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Excellence – A Celebration of Pioneering Headteachers

‘Excellence’ – an art exhibition curated by artist and educator Linett Kamala for Roehampton University Library (October 2018 and beyond)

About the Artist

Linett Kamala (b. 1970, London, U.K.) is unique as an artist, having progressed to the top of the education profession in an executive position for a multi-academy trust whilst still working as a creative. Her mainly monochrome paintings merge abstraction with expressive hand script.   Her on-going project ‘State of Education’ takes the British education system as its focus and aims to raise awareness of academic research and educational policies, whilst highlighting forgotten or untold stories.

Further information about her work can be found via or

Part One: ‘Excellence – An art exhibition celebrating pioneering Headteachers’ opens on Monday 29th October 2018 and remain up until Friday 8th November 2018, to coincide with our BAME Employability Event: Supporting students into employment Tuesday, 30 October 2018, Duchesne Building 3pm -6.30pm and the BAME Students’ Conference: Faces in the Crowd, Wednesday 7th November 2018, Portrait Room 1:30pm – 6:30pm.

The exhibition features Tony O’Connor, Beryl Gilroy, Yvonne Conolly and Betty Campbell who were first appointed as Headteachers in Britain during the 1960s and 1970s.  The 12 panel display includes abstract calligraffiti prints based on quotations.  Other art pieces in the exhibition include paper fortune game sculptures, which were popular with British school children during the era when the featured Headteachers were appointed, as well as enlarged pencils covered with words reminiscent of script written by teachers with white chalk on blackboards.

Alongside the installation is a display of books and pamphlets significant to theme selected from the Roehampton Library collection including:

  1. ‘Education For All’ A summary of the Swann report (Runnymede Research Report)
  2. Black Britain (Chris Mullard)
  3.  How the West Indian Child is made Educationally Sub-normal in the British School System (Bernard Coard)
  4. The Education of the Black Child – The Myth of Multiracial Education (Maureen Stone)
  5. The West Indian Language Issue in British Schools – Challenges and responses (V.K. Edwards)
  6. Education for a Multicultural Society – Evidence to the Swann Committee of Inquiry submitted by the National Union of Teachers
  7. The Black Explosion in British Schools (Farruk Dhondy and Barbara Beese and Leila Hassan)
  8. Black Britain: A Photographic History (Paul Gilroy)

Part Two:  The exhibition will return on Monday 10th December 2018 until end January 2019. During this period there will be an opportunity to meet the artist Linett Kamala and attend a discussion workshop event for Roehampton students and educators. Details of this will follow separately.

‘Excellence – An art exhibition celebrating pioneering Headteachers’ has been initiated by Marilyn Holness OBE, Deputy Director for the School of Education at Roehampton University along with support from Jacqueline Lewis, Elena Kosmala, Ka-Ming Pang, Sara Hafeez and Sue Chamberlain.

Exhibition address: University Library, University of Roehampton, Roehampton Lane, London, SW15 5SZ

Opening hours (Term Time): Weekdays 8.00am – midnight & Weekends 10.00am – 9.00pm

Library phone enquiries +44 20 8392 3770

For further information about the exhibition and related events please contact:

Phone: +44 (0)20 8392 3374

State of Education

The State of Education project launched on 15th November 2017 at the South Kilburn Studios in London.

Linett’s on-going creative project is based on 24 years of research, highlighting important issues affecting young people and leaders working within education.

The next chapter will be ‘State of Mind’ as part of the Voices from the Front Line exhibition being held at the 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning from 12th February 2018 to 23rd March 2018.

Voices From The Front Line is a multimedia arts and heritage project engaging young people aged 13-25​ from diverse backgrounds from our local Borough of Lambeth providing them with opportunities to learn new skills, be creative and investigate the heritage of their local area through archive visits, workshops, and creative activities.

Voices from the Front Line explores an important aspect of Brixton’s heritage which is the political and social history of Railton road, known for being home to the Caribbean community in the post Windrush period and site of social uprisings in the 1980’s. Against a backdrop of increasing gentrification and social change the project aims to document the sites, personalities and events which have shaped the area. As part of the investigation into this once contested space, beyond, during and after the 1980s the project asks: ‘What characterises the spirit of Railton Road, and, what does the space now mean for people who visited and lived on the street?’


Private View: 9th February 2018, 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Calligraffiti workshop: Saturday 24th February 2018 (12.00 – 2.00pm)

Have your say: a visual arts workshop with artist and educator Linett Kamala in response to the government’s current Green Paper ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision’.

Free to attend and all materials provided

Suitable for 15 – 25 year olds

Performance and artist talk on education and activism: Wednesday 7th March 2018 (6.30 – 8.30pm)

Taking inspiration from the work of Olive Morris, artist Linett Kamala and interdisciplinary artist Jacob V Joyce will explore characteristics of courage, resilience and determination through short performances followed by an artist talk.