Artist appointed to explore impact of race relations laws

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31 January 2018

Artist Scarlett Crawford has been appointed by the UK Parliament for a new project entitled 'First Waves: Exploring the impact of race relations legislation in the UK'.

Over the course of her residency, she will work with six partner organisations across the country – including the University of Leeds and the Glasgow Women’s Library - to create artworks with local communities that explore and celebrate the 1965, 1968 and 1976 Race Relations Acts.

The artworks will be displayed in Parliament for an exhibition in 2019 which will look at the impact of race relations legislation and the stories of the people who fought for change, before being returned to the communities that inspired them.

Upon completing the residency, the First Waves artist will be invited to present a proposal, based on her research and experiences, for an artwork for permanent display in the Houses of Parliament and inclusion in the Parliamentary Art Collection.

Scarlett Crawford, First Waves artist, said:

“I’m really excited to have been chosen to creatively explore the impact of race relations legislation across the country. Working in collaboration with local communities I hope to discover the unheard stories of those who were affected by the changes, to honour the contributions of those who led the way, and to inspire future generations of people from all backgrounds to engage with art and politics.”

Alison McGovern MP, Chair of the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art, said:

“Scarlett Crawford is uniquely qualified to take on what will be a challenging artistic residency, and the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art is excited to see the artworks gathered together in Parliament in 2019. The First Waves project will help achieve a more diverse Parliamentary Art Collection that is reflective of the broad experiences and perspectives of communities across the country.”

For media enquiries please contact the House of Commons Media Office on / 0207 219 0969. 

Image: Scarlett Crawford in the Parliamentary Archive's searchroom
Photo: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

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Works of Art (Speaker's Advisory Committee)

The Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art is appointed by the Speaker to advise on matters relating to works of art in the House of Commons