Current Projects

Co-producing Legacy: What is the role of artists within Connected Communities projects? (2014-15) (PI Dr Kate Pahl, Univeristy of Sheffield)

This project will consider the impact of artists on the Connected Communities projects in order to create a deeper understanding of the ways that artists stimulate particular kinds of change within these projects. This will involve a review of all 250 projects, together with a literature review on arts practice and co-production, and then a more detailed focus on six projects that have used artists in innovative ways. On the Edge will deliver one of the six projects in this research drawing on the experience of Sounding Drawing, one of two projects within the Time of the Clock, Time of Encounter research in partnership with Woodend Barn and Champ d’Action Antwerp (see below).

Douglas in collaboration with Ravetz, will run three workshops within a community grouping other than the original setting in Woodend Barn, but similar in numbers and mix of professionals and amateurs, non-artists and students. Sounding Drawing explored time across two sensory modalities, visual and aural, through drawing and sounding, working with both individuals and groups. It generated an experience of ‘community’ as an encounter that is simultaneously shared and singular, sensory and conceptual, human-to-human and human-to-environment.

Drawing and Filming, a project within Knowing From the Inside: Anthropology, Art, Architecture and Design (2013-18), ERC funded, PI Professor Tim Ingold.

This project, funded by an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council, “promises to reconfigure the relation between the practice of academic inquiry in the human sciences and the knowledge to which it gives rise. Conventional research protocols expect the scholar to treat the world as a reserve from which to draw empirical material for subsequent interpretation in light of appropriate theory. Against this, we will establish and trial an alternative procedure whereby theory is not applied after the fact, to a corpus of material already gathered, but rather grows from our direct,practical and observational engagements with the stuff of the dwelt-in world.” (Ingold, 2012)

 Drawing and Filming responds to this aim by foregrounding both activities as particular ways of knowing and encountering the world. Using Paul Klee’s pedagogical sketchbook and Kandinsky’s explorations of point and line as a guide, the inquiry identifies the distinctive qualities of filming and drawing as a starting point to a dialogue in which the constraints and freedoms of the one might open up new beginnings in the other.

Connecting Communities through the Arts (2011-14), a collaborative doctoral award in partnership with Woodend Barn Arts Centre, Banchory, Aberdeenshire, Centre for Entrepreneurship Aberdeen Business School and the artist, Helen Smith (previously founder director of Waygood Gallery and Studios, Newcastle upon Tyne).

Completed Projects

Improvisation and Experiential Knowledge

Experimental projects include:

  • Calendar Variations (2010-11) in collaboration with Woodend Barn and Professor Kathleen Coessens of  the Orpheus Institute of Research in Music, Ghent (2010-11)
  • Sipping Water (2011-12) in collaboration with Dr Amanda Ravetz, MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University

Time of the Clock, Time of Encounter (2012-13), in collaboration with Dr Johan Siebers, University of Central Lancashire PI, Dr Michelle Bastian, University of Manchester and Dr Chris Speed, University of Edinburgh with Woodend Arts Centre, Eco Art Scotland, Champ D’Action Antwerp, Holmewood School London and Encounters Arts, Manchester. This AHRC funded Connected Communities Pilot Demonstrator project set out to destabilise assumptions about temporality within communities and to activate alternatives. Sounding Drawing was developed within this project as one of three interventions into shared assumptions about time that inspire, both institutionally and experientially, a more diversified and open relation to time.

The Artist as Leader (2006-9) with key arts and cultural leaders in Scotland and England resulting in an exploration of a provocative concept of artists and leadership through two strand programme: a series of in depth interviews and a Lab in collaboration with Performing Arts Labs; London, Cultural Enterprise Office , Scotland and Scottish Leadership Foundation.

Working in Public Seminars (2006-8) with Public Art Research+Resource (PAR+RS), Scotland, the Los Angeles-based artist Suzanne Lacy and 12 artists + their organisational contexts developing new understandings of social practice: aesthetics, ethics, power, representation, artistic quality.

On the Edge Phase One (2001-4) with five remote rural organisations, artists, mentors resulting in a new understanding of contemporary art and remote rural cultures.

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