilities, ultimately for the better. I was able to specialise in Asian art and after my undergraduate studies, went on to study a master’s degree and then a PhD in museum studies.  

What are your main research areas?

My research looks at the representation of cultures and communities in museums and galleries through collections and exhibitions. I also have a particular interest in propaganda art and design from China.  

What is your most significant publication or latest publication?

 My recent publications include Museum Representations of Maoist China (2014, Ashgate/Routledge) and the co-edited volume, A Museum Studies Approach to Heritage (2018, Routledge). 

For more information about my publications and research interests, please see my OU people profile.

Who’s Who: Lindsay Polly Crisp

Who are you and what do you do at the OU? What modules are you involved in/have been involved in?

I’m Lindsay,  a Staff Tutor and Lecturer in art history, which means that alongside my own research and other academic work I help to design and support tuition and assessment, often by working directly with tutors and students. I also worked for about 15 years as a tutor specialising in teaching beginning-level modules in the Arts and Humanities, including AA100: The arts past and present, and A105: Voices, texts and material culture. I have been a module team member of AA100, A105, and A111: Discovering the arts and humanities, and am excited to be contributing to A236, a new Level 2 module in art history.

What are your main research areas?

I’m interested in materiality and mediality in contemporary art – that is, how the materiality of objects enable them to tell a story or to be ‘read’ like a text, and relatedly, how thinking about the material form of various kinds of written texts helps us to reach new understandings of how they work, or what they do in the world.

What Open Arts Objects films have you done? Are they related to your research or a module?

I only recently joined the Art History Department so haven’t yet made an Open Arts Objects film, but if I did, I might focus on fragmentation. Acts or processes of breaking objects – including art objects – have been important in different ways at different moments, and can help us to reflect upon how we usually expect works of art to be treated.

What did you love most about doing an Open Arts Objects film?

Since I haven’t made one, this question gives me an opportunity to praise my colleagues! So what I love most about watching Open Arts Objects films is seeing these objects or ideas brought to life through their eyes, and vicariously benefiting from their expertise.

What is your most significant publication or latest publication?

I am currently editing my first book, which is about the artwork Break Down (2001) in which Michael Landy oversaw the dismantling and granulation of everything he owned in an abandoned department store at 499 Oxford Street, London. Described by the artist as ‘the ultimate consumer choice,’ the work can also be seen as a kind of portrait – a rather unsparing public dissection of Landy’s life as revealed by his stuff, as a son, an artist, and a shopper.  When Landy dismantles his stuff he makes visible the processes by which they were produced, which relates to ideas about globalisation. Modern labour relations, manufacture and supply chains mean that the most familiar and ‘ordinary’ consumer objects – my toaster, hair-dryer and certainly my mobile phone – could easily have been made in another continent. Could this knowledge change the way that we engage with our own stuff?

Fun fact?

I once went to interview Michael Landy at his studio, and in the course of our conversation his dog completely and systematically destroyed her ball! I like to think she was trying to make some kind of point.

For more information about my publications and research interests, please see my OU people profile.

 

Who’s Who: Kim Charnley

Who are you and what do you do at the OU? What modules are you involved in?

I’m Kim Charnley, and I am a Staff Tutor in Art History. This means that I support Associate Lecturers overseeing the day-to-day delivery of modules, alongside my duties which are located within the Art History Department. At present I manage the MA in Art History (A843 and A844) and a level one module (A111). I joined the Open University in October 2019, and I am enjoying it immensely so far!  

What got you interested in Art History?

I first became interested in Art History when I studied painting at art school. I wanted to understand why painting was considered, by some artists and critics, no longer relevant to contemporary experience. As I learned more about this debate, I became increasingly interested in conceptual and post-conceptual art, especially in art works that do not seem to have any basis in traditional artistic skills. Although I continue to enjoy all kinds of art, I study avant-gardes that challenge basic assumptions about what an art work is.

What are your main research areas?

My research focuses on conceptual art, institutional critique and art activism. These socio-political art strategies emerged in the 1960s, but they are still very widespread in contemporary art, especially so since the turn of the millennium. They present interesting questions about the relationship between art and life, and the purpose that art serves in our society, especially its relationship to politics.

What is your most significant publication or latest publication?

In 2017, I edited and provided an introduction for a book of essays by the artist and theorist Gregory Sholette, called Delirium and Resistance: Activist Art and the Crisis of Capitalism. Sholette’s essays provide an interesting perspective on art collectives and other activist strategies and their interaction with social and political change over the last forty years.   

