Jamie Wilson, Irene Khan (2014). Image courtesy of photographer. Photograph of side profile of a woman (Irene Khan) with plants in the background.

Jamie Wilson, Irene Khan, 2014.
Image courtesy of artist.


Traditionally paintings of Chancellors and Vice Chancellors have been commissioned at the end of their term of office across UK higher education. We have decided to take an entirely different and refreshing approach. Since 2014, we have revised the commissioning process which now creates an opportunity for staff or students of the university – typically in art, graphics, photographic or digital media. Through internal competition, and working with the School of Arts and Media, we identify a student or students (or a staff member) to create the ‘official’ portrait of our most senior officers. By approaching the ‘portraits’ this way we build a body of work by our alumni, and tell a different kind of story about the sitter and their links to the University, as well as the story of the individual who made the image.

Commissions include: Jamie Wilson, Rory Mullen, Claudia Alonso and Jackie Kay with Matthew Kay.

Portraits already collected include: Irene Khan (former Chancellor), Jackie Kay (current Chancellor) and Martin Hall (former Vice Chancellor, captured as a ‘video-portrait’).

Claudia Alonso, Jackie Kay, 2015. Image courtesy of the artist.