Art and research project with FACT and those affected by the UK justice system unveiled

Throughout 2024, FACT presents the outcomes of Resolution, a major multi-year art and research project launched in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University and with support from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Dr Emma Murray, a Reader in Military Veteran Studies in the School of Justice Studies, has been collaborating with FACT since 2014 and in 2019 became FACT’s Criminologist-in-Residence. She has been a long-term collaborator on Resolution and is set to produce a paper on the intersection of social science and art, as well as the project's findings.

The project invites four artists to collaborate with participants who have experiences within the justice system, presenting art as a space for dialogue and representation and exploring how art can affect public attitudes and influence decision-making.

Redefining the role of an embedded researcher

Together, FACT and Dr Murray redefined the role of an embedded researcher, with Dr Murray being pivotal in the development of the programme and disseminating research across penal reform campaigners, criminology researchers and decision-makers. The next edition of FACT's journal will feature essays and long-form articles from Dr Murray and FACT's Learning team, focusing on the project's insights, methodologies, and outcomes.

Dr Murray said: “Resolution is a truly unique artistic programme and a source of extensive learning for justice sector research, knowledge exchange, and public engagement.

“During my time as Criminologist-in-Residence at FACT, I have had the privilege of observing firsthand the tireless enthusiasm of the Learning team in ensuring that artworks created with justice-affected communities were exhibited in the gallery.

“It is a real privilege to see that vision realised. Each artwork tells us something powerful about humanity, and I will be forever altered by this experience.

“This experience has taught me an important ethical praxis that will guide me throughout my career—a praxis where generated learning, a commitment to lived experiences, and methodological innovation go hand-in-hand.”

Exhibitions at FACT

FACT's work within the justice system traces back to 2014, with a significant emphasis on exploring the complexities of veteran identity and their experiences within the system. Since 2019, FACT’s Learning team has worked with artists Melanie Crean, Katrina Palmer, Ain Bailey, and Amartey Golding in prisons across Liverpool, Rochdale, and York. Incarcerated individuals and their families, prison staff, policymakers, and criminology researchers took part in the project, which now culminates in the presentation of four new artworks across a series of exhibitions at FACT. Three of the four commissions are currently on display, with the final commission to be revealed in August 2024.

Lucía Arias, Learning Manager at FACT, said: “It is so exciting to see the work of these last six years coming to life in the gallery with Melanie Crean, Katrina Palmer, and now, Ain Bailey. A special thanks to the participants, collaborators, artists, and current and previous FACT colleagues for their trust and patience. We hope the exhibitions and publications give people a chance to reflect on the space each of us occupies as part of the same society and to consider how we are determined not only by our lived experiences, but also by how we can listen to and support each other. I think I speak for the rest of the Learning team when I say these projects have altered our practice and how we see collaboration in the centre of an art gallery.”

Find out more about Resolution and exhibition openings on the FACT website.


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