Curation Journal
Investigating with others creative spaces and environments

Finding, creating and collaborating

The programming and production of the performance at Art Hostel Leeds.

Seeding Art Currency 

The Harvest performance by Nii Owoo.

November 24th, 2019.

This was a great evening combining, music, storytelling and audience engagement through dance and food. The performance-based evening focused on the harvest narrative from Ghana. African drumming linked to issues in Owoo's culture and contemporary dance interpretations about crops and food.

Interesting areas of research.


Exploring the natural world and the wonders and minds of people and places, conversation, and meaning

VISITING THE FORESTRY COMMISSION DALBY FOREST NORTH YORKSHIRE. Below this is a detail from Rachel Whiteread's, Nissan Hut newly situated in Dalby Forest earlier in 2019.  The installation has a strange calm and silent presence within the enclosure of the forested clearing,  it is an interesting place in which to contemplate and focus on the textures, contrasts of sounds and silence.  The Nissan Hitis part of the commemoration of the War II and the Forestry Commissions connections to its heritage.

Nissen Hut will be a permanent testament to the lasting impact of the First World War on the British landscape. It forms the latest addition to Rachel Whiteread’s acclaimed Shy Sculpture series.

Fermynwoods Contemporary Art

Published on Dec 31, 2018An artist-led talk by the artist in residence at Fineshade Wood, Justin Carter, discussing his installation, Blood from Stone – Impressions of Life, inspired by the regional relationship between Oak and Ore and the forest as a site of the ancient industry.
Justin is joined by Susannah O’Riordan, the Roots of Rockingham Project Officer for the Back from the Brink project, led by Butterfly Conservation. Susannah discusses the reintroduction of the Chequered Skipper butterfly, extinct in England since 1976, and the restoration and management of a network of woodland sites across the Rockingham Forest area, creating more habitat in which vulnerable species can thrive.

Nature and the narrative language are key issues on my this pathway.



Volunteering during Science Week at NRM

Practical experience of working with the public during half term in the NRM and gaining knowledge from sharing in the project.

Mapping and designing with children's workshop during Science Week

It was really rewarding and engaging being with the children and seeing how they enjoyed participating with these ideas of creating designs by drawing and re-routing small robots to create the idea of mapping routes and trains. I like this idea of using drawing and responding to an idea to create a collaborative project and outcome.


Deborah Riding from Tate Liverpool at LAU Lecture - explaining her research into experience mapping and Tate Exchange spaces where the public is invited to create dialogue and conversation in an open forum.


Lecture at Leeds Art University 


Learning in the museum, Deborah Riding, Head of Learning at Tate Liverpool.

'Knowledge Sharing'  with students and artists in the project for the curatorial practical module.

See below previous research with 'deep ecology' 703, that leads into this idea.

Audiences and Participation

Take Over at Leeds Art Gallery - Art Doctors Team ready for some visitors

The Team. November 2018  an interactive event Art Doctors at Leeds Gallery, 

I was a Volunteer helping with visitors and photography.


The visitors engaged in conversation about their time in the gallery

Creative space, paper and art materials to respond to the artworks. 
Workshop table to engage with people at the entrance to the main gallery.  
Time to stitch and chat and produce a pair of felt slippers.



Alice Kettle is a highly regarded contemporary artist focused upon stitched textiles, a powerful medium through which to explore these themes. Thread Bearing Witness represents displacement though the migration of stitches, using the three strands of artistic representation, participation and creative resilience, testing ways of belonging within a cultural space, and using textile as a medium of integration, collective expression and resilience to displacement.

The textile work by Alice Kettle was very impressive and it was a great talk she gave in the gallery about her inspriation and the project.

This project involved several artists and working in response to their reflections and interpretation of the social issues, migration, camps, deprivation and solitude.


Invisble Dust -  Ecological, Science and Art

DISCUSSION - How do we want to have a discussion?


Circle sitting in a group and seeking an intention

The idea of the circle as a link that has power is created in the conversation of the space between people but they are connected.

Its a really interesting concept that I think is really valuable. We could do no worse than use this to start a place to begin looking at issues or process.


Curation Process looking at the detail.

Landscape, Language and Lives

To draw attention to the significance of and importance of the countryside, theories, practices and process like artist Richard Long, - Common Ground , linking it to the instances of poetry conversation, storytelling and engaging people in the slow act of absorbing the environment and seeking to find a deeper purpose and positive attitudes to saving the planet through this discussion.  Walking has been an essential part of my relaxation and spending time with nature, ancient narratives, marks or distinctive places in the land.  These are part of our inheritance and a wish to preserve these and create a curation practice including collaboration with artists, performers, places and people within the context of curation, and audiences and working in areas of engagement that are inspiring and sustainable.