Delirium and Resistance Activist Art and the Crisis of Capitalism

For more information about my publications and research interests, please see my OU people profile.

Who’s Who: Leah Clark

Who are you and what do you do at the OU? What modules are you involved in/have been involved in?

I’m Leah Clark, a Senior Lecturer in Art History at the Open University. When I started at the OU, I was chair of A226 and I also began writing MA materials for the MA in Art History. I then took over chairing the new MA in Art History. I was also block editor and contributing author for A344 and co-edited (with Kathleen Christian) the associated textbook, European Art and the Wider World, 1350-1550.

I have also just finished writing a chapter on Renaissance portraiture for A112. I’ve also been involved in research administration as Impact Lead for Art History and I’ve recently taken up the role as Research Lead for Art History. I’m founder and project lead of Open Arts Objects, an online platform that provides over 50 open access films to support the teaching of Art History.

What are your main research areas?

I work on the collection and exchange of art objects in the Italian courts at the end of the fifteenth century. I’m particularly interested in the mobility of objects, and I love following their stories as they move from place to place. My current research looks at the global dimensions of Italian court collections, investigating the exchange of objects and materials across Italian, Mamluk, and Ottoman courts: raw goods, aromatics, ceramics, metalwork, textiles, and other luxury items. (My interests in aromatics also informed my work on the ‘traveling object‘ – a perfume burner- which supported the OU’s co-production with the BBC, Civilisations)

What Open Arts Objects films have you done? Are they related to your research or a module?

I’ve done a number of films! I was fortunate to have filmed the very first Open Arts Objects film, one on a plaquette of Apollo and Marsyas in the British Museum, which relates to a few articles and my book, as well as some of the work I did on A844 around reproduction and images. My films on Baldovinetti’s Portrait of Lady and Ercole de’ Roberti’s diptych, all relate to my research on art in the courts. The female portrait is also related to the chapter I wrote on Renaissance portraiture for A112. The Roberti diptych is the subject of my third chapter of my book, Collecting Art in the Italian Renaissance Court: Objects and Exchanges. I also did a film on Bellini’s Madonna of the Meadow which is used in A111, as part of the Religious Studies material. My film on Mantegna’s Adoration of the Magi, is related to my current research on the global exchange of objects, and the painting is also the book cover for A344’s Book 1.

I’ve also done four critical terms: one on Commemoration with Susie West, 2 with Kathleen Christian on Hybridity and on Mobility , and one on globalisation with Leon Wainwright. The latter three relate closely to my research on the circulation of objects across the globe in the Renaissance.

What did you love most about doing an Open Arts Objects film?

I love being able to convey my research to a wider audience. The research that we do as academics is very narrow and focussed and it’s wonderful to be able to open it up and make it more accessible. As Project Lead, I’ve also been fortunate enough to take part in ‘behind the scenes’ filming in museums. I love seeing objects being taken out of storage boxes and shown to the public on these films!

What is your most significant publication or latest publication? How does it relate to the films?

My most significant publication is my book published with Cambridge University Press in 2018, Collecting Art in the Italian Renaissance Court: Objects and Exchanges. Rather than focusing on patronage strategies or the political power of individual collectors, I use the objects themselves to elucidate the dynamic relationships formed through their exchange (you can watch a short video on it here). This book informs many of the films I’ve done, in particular the plaquette and the Roberti diptych.

My current work on the global exchange of Renaissance objects is probably best represented in a recent article in the Journal of the History of Collections on a previously unknown collection of Chinese porcelain. One of these items just might be depicted in Mantegna’s Adoration of the Magi, which I explain in the film:

What got you interested in Art History?

My interest in Art History originally came about in a rather unconventional way: my parents ran a sail training organisation and I grew up sailing around the world, which required me to do some of my schooling through distance learning. I was introduced to a broad range of ‘art’ in different countries and I was fascinated how different cultures expressed themselves differently through art and visual culture. Working at the OU combines my interests in Art History and my own hands-on experience as a distance learner.

For more information about my publications and research interests, please see my OU people profile.

Who’s Who: Angeliki Lymberopoulou

Who are you and what do you do at the OU? What modules are you involved in/have been involved in?

