From mapping the stories of Exeter’s trees to giving life to forgotten books and creating the Exeter ‘dream team’
The Culture Capital Exchange is today announcing the first tranche of recipient grantees from The Exchange, a two-year pilot project bringing together Artists, Creative Small Businesses and Academic Researchers to explore and nurture research collaborations between the Arts and Creative Sectors and Universities.
Amongst the ten winning projects includes Common Ground’s, ‘Mapping Exeter’s Tree Tales’, a community research project that collects the cultural knowledge about a city’s trees to create an artist’s map and a companion edition of local nature writing, 1010 Media’s ‘Crown Formation’ an app which enables users to generate their dream eleven players to play for Exeter City Football Club each week from a selection of squad cards, and Estuary English’s ‘The Lost Hope Book Club’, a creative publishing venture that will republish out-of-copyright books with grand ideas that turned out to be wrong – or perhaps were just displaced by a better theory – in beautiful editions. An example would be William Paley’s Natural Theology, which made an attempt to understand evolution, and which inspired Darwin’s work, but was also superseded by it. The aim is not to hold these ideas in contempt, but instead to assess the way stray, wild ideas are necessary for the more considered ones to develop, and also to explore how sometimes these rejected ideas may come back into use.
Funded by Arts Council England (ACE) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) The Exchange is building a national network through which artists, creatives and researchers can grow mutually beneficial relationships and break down barriers to collaboration. Creatives will gain better intelligence about their work and academics will be able to strengthen their research practice with direct access to industry partners.
These collaborations are being nurtured through a series of 30 grants, seed funding of £5,000 each, available for 30 collaborative research projects, to allow academics and creatives to work together on an idea or avenue of enquiry.
Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “With its 10-year track record in developing extensive collaboration and exchange between the university sector and the cultural and creative industries in London, The Culture Capital Exchange is now in a strong position to roll out its programme across the country and to build a more coherent and sustainable relationship between arts practice and academic research nationally, in line with the Arts Council’s priorities to improve sector resilience.”
To kick-start The Exchange, The Culture Capital Exchange held a series of free introductory networking events across the country during January and February 2016. The events were for Early Career Researchers (ECR), Artists, Micro Businesses and SMEs within the Creative and Cultural Industries, Research / Business Development Managers, and regionally split across the North, Midlands, South West and South East. More events are being rolled out across the year.
“With The Exchange we are developing a national network of Higher Education Institutions to share best practice, lessons learned from individual initiatives and avoid duplication in this developing area. The Exchange will also provide a valuable peer-to-peer network and skills development opportunities for Early Career Researchers so we are delighted to be unveiling our first raft of projects as part of the scheme”, says Suzie Leighton, Director, The Culture Capital Exchange. “And for Creatives, we see academics being able to help articulate their business case to potential partners and funders and provide resources to move forward in artistic or business practice. We have had great success with this model in London so it’s exciting to see it roll out across the country”.
The Exchange successful applicants April 2016
Company Title: Common Ground
Project name: Mapping Exeter’s Tree Tales
Director: Adrian Cooper
Project Officer: Luke Thompson
Academic Partner: Dr Jos Smith, University of Exeter
Common Ground is an arts and environmental charity that explores the relationship between nature and culture through music, sculpture, poetry, film, photography, architecture, publishing and pamphleteering. Common Ground pioneers the idea of “Local Distinctiveness”, encouraging people to make a positive difference to their own localities.
Common Ground’s project, ‘Mapping Exeter’s Tree Tales’ is a community research project that collects the cultural knowledge about one small city’s trees for the creation of an original and eye-catching artist’s map and a companion edition of local nature writing. Through a press campaign, a series of workshops and competitions, and extensive research and networking, the project aims to build an archive of stories, histories, memories, names, nicknames, vernacular knowledge, urban myth and local folklore associated with the city’s trees.
Company name: 1010 Media
Project Title: Crowd Formation
Director: Andy Chapman
Academic Partner: Will Barrett (BA MA Hons) University of Exeter
1010 Media is a Devon based digital consultancy with extensive experience working in a wide range of sectors.
1010 Media’s project ‘Crown Formation’ will be designed (as a web-app) to allow users to generate their preferred eleven players to play for Exeter City Football Club each week from a selection of squad cards, and to share this on social media for discussion with other fans. As a secondary element, the sharing of content will reward users with cards that feature former players of the club, generated through the archival research at ECFC conducted by the academic partner. This element will then allow users to build and create their all-time ECFC ‘Dream-Team’, which again users will be able to share via social media.
Company name: Estuary English
Project Title: The Lost Hope Book Club
Director: Tony Lyons
Academic Partner: Katherine May, Canterbury Christ Church University
Estuary English is a graphic design agency, with particular expertise in designing for the publishing and music industries.
Estuary English’s project ‘The Lost Hope Book Club’ is a creative publishing venture that will republish out-of-copyright books with grand ideas that turned out to be wrong – or perhaps were just displaced by a better theory – in beautiful editions. An example would be William Paley’s Natural Theology, which made an attempt to understand evolution, and which inspired Darwin’s work, but was also superseded by it. The aim is not to hold these ideas in contempt, but instead to assess the way stray, wild ideas are necessary for the more considered ones to develop, and also to explore how sometimes these rejected ideas may come back into use.
Company name: Furtherfield
Project Title: Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain
Director: Ruth Catlow
Academic Partner: Sam Skinner, Manchester Metropolitan University
Furtherfield is an Arts Council England national portfolio organisation that enables diverse people to explore art, technology and social change. Since 1997, Furtherfield has created new platforms for art and co-creation,exploring the cultural and social effects of technology.