Text from the Poem Birdsong by Oliver Lomax which has been an inspiration to this

project, more instances of this on Instagram.

Deep Ecology

Rambling in the Countryside Lines, Made by Man (Photographer  Dwyer, L)

The idea that we are to engage with the environment is the most relevant factor and the ways that this could improve are what concern my venture into curation.

The assignment covers aspects of my research in Deep Ecology, Flaneur and I am interested in this blend of ideas where the curation process engages and asks questions combined with an experience that can be shared or encounters that are worked into a community setting as at Grizedale, Lawson Park Farm.

Deep Ecology



This article was noteworthy as the way that society has moved away from engaging with a place and local issues can be seen as disengaging with the world!

George Monbiot states in this article the old term of referring to a place  “reserve” is cold and alienating – think of what we mean when we use that word about a person. “The environment” is just as bad: an empty word that creates no pictures in the mind. 

Linking up until these thoughts and making a more positive and appealing engagement is my inspiration.

Taking ideas of distinctiveness to landscape, creativity and expression.

There are several people working on similar practices and linked to Commonground. (Rob and Harriet Fraser, Richard Long, Andy Goldsworthy, Claire Potter, Rebecca Chesney these artists combine poetry, text, place performance, film, and art as a blended practice relating to the environment.

Greening Practices

Christine Keogh at the Art Connections organisation put together some inspirational ideas and events.

Visiting some of these organisations, with the main focus being their approach to working projects and methods.

Gargrave Chrysalis Arts presented these two speakers that I will be following up in my research.

Rob and Harriet Fraser were at the GAP meeting in Gargrave,  and are also showing work at

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Common Ground exhibition


Flit Poetry and texts by Simon Armitage

Walking and poetry and conversation around the land and space we inhabit

Poetry - his recent project and publication called Flit which he centred on the sculpture park at Wakefield was really inspiring and I found his ideas of approaching the landscape as a visitor raised some interesting ideas to follow up.

Walking in the Landscape.

This idea of the urban ambler, more than just a nineteenth-century social phenomenon, exists as an exponent of a certain kind of vision, combining the “casual eye of the stroller with the purposeful gaze of the detective.”The investigative conduct of the flâneur proved influential to the automatist meanderings of the Surrealists in the first part of the twentieth century. However, ideas of urban exploration were not thoroughly explored until Guy Debord and the Situationist International adopted the figure as a basis for their theory of dérive. The situationists sought to adopt a critical and experimental drift (the dérive) while letting go of all compulsions that normally governed action and movement in order to abandon themselves completely to the terrain.


Alice Sharp, Curator and Director of Invisible Dust

London  with Margaret Atwood 

The Human Sensor - event that I had followed about air pollution in London and performed in Manchester with costumes by Kasia Mogul

giving a visual and dramatic image relating to the problem causing deaths from air pollution.

Meet with Education Curator – Dorcas Taylor and a group discussion panel interaction and dialogue with local people.

 James Cook - 250 Whitby

Talks and display of artwork and Reading Room at Whitby Library.

Alice Sharp set up Invisible Dust in 2009. Since then for Invisible Dust, the artists she has worked with include Elizabeth Price, Jeremy Deller, Dryden Goodwin, Faisal Abdu’Allah, Mariele Neudecker, Martin Parr, John Akomfrah and Tacita Dean. She co-curated ‘Offshore: artists explore the sea’ as part of Hull UK City of Culture in 2017. Scientist advisors include Professor Frank Kelly, King’s College London, Government Advisor on air pollution and Professor Alex Rogers, Marine Biologist, Oxford University and international health of the oceans campaigner. In 2015 she won the Guardian PEA (People, Environment & Achievement) UK Arts, Fashion, Music & Film Award; recognising inspirational people who are making a difference to the green agenda.

Previously Alice managed the Fourth Plinth with Antony Gormley and Yinka Shonibare, curated the Big Chill Art Trail including Brian Eno and House of Fairytales with Gavin Turk and co-curated an international exhibition ‘Journeys With No Return’ including Mike Nelson, Nevin Aladag and Zineb Sedira touring to Istanbul, Berlin and London.

