Approved: 21.01.2014

Rebecca Key


Approved: 21.01.2014

Dr Rebecca Key exhibited internationally, and worked as an art director in the film and television industry. Using object placement and mise-en-scène techniques, referred to as drawing with objects, Key examined the relationship between artist and gallery space, exploring mythologies that surround the creative process, within the institution and other specific sites.

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    Artist Statement

    Dr Rebecca Key exhibited internationally, and worked as an art director in the film and television industry. Using object placement and mise-en-scène techniques, referred to as drawing with objects, Key examined the relationship between artist and gallery space, exploring mythologies that surround the creative process, within the institution and other specific sites.


    "This kind of trickery isn't just one-note high jinks, it's tough love. Once we're familiar with a place, we almost always tune it out. Key jolts us awake by making the familiar strange. For a moment, at least, we're aware of what surrounds us."

    The Washington Post


    Key creates installations that examine social space. She has previously created an arts administrator’s office in a gallery space, a creative inversion that ought to have been too near the knuckle for many.


    Rebecca Key / Sumnall retired in 2019, but can still be contacted through Axisweb. 



    CV & Education

    Born: 1977

    Lives: England, UK


    2019       PhD (Practice-led), Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Coventry University  

                   Supported by The BBC Grace Wyndham Goldie Trust & The Film and Television Charity

    2008       M.Res (Art and Design History) Liverpool School of Art & Design, LJMU

    2006       PGCE (Post Compulsory) University of Central Lancashire

    2001       MFA (Sculpture) Edinburgh College Of Art

    1999       B.A.Hons (Drawing and Painting) Edinburgh College of Art

    Solo Exhibitions (retired 2019):

    2018        Research Lanchester Research Gallery, Coventry University, Coventry

    2017        Object Drawings: The Thief and her Lover  Sala Giudice, Vittoria, Italy

    2016        She Greater Vernon Museum & Archives, British Columbia, Canada

    2014        Patronage U- Hang at Art Gene, Cumbria

    2010        Counterfeit  SIM Residency, Korpúlfsstaðir, Iceland

    2010        Archetype Transformer Gallery, Washington DC, USA

    2009        Rebecca Key: apexart Residency New York  Cornerhouse, Manchester

    2008        Changeover Liverpool John Moores University Gallery, Liverpool

    2007        In Residence Liverpool Community College, Liverpool

    2006        Bankley Studios Gallery Bankley Gallery Studios, Manchester

    2005        Administration  Arena Gallery, Arena House, Liverpool

    2001        In Memoriam The Mounted Gallery, Edinburgh

    Artist Books:

    2013        Art Directed Existence limited edition of 65 signed, in individual wraps,  

                    stickered and numbered. Printed Matter New York and MoMA collection.

    2013        Messages limited edition of 65 artist books signed, in individual wraps,

                     stickered and numbered. Printed Matter New York and MoMA collection.


    Group Exhibitions:

    2017          Lexicon of Artists Gestures Documenta14, Athens

    2017         Concurrent #3 Tate, Liverpool

    2017         Oblivion  L'Associazione culturale MPGArt, Teatro Naselli di Comiso, Comiso 

    2017         Oblivion  L'Associazione culturale MPGArt, Sala Mazzone, Vittoria

    2016         SIXTY Lubomirov / Angus-Hughes Centre for Contemporary Curation, London

    2016         Utopia:Dystopia Walcot Chapel, Fringe Arts Bath, Bath

    2016         Tiny Library Boom Festival, Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal              

    2016          A New Medicine Gallaudet Gallery, Wisconsin, USA

    2016          The Great Unanswered Scaffold Gallery, Terrace, Manchester

    2016          Spectrum PS Mirabel, Manchester

    2016          SIXTY Platform Projects at Art Athina, Athens

    2016          100 Under 100 3rd on 3rd Gallery, Reg Lenna Centre for the Arts & New York

