Naomi Pearce

Published: 14 November 2016

Scene of a Crime: Women Administrators, Gentrification & the Artist Studio

University of Edinburgh

Scene of a Crime: Women Administrators, Gentrification & the Artist Studio

Academic History:

2016 - present PhD candidate, Art (practice-led), Edinburgh College of Art

2011 - 2013 MA Critical Writing in Art & Design, Royal College of Art

2004 - 2007 BA Hons Fine Art (First Class), Goldsmiths University


Maria Fusco, Edinburgh College of Art

Dr Elizabeth Reeder, University of Glasgow

Research Interests:

This practice-based research engages the mystery genre & forensic science maxim ‘Every contact leaves a trace’ (Locard, 1912) to consider the relationship between female administrators, artist studio co-operatives & gentrification in the 1970s & present day.

Exhuming untold past narratives to unsettle readings of the present this enquiry develops a speculative ‘forensic feminist methodology’. Rather than search for empirical truths, material from archives such as Glasgow Women’s Library will be fictionalized to imagine instead that which can never be verified (Hemmings, 2015).

Working between fiction, criticism & curation - informed by oral history, archival research & site writing - this study seeks to re-evaluate the influence of female administrators in artist studio co-operatives, asking what traces archivists or secretaries leave within artworks?

Taking up the proposal that artistic interventions are important in disrupting understandings of urban change (Harris, 2012), I examine ex-industrial sites in the United Kingdom previously occupied by artists & since been re-developed for residential use. In approaching buildings as sites that condition rather than simply frame human action (Weizman, 2014), this project traces the relationship between changing dynamics in space occupation & ‘the gentrification of ideas’ (Schulman, 2012).

Previous Research Projects:

TUnder The Influence, with Alice Hattrick & Linda Stupart, exploring correspondence & female friendship in the Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths - presented at the Centre for Feminist Research, London, 2014

The Mechanical Garden & Other Long Encores, site specific installation, events programme & audio guide inspired by the work of Stephen Cripps, Dilston Grove, London, 2014

After Butler’s Wharf: Essays on a Working Building, Co-Editor: MA collaborative publication, Royal College of Art, 2013

The Nomadic Studio, Commissioning Editor, Photographic publication conceived by artist Michael Heilgemeir, Edition Taube, 2013


2016 - present: AHRC DTP studentship

2011 - 2013, Royal College of Art Bursary


2015 Artist International Development Fund, Arts Council England.

2014 Grants for the Arts (Exhibition Funding), Arts Council England

2013 Critical Writing Prize, Royal College of Art

Contact Details:

Address: Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, 74 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9DF



First published: 14 November 2016