School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Rebecca Farley

Research Associate



I work as a Researcher in Fine Art and in Media, Culture, Heritage (MCH). My research interests focus on public art practice, processes of visual arts audiencing, and the intersections between contemporary art and heritage.

Since 2011 I have worked with academic staff within the School of Arts and Cultures to support the development of practice-led research funding bids, leading to four successful AHRC awards. Prior to joining Newcastle University, I worked as a public art curator and project manager with Grit & Pearl PLC and as a Commissions Officer with Commissions North at Art Council England North East (2003-2010). I have also worked as a freelance arts consultant, and as a professional development advisor and editor with AN The Artists Information Company (1997-2003).

Alongside my role as a Research Associate I am in the process of completing an AHRC-funded PhD in Media, Culture, Heritage (MCH) looking at issues of public art collection, interpretation and audiencing in Newcastle-Gateshead.

Roles and responsibilities

Research Associate – School of Arts and Cultures

Occasional Lecturer - Media, Culture, Heritage (MCH)


1997    Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Management, Northumbria University

1991    MA Fine Art, Newcastle Polytechnic, MA Fine Art

1985    Postgraduate Diploma in Printmaking, Wimbledon School of Art

1982    BA Expressive Arts, Brighton Polytechnic


Current research

I am currently working as a Researcher on the AHRC-funded project, Mapping Contemporary Art in the Heritage Experience (MCAHE), led by PI Professor Andrew Burton. This is a three-year interdisciplinary project (2017-19) that critically examines the role and practice of temporary visual art commissioning within UK heritage sites. It aims to map the landscape of current practice and to explore the impact of this activity on producers and heritage audiences. The project is delivered in collaboration with major UK heritage and arts partners, Arts & Heritage, The Churches Conservation Trust, The National Trust, and the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN).

Previous projects

Other research and Impact projects that I have worked on in SACs include:

Think?ng Through Migration (led by Professor Chris Whitehead, MCH): development of an online toolkit designed to help museums and museum professionals respond to the phenomenon of migration and its contemporary challenges. The project was an output of the EU-funded research project, MeLa, European Museums in an Age of Migration.

Transfer Laban (led by Professor Wolfgang Weileder, Fine Art): development and presentation of a three-part artwork, including a temporary public art installation, film and dance performance, at Canary Wharf, London in 2016. Transfer Laban was a collaboration with the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, commissioned by Locus+ and supported by AHRC.

Second Moon App User Study: a research project (with Dr Areti Galani) investigating online audience digital engagement with Katie Paterson’s artwork Second Moon (2013-14). The research project was commissioned by Newcastle Institute for Creative Arts Practice, Tyne & Wear Museums and Archives, and Locus+.


I am an occasional Lecturer in Media, Culture, Heritage (MCH). I have taught on the following modules:

  • MPrac. Art Museum and Gallery/Heritage/Museum Practice 'Caring for Collections'
  • MA Media and Public Relations 'Methodologies: Researching Media, Culture and Society'
  • MA Art Museum and Gallery Studies 'Art Curatorship'