Welcome to the Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre.

At D-MARC the focus of our research is on an understanding of the shifting boundaries and new relationships between traditional arts disciplines, which have been created by new technologies. We explore the creative potential of hybrid forms made possible by digitalisation, and are also concerned to develop theoretical and pedagogic understandings capable of keeping pace with, and informing, technological developments.

Recent Submissions

  • Myths for a wetlands imaginary

    McCloskey, Paula; University of Derby (Paula McCloskey, 2019-11)
    This ; a place of their own (artist duo Paula McCloskey and Sam Vardy) project explores the potential of art to create resistant wetland imaginaries as alternate to dominant carbon and capitalist ones. Commissioned by Arts Catalyst for Waltham Forest Borough Council’s Art Assembly, it was developed through a 3-month residency at Walthamstow Wetlands Centre (WWC) and included participatory workshops (on maps, stories and myths), a site-responsive performance walk and multi-media gallery installation. The inquiry asks how a transdisciplinary art practice working with the sciences and indigenous knowledges opens up alternate ways for disparate communities to think about climate change, biodiversity and colonialism; and what the role of art can be in producing resistant counter-imaginaries to capitalist and carbon imaginaries? Wetlands are one of the earth's most important ecologies, yet also one of the most threatened. This project situated wetland loss as part of global colonialism (Gómez-Barris, 2018), and attended to a paradoxical condition of wetlands which has immense potential: while their global destruction is due to dominant carbon/capitalist imaginaries they can yet open up new imaginaries through their unique ecologies, biological processes, entanglements of human/nonhuman, local and global relevance, and in enabling different knowledges. My transdisciplinary method involved collective inquiry, working with different specialist knowledges: environmental scientists (e.g Dr. Ian Crump), indigenous artists (e.g Rod Garlett, Noongar people, W. Australia), London Wildlife Trust, writer/artist Season Butler and sound artist Gary Young, and situated knowledges from Waltham Forest community. The residency made visible intimate relationships between personal, local, experiences of wetlands and their planetary dimension. The performance and public installation articulated complex biological, ecological and political ideas of new multiple relational possibilities. These activities started to reveal a ‘global wetlands imaginary’ as an ecological imaginative space for human and nonhuman co-existence, as a metaphor for new forms of multispecies solidarity. As part of the art and spatial research practice ;a place, of their own. (aplaceoftheirown.org) Dr Paula McCloskey (Derby University) and Dr Sam Vardy (Sheffield Hallam University) were commissioned by Arts Catalyst (artscatalyst.org) (funded by Arts Fund) to produce art and spatial research practice project Myths for a Wetlands Imaginary. This project developed through a residency at Walthamstow Wetlands Centre (WWC) over 3 months, as an inquiry into global wetlands loss and an exploration of resistant wetland imaginaries, including arts-based participatory workshops producing maps, stories and myths, a site-responsive performance-walk and multi-media interactive installation. In 2019 ; a place, of their own was commissioned by Arts Catalyst to lead on an Arts Fund funded project as part of first London Borough of Culture Waltham Forest Borough of Culture (https://wfculture.co.uk/about). We were asked to develop a ‘radically socially engaged’ art project in the London borough of Waltham Forest, which would culminate in a sharing ‘Assembly day’ on the 23 November 2019. Having conducted some research we developed a project ‘Myths for a Wetlands Imaginary’ a project s site-responsive project, which employed arts and spatial methods to work with communities of Waltham Forest Borough to explore our continued concern with climate urgency by focusing on the importance of wetlands, both locally to Waltham Forest, as well as globally. Waltham Forest is a borough in northeast London divided in terms of its demographic; with the south being a more urban district and socio-economically less affluent, than the suburban areas to the north, the latter also having better access green spaces (Waltham Forest Report, 2018). The River Lea lies to the west and adjoins marshland onto which the Walthamstow reservoirs which were built over fifty years between 1853 and 1904 by the East London Waterworks Company (Walthamstow Wetlands, 2020). Over the years the Walthamstow reservoirs grew to meet the needs of an expanding London, and in the 1970s the control of the Wetlands went to Thames Water. In 2017, following a partnership project (Waltham Forest Council, London Wildlife Trust and Heritage Lottery Fund) the purpose of which was to transform the site into a distinctive urban, multipurpose, wetland reserve, Walthamstow Wetlands opened to the wider public. The site is 211-hectares with a smaller satellite of Woodberry Wetlands and now offers 300,000 local residents within a two-mile radius easy public access to one of the largest urban nature reserves (Gearey, et al, 2019). Wetlands are one of the earth's most important ecologies, yet also one of the most threatened. Wetlands globally are intimately related to settler colonial practices, particularly