Artist in Residence Scheme


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 in 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.

We are delighted to welcome three new artists for the 2016/2017 academic year: Lynn Dennison, Joanne Masding and Faye Claridge. Each brings a different approach and artistic medium and each will be focusing on different aspects of the collections.  For updates on their residencies, see the Cultural Engagement social media pages @CultureUoB and @CultureUoB.

Faye Claridge


Faye Claridge’s practice explores how current and future identities are shaped by ideas about the past. She frequently works with archives and collections to connect the public to mythologies about personal, local and national identity.

She questions representation and belonging “in a country obsessed with (constantly reworked) history” and believes Brexit gives these issues “a renewed urgency to progressively understand ideas of Englishness based on social equality, inclusion, diversity and internationalism”.

Claridge has exhibited with the Arts Council Collection, at the Photographers’ Gallery and in the London Art Fair. She was shortlisted for the Helen Chadwick Fellowship with the British School in Rome and her first London solo show won a five-star review and the accolade of Time Out Exhibition of the Week. Recent works were nominated for three international book awards, purchased for the Rugby Collection, with the Contemporary Art Society, and used to promote a Tate Modern conference and as the cover for the book 'Performing Englishness’. An artist’s minigraph on Claridge’s work was produced in 2014 and other articles and portfolio spreads have appeared in The Guardian, Source and a-n. She also occasionally lectures in Photography & Fine Art and was a producer for the BBC in the West Midlands for 12 years.

Claridge lives in Warwickshire and is returning to her hometown for the residency, on the campus where her parents first met as students.

Lynn Dennison

Lynn Dennison, Waterfall, Dimensions variable, installation with video projection at De La Warr Pavilion 2014

Lynn Dennison’s practice uses film and installation to explore our relationship with the natural world; how we see and experience landscape and how important it is to people; how we notice it, (or don’t notice it,) and why certain landscapes resonate more strongly with us than others.

She is particularly interested in the idea of a fear of the landscape, and the creation of an artwork that suggests the enormity of nature. Her videos and installations celebrate the beauty of nature whilst acknowledging the interaction of man in the environment. Since graduating from an M.A. at Central St Martins in 2013, she has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has been commissioned to make work for Altered and the De La Warr Pavilion, amongst others. In 2015 she was the winner of the RBS Sculpture Shock Award and the resulting commission was shown in the Brunel Entrance Hall in Rotherhithe, London. Lynn Dennison lives and works in London.

Joanne Masding

'stuffs wander off, a shape steps in' installation view at Two Queens, Leicester, image courtesy Jules Lister

Joanne Masding (b. 1985) is an artist who lives and works in Birmingham. Joanne’s work is made to investigate the worth, ownership and production of physical stuff, and how this translates to a world that is growing increasingly digital, immaterial and reproducible. Recent exhibitions include: stuffs wander off, a shape steps in, Two Queens, Leicester, 2016 (solo); Image Music Text, IMT, London, 2016, After, Division of Labour, London, 2016, The Place of the Scene, Bloc Projects, Sheffield, 2015; Birmingham Show, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, 2015. She has recently been in residence at 501 Artspace, Chongqing, China and Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin, Ireland. Masding is preparing for a solo exhibition at The New Art Gallery Walsall, West Midlands in 2017. 

Previous Artists in Residence:


Matt Westbrook (2014-15)


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.

For more information about his work, visit Matt's website

Antonio Roberts (2014-15)

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.

Sarah Taylor Silverwood (2012-13)


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 (2012-13)


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