Emma Saunders: ‘Us and Them’


Four stills from the video ‘Us and Them’ by Emma Saunders. [8 minutes 5 seconds] This video can be viewed at Oriel Q Gallery as part of the forthcoming Room 103 exhibition in July 2020

ROOM 103 @Oxford University: The Artist’s Videos

Glenn Ibbitson barcode poster

A week-long event in Oxford exploring the legacy and impact of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Artists videos from Room 103 will be shown at the evening talk: ORWELL AND JOURNALISMA conversation about contemporary journalism and politics with
Carole Cadwalladr – winner of the Orwell Prize 2018 and Fintan O’Toole – winner of the Orwell Prize 2017
Organised by Dr. Lisa Mullen.
Video contributions from Kath Wilkinson, Sonia Boué, Kerry Baldry, Emma Saunders, Dave and Will Stephens, Glenn Ibbitson.
10 October 5.30pm-8pm
The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, Worcester College, Oxford OX1 2HB

Room 103 @Oxford University

A week-long event in Oxford exploring the legacy and impact of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Room 103A fb


10 October 5.30pm-8pm

The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, Worcester College, Oxford OX1 2HB

A conversation about contemporary journalism and politics with

Carole Cadwalladr – winner of the Orwell Prize 2018

Fintan O’Toole – winner of the Orwell Prize 2017


Showing short films by Kath Wilkinson, Sonia Boué, Kerry Baldry,  Dave and Will Stephens, Emma Saunders, Glenn Ibbitson


11 October 2019 9am-5pm

The Nash Room, Worcester College, Oxford OX1 2HB

9.15 Greeting 

9.20 Jean Seaton, ‘Orwell and Fear’ 

9.40 Joshua Dienstag, ‘Orwell’s Pessimism’

10.40-11.10 Coffee Break

11.10 Anna Vaninskaya, ‘Speaking Truth to Power: George Orwell and Victor Serge’ 

11.30 Dorian Lynskey, ‘Orwellspeak: How the Language of Nineteen Eighty-Four Infiltrated Politics and Journalism in the 1950s

12.30-1.30 Lunch

1.30 Joanna Kavenna, ‘How to Live in an Unreal Reality’: The Power of Fiction in a Post-Truth Age’ 

1.50 Victoria Bateman, ‘Speaking Naked Truth to Power’

2.40-3.10 Coffee Break

3.10 Nathan Waddell: ‘Oceania’s Dirt: Mess, Filth and Nausea in Nineteen Eighty-Four’ 

3.30 Greg Claeys, ‘Orwell for the Twenty-First Century’

4.20. Concluding Remarks


Room 103 def fb

10-17th October 9am-7pm

Foyer of the English Faculty Building, Manor Road, OX1 3QU

A selection of art inspired by Orwell’s novel by Tony Baker, Alan Pergusey, Paul Steffan Jones, Nigel Pugh, Liam Ainscough, Garry Barker, Mark Elmore, Kath Wilkinson, Glenn Ibbitson.

Free Entry


George Orwell Studies: vol.3, #1


George Orwell Studies:  volume 3, number 1  2018

ISSN 2399-1267

Includes the article; ‘Room 103’: Orwell’s Influence on Contemporary Visual Art -by Glenn Ibbitson.  p70-82

Adapted from a presentation as part of the third George Orwell Studies Conference, held at Goldsmiths, University of London on 30th May, 2018.

The issue is guest edited by Professor Tim Crook, who generously introduces my contribution as follows

Glenn Ibbitson, in presenting to the conference a paper titled ‘Room 103: Orwell’s Influence on Contemporary Visual Art’, argues that so many visual artists identify with Orwell because his work powerfully advances the principle of the freedom of the individual to think independently. Ibbitson curates an online platform ‘Room 103’ where artists engaged in visual media can present work inspired by ‘Orwellian’ themes. And his paper bristles with an Orwellian mischief: ‘Now you may justifiably label me as the artist who put the lie in artistic licence and to that charge I plead guilty, but only to the extent that Orwell himself ascribed fictional, nefarious activities to his room on that same corridor. We all crave a catchy title after all.’

Artists whose contributions to ‘Room 103’ were cited in the presentation are:

Tony Baker,

Paul Steffan Jones

Antoni Garcia Serrat

Kerry Baldry

Mary M. Mazziotti

Paul Salt and Sue Shaw

Alan Pergusey

Nigel Pugh

Liam Ainscough

Garry Barker

Dave Stephens

Dalton Desborough

Emma Saunders

Clare Ferguson Walker

Kath Wilkinson

Saul Hay Gallery, Manchester


The issue also includes contributions by

Tim Crook: Professor Departmentof Media, Communications and Culture at Goldsmiths, University of London

Len Platt: Professor of Modern Literatures, Goldsmiths, University of London

Richard Lance Keeble: Professor of Journalism, University of Lincoln

Douglas Kerr:  Hon. Professor of English, University of Hon Kong; Hon. Research Fellow at Birkbeck College, University of London

Nicola Rossi: Novelist. MA in Digital Media, Goldsmiths, University of London

Darcy Moore: Deputy Principal, Secondary School in New South Wales. Post-graduate teacher education at University of Wollongong

Martin Stollery:  Independent Scholar. ‘Alternative Empires: European Modernist Cinemas and Cultures of Imperialism’ [pub. 2000]

Book reviews by Elinor Taylor, Peter Stansky, John Newsinger, Paul Anderson, Nick Hubble

Grateful thanks to the editors of George Orwell Studies.


