Queen Mary Conversations

Interdisciplinary conversations between artists and academics

About the Project

In 2020, Arts and Culture at Queen Mary University of London invited UK-based artists to converse with academics from across the university. A dentist spoke to a sculptor. A mathematician to a choreographer. A film producer to a social anthropologist.

While an unforeseen pandemic limited human contact for many of us, these artists and academics found ways to talk. They held conversations about climate change, mental health, housework, racism, childcare, justice, wellbeing. They exchanged knowledge. Expertise. Then the artists set to work. The results are original artworks and creative responses that could not have happened without conversations between academics and artists. They remind us of the power of art and the impact of connecting deep thinkers across fields.

Across these pages, you will encounter traces of their conversations - including material each pair shared in advance, and clips from their conversation itself - to give a sense of the unfolding exchange: its discoveries, commiserations, mutual inspirations, quietness, laughs and provocations. Each page begins with the commissioned artworks that resulted from each conversation. 

This project was funded through the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Higher Education Innovation Fund