Artists Working within Higher Education

21 January 2015 / 11:00 - 16:00

Artists Working within Higher Education.

This event is part of Co-producing legacy: What is the role of artists within Connected Communities projects? (see below for more details*)

A one day discursive event exploring how artists work within Higher Education, aimed at artists and academics.

Date: Wednesday 21 January 2015, 11:00am to 4.00pm.

Venue: New Art Spaces Federation House, Federation St / Balloon St, Manchester M4 2AH

Googlemap link:

Through the wider project led by University of Sheffield*, Castlefield Gallery and a-n The Artist Information Company are offering travel bursaries (up to £50) for artists to attend, payable within 7 days after attending the event, and on the production of travel receipt and bank details.

a-n The Artist Information Company is also offering 2 writer bursaries. After booking your ticket below, please email an expression of interest to with ‘Writer bursaries’ in the subject field by 5 January 2015.

Lunch and refreshments are provided.


To maximise spaces, please remember to unbook if you find that you cannot attend after all.



11:00 – 11:05

Kwong Lee (Director of Castlefield Gallery)

Welcome and introduction to the day, and brief introduction to Castlefield Gallery’s work with Higher Education Institutions (HEI)

11:05 – 11:10

Professor Kate Pahl (University of Sheffield, and Principal Investigator for this project)

Introduction to Co-producing legacy: What is the role of artists within Connected Communities projects?

11:10 – 11:25

Steve Pool (Freelance artist and Co-Investigator of this project)

Introduction to the studio legacy project and some emerging thoughts and ideas in the context of his broader work within Higher Education Institutions (HEI)

11:25 – 11:40

Jeanie Scott (Executive Director, a-n The Artists Information Company)

Introduction to a-n’s engagement with HEIs

11:40 – 12:10

Professor Vanessa Toulmin (Director of National Fairground Archive, Head of Cultural Engagement University of Sheffield)

What universities look for in working with artists, using her project Festival of the Mind 2014 at Castle House, Sheffield as a case study.

12:10 – 12:40

James Oliver

Practice as research

12:40 – 13:00

Delegate share their own experiences of working with HEI (small groups?)

13:00 – 14:00

Lunch and networking

14:00 – 14:30

Steve Swindles (Professor in Creative Practice, Director of Research, and Director of Graduate Education, University of Huddersfield)

What are the new partnerships and new ways of working between artists and HEIs

14:30 – 15:00

Paul Evans talks about his experience of Leverhulme Trust support.

15:00 – 16:00

What’s in it for the artists?

Panel discussion on how artists work with HEIs and what are the future opportunities.


Close and networking drinks


Castlefield Gallery is working with a-n The Artist Information Company and five Universities to explore the contribution visual artists have made to the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Connecting Communities programme.

The project set out to explore the different roles artists have performed within research and dig a little deeper into how artists perceived themselves and were perceived within complex research teams.

Ten months into the project we asked Steve Pool, a visual artist working on the project if anything interesting was emerging.

“We have interviewed a selection of artists who have worked across the programme sometimes on a number of very different projects.  This type of research never really seems to answer any questions, it just raises more questions.  What is clear however is that some of the most interesting work evolves from a set of relationships between personalities, research method, practice and a central idea we have stated calling this a projects genealogy.

It’s been really hard not to start to put things into categories and start to make distinctions, if you do this it’s difficult not to sort these categories out into lists and orders.  When you take a step back and try and capture a feel for the contributions artists are making it looks a lot more messy than that – messy in a good way – really interesting but difficult to find things when you need them.”


* Co-producing legacy: What is the role of artists within Connected Communities projects?

This research project will explore how artists work within the AHRC Connected Communities programme. The programme has encouraged arts and humanities academics to work in different ways with communities to co-produce research across a range of disciplines. Many academics have worked with artists to realise ideas and help with a community engaged approach to research. At the same time artists have framed, challenged and theoretically informed engaged research.

The project is led by Kate Pahl, Helen Graham, Steve Pool and Amanda Ravetz. It combines established research methods with an innovative open ended ‘studio’ form of enquiry aimed at understanding how artists have been working across a range of Connected Communities projects. The studio methodology asks how artists come to know and which theories of change they carry with them when working with communities.

The project team will work with Castlefield Art Gallery, a-n artists Information Company, Arts Council England and the AHRC Connected Communities leadership fellows to generate and disseminate findings.

The full project team include: Kate Pahl, Steve Pool, Amanda Ravetz, Helen Graham with Richard Steadman-Jones, William Gould, Irna Qureshi, Zahir Rafiq, Marcus Hurcombe, Kate Genever, Graham Jeffery, Anne Douglas, Johan Siebers, James Oliver, Katie Hill, Tessa Holland.

Research assistants: Hugh Escott and Kimberley Marwood/Leanne Green

The project lasts for one year, from February 2014 to June 2015 and is funded through an AHRC Connected Communities development grant.

For more information contact:



To maximise spaces, please remember to unbook if you find that you cannot attend after all.