The University of Edinburgh Art Collection collaborated with Dr Chloë Kennedy from the School of Law, to develop an artistic commission as part of her research exploring the concepts of criminalisation of identity deceptions. 

We spoke to Julie-Ann Delaney and Liv Laumenech, the curatorial team who manage the Art Collection, to find out more about commissioning award-winning artist Jamie Crewe for the research project.

Under their Leadership Fellowship scheme, the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) awarded Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law Dr Chloë Kennedy a two-year research grant to explore the concepts of criminalisation of identity deceptions, and specifically instances of intimate deception.

A portion of the funding was made available for an artistic commission to be produced as part of the research outputs. The University of Edinburgh Art Collection collaborated with Dr Kennedy to develop the commission, and to select artist Jamie Crewe for the opportunity after a process of nomination - which included input from external advisors - and interview.

Jamie Crewe 

Jamie Crewe is an award-winning artist who has presented several solo exhibitions across the UK. They were the recipient of the 2019/20 Margaret Tait Award, were recently awarded one of the ten bursaries from Tate Britain in place of this year’s Turner Prize, and were selected for the British Art Show 9. 

Jamie graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2009 with a BA in Contemporary Fine Art. In 2013, they moved to Glasgow, and graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a Master of Fine Art in 2015. 

Morton - Beedles - An abyss (video still 04)
Image Courtesy: Jamie Crewe
Morton - Beedles - An abyss (video still 04)

"I'm very pleased to have been selected for this opportunity. I've never worked in tandem with an academic research project before, and never with access to the resources of a University, so I'm keen to discover the ways this will challenge, enrich, and provoke my practice."

Jamie Crewe

Jamie adds: " I'm particularly pleased to work alongside Dr Kennedy, whose committed and creative research heartens me, and alongside the Centre for Research Collections, whose sensitive considerations of stewardship and accessibility have already been demonstrated. It's early days, but currently this project has me thinking about justice; about harm; about ordeals of transformation; about stolen pelts; and about holes in the world. I'm excited to see what happens."

Over a two-year period, Dr Kennedy will work closely with Jamie, sharing research findings and thinking about the ways that law constructs and values identity and deception. The themes of the research project already chime with Jamie’s interest in the constructions of culture, community, and history, and they are in the early stages of planning for the creation of a new moving image piece.

The Art Collection has also supported the commission with additional funds to purchase the work, ensuring a legacy for the project and collaboration, as well as enabling access for use in future research and teaching. The Collection will also work closely with Dr Kennedy and Jamie to develop this as a model for future commissions and acquisitions.

Jamie Crewe - 'Teleny' (2015) [still 01]
Image Courtesy: Jamie Crewe
'Teleny' (2015) [still 01]
Jamie Crewe - Ashley (2020) - video still 05
Image Courtesy: Jamie Crewe
Ashley (2020) - video still 05

University of Edinburgh Art Collection

In 2011, ECA merged with the University of Edinburgh, at which point its extensive collection of prints, drawings, paintings, sculptures, textiles and ceramics were combined with the pre-existing 350 year old art collection. Today we continue to actively acquire and commission works for the collection for the support of research and teaching.

Looking to Commission?

The Art Collection can offer support and advice to those wishing to commission permanent and temporary art for university buildings or as part of research.

The Guidelines were designed by ECA Graphic Design Officer, Nicky Regan.