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The Art of Politics

The Art of Politics Trail showcases artworks that have emerged from the University of York's academic-artistic collaborations. These artworks reflect our ongoing engagement with themes of social change, human rights, injustice, inequality and development.

Through photography, painting, poetry, short films, textile art and sculpture, researchers and artists provoke us to think deeply and critically about urgently relevant topics such as queer joy, autocracy and democracy, climate justice, gender-based violence, COVID-19, and the experiences of migrants and refugees that shape the present and future of humanity.

The Art Trail was developed by academics Sara de Jong and Indrajit Roy (Department of Politics and International Relations) in partnership with the Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre, the Centre for Applied Human Rights and in collaboration with the University of York's art curator, Helena Cox.

Map of the Art Trail

The art trail weaves through Spring Lane Building and Derwent College. Choose which artworks resonate with you and learn about how they were developed.

Download the Art of Politics trail map (PDF , 20,094kb) 

This map was designed by Helen Cann.

University Art Collection

In January 2022 the University appointed its first Art Curator, Helena Cox, and a new era began for art on campus, opening up the collection to visitors and interdisciplinary collaborations.

The University sculpture trail features 15 sculptures on Campus West and welcomes students, researchers as well as the public. New exhibition spaces are being developed and students are encouraged to become actively engaged with art on campus. 


Helena Cox, Indrajit Roy and Sara De Jong would like to thank the Estates team, especially Ian Harrington and Mark Thorpe, for all their support with delivering the trail. The curation of the trail was supported by the Borthwick Institute for Archives and Research Collections.

The funding and support for the art trail by Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor from its inception, was invaluable in making the art trail a reality. The trail would not have been possible without the support and encouragement by colleagues from the Centre for Applied Human Rights and the Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre. The launch event on Monday 23 October was kindly hosted by the Department of Politics and International Relations.