First Waves exhibition comes to Parliament

First Waves lead image crop
08 January 2019

Throughout 2018, artist in residence Scarlett Crawford has been working with communities across the country to explore the legacy of the 1965, 1968 and 1976 Race Relations Acts. For the first time the artworks created with these communities can be seen in Parliament.

In 2017 the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art selected Scarlett Crawford as artist in residence to explore the legacy of the 1965, 1968 and 1976 Race Relations Acts. Throughout 2018 Crawford has been delivering a series of artistic workshops, working with partner institutions across the UK:

  • Glasgow Women’s Library
  • Nottingham Contemporary
  • Race Council Cymru
  • The Bluecoat, Liverpool
  • The Peabody, Thamesmead
  • University of Leeds

During workshops participants were encouraged to share their stories and create artworks which expressed their experiences. Through participatory photography, Crawford worked with community groups to create a visual language to explore the legacy of the Acts, and to capture the personal experiences of the individual participants. Using symbolic objects, Crawford empowered participants to share their experiences across linguistic and cultural divides.

Participants also shared their stories through recording oral histories. Through these recordings participants explored their experiences of race relations in the UK, which form the basis of an audio artwork created by Crawford.

These artworks were exhibited at each of the regional partner institutions in autumn 2018, and in January 2019 all the First Waves artworks will be shown together in Westminster Hall.

First waves portraits


The free exhibition will open on Monday 7th January until Wednesday 13th February, and will include artworks created by communities across the country.

To reserve free tickets for this exhibition book online.

About the Artist

Scarlett Crawford (b. 1982) is a British artist who is passionate about equality and diversity in the arts and education and has worked as an artist and educator within the community and creative industries for over 10 years.

Find out more

Learn more about the First Waves project.

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