Follow Northumbria University, Newcastle

Video and performance artist named new Warwick Stafford Fellow

Press release   •   Jan 12, 2017 12:36 GMT

Artist Kathryn Elkin, who has been announced as the 2017 Warwick Stafford Fellow

Kathryn Elkin has been selected as the latest recipient of the annual Warwick Stafford Fellowship – a unique opportunity hosted by Northumbria University and worth more than £20,000.

The Belfast-born artist is well-known for her use of roleplaying and improvisation within her work and her interest in shared 'cultural' memories, such as those produced by popular music, television and cinema.

Her videos often focus on a particular artist, song, writer or performer, to which she applies personal methods of translation, transcription and representation.

In addition to a £20,000 bursary, Northumbria will also provide Kathryn with studio space in the BALTIC-Northumbria University (BxNU) Institute for Contemporary Art at BALTIC 39 – a community of practicing artists opened in 2012 as a collaborative venture between Northumbria University, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle City Council and Arts Council England.

Kathryn will also receive technical support, engagement with the University’s community of postgraduate and PhD arts researchers and access to leading academics and internationally renowned artists. The year-long fellowship will culminate in a solo exhibition towards the end of 2017.

Kathryn said: “I am absolutely delighted to be chosen as the Warwick Stafford Fellow. This comes at a crucial point in my career and in addition to providing me with space and means to develop my practice, I will use this opportunity to connect and establish myself within my new context of Newcastle and the North East.

“I am very much looking forward to meeting and collaborating with peers at Northumbria University, BALTIC 39 and BxNU. This fellowship is unique in its holistic and generous support. I will do my best to take advantage of the very special circumstance I have been afforded.”

Kathryn graduated from the Glasgow School of Art’s Environmental Art course in 2005 and received a Post Graduate Diploma in Art Writing from Goldsmiths College, London in 2012.

She was an artist in residence as part of the BBC’s 2014 Artists in the Archive project, resulting in her work Michael’s Theme, which uses unbroadcast clips from the opening and closing of several 1970s episodes of Parkinson.

The work explores the talk-show convention of revealing the mechanisms of television-making, as well as the notion of improvisation within the 'recorded-as-live' TV format. It considers the relationship between the live studio audience, crew and talk show host and how this relationship anticipates the audience who will watch the deferred broadcast.

Fiona Crisp, Associate Professor of Fine Art at Northumbria University said: “We are very pleased to be welcoming Kathryn Elkin to take up residence at BALTIC 39 as the fifth Warwick Stafford Fellow.

“There were an unprecedented number of applications of exceptionally high standard for the Fellowship this year and Kathryn’s performance and video work stood out as both compelling and original.

“It is clear that this opportunity comes at a pivotal point in Kathryn’s career and we are sure that she will make a significant contribution to the dynamic environment of BALTIC 39.”

The Warwick Stafford Fellowship was created to offer an early-mid career artist a structured opportunity to advance their practice and research and engage with a stimulating community of professional artists, students, fine art researchers and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art partners.

Support and development is designed to meet the needs of the individual fellow. The artist will participate in and contribute to the research environment at BALTIC 39 whilst developing a body of new work that advances their practice-led research.

New work will be accessible during public events at the BxNU Institute and will form a core part of the exhibition programme in University Gallery the University’s prestigious venue for contemporary art.

The 2015/16 fellowship was held by Stuart Tait. Details of Stuart’s work, along with previous Fellows, Eleanor Wright (2012/13), Luke McCreadie (2013/14) and Laurence Kavanagh (2014/15), can be viewed on the BALTIC 39 website at

Northumbria offers a range of courses in the Arts, with the University recently ranked in the UK Top 10 for research power in Art and Design. For more information about studying Fine Art or other creative courses at Northumbria University sign up for one of our Open Days at:

Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. To find out more about our courses go to

If you have a media enquiry please contact our Media and Communications team at or call 0191 227 4571.