Skip to main content

Decolonising Collections

Our 2021 curatorial researchers in residence Harvey Dimond and Marenka Thompson-Odlum share their research interventions into 3 public collections: Arts Council Collection, British Council Collection and Manchester Art Gallery.

Decolonising Collections is an emerging curatorial research network led by UAL’s Decolonising Arts Institute, generously supported by the Art Fund Professional Network Grant scheme.

Digital collage
On Land Imaginaries and Dwellings. Tatiana Muringani, M ARCH, Central Saint Martins UAL. UAL Graduate Showcase 2021

Harvey Dimond

Charting a Cartography of Black, Feminist and Working Class Histories in the North West of England


Harvey is a British-Barbadian writer, artist and researcher based between Glasgow, Scotland and Athens, Greece. They work with queer(ed) histories in the pre and post-colonial Caribbean and Africa.

Working across the 3 collections, Harvey’s research examines recorded histories of Black communities in the North-West of England, exploring the correspondence between the geography of the United Kingdom and its working class, feminist and Black histories.

Marenka Thompson-Odlum

”Zero points to the UK”: The ‘Absence’ of the Self in the Classification Systems of the Manchester Art Gallery, the Arts Council Collection, and the British Council Collection

Marenka is a Research Associate at the Pitt Rivers Museum and a doctoral candidate at the University of Glasgow.

Working across the 3 collections, her project examines the taxonomy of coloniality within the language of these collections, to identify stereotypes and unpick the ways coloniality is reiterated in their narratives. From there, she considers how we can rethink how we speak about, classify and learn from collections.

In the Absence of the Western: Defining Classifications of Western and Non-Western at the Manchester Art Gallery

More to explore

  • Old black and white photograph of a rally
    C.L.R James speaking at a rally in Trafalgar Square in 1935
    Decolonising archives

    A programme exploring institutional histories, memories and experimental approaches to decolonising UAL from within.

  • Artwork commissioned by iniva's x-space
    Simon Tegala, Fustigator, 1996. Commissioned by iniva's x-space
    Digital artists in residence

    Collaboration with the Institute of International Visual Arts focusing on a specific aspect of its digital materials and online archive.

  • Gallery with placards made out of magazines
    Sonia Boyce, Devotional Wallpaper and Placards, 2008-2020. Acquired by the Contemporary Art Society for the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) through the Rapid Response Fund, 2020.
    Decolonising the Arts Institute projects

    Explore more of our projects.