Past Events

PhD Toolkit: Interpreting Artworks

DRN Events – Anjalie Dalal-Clayton

  • 16 November 2021
  • 12:30 – 2:00 pm

This is an event for DRN members only. You can find out more about the network here.

This toolkit session will explore the principles of, and potential issues that come with, interpreting artworks. Dr Anjalie Dalal-Clayton (UAL) has planned the session, which will have 3 components. The first is a close reading of an artwork, guided by questions that Dr Dalal-Clayton will prepare and share in advance. The second is a close reading of an object label, also guided by questions prepared in advance. And the third is for participants to compare the two readings and identify the similarities and differences as a way of both critiquing interpretation and developing one’s own interpretation. Dr Dalal-Clayton will introduce the session and then Susuana Amoah and Caitlin Doley will help to run the activity itself.

About the speaker

  • Statement instead of photo of Anjalie - that reads museums are not neutral

    Dr Anjalie Dalal-Clayton is an art historian and research fellow at University of the Arts London's Decolonising Arts Institute. She focuses on work by Black and Brown British artists, as well as collecting, interpretation and curation practices in public art museums and galleries. Anjalie began her career working in a variety of arts organisations and museums before moving into academia. She completed her PhD at Liverpool John Moores University with a thesis examining approaches to curating work by Black

    British artists in public art institutions since the 1980s, which she is currently developing into a monograph. She was one of the researchers on the AHRC-funded Black Artists & Modernism project, where she conducted the first nationwide audit of works by Black artists in UK public collections. She joined the Decolonising Arts Institute in 2019, where she has since been working with a variety of different museums and arts organisations to critically examine collecting and interpretation practices. Current projects include a year-long workshop series with the Contemporary Art Society, titled Doing the Work: Embedding Decolonisation and Anti-Racism in Museum Practices and a two-year project led by Tate titled Provisional Semantics, which is exploring how museums and heritage organisations can engage in decolonising practices to produce search terms, catalogue entries and interpretations within an evolving digitised national collection. Her next project, starting later this year, is a major three-year research initiative within the AHRC's Towards a National Collection programme, titled Transforming Collections: Reimagining Art, Nation and Heritage, which will enable cross-collection search, raise surface bias, uncover hidden connections and unearth suppressed histories.