Carolyn McKay is a visual artist as well as a criminal law/criminology academic at the University of Sydney. Her visual arts training was at Sydney College of the Arts, Julian Ashton Art School and Tom Bass Sculpture School.
Carolyn's creative practice encompasses digital video and audio, photomedia, drawing and painting. Research and artworks engage with criminal justice issues including audio visual links and digital technologies in prisons and courts; courthouse obsolescence; visual representations of criminality; convict tattoo designs; convict bio-data descriptions; criminal monikers; medieval suicide and surveillance technologies. Carolyn's recent work responds to criminal case law narratives regarding crimes in retro motel rooms. She exhibited The Crime Scene Motel Project solo show at Scratch Art Space, Sydney, 2022.
Dr McKay's Crime Scene Motel Project exhibition recently received the 2023 'Non-Traditional Research Output Award' from the Australian Legal Research Awards, a prestigious national scheme funded by the Council of Australian Law Deans. Her related promptography was Highly Commended in 'Prompted Peculiar' - 2023 Ballarat International Foto Biennale.
The recipient of many awards, Carolyn has also been selected for residencies at Bundanon 2005, The Lock-Up 2009 and Nobby's Lighthouse 2023.
In 2018, she curated justiceINjustice at The Lock-Up, an exhibition that received an IMAGinE award from Museums & Galleries NSW.
Australian public collections include Blacktown City Council, Bundanon Trust, Mosman Art Gallery, The Lock-Up Cultural Centre and Waverley Council. Carolyn's work has been reproduced on the covers of Law Text Culture, Volume 14 Law's Theatrical Presence.
Overseas public collections: the unbound A Book About Death collection (group show in New York) has been acquired by MoMA New York, the LA County Museum of Art Research Library, Los Angeles and The Tabernacle MoMA Wales. The Um Libro Sobre a Morte and TROY ART works have become part of the permanent collection of Museo Brasileiro da Escultura, Sao Paulo Brazil.