Dr Johannah Latchem is a Post-Doctoral Fellow and artist based in Socio-legal Studies.  Her works address themes of law, punishment and power.  They intervene in the material culture of the courthouse to establish new rituals that inform public understanding of the law.  The creation of new artworks and their role in courtroom performativities challenges the validity of existing courthouse rituals, and exposes the need for new ones to convey revised messages to the public.  Johannah's post-doctoral research at the Cente entitled Sex Workers in the University Archives focuses on practice-based outputs and desk-based research in the Bodleian Library and Archives, in particular the Chancellor's Court collections and cases of sex workers that relate to the University's own courtroom.

Johannah's practice-based PhD at Newcastle University focused on the subject of courtrooms, maritime law and power.  Data gathered on courtroom acoustics revealed how the architecture and acoustics of the court silenced, or facilitated, those involved in judiciary processes. She previously studied at Goldsmiths College, University of London and Wimbledon School of Art. Prior to her post-doctoral post she was Research Fellow on the Arts and Humanities Research Council Commons and held posts in research and teaching positions in UK universities, including projects across business, academic and cultural sectors and research with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has been a lecturer, published internationally and directed opera with Birmingham Opera Company and the BBC.  Her work raises issues that resonate with wider public concerns today on punishment and silencing the female voice.  Johannah also makes installations in museums and public sites related to the law using mixed media, sculpture and sound.  


Research Interests

Fine art practice and the theme of law; contemporary art in the legal space; the creation of new artworks and their role in courtroom performativities; the woman's voice in sites of law and order; law and ritual; courtroom architecture, acoustics and power; legal history and theory; equality and the law and women's rights; state processions and public punishment.

Selected Publications

Johannah Latchem & Helen Rutherford (2021) Courting Power: discussion and analysis of a courtroom-based art installation informed by a legal historical case study, Law and Humanities, DOI: 10.1080/1751483.2021.1983265

Latchem, J. (2006), How does education support the formation and development of individual identities? International Journal of Art and Design Education, 25 (1) pp.42-52 

Solo Exhibitions

The Academic Star Chamber, 2021, in progress, post-doc studio-based project 

No Whole Truths, 2019, Vane Gallery, Newcastle 

Carry the Woman You Forgot, 2018, Merchant Adventurer's Court, Newcastle

  Courting Power, 2018, Newcastle Guildhall Courtroom

   Kiss the Wooden Lady, 2018, Newcastle upon Tyne Trinity House 

   4Courts, The Long Gallery, NU

Research projects