through urbanisation (Giblett, 2018) which has destroyed wetlands and the indigenous communities depending on them across most continents. Exploring indigenous knowledges and relations to wetlands (e.g. in Australia and Canada) opens up important counter-narratives of the wetlands and counter-histories of colonisation, from the perspective of the land and indigenous people. This project situates wetland loss as part of global colonialism (Gómez-Barris, 2017, 2018), responding to the proposition that wetlands embody a paradoxical condition which has immense potential - while their global destruction is due to dominant carbon/capitalist imaginaries they yet hold potential to open up new imaginaries through their unique ecologies, biological processes, entanglements of human/nonhuman, their local and global relevance, and in enabling different knowledges. This inquiry asks us to pay attention to wetlands, from their histories which are social and culturally mediated with many being destroyed as part of the colonial project, hydroengineering or land development with devastating human/nonhuman and ecological impacts. In so doing, we explore other interactions with wetlands, locally and global that allow us to (re)imagine wetlands as we attempt to forge alternative to dominant imaginaries. The inquiry asks how a transdisciplinary art practice working with the sciences and indigenous knowledges, as well as popular culture opens up alternate ways for disparate communities to think about climate change, biodiversity and colonialism; and what the role of art can be in producing resistant counter-imaginaries to capitalist and carbon imaginaries? Walthamstow Wetlands are an historic reservoir system in north-east London that still performs a vital role in supplying 3.5 million London households with water. Over the years the Walthamstow reservoirs grew to meet the needs of an expanding London, and in the 1970s the control of the Wetlands went to Thames Water. There are two significant Victorian industrial buildings still standing on the site, the Coppermill and the Marine Engine House (Walthamstow Wetlands, 2020). The Wetlands are now a sanctuary for a notable variety of wetlands birds, with over 300 different plant species. reservoirs grew to meet the needs of an expanding London, and in the 1970s the control of the Wetlands went to Thames Water. There are two significant Victorian industrial buildings still standing on the site, the Coppermill and the Marine Engine House (Walthamstow Wetlands, 2020). Theoretically the work is grounded in critical approaches to geopolitics (e.g. notions of 'geopower' from Elizabeth Grosz, Elizabeth Povinelli and decolonisation from Sylvia Wynter, Kathryn Yusoff, and others). Astrida Neimanis hydrocommons is an important in conceiving of the wetlands as a figure. She writes: as bodies of water we leak and seethe, our borders always vulnerable to rupture and renegotiation. With a drop of cliché, I could remind you that our human bodies are at least two-thirds water, but more interesting than these ontological maths is what this water does – where it comes from, where it goes, and what it means along the way. Our wet matters are in constant process of intake, transformation, and exchange – drinking, peeing, sweating, sponging, weeping. Discrete individualism is a rather dry, if convenient, myth. (Neimanis, 2017, p 2). Neimanis thinking with water, as water conjures a watery imaginary to challenge anthropocentrism. It serves as a counter to human discreetness and notions of separatedness from an external, stable ‘nature’ out there. This is important to thinking more specifically as wetlands, of how they are sites of watery embodiment as are humans. ‘Wetlands’ as material and as concept signify the urgency and viscerality of wetlands in the face of climate urgency , as well as being incredibly effective ‘carbon sinks’ they contribute to global biodiversity, providing safe drinking water, and minimise flood risk. Wetlands thus span a nexus of theoretical, scientific and artistic inquiry. They are complex ecologies that are generative of and sustainers of life, both human and nonhuman. They are asignfying as places of sense and affect, with flows of energies. They are dynamic planes that quiver and vibrate. They are historical places of social relations and political praxis with each wetland site bearing witness to complex situated histories. to think of how an art practice might offer something different – not a re-representing of the wetlands, or a presentation or visualisation of some of the science but we wanted to create a visceral encounter, an affective intra-action that started to enact a wetland imaginary through experience. This research developed through a multi-modal arts inquiry, including arts-based participatory workshops producing maps, stories and myths, a site-responsive performance-walk and multi-media installation. Initial research involved site visits to Walthamstow Wetlands, walking, taking pictures, meeting people with specialist knowledge, such as Ian Crump (Biodiversity Office, Thames Water) and meeting community members. Ian walked us around the wetlands sharing his knowledge of the flora and fauna, we well we the complex water treatment processes. These discussions, the walking process and documenting, along with desktop research revealed the specific relations of this wetlands, in terms of its histories, and its evolution to a mixed purpose, complex ecology, recreation space, and water treatment centre. This was a public facing event