Video Reel: Room103 @SaulHay

9Emma Saunders: “Follow the Leader”

7Kath Wilkinson: “Do it to Julia”

1Sonia Boué:  “Retreat”

2Sonia Boué:  “The People is Divided”

9aGlenn ibbitson:  “Consignment”

5Kerry Baldry: “Boot”

4Dave and Will Stephens:  “Veil”

The showreel will be running throughout the preview at Saul Hay Gallery, Manchester on Thursday 11th October; 6pm -8.30pm

Room 103 @Saul Hay Gallery: Preview 11th October 6 – 8.30pm

kathb Wilkinson

We are delighted to announce details of the preview for the forthcoming showing of a selection of work from Room 103 at the Saul Hay gallery, Manchester.

it will take place at 6pm to 8.30pm and will be opened by Richard Blair, son of George Orwell.

Contributions from the following artists:

Tony Baker                  

Paul Steffan Jones

Liam Ainscough       

Clare Ferguson Walker   

Salt and Shaw     

Antoni Garcia Serrat       

Mary M. Mazziotti      

Dave Stephens

Emma Saunders      

Nigel Pugh  

Kerry Baldry 

Kath Wilkinson  

Alan Pergusey   

Mark Elmore  

Sonia Boué

Roberto Cambi 

Glenn Ibbitson  

Railway Cottage  33a Collier St. Castlefield,                                                              Manchester M3 4LZ                                                                                                                                                                                                     Weds – Sat 10.30 to 6.00                                                                                                           Sun  10.30 to 5.00                                                                                                                  tel.0161 222 4800

Saul Hay Map


Emma Saunders


“Say No To ID”  Image of  ‘Presence’ projected on The Houses of Parliament for 25 minutes from midnight; 6/10/2006. In collaboration with Liberty Human Rights.*


projection 017Prisoner of consumerism

“George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’ was a starting point for the works; a novel which years ago seemed far-fetched in the UK. Gradually, information has become power and CCTV, JamCam, ID cards, Eye recognition etc have been gradually introduced to protect the public. The need for the public to be protected is counteracted by a fear that we need protecting.

Having spent five years working on the subject of control and the Totalitarian State,  inspired by George Orwell’s 1984  and the links with modern day society – I have produced a number of works to reflect this, including collaborating with Liberty Human Rights to produce a projection onto the Houses of Parliament ( in demonstration over the ID card), performance art, digital media, and installations have incorporated this theme. Exploring social interaction with the art works was key for many of the works, to engage the viewer and to question what has become of our everyday lives.

The more recent impact of the data shared via the internet is a newer and more prominent issue and there is a fine line between protection of personal information and exploitation and indeed between order and chaos. The use of our private information for the benefit of others has now shifted from a localised governmental issue to now a more frightening prospect of worldwide exploitation via the internet which has been evident by the recent publicity of social media.”

Follow the Leader:     video  1min 52 secs.

Follow the Leader  examines the effects of situational power and control; to implant fear, confusion and deference.

Drawing on political and sociological sources to play on the viewers experience, this piece encourages interaction with the viewer. The entrance and exit into the installation are not clearly defined, only the text gave an indication of “leadership” and most viewers followed this.  Entering through a dark corridor, single file and forced to turn the corner, drawn towards the light of a projection the viewer becomes an active presence, consciously aware of how their shadows are cast on the projection before they can view and having to lower their eyes to avoid the projectors beam (as though under interrogation). Walking towards the next corner, which holds the ultimate viewing point whereby both screens can be viewed, a duplicate film displaying further corridors and corners with sound of decisive footsteps is projected and questions – who is leading who? As others enter the installation the viewer feels obliged to move from this ultimate position as the projection becomes overcast with the next viewers’ shadow.

videoStills from “Follow the Leader”    video 1min 52 secs.


About the Artist

Emma Saunders is a contemporary fine artist living and working from her studio in Suffolk, England. After attending Ipswich School of Art she later gained a BA Hons at UCS (affiliated with the UEA) in 2006 and has exhibited and sold works nationally and in internationally. Previously involved with conceptual, large scale installations and video, collaborating with Liberty Human Rights in October 2006 on themes of a social and political nature. The ideology of control and power and the subsequent consequences of these have played a part in her work. Recently, her work has taken a shift to painting although she is always drawn back to this subject.

“As a young teenager, I listened for hours to ‘Pink Floyd’ something resonated with me, literature inspired me further and later when the world started changing to a technological age of the internet, CCTV etc. the unreal started to become real. It was then that I realised I need to speak out through art.”


watchtowerhires                        The kind of place we live

*”It was a strange one as the night of the projection there was a Luton lorry parked on the bridge for almost 30 minutes with the back open and a large projector shining at the Houses of Parliament with the lads operating it in black and some with balaclavas – in that time we had no police intervention only two community officers who mentioned parking restrictions. Bearing in mind this was just after a one mile protest rule from the square.                                                                                              Shami Chakrabti and other MPs from various constituencies were present during the screening – but no press and nothing online at all afterwards. All I can think is that the Home Office intervened? I emailed the press but no publication.  Liberty used the image which also included one with text “Say No to ID” in their members newsletter and I think that was it. Very odd. It was  in some respects a disappointing outcome, although passer-by’s took photos. Almost as if it never existed. Fitting really.”