IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Student success in UCL Doctoral School art competition

17 August 2021

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) PhD student Rommy Anabalon Schaaf has been recognised for her drawing in the ‘Research Images as Art / Art Images as Research’ competition.

artist concentrating on drawing - UCL Imagestore, Alejandro Walter Salinas Lopez

UCL Doctoral School’s annual cross-disciplinary competition is open to all current graduate students and academic staff, regardless of whether they are arts- or science-based.

IOE student Rommy (Department of Culture, Communication and Media) was one of six runners up for her work ‘Women and Mothers’. The six runners up and first prize winner were chosen from 337 images entered.

Pencil illustration of a mother and her child

Writing about the drawing, which Rommy illustrated while working on her PhD research project, she said: 

“This drawing shows one of the participants of my research project. As I was unable to see her face-to-face due to the pandemic, I contacted her through video calls and WhatsApp messages and then, I decided to make a portrait of her in order to observe her in more detail.

"While drawing the portrait, I realised that I was not only observing her, but also doing analysis. With every line on the paper, I was reflecting on her life and highlighting aspects associated to her identity such as her clothes and her make-up and, above all else, the strong bond she had forged with her only son.

"When I sent her the portrait she thanked me, and then added ‘I loved it, I love you. Remember we’ll be waiting for you.’ As form of representation, this drawing reminded me these are people, not data.”



  • Top: Alejandro Walter Salinas Lopez for UCL Digital Media
  • Above: 'Women and Mothers' by Rommy Anabalon Schaaf