where invited participant to explore wetlands at the Walthamstow Wetlands Centre (WWC https://walthamstowwetlands.com/myths). The first part of the workshop involved a guided walk around the wetlands by Alison O’Conner from the London Wildlife Trust. This walk situated the participants (20-30) in the local wetlands condition, an embodied experience from which to explore global wetlands in the second part of the workshop. The Walthamstow site with its unique characteristics meant that the mapping workshop, storytelling workshop, performance and the interactive installation were strongly site-responsive, situated and specific, while from the outset we looked to understand them within their planetary condition. The basis for the mapping was the ‘Ramsar’ interactive website (ramsar.org). ‘Ramsar’ refers to the Convention on Wetlands, the intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The Convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975. Since then, almost 90% of UN member states, from all the world’s geographic regions, have acceded to become “Contracting Parties” (ramsar.org). The Ramsar Sites Information Service (RSIS) provides online information on wetlands that have been designated as internationally important, hosting an interactive map (rsis.ramsar.org). This site includes a searchable database of Ramsar Sites, which holds information on the wetland types, ecology, land uses, threats, hydrological values of each Site as well as spatial information: • downloadable copies of Ramsar Information Sheets (RISs) for each site which have been provided by the Contracting Parties, including maps and supplementary information, Site summaries, and exportable data sets; and • digital (GIS) boundaries of Sites, where available. (rsis.ramsar.org) Following the guided walk, and a presentation by Sam Vardy and Paula McCloskey of the overall project background including an introduction to ‘wetlands’, and both the local and global context, we turned to the Ramsar database to collectively explore other wetlands across the planet. Having explored the database as a presentation, and demonstrating the process of inquiry, participants were asked to work in pairs or threes to explore the planetary wetlands on the system and select one; to download a satellite image and key information about the chosen wetland, and to write a short story or myth about it. The activity was used to further the discussion about wetlands, to share understandings, experiences and ideas and to start to collectively visualise the planetary condition and characteristic of the figure of the wetlands. The documentations (satellite map, text about the sites) were then printed to form part of the interactive exhibition at the Assembly Day on the 23rd November 2019. Storytelling Workshop 07.11.2019 We invited the writer/artists Season Butler (seasonbutler.com) to lead a session following on from the mapping workshop. Season is a writer and artist, interested in similar themes of climate urgency and explored through performance and writing. Season guided the group through a series of writing exercises from which they would start to write their own wetlands myths. Performance Walk 07.11.2019 A key element to the research was to create a site-responsive performance. Through a combination of desk-top research, co-researching and co-thinking about wetlands from different people’s experiences with the participants in the workshops (detailed above), working with indigenous artists Rod Garlett and undertaking many site visits we started to devise a performance walk. The site visits allowed us to spend time with the wetlands, experience how it changes as the season change from late summer hot summer days when the water teemed with life, the air was heavy and Interactive installation 23.11.2019 On the 23 November 2019, as part of Waltham the three-month residency culminated with the Art Assembly Festival in Walthamstow as a celebration of Waltham Forest being London’s 2019 Borough of Culture. For this we created We also created a new audio-visual film using original footage from Walthamstow Wetlands and a devised multi-media installation which involved workshops, talks, mapping and a soundscape performed by sound artists Gary Stewart. Over 300 attended on the day and participated. References: Comyn-Platt, E., Hayman, G., Huntingford, C.,Chadburn, S., Burke,E., Harper, A., Collins, W., Webber, C., Powell, T., Cox, P., Gedney, N., Sitch. S., Carbon Budgets for 1.5 and 2 °C Targets Lowered by Natural Wetland and Permafrost Feedbacks. Nature Geoscience, 2018. Gearey, M., Robertson, L., Anderson, J., Barros P., and Cracknell, D.‘ Re-naturing the City for Heath and Well-being: Green/Blue Urban Spaces at Sites of Renewal and Contestation’ in Planning Cities with Nature: Theories, Strategies and Methods. edited by Fabiano Lemes de Oliveira, Ian Mell New York. Springer pp. 153-169 Gómez-Barris. M., Beyond the Pink Tide: Artistic and Political Undercurrents in the Americas. Berkeley: UC Press, 2018. Gómez-Barris, M., The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives, Durham. Duke University Press, 2017. Neimanis. A., Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology. Bloomsbury Collection. 2017 London Borough of Waltham Forest Local Plan Sustainability ... walthamforest.gov.uk › files › C0093_WFScopingReport_V3_130717 https://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/sites/default/files/C0093_WFScopingReport_V3_130717.pdf https://wfculture.co.uk/about
  • Endings are not always completed with a full stop

