Artist in Residence Scheme


 (L) 'Eameshouse', Matt Westbrook  (R) Antonio Roberts, image courtesy of Furtherfield

The University of Birmingham‘s Artist in Residence scheme provides artists with a unique chance to engage with the diverse range of research and cultural collections held here. Based on a studio on campus, the artists work alongside the University’s curators, conservators and researchers with the opportunity to forge new interdisciplinary relationships. They also work with the cultural engagement team, delivering a series of workshops and lectures to staff, students and the public, bringing an exciting active aspect to the University’s cultural offer.

This year, we are thrilled to welcome Antonio Roberts and Matt Westbrook as our artists in residence. Antonio and Matt will be delivering a range of exciting projects over the course of their residency, which runs until September 2015.

Matt Westbrook


Matt’s artistic practice involves breaking down accepted ideas into components, which he reassembles into brilliant new narratives. As well making collages, Matt considers the conceptual basis for this type of image making - exploring phenomena such as pareidolia and apophenia in his work.

The use of word-play, satire and fictional narratives are an important aspect of his ongoing collaboration with fellow artist Chris Poolman: BAZ (Birmingham Art Zine). Previous work by BAZ includes a pop-up Artist-led Polytunnel Beer café, an artist / curator blind dating show and more recently, a fictitious futuristic public transport carriage as part of this years Longbridge Light Festival.

For his residency at the University of Birmingham, Matt intends to initially work with the English and Creative Writing departments to develop narratives inspired by the personal stories and curiosities within the collection and archives.

He is also interested in the history and growth of the University’s campus and its surrounding areas, in particular the many domestic dwellings that have been converted to educational facilities.  He hopes to engage with staff, students and the public to explore and highlight their untold stories.

Please feel free to get in touch with Matt by emailing

For more information about his work, visit


Antonio Roberts

Antonio Roberts. Image by Furtherfield

Antonio graduated with an MA Digital Arts in Performance from Birmingham City University in 2011. Since then, he has been involved in a plethora of exhibitions and initiatives in and beyond Birmingham.

Antonio’s work explores digital media in a number of ways, including live coding performances, video installations, glitch art and more. His work is largely documented online, where Antonio encourages engagement by using ‘Copyleft’ licences that allow work to be reused, reinterpreted and remixed, without jeopardising authorship over original works. He also freely releases all code, documentation and sources used to create the works.

During his residency at the University of Birmingham, Antonio aims to explore issues of copyright, patents, intellectual property and art - issues which are pertinent as online communities become more prolific and harder to police. He hopes to find ways to increase accessibility of University collections whilst still maintaining the integrity and reputation of the University and Copyright holders.

Contact Antonio with any ideas, questions or comments by emailing

You can follow Antonio’s residency on his dedicated blog:


Previous Artists in Residence

 2012-2013 - Bobby Nixon and Sarah Taylor Silverwood

Sarah Taylor Silverwood


Sarah graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2007 with a first class degree in English, and went on to complete an MA in Fine Art at Birmingham City University. Her practice is drawing based but often incorporates text and references to literature. 

During her residency at the University of Birmingham, Sarah produced a comic book style series of drawings that explored the University of Birmingham’s cultural heritage, called The Mermaid and Lion. Outputs from the residency, as well as more recent projects can be viewed on the artist's website.

Bobby Nixon


Bobby graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2010. His dark, detailed drawings consider the human condition in times of catastrophe.

Bobby was inspired by the fine collection of Durer prints at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, and during his residency at the University he looked at contemporary notions of apocalypse. He also created an imagined portrait of the eminent Birmingham physician John Darwell. This, and more recent work, can be found on the artist's blog