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Dr Rachel Warriner

Assistant Professor

Department: Arts

I am an art historian interested in the relationship between political activism and art. Looking at challenges to art’s institutions, the role culture plays in conflict, and the politics of gender and sexuality in the art world, my research examines the politics of art’s production.

My monograph, Pain and Politics in Postwar Feminist Art: Activism in the Work of Nancy Spero (Bloomsbury, 2023) considered how emotional metaphors were used by artists as part of protests against war and patriarchy, focusing on the work of American feminist artist Nancy Spero to think through how representing pain could visualise political dissent and demand action from the viewer.  Looking at the anti-war practice of the late 1960s in the U.S. and the beginnings of the feminist art movement, I examined how Spero's practice acts as a model for representing how politics feels.

Building on this work, my project undertaken as British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Courtauld Institute of Art - which I held before taking up the role at Northumbria - examined the development of the women’s liberation movement in the arts, focusing on New York to consider how artists challenged the art world through collective work, protest, and feminist institution building. This forms the basis of the book Feminist Art, New York: Collectives, Actions, Agitations (currently in progress). At Northumbria for my Vice-Chancellor’s Fellowship, I am beginning a new project entitled ‘Art in the Troubles: Community, Culture, and Conflict’ which examines the relationship between arts spaces, artists, critics and communities in late twentieth century Northern Ireland.

I have published my work in The Oxford Art Journal, The Irish University Review, Courtauld Books Online, Muße, and The Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry.

Rachel Warriner

Modern and contemporary art; Irish and Northern Irish practice; American art, feminist, queer and anti-racist art, history and theory; collective and collaborative practice; artistic activism; museum and gallery studies

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • From Pride in Diversity to Standing Fast: Exhibiting Queer Culture in Ireland, 1996-2001, Kelleher, S., Warriner, R. 6 Jun 2024
  • Fuck You Angels. Art Works as Allies in Care, Warriner, R. 2 Mar 2023, In: Oxford Art Journal
  • Pain and Politics in Postwar Feminist Art: Activism in the Work of Nancy Spero, Warriner, R. 23 Feb 2023
  • Nancy Spero’s Feminist Scrolls, Warriner, R. 2020, Continuous Page. Scrolls and Scrolling from Papyrus to Hypertext, Courtauld Books Online
  • On the Value of Experiment, Warriner, R., Kelleher, S. 2020, Luminous Void: Twenty Years of Experimental Film Society, Experimental Film Society
  • Not getting up: Laziness and Resistance, Warriner, R. 2019, In: Muße ein Magasin
  • Nancy Spero: Letter to Lucy Lippard, Warriner, R. 2018, The Art of Feminism: Images that Shaped the Fight for Equality , Chronicle Books
  • Then Art Will Change. This is the Future’: Nancy Spero’s Manifestary Practice, Warriner, R. 2016, Mixed Messages: American Correspondences in Visual and Verbal Practices, Manchester University Press
  • Works of Witness: Maggie O’Sullivan’s A Natural History in Three Incomplete Parts and Point Blank Range, Warriner, R. 2016, In: Irish University Review
  • The Point of [an] Innovation in [Irish] Poetry [Conference], Warriner, R., Cummins, J. 2014, In: Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry

I also have an independent curatorial practice working with Sarah Kelleher in the partnership Pluck Projects. Our recent projects include a public programmes series for the RHA, Dublin including 'From Pride in Diversity to Standing Fast: Exhibiting Queer Culture in OutArt, 1996-2001' which focused on OutArt, a series of exhibitions which foregrounded queer practice in Ireland in the period after the decriminalisation, and 'Women, Artists and the Institution' which focused on the experience of women artists and feminist arts-activism in Ireland. We were also curators-in-residence at the Cork Midsummer Festival 2019-2022.  

  • History of Art PhD April 01 2016
  • History of Art MA September 01 2010
  • Theatre and Performance Practice BA (Hons) July 01 2001

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