    Jones, Rhiannon; University of Derby (Intellect Books, 2020-11-06)
    This chapter provides a critical discourse between Jones and Pinchbeck about the making of The Trilogy, offering a unique framework for a dialogue on dramaturgy. The conversation metaphorically occupies the corner points marked out on a stage, balanced on the edges of white masking tape, the threshold of dramaturgy. The chapter explores the dramaturgical twists and turns in the making of The Trilogy. Divided into three parts, The Preview, The Interview The Review and it is presented as a release statement from a contract in a final act of ‘signing off’ The Trilogy. A final act marked in permanent ink honouring that promise Pinchbeck once made never to perform again. The dialogue questions the undulations of dramaturgy and, like the work, the discourse between Jones and Pinchbeck consciously touches at the edges, it is sticky and non-linear. It weaves together fragments of other contributors’ voices in order to float a range of ideas. Of falling in and out of love with the theatre. And a conversation takes place.
  • Constituent relations across the city: Three perspectives from practice

    McCloskey, Paula; Vardy, Sam; University of Derby; Sheffield Hallam University (2019-05-24)
    What kinds of practices help us to explore, rethink and remake our co-relations? Constituent relations across the city: Three perspectives from practice. In this session, we propose speaking across and from three different spatial practices of which we are part,and which are situated in different socio-spatial conditions: a place of their own (an art/spatial research practice); Studio Polpo (the UK’s first social enterprise architectural practice); and Architecture Sans Frontières - UK (a non-profit aiming to make community development integral to architectural practice and teaching). By sharing moments of co-incidence from these practices that seek to co-otherwise we seek to show thinking and acting with co-ness is generative of creative, relational processes and resistant practices. Studio Polpo designs situated and collaborative approaches to create objects, structures, initiatives and research-led resources that enable transformative social change. To this end we self-initiate projects to support diverse economies of participation and exchange through spatial intervention. We have facilitated the collective ownership and/or management of a number of buildings and programmes, hosted events which protest the commercial use of city centres and propose more diverse ways of living and exchanging that activate more distributed networks of design. ASF-UK is a non-profit organisation with three main objectives: to increase knowledge and understanding of community participation amongst built environment students and practitioners (training and capacity building); to support community groups, civil society organisations and local governments by working in partnership and facilitating the involvement of built environment professionals (live projects); and to influence urban policy and planning processes by mainstreaming methodologies and practices focused on democratic and resilient city-making (advocacy). a place of their own operate as a collective, a couple, with our children, and through collaborations with others. In the Eile Project, we operate in the specific context of the geo-political border between the Irish Republic and the UK and enact an alternative ethics of spatial action through intra-actions and ‘kinning’. Eile's interventions, rituals and the audiovisual films we produce with them draw forth kinship, different alliances between organic and in-organic matter, non-human animals (the white cryptic butterfly, the lobster), and re-territorialize traumatic sites. Why this (co-) is an important question for us to carry out these kinds of practices? Or What kinds of practices help us to explore, rethink and remake our co-relations?
  • Bio-colours sustainable colour: Material, colour and patterning, choice for textiles that can have a positive impact on our well-being.

