Judith Ricketts is an Early Career Researcher (ECR) who creates data-driven, screen-based art and technology for education and social change. She has a particular interest in researching data connected to the slave trade and Black History, which she analyses to find out how it impacts our lives in the 21st century.

Judith uses her expertise in coding, animation, photography and gaming to tell stories connecting history with the present through serious gaming, augmented reality and virtual reality.

‘Serious gaming is the process of taking serious subject matter, such as the connections between the slave trade and present day racial injustice, and presenting it in a playful and experimental digital form,’ she says. ‘In this way, I can get the attention of people who may be uninterested or hard-to-reach – I’m creating learning through play.

‘I want to insert the narratives and plurality of diasporic voices into existing data and archives, building historical understanding of our shared past,’ says Judith. ‘In this way we begin to decolonise the curriculum to fully represent us all.’

At the foundation of Judith’s work is the shocking, raw data on the slave trade. This formed a major artwork in Judith’s recent exhibition at Phoenix Art Space, Brighton. The floor-to-ceiling exhibit is made up of rows and columns of figures, broken down into individual ships and voyages, year by year from 1501 to 1866. Those figures count millions of lives destroyed and lost. From this starting point, Judith researches into the people and stories behind the numbers, following narratives from history to social impact of the present day.

‘In creating this work, I am making the data visible, usable, touchable, accessible, and locatable in the built environment. For me, this is not about homogenising people of colour in a single story as a whole, but recognising every nuanced individual story, in each, number, name, location, place and time that the raw data presents.’

Judith Ricketts

Practice site: https://lovespictures.com/

Pure site: https://research.brighton.ac.uk/en/persons/judith-ricketts

Exhibition catalogue: https://lovespictures.github.io/breathTAKING/


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