I am Angeliki Lymberopoulou, and I am Senior Lecturer in Art History. Since I joined the Art History department at The Open University in 2004, I have been involved in the following modules (in order of level): AXR272; AA100; A216; A226; AD281; A275 (Classical Studies module); A354; AA315; A424; A843; A844; A847. My beloved and most precious ‘baby’ is AA315 (the highly successful and popular Renaissance Art Reconsidered), while an adorable close second is AXR272 (the very much praised Residential School in Art History). Both modules hold and will always hold a special place in my heart.

What are your main research areas?

My main research area is Byzantine art and culture, primarily of the later period (13th to 17th centuries) with a focus on cross-cultural interaction between Byzantium and the West; donors of lower class standing and income; artists; iconographical and stylistic exchanges and developments in late Byzantine art as a consequence of anthropological interactions; ‘globality’ of Byzantine (Cretan) art within its time, geographical space, cultural and religious make-up.

What Open Arts Objects films have you done? Are they related to your research or a module?

I recorded the ‘Noli Me Tangere’ icon at the British Museum, and for Critical terms I recorded ‘Iconography’ with Rembrandt Duits; both are directly related to my research interests and publications. Furthermore, they are directly related to the (now concluded) Level 3 Art History module (AA315), to the current MA in Art History (A843 and A844) and closely related to the Level 2 Art History module A226 (Exploring Art and Visual Culture).

What did you love most about doing an Open Arts Objects film?

I really loved the opportunity the Open Arts Objects filming presented me to view the ‘Noli Me Tangere’ icon with fresh eyes. In order to make the icon accessible to a wider audience, I had to step into the shoes of a non-expert, which offered me a different entry into exploring the panel – and I loved it even more for it!

What is your most significant publication or latest publication? How does it relate to the films?

I would like to think that my most significant publication is always the next one, since publishing entails a constant learning curve. As things stand, I would say  the ground-breaking publication facilitated by Leverhulme-funded research, Hell in the Byzantine World: A History of Art and Religion in Venetian Crete and the Eastern Mediterranean, Volume 1: Essays and Volume 2: A Catalogue of the Cretan Material, published by Cambridge University Press in 2020 (I edited volume 1 and co-authored volume 2 with my husband, Rembrandt Duits, also an art historian). The publication accompanies an open access database. 

I also co-edited Byzantine Art and Renaissance Europe, published by Ashgate in 2013. The whole concept of the volume is related to AA315 and to my research that explores the significance of the artistic production on Venetian Crete (13th-17th centuries).

 

What got you interested in Art History?

The magnificent Indiana Jones – because in Greece, where I did my BA, the study of Byzantine Art is grouped with Archaeology!

For more information about my publications and research interests, please see my OU people profile.

Who’s Who: Clare Taylor

Who are you and what do you do at the OU? What modules are you involved in/have been involved in?

I’m Clare Taylor, a Senior Lecturer in the Art History Department. I have been involved in Undergraduate and Postgraduate modules in Arts & Humanities and Art History from level 1 interdisciplinary modules, to Levels 2 and 3, and to our MA where I contributed teaching on studying interiors and on a mid-20th century pattern designer, Enid Marx. At present I am leading on Art History’s contribution to a new Level 1 module, Cultures (A112).

What are your main research areas?

I work on the historic interior, and particularly on the unsung contributions made by decorators and tradesmen to how our homes look. I’ve recently focused on eighteenth-century wallpaper made in Britain, China and France and those who made it, sold it and hung it but I am also interested in other areas such as textiles and leather hangings. I’ve recently received a Mellon Fellowship for the project, Gilt Leather Rooms: Decorating with Leather Hangings in Britain, c.1600–c.1800.

What Open Arts Objects films have you done? Are they related to your research or a module?

I’ve made two, and both are related to my research. One film is about a seemingly ordinary length of 1960s wallpaper and how it can become a powerful visual memory, as well as explaining how wallpaper can turn trends in fine art into mass market products. The second film is on Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, where I explore how this contemporary artist uses textiles to re-examine narratives of colonial expansion and maritime trade which are at the heart of British identity, turning the viewer’s gaze towards a different kind of colonial journey.

I also wrote a ‘Travelling Object‘ piece for the OpenLearn unit to support the OU’s co-production with the BBC, Civilisations. It is about an object made in London where products from China, India and Britain meet- a bed made for an eighteenth-century theatrical couple, the Garricks- since on A344 I wrote teaching on Chinoiserie in 18th century Britain,  including discussing Eva Garrick’s own Chinese silk robe.

What did you love most about doing an Open Arts Objects film?

I loved showing everyone the wallpaper, as it belonged to a member of my family- a real personal connection!

What is your most significant publication or latest publication? How does it relate to the films?

Definitely my first full  length monograph, which, although it’s on eighteenth-century wallpaper, also relates to how wallpaper has been seen through time. It’s often been ignored as a component of the interior, so my aim has been to pull it out into the foreground alongside textiles and furniture, and allow it to be considered as a key driver in taste.

 

What got you interested in Art History? a fun fact?

I did my Undergraduate Degree in Modern History, but really wanted to work with art. So, after my BA, I did a postgraduate course in Art Gallery and Museum Studies. This led to a career as a Curator and it was looking after artworks, researching them and above all sharing stories about them with visitors that led me into Art History.

A fun fact is I’m really a frustrated flower arranger. Christmas decorations are big in my house, and each year I make door wreaths for close friends and family using stuff I’ve gathered and materials from my hoard of decorations. So I enjoy the process of design and making as well as writing about it.

For more information about my publications and research interests, please see my OU people profile.

Who’s Who: Warren Carter

Who are you and what do you do at the OU? What modules are you involved in/have been involved in?

I am Warren Carter and I am a lecturer/staff tutor in the art history department at the Open University. Soon after joining I contributed a short piece to the MA; then as part of the A226 module team I was responsible for redoing the VLE for book 3; I have been chair of A344 since it began production; and I am the chair of A236 which will soon begin production.

What are your main research areas?

My current research interest is Mexican Muralism and the students on A344: Art and its Global Histories have regularly flagged this up as their favourite unit on the course.

I am also interested in art historical methodologies, in particular ones rooted in historical materialism and due to my co-editing of the anthology Renew Marxist Art History and my long running role in the seminar Marxism in Culture, I was invited to give a keynote at the recent conference at the Humboldt in Berlin on Marxism(s) in Art History (February 2020).

What Open Arts Objects films have you done? Are they related to your research or a module?

I have made the film on Frida Kahlo which is both related to my research on Mexican art and politics in the post-revolutionary period and it also fed into my writing for A344 (and I also wrote a ‘travelling object‘ on the painting to support the BBC/OU’s Civilisations). This is a much used and very popular resource for A level students doing art history as well as OU students taking A344. I also made the three OAO critical terms films on modernism with Paul Wood (I: What is Modernism? II: Modernism and the avant-garde;  III: Modernism and contemporary art).

What did you love most about doing an Open Arts Objects film?

The opportunity to take relatively complex ideas and make them accessible to as big an audience as possible. The feedback that I have had from A Level art history tutors has been wonderful and it is a lovely feeling!

What is your most significant publication or latest publication? How does it relate to the films?

My latest publication is an essay on Mexican Muralism in which Frida Kahlo figures: ‘The Slow Fuse of the Revolutionary Mural: Diego Rivera, Poststructuralism and Historical Revisionism’, Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, vol. 94 (December 2019), pp. 39-58.

What got you interested in Art History?

As a young teenager I bought and voraciously read The Great Artists which consisted of 96 issues devoted to individual artists from the Renaissance through to the present. It was published weekly from 1985 onwards. Why, I do not know as I was brought up in a working-class family and had never even been to a gallery. Anyhow, it sparked my love for the subject that I have never ever lost!

For more information about my publications and research interests, please see my OU people profile.

Who’s Who: Renate Dohmen

Who are you and what do you do at the OU? What modules are you involved in/have been involved in?

I am Renate Dohmen and I am an art historian. I contributed a discussion of women’s street art in Tamil Nadu, South India, to A844, the second year of the MA in Art History.

I was involved in the production of A344, Art and its global histories as editor and author for Block 3 Empire and Art: British India. I authored the chapters ‘Painting, Prints and Popular Art in British India’, and ‘Design Reform, Indian Crafts and Empire’ for Empire and Art: British India, the printed book for the block published by Manchester University Press. I also selected and introduced the texts for the block in Art and its global histories: A Reader, the course reader for A344, edited by Diana Newall and published by Manchester University Press. This work relates to my research on fine art exhibitions in British India at the time of the British Raj, for which I was recently awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship.

What are your main research areas?

My main research focus is art history in relation to the global, which I explore in contemporary art and with regard to the visual culture of British India. I am interested decoloniality, indigeneity, gender and race, as well as issues of cultural translation and the transcultural.

In contemporary art I have worked on relational aesthetics in view of the global. In my monograph Encounters beyond the Gallery. Relational Aesthetics and Cultural Difference, I explore the work of the international art nomad Rirkrit Tiravanija, indigenous arts of the Shipibo-Conibo Indians of the Amazonian rainforest in Peru and the street art of women in Tamil Nadu, India. In the book I adopt Deleuze-Guattarean approaches to difference prevalent Eurocentric approaches in discussing these arts. More recently I am exploring questions of indigeneity and the contemporary in the work of the Cree artist Kent Monkman, one of the most prominent contemporary artists in Canada.

What Open Arts Objects films have you done? Are they related to your research or a module?

I have recorded a film on Tipu’s Tiger, 1780s or 90s (Victoria and Albert Museum, London) (I also wrote a ‘Traveling Object‘ on this work too).  I made a film on the Pilkington Album (1893-94), (University of Cambridge). The album was created by Millicent Pilkington, a well-to-do young British woman who spent time in British India in 1893 visiting friends and family and who recorded her experiences in water colours, photographs and ephemera which she carefully assembled in an album. The album is an example of the prominent but now forgotten visual practice of women in the nineteenth century.

Together with Kathleen Christian I have also made a short film on the complexities entailed in the term essentialism.

What did you love most about doing an Open Arts Objects film?

I am excited about Open Arts Objects because it allows me to communicate my passion for visual objects and their histories to a larger audience.

What is your most significant publication or latest publication? How does it relate to the films?

The book Empire and Art: British India which I co-authored and edited relates to my discussion of Tipu’s Tiger.

My research presented in the article ‘Memsahibs and the “Sunny East”: Representations of British India by Millicent Douglas Pilkington and Beryl White’ and my book chapter ‘Material (Re)collections of the ‘Shiny East’: A Late Nineteenth-Century Travel Account by a Young British Woman in India ’ inform the film about the Pilkington Album.

What got you interested in Art History?

I started out as a practitioner with an interest in painting, printmaking and the graphic arts and became hooked on art history through my artistic research into the visual world.

Bibliography:

Dohmen, R. (2019) ‘Counter-epistemologies of the global South: Indian floor drawings re-envisaged’, South Asian Popular Culture, vol. 4, no. 2, pp.1-10.

Dohmen, R. (2016) Encounters beyond the Gallery. Relational Aesthetics and Cultural Difference?, London, I.B.Tauris.

Dohmen, R. (2015) ‘Material (Re)collections of the ‘Shiny East’: A Late Nineteenth-Century Travel Account by a Young British Woman in India ’, in Henes, M and Murray, B H (eds) Travel Writing, Visual Culture and Form, 1760-1900, Basingstoke, Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 42-64.

Dohmen, R. (2012) ‘Memsahibs and the “Sunny East”: Representations of British India by Millicent Douglas Pilkington and Beryl White’, Victorian Literature and Culture, vol. 40, no. 1, pp.153-177.

For more information about my publications and research interests, please see my OU people profile.

 

Who’s Who: Emma Barker

Who are you and what do you do at the OU? What modules are you involved in/have been involved in?

I’m Emma Barker, Senior Lecturer in Art History. I’ve worked at the OU for nearly 25 years  and have worked on most of the art history modules that have been produced during that time, including A216 Art and its Histories, AA318 Art of the Twentieth Century, A226 Exploring Art and Visual Culture, A344 Art and its Global Histories as well as several MA modules. I’ve also contributed to the interdisciplinary modules, A207 From Enlightenment to Romanticism and A105 Voices, Texts and Material Culture.

What are your main research areas?

My research focuses on French art of the late seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries, but I have also written about British art of the same period. I have a particular interest in parallel trends in French and British art during the ‘long eighteenth century’, such as the wide-ranging cultural phenomenon known as sentimentalism; changing representations of women, children and the family; and the image of the artist and the idea of genius in the Romantic era.

What Open Arts Objects films have you done? Are they related to your research or a module?

I have made two Open Arts Objects film that each focus on a single work of art. I’ve made one about Jean-Siméon Chardin’s Lady Taking Tea (1735), which relates to my research on the representation of women. It also draws on work that I did for A344 Art and its Global Histories, because of the impact of trade with the Far East evident in the painting. I’ve also made one about Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus (1601), which relates to a chapter that I wrote for A105 Voices, Texts and Material Culture, in which I used this picture to develop students’ skills of visual analysis and to explore changing conceptions of artistic value.