                       State Council on the Arts, New York

    2015           Bedroom Tax and other Political Art CMR Gallery, Redruth, Cornwall 

    2015           GARAGE Edinburgh Arts Festival, Edinburgh

    2015            ArtVend Commision Oriel Wrecsam, Wrexsam, Wales

    2014            GANG In The Park After Dark CCP, Liverpool Independents Biennial

    2014            GARAGE Edinburgh Arts Festival, Edinburgh

    2014             Pet Project Edinburgh Small Animal Club, Annuale 2014, Edinburgh

    2014             Soul to Sole National Trust Croome Court, Worcestershire

    2014             I Know You: You can Come With Me Oriel Wrecsam, Wales

    2014             6X6 Rochester Contemporary Art Center, New York

    2013             GARAGE Edinburgh Arts Festival, Edinburgh

    2013             Here/There/Everywhere Oriel Wrecsam, Wrexham, Wales

    2012             GARAGE (with Melodien), Edinburgh Arts Festival, Edinburgh

    2012              Here/There/Everywhere Regeneration Through the Arts, Sheffield       

    2012              Here/There/Everywhere Contemporary Art Space Chester, Chester   

    2012              Curious Pursuits Porter & Jenkinson at Portico Library & Gallery,  Manchester

    2011              Island Eastern Michigan University Gallery and CAVE Gallery, Detroit, USA

    2011              Distant Interiors Drake Music In Translation Online Commission, London

    2010             The Superior Council of Higher Beings Presents.....SIM, Reykjavík, Iceland

    2010              FRAFL The House of Ideas (Hugmyndahús Háskólanna) Reykjavík, Iceland

    2010              GARAGE Edinburgh Arts Festival, Edinburgh

    2008              Platform Liverpool John Moores University Gallery, Liverpool

    2007              The Wrong Space Site Gallery, Liverpool

    2005              The Thursday Show Static, Liverpool

    2003              Ya Stof Ouvetnost Don Kultur, Breko, Bosnia

    2003              Scottish Artists Screening Musikasa Tosko, Belgrade, Serbia

    2003              Islington People Digital Art Exhibition Islington Museum, London

    2002              From Ritual to Romance Catalyst Arts, Belfast

    2002              Members Show Transmission Gallery, Glasgow

    2001              Fourteen Square Mafuji Gallery, Hackney, London

    2001              Burnt Out Festival Cottier Theatre, Glasgow

    2001              Von Hier Bis Dahin Akademie Gallery, Munich

    2001              Where Did You Learn To Whisper? Brass Monkey, Edinburgh

    2001               E.I.C.C Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Edinburgh

    2001               Mounted 2 Howe Street Mounted Gallery, Edinburgh

    2001      Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh

    2000               Underworld Electro Image La Belle Angele, Edinburgh

    2000                If I Knew You Were Coming…. Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh

    1999                R.S.A Student Exhibition Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

    1999                Passing Time Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh

    1999                Square Foot Mounted Gallery, Edinburgh

    1998                Underwater V.J by the Phactory, The City Café, Edinburgh

    1998                Happy Hybrid The Eskobar, Aberdeen

    1997                Sale or Return The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh


    Feature Films:

    2005                O Jeruselem (UK Unit-Props Buyer), Liverpool

    2005                Dead Mans Cards (Art Director), Liverpool

    2004                Fated (Art Director), Liverpool


    2004                Doctors (Standby Art Director) B.B.C Television

    2004                Coronation Street (Standby Art Director) Granada TV

    2004                Starhyke (Propmaker) Lightworx Media Ltd

    2003                Hollyoaks (Standby Propmaster) Mersey Television

    2003                I’m A Juvenile Delinquent, Jail Me! (Scenic Artist) B.B.C

    2003                Na Daione Beaga (Propmaker) B.B.C Scotland

    Award Winning Short Films (a selection):

    2004                Little Big Head (Model Maker) Excellence Award,Tokyo Video Festival

    2004                The Return of Peg Leg Pete (Art Dept Assistant) Best Narrative Short,
                            Minneapolis/St Paul International Film Festival

    2003                Duet For A Lifetime (Set Designer) Jury 1st Lomond Audi Filmmakers
                            Award, 9th Cinemas and Cultures D’Aise

    Pop Promo:

    April 06            Hard Times The Research, Good Times (Scenic Artist)

    Mar 06             Love Sensation Eddie Thornieck and Kurd Maverick, Cr2 Records

                            AATW, Integral Productions (Art Director)

    Feb 05            Snowdon Doves, EMI, Independent, (Art Dept Assistant)


    2016                Arts Council England GFA for Caetani Residency, Vernon, Canada

    2015               The Snowdon Trust Award

    2014               Arts Council England GFA for GANG CCP, Liverpool Independents Biennial

    2014               Artist in Residence, National Trust, Croome Court, Worcestershire

    2014               Spotlight Five2Watch Liverpool, Axisweb 

    2013               The BBC Grace Wyndham Goldie Trust Award (PhD Sponsorship)

    2013               The Snowdon Trust Award 

    2012               Arts Council England GFA, Compeung Residency, Chiang Mai, Thailand

    2012               Public Choice Award, AA2A Artists of the Year Awards 2012

    2011/12          Artist in Residence, Chester University, AA2A, 2011/12

    2010               SIM Residency, Association of Icelandic Visual Artists, Korpúlfsstaðir, Iceland

    2009               Art Council England GFA, apexart Inbound Residency, New York.               

                           Residency supported in part by Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Andy

                           Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Carnegie Corporation of New York, & the

                           Edith C. Blum Foundation.

    2006/7            Artist in Residence, Liverpool Community College, AA2A, 2006/7

    2005               Arts Council England GFA, Administration, Arena House, Liverpool



    2016               She: Rebecca Key in Conversation with Susan Brandoli Vernon Museum &

                           Archives, British Columbia, Canada    

    2010               Salon Contra: Rebecca Key The Pink Line Project, Washington DC

    2009               Ser·en·dip·i·ty (srn-dp-t) apexart lecture, New York

    2008               Help Wolverhampton School of Art and Design Symposium,Wolverhampton

    2008              Taking Positions LJMU M.Res Symposium, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool


    2018               Doctoral Capability and Development Conference Coventry University, Coventry

    2017               Arts & Humanities PGR Symposium Coventry University, Coventry

    2016               Research Summer Conference Middlesex University, London

    2015               Research Summer Conference Middlesex University, London

    2014               Research Summer Conference Middlesex University, London



    Art reveal magazine

    Vernon Morning Star

    Washington Post

    Axisweb spotlight


    Flux Magazine


    UCLan Journal of Pedagogic Research





    Research Gate:

    BBC Horizon: