AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with Woodend Barn, Banchory

Understanding Change: Connecting Communities through the Arts.

Grays School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen, Scotland.

Helen Smith, founder director of Waygood Studios, Newcastle upon Tyne, has been successfully appointed as the doctoral researcher at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, working in collaboration with Woodend Barn, Banchory, Aberdeenshire and the Centre of Entrepreneurship, Aberdeen Business School.

She embarked on this research in October 2011.

The research questions how creativity is channelled and provoked by the presence of an artist and in what ways this presence stimulates critical, socially and aesthetic understanding and action. It draws on a recent history of artists’ constructs and protocols for critiquing the institutional and organizational. It also draws in entrepreneurship studies, in particular approaches to understanding community as a dynamic.

Project Partners

The Barn, (1994-present) as a leading art centre in Scotland, acts as a case study of a networked, organisational model and flat structure that supports and develops the inner and outer life of its communities through the arts.

On the Edge Research, IDEAS Research Institute, RGU is a practice-led research programme in the arts that focuses on understanding and articulating the role of the artist in society.

Centre for Entrepreneurship, Aberdeen Business School (ABS) was set up in 1995 to promote and research entrepreneurship, focusing in particular on how values are socially situated, predominantly focused on rural experience.

Helen Smith will be supervised jointly by Professor Anne Douglas, OTE, Mark Hope, the Barn and Professor Alistair Anderson, ABS.



  1. Congratulations to Helen, and very much looking forward to working with her on this exciting project. Chris

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