I’ve also made a film for the Critical Terms strand exploring the term ‘Classicism’, which relates to some of the teaching material in A344 about how classicism was spread throughout the world during the eras of colonialism and imperialism.

What did you love most about doing an Open Arts Objects film?

As with any teaching around a work of art, having to talk about it to an audience really focuses the mind on how the work itself addresses an audience.

What is your most significant publication or latest publication? How does it relate to the films?

My recent publications include an essay entitled ‘No Picture so Charming’: The Family Portrait in Eighteenth-Century France’, Art History, vol. 40 (3), 2017, pp. 526-53. Some of the portraits I discuss in this essay borrow from domestic scenes such as Chardin’s Lady Taking Tea. One of these portraits, for example, shows a family taking their morning coffee.

What got you interested in Art History? Fun fact?

When everyone in my class at primary school was asked to draw a picture of what they wanted to be when they grew up, I drew an artist at an easel. Sadly, the secondary school I later went to did not take art very seriously, so instead I became an art historian. I think I am probably a better art historian than I would have been an artist.

For more information about my publications and research interests, please see my OU people profile.

Who’s Who: Amy Charlesworth

Who are you and what do you do at the OU? What modules are you involved in/have been involved in?

I’m Amy Charlesworth, a lecturer in Art History, modern and contemporary art with a particular interest in photography and moving-image art, feminist politics and feminist art with particular reference to the 1970s-1990s. 

I am chair of A844 (the second part of our MA in Art History) and deputy chair for A843 (the first part of our MA). I wrote ‘Contemporary art: movement, migration and other histories’ for the fourth book, Art after Empire: from Colonialism to Globalisation for A344 Art and Its Global Histories. I have chaired AA318 Art of the Twentieth Century (which no longer runs) and most recently I have written online material on Benin art and culture for our A111: Discovering the Arts and Humanities. 

What got you interested in Art History?

As an art student I found I was better at writing about art and its histories then I was making it! For me, art and culture allows us to look at the world, our current environment, examine how things are, how different histories and cultures have contributed to this, and crucially, explore how things might change. 

What are your main research areas?

My research (publications, public events and teaching) largely comprise of three main elements: feminist politics and art; moving image and politics of visualising migration and mobility; and digital art and its relation to lens-based art.  

What Open Arts Objects films have you done? Are they related to your research or a module?

The OAO film I did on US artist Martha Rosler’s Service: a trilogy on colonialization from the 1970s also speaks to US and Mexico relations and politics through the subject of cooking. In Rosler’s postcard novel (later – and used in my film – complied as a book) the artist takes three different perspectives on cooking: two from Mexicans either working in private households or in fast food industry north of the border, and one on a US housewife trying to improve and expand her Mexican culinary skills. 

What did you love most about doing an Open Arts Objects film?

The challenge of extracting key information about a single work of art for a short talk to camera. It is always important to think about how one communicates and teaches and so this was a central element to the filming process and the information that needed to be conveyed. I also enjoyed working with the camera person and getting an insight in to how the process of filming and presenting works (the wonders of editing!).

What is your most significant publication or latest publication? How does it relate to the films?

My most high profile piece of published research thus far is on the filmmaker Chantal Akerman and some of her work she made for a gallery in the US on migration at the US-Mexico border in the early 1990s, for the journal The Oxford Art Journal. I also wrote about this work for my teaching material on A344 Art and its Global Histories

I also acted as consultant and co-producer on They Call Us Maids: A Domestic Workers’ Story. This animation short, which was scripted and animated by Leeds Animation Workshop in close collaboration with national campaign group The Voice of Domestic Workers, was made over a two-year period. It seeks to agitate and educate a wider public about the violent realities of women of colour working in private households throughout the UK as cleaners and nannies and the UK government policy decision in 2012 to change their visa status demoting their status as workers and rendering many ‘illegal’.

With the founder of The Voice of Domestic Workers, activist and domestic worker, Marissa Begonia, I co-wrote a chapter of the experience of making this film for Feminist Art Activisms and Artivisms, ed. Katy Deepwell (2020).

In 2016, They Call Us Maids was shortlisted for the AHRC Research in the Arts – Innovation Award. It has won many awards over the years, including Best Short Screenplay at the Philippine International Film Festival, Los Angeles (2016) and The Best Film on Modern Slavery in the UK (2018).

For more information about my publications and research interests, please see my OU people profile.