Climate Change 
Community Response to Climate Change Report prepared for the Big Lottery Fund 

So, seen from the “bottom up”, climate change is one of the many challenges that communities face, (if it is recognised as an immediate challenge at all) and community responses to it are best understood and framed within the broader set of issues that each place faces.

   ' Indeed, “climate change” as a concept may not be the best way to engage people or to frame local activities. Most of the stakeholders we interviewed felt that climate change was a difficult basis for engaging people in behaviour change or collective action and that placing climate change action within the broader field of improving community resilience and sustainability might be more fruitful, especially if this enables actions to be more explicitly linked to more everyday concerns, like jobs, skills, food, injustice or wellbeing. ' Steve Matthews  & Dr Jonathan Pratt. 2012, p63.

The Forestry Commission

New Installations of art in the Forest

Rachel Whiteread.  Nissen Hut

The forest in North Yorkshire at Dalby will be a site for the marking of a response to the First World War

Several places throughout the Uk will take place in the programme with 150 artists, celebrating England’s trees and forests continuing throughout 2019 to mark the Forestry Commission’s centenary. 

Nissen Hut will be a permanent testament to the lasting impact of the First World War on the British landscape. It forms the latest addition to Rachel Whiteread’s acclaimed Shy Sculpture series.

Previous Module

 Archival research and development of our co-curated exhibition.

I have a strong interest in social engagement with arts, cultural heritage, and development in my practice,  the way these issues are becoming more about visibility and part of a curators professional life.    Bringing together a range of people into a project and taking the lead from issues that we uncovered through our research and qualitative through visits, blogs, and newspapers articles, finding out some of the most important facts, using these tools and deciding how to interpret them for the exhibition.

Background research into archives, communities and social issues.

Liverpool visiting exhibitions at  Bluecoat, Tate Liverpool, Fact, and Open Eye Gallery. 

Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, this pamphlet illustrates the history attached to the Slave Trade which has the close association with Liverpool its past traders and large shipbuilding heritage.   On my visit to Liverpool, I went along to the Maritime Museum, which has a huge collection of artifacts in a rather cramped but very interesting exhibition.

State of The Nation Tate Liverpool

I was able to attend this talk arranged by the Tate Liverpool. Although plans to use audience engagement were not fully formed, the observations of how this exhibition was organised and set up were very interesting.

22-28 January  Tate Exchange

Looking at connecting with the homelessness and our societies problems relating to the cost of housing and economic struggle.They had a group exhibition and this was supported by a panel of people and a participation through questions and answers with the panel.

FACT  The Ropewalk, Liverpool.

The Fact Museum FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). 

We are the UK's leading media arts center based in Liverpool, offering a unique programme of exhibitions, film and participant-led art projects. UNDER CINEMA 2017,  Two -channel Colour HR Contemporary film by Wu Tsang, her films have featured at an international film festival in London, Berlin, and Amsterdam -  about connectedness and space where communities can come together across different paths and she combines mainstream and experimental art forms in the same space.



I was able to further research into the housing estates and the conditions of working-class people and some of their local history - the back-back housing and Slum-Clearance in Leeds, the business and factories in the area. This informed me more about the conditions of communities, how they lived and worked during that time and prior to the flats built there.  I was able to see the process for requesting documents and signing out items for loan and conditions and agreements forms and procedures.

During my visit to the archive, I was able to research old maps, some of them very old and large, I would have like to have been able to requisition one to have on display in the exhibition.  It was not possible as they are too difficult to handle and to be able to do this would also have required a few weeks to process.


West Yorkshire Archives at Morley and Wakefield.  

Hunslet  South Leeds Back to back terrace houses. 

Documents from the Library about the Hunslet Grange Estate Buildings (Above)  there were lots of newspapers and reports relating to this available for further research which I accessed through the library on the Athena website at the Library


Gill and I made arrangements with the community centre to go along with a presentation and questions to research further into the community of that area and to see what memories and feedback they would have about the experience of living there.

At the memory cafe in Hunslet discussing there experiences and recollections

Gill Crawshaw and Louise Dwyer at meeting with Garden Memory Cafe in Holbeck giving our presentation.

Recorded Memory Cafe attendee We had seven families in our street sharing the same toilet that was terrible - and  Chamberpots under the bed!

Louise  Did you have a T.V.?

Memory Cafe attendeeErh no\... not straight away we
didnt even have a fridge.  It were a year or two and then it was a rental one - ey it took me four years to pay for my cooker at 4shilling 6 time!

Oral Histories of residents recorded at the cafe and transcribed and featured as part of the display at the exhibition.