School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Erika Servin

Lecturer in Fine Art / Printmaking Technician



I am a committed, enthusiastic and passionate artist and educator with over 15 years of working within HEIs whilst maintaining a national and international exhibiting profile. My work is socially focused, and in content and process, works toward expressing the reality of human nature often intercultural.


Born in Mexico City in 1972 and lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. In 2000 she obtained her Master of Arts degree in New York University. In 1998 received a Fulbright-Garcia Robles grant to study her MA.

Roles and Responsibilities

Working within Newcastle University’s Fine Art Department, I have specialized in printmaking, delivering tuition to students throughout the four stages of the degree programme on both conceptual and technical aspects of their work. I also regularly work with M-Level and PhD students on their research, and have worked with several colleagues from other departments on interdisciplinary projects. I have highly developed printmaking skills and am up-to-date with recent technologies and programs, as well as a range of printmaking techniques, orthodox and non-toxic. I am well versed in Health and Safety procedures, risk assessments and in my current role have to undertake considerable administration and organization.


Master of Arts New York University


Edinburgh Printmakers
Trustee for Northern Print

Honours and Awards

Fulbright Scholar



Informal Interests




Research Interests

Printmaking is my primary source of practice, not only I am interested due to its well known historic, political relationship with Mexican popular prints but also owing to its unique qualities of reproduction and graphic possibilities. Through my artwork I translate the concept of Mexican popular culture from symbols into narratives. There is a political aspect contained within printmaking and it has an important role in societal changes. 

Other Expertise

Painting and drawing.

Current Work

I was awarded the Institute of Creative Arts Award for a collaborative project: ”Interdisciplinary exchange in technical process of photo-lithography”, with Dr. Enrique Escobedo-Cousin a Research Associate from the Institute of Neuroscience/School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The main objective of this collaboration was to produce a collection of macro and micro scale images which was exhibited July 2017 in Newcastle Upon Tyne and in Mexico City at the Galeria Taller de Arte Contemporaneo (T.A.C.O) in November 2017, which shares conceptual approaches and to exchange technical processes and which will also be accompanied by a seminar.

In March of 2017 I was awarded the School of Arts and Cultures Strategic Research Fund, for the project: “Lithography development for Excellence in Print”. This application seeks support to develop new skills and networks in printmaking, specifically in sustainable lithography methods and techniques, and to enhance the printmaking research (and teaching) environment at Newcastle University.

At the same time I am working on a project called Pulque:


It is a project that investigates an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant. It is traditional to central Mexico, where it has been produced for millennia. I am interested in the revival of this drink and its relation to the community and social traditions as well as the visual symbols that are contained in old and new culture. The mix of pre-Columbian and contemporary identity and the interest of the visual significance and historical importance are the centre of my research interests. 

The project compromises:

  • a series of prints taken from a photographic and video source of the “pulquerias”
  • an intervention of those public space (Pulqueria Insurgentes)
  • interaction of artists, art students and the consumers of the drink.

Future Research

Visual Identity of ethnic groups and subcultures in Contemporary Mexico. 

My interest for these subcultures comes from the notion of “castas” in colonial times. It was based on the principle that people varied largely due to their birth, colour, race and origin of ethnic types. The system was more than socio-racial classification. Now a day we find urban subcultures and new references of groups of people that have joined due to cultural references such as music preferences or ways of making a living.

This body of work represents some of those groups in contemporary Mexican society. And rather than studying their socio-racial classification I am interested in their contemporary visual identity.

 In line with this increasing recognition of local diversity and its implications for identity, this project will research subcultures and minority culturea in contemporary Mexico, focusing on how identity is manifest in visual and material cultures. It will explore the effect of migration to identity and how the amalgamation of cultures has had an influence on strengthening, weakening or changing the perception of self. In so doing, it will create and critically consider a multicultural portrayal.

The aims of this project are:

• To research how identity is affected by migration, focussing specifically on visual and material cultures.
• To examine the role of visual art and artefacts in the ‘cultural make-up’ and how this is affected by contact with other contacts.
• To explore the potential of visual interpretation of cultural identities through printmaking techniques.

The context:
My own background has given me an incentive to study this theme. I am a Mexican artist, who has lived in four different countries (United States, Finland, Scotland and England). As a result of all these transitions, I have gained an understanding of how my cultural identity has changed and the how process of repeated re-discovery has impacted my self-perception. Most importantly, the search for cultural identity has become manifest in my art practice since moving out of my home country. A key aspect of this is memory and how memory becomes implicated in the act of placing.


Currently I am teaching 8 second year undergraduate students  and 2 MFA first year postgraduates.

And I also work with all undergraduates and graduates that sign up to different Printmaking workshops, courses and events.

Through a Staff Developing course I produced a new video-based learning resource for students through documentation of first year workshops led by painter/printmaker Gavin Robson. This is now an on-line resource readily available to students. The City and Guilds highlighted this project as being a useful 24-hour online teaching and learning resource. This Staff Development course in Leadership and Management also developed my capacity for evaluating and reflecting on my own practice.