‘Artists Re:thinking the Blockchain’: Furtherfield will work with early career researcher Sam Skinner (MMU and Torque) to explore experimental modes of content creation and publishing, as groundwork toward a new book on artists who engage with Blockchain technologies (online currencies e.g bitcoin). This dynamic research exchange will draw on Sam’s expertise in innovative new forms of publishing that traverse performance, digital, book-sprint, speed-reading, and public engagement, and Furtherfield’s ‘Art Data Money’ programme of art shows, labs and debates. This will simultaneously enliven, enhance and inform the future work of both parties whilst forging new audiences, and new forms of publishing.
Company name: –
Project Title: The Singer and The Listener
Director: Hannah Sullivan
Academic Partner: Dr Una Mcllvenna, University of Kent
Hannah is an independent contemporary theatre maker and performer. Her practice consists of working with movement, singing, autobiographical writing, research and interdisciplinary collaborations to create solo performances. As an artist, she is concerned with prioritising the emotional experience, democratising creativity and celebrating the agency of the individual. Hannah’s previous includes ‘Echo Beach’, an internationally toured solo on dancing, and new work ‘With Force and ‘Noise’, a monologue, and a hand drawn embroidered costume on anger.
‘The Singer and The Listener’ is a research collaboration between Hannah Sullivan as artist and performer, and researcher of history and literature Dr Una Mcllvenna. The main objective of this project is to generate fruitful conversations and singing experiments that develop both partners’ work, and evaluate this as a research process.
Company name: Harewood House Trust
Project Title: Electrifying the Country House – Harewood’s electricity story
Director: Ann Sumner
Academic Partner: Michael Kay, University of Leeds
Harewood House Trust is an independent charitable educational trust set up to maintain and develop Harewood, its collections and grounds, for the public benefit. Our mission is to preserve for the public benefit Harewood House with its ancillary buildings, gardens, arboreta, woodlands and park; to promote the study and appreciation of Harewood as a place of historic and cultural interest and natural beauty; to provide facilities for recreation and leisure-time occupations; and to advance the education of the public in the arts and the sciences.
‘Electrifying the Country House’ Harewood will collaboratively develop a new interpretation storyline and re-display Harewood’s Below Stairs lighting cabinet (based on research into Harewood House’s electrical history) They will also produce a drama-focused workshop to be performed by recent University of Leeds drama graduates at Harewood House and the University of Leeds in August and early September. Key target audiences will be family visitors to Harewood and primary school pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Company name: IJAD Dance Company
Project Title: Developing Sensography or Triple Choreography.
Director: Joumana Mourad
Academic Partner: Dr Pauline Brooks, Liverpool John Moores University
IJAD is a non-profit dance company dedicated to involving people less likely to engage with contemporary dance through the use of multi-disciplinary performances, outreach-programmes, and the development of digital technology for co-creation and content. ‘Developing Sensography or Triple Choreography.’ will explore how to build choreographic architecture that is strong enough to translate across digital media and which responds to audience input/co-creation, by creating a democratic dance practice that blends emotion and technique.
Company name: Pavilion
Project Title: Who Takes the Rap?
Director: Rehana Zaman
Academic Partner: Gill Park, University of Leeds
Pavilion is a visual arts organisation run by a collective of artists and producers dedicated to the production of contemporary visual arts, based in Leeds.
‘Who Takes the Rap’ is a research and development project towards an ambitious new artist film work. For the project, working with ECR Gill Park (University of Leeds) on three day-long R&D workshops that aim to significantly advance a new collaborative art work that will address questions of race and gender with a focus on the experiences of women refugees living in Leeds and Bradford. Gill and Rehana share an interest in how contemporary art can challenge the negative treatment of, and attitudes towards, people on the basis of race and gender and in how contemporary art can find emancipatory forms.
Company name: –
Project Title: Antonio Coello’s El conde de Sex (‘The Earl of Essex’): from seventeenth-century Spanish page to twenty-first century English stage.
Director: Zoë Simon
Academic Partner: Dr Roy Norton, University of Oxford
Zoe is a playwright and actress who specializes in the development of scripts for performance. She has work-shopped her own plays at the Hackney Empire and the Actors’ Centre and has developed the work of other playwrights at the White Bear Theatre, London. She also makes her own live performance art pieces and documents these using photography.
‘Antonio Coello’s El conde de Sex (‘The Earl of Essex’): from seventeenth-century Spanish page to twenty-first century English stage’ will involve the translation, adaptation, and workshop testing of a seventeenth-century Spanish play about Elizabeth I and the Essex Plot. It will result in (i) a performable English text of a compelling, baroque drama (that will, we hope, later proceed to stage and/or film performance); and (ii) increased awareness of what can separate the academic treatment of theatre from the theatre practitioner’s dramatic ethos, and of how these differences might be used as a catalyst for a creative approach marrying together the best of both worlds.
Company name: Mind the Gap
Project Title: Evaluating Quality of Learning Disability Performance
Director: Joyce Lee
Academic Partner: Nick Wiltsher (Visiting Research Fellow, principal researcher) and Aaron Meskin (Director, Centre for Aesthetics)
Mind the Gap (MTG) is England’s largest theatre company producing professional work in partnership with learning-disabled artists. Since 1988 we have created work that excites, surprises and challenges audiences. We want to work in a community where there are equal opportunities for people with learning disabilities; a world where learning-disabled voices are heard, recognised and celebrated.