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Student Showcase Archive

Michaela Crimmin


  • Michaela Crimmin
  • Area

    School of Arts & Humanities


    Reader in Art and Conflict

  • Michaela Crimmin is Reader in art and conflict. She is the UK artistic director of 4Cs, a 4-year EU-funded programme. Activities include exhibitions, residencies and film screenings inquiring into art’s contribution to achieving a less divisive future in a time of heightened hostilities. The first UK solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based filmmakers Adam Shingwak Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer takes place at Gasworks in September 2020, curated with CCA alumnus Sabel Gabaldon. This follows events in 2019 co-programmed with the Showroom Gallery and Tate; and an artist residency by Noor Abuarafeh with Delfina Foundation.

  • Biography

  • Michaela initially worked as assistant curator at the Air Gallery, and from 1983 was curator at the pioneering agency Public Art Development Trust, for 10 years commissioning work for a wide range of contexts. Subsequently at the RSA (Royal Society of Arts) she directed the £2m Art for Architecture award scheme. As Head of Arts at the RSA (1997-2010), activities included the commissioning the first three artworks on the Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square, and subsequently a member of the Greater London Assembly’s Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group. In 2007 she founded and directed the Arts & Ecology Centre for the RSA and Arts Council England, to support, promote and debate artists’ responses to environmental challenges. Activities included international events and artists’ residencies; and commissioning Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook,book edited by CCA alumnus Max Andrews.

    Michaela co-founded Culture+Conflict in 2011, an ongoing, not-for-profit agency focusing on the role and value of art in the context of international conflict. Activities include artists residencies, scholarships and events.

    She received an Arts and Humanities Research Council award in 2015 for an RCA-based project to develop an interdisciplinary network of interest engaged in the subject of art in the context of conflict. This culminated in commissioning, co-editing and writing for an online publication, Art and Conflict.

    In 2016 Michaela co-organised and curated ´Promised Land` for the Goethe-Institut in London, a programme bringing together artists, academics and experts to address European policies and challenges. This was followed by two one-day symposia for Frieze and the Goethe in 2017 and 2018 to debate cross-cultural exchange. 

    Since June 2017, Michaela has been art director (UK) on 4Cs, a 1.8 million euro, 4-year, Creative Europe project. Activities to date have included co-programming events with The Showroom and Tate in 2019, asking to what extent art can affect change when addressing issues of migration and access. An artist’s research residency by Palestinian artist Noor Abuarafeh at Delfina Foundation resulted in an artist’s book, co-produced with Jerusalem gallery Al Ma’mal. Forthcoming activities include the first UK solo exhibition by Adam Shingwak Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer at Gasworks in September 2020, touring to Spike Island in Bristol in 2021.

    Michaela is also an associate lecturer at Central Saint Martins, UAL; and a doctoral supervisor in the War Studies department at King’s College London. She also works as an independent curator currently co-programming a 2-day symposium, Remaking Citizenship, on behalf of the Goethe Institute. She is a Trustee of Wysing Arts Centre; a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA); and the Higher Education Academy. A member of Eastside Projects’ commissioning panel for a major new commission for Birmingham, with Susan Philipsz selected. A regular speaker and chair of events for organisations that have included the Mosaic Rooms; King’s College London; the Whitechapel Gallery; MAAT Lisbon; the European Capital of Culture 2018, Malta; Ikon Gallery; Photographers Gallery; the British Council; Harvard University; and the University of New South Wales, Australia.

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  • External collaborations

  • The current 4Cs programme is a partnership between the RCA and Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Lisbon; Tensta Konstall, Stockholm; SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin; Fundació Antoni Tápies, Barcelona; Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts, Lithuania; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark; and Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs, Paris.

Selected work


Research students