    Wells, Kate; Greger, Ness; University of Derby (2018-05-29)
    Bio-Colours Sustainable Colour: Material, Colour and Patterning Choice for Textiles that can have a Positive Impact on our Well-Being. The aim of this paper is to address the question: Can the textiles with which we surround ourselves improve our health and well-being while contributing to a lessening the environmental impact of their production? Both design practice and theoretical research informed this paper by researching into the anti-bacterial properties of natural dyes while considering the methods of application of Bio-colours and their extracts to fabrics as a future sustainable colouring and patterning medium. The main objective of this paper is to bring together several aspects of the author’s research: That of the potential healing properties of natural dyes alongside practical experimentation into eco-patterning: A sustainable method for the colouring of materials via shibori and hand processes along side the use of light (differing wavelengths) as a potential method of aesthetic decoration, that is underpinned by the desire to design fabrics that are ethically and sustainably viable. Instigated by the output of collaborative research between two different disciplines: That of textile design and early coloration methods with historical photographic imaging techniques. The research initially considered the symbiotic relationships between natural plant extracts had with ‘Anthotypes’, a very early form of photography c1840 and considered the success and failure of natural dye extracts to create images under different application techniques and light exposure sources. The aim of which, was to understand the success or failure of this type of patterning process on textiles and consider the question: Could this kind of photographic image making be applied as a future, sustainable method of design generation, colouration and patterning of fabric? The objective was in creating an alternative sustainable surface design process that relies upon light and natural colouring substances/dyes as the main patterning and processing medium. By embracing the ethos of ‘slow textiles’ as an alternative to ‘fast fashion’, the research considered the impact natural and synthetic dyes, fibres and the textile coloration industry have as a whole on the environment and well being of the world’s population. Practical design research investigations explored the potential for improving the welfare of the user through considered selection of the colouring matter, natural dye extracts; fibre bases such as hemp, ramie, bamboo, milk and soya alongside solar eco-patterning techniques with an overall aim of producing a patterned material that has sustainable and ethical credentials. Although some very successful outputs were achieved: The main disadvantage of this technique being sustainable being that the fugitive colorant that provides the photographic image/design continues to fade with light and time. New investigations lead to an improvement in fastness once a design has been created, with developments in application of the colouring matter as well as methods for enhancing the light fastness after exposure and patterning by applying an after-mordant such as Tannins from Oak and Sumac, plants high in aluminium; Symplocos Cochinchinensis and Camellia alongside Aluminium, Iron or Copper acetates to the patterned materials after exposure or the application of UV blockers such as Vitamin C, lemon and lime juice that does not normally affect the colour of the patterning produced or effect the potential healing properties of material bases and dyestuffs employed.
  • Border fictioning (Eile project)

    McCloskey, Paula; Vardy, Sam; University of Derby; Sheffield Hallam University (2019-06-09)
    This paper will explore how the Eile Project (20916- ongoing), an art and spatial research practice, seeks to invent new ways of conceptualising and intervening in borders, as a mode of ecosophical art practice in what Haraway calls the chthulucene. The Eile Project takes form as an investigation of borders using art research methods with the aim to queer the notion of borders, through border-fictioning, border- linking/making; territorial myth-fictioning. It uses multimedia visual art methods, which include the development of experiments (site-specific performances, rituals, audio-visual digital film). The fictional character ‘Eile’ weaves through the experiments. Eile is a changling; a gorgon; a transmuter; a creature, an outside of time, an indeterminate flow. Eile makes and unmakes the UK/Irish borderlands; passing through them as they pass through her. Through performative gestures on the border using a range of materials Eile intervenes into this geopolitical border scene to develop border-fictioning and creating a new ethics and aesthetics of the border. Eile intra-acts with buildings, different species, the bogs, rivers, flora and fauna, caves, mountains, as well as introducing new materials (glitter, smoke, wire) and discourse (legal, historical, political, and cultural etc) in a re-working of current border material-discursive phenomena. The Eile Project investigates the complex intra-relations between human and non-humans; between the matter and discourses of the UK/Irish border in continual entanglement. The presentation will include a presentation of the research, including showing extracts from the Eile films.
  • Territories of Eile, film screening

    McCloskey, Paula; Vardy, Sam; University of Derby; Sheffield Hallam University (2019-07-20)
    Territories of Eile in a short film from the Eile Project. Eile Project (2016-ongoing) is a transdisciplinary investigation of the UK/Irish border and its complex entanglement of colonialism, migration, border-imperialism and geopolitics. The project creates site-responsive performances on the border, from which sculptures, soundscapes, films, texts develop that enact ‘border-fictioning’: a resistant practice to oppressive manifestations of nation-state borders. These live performances capitalise on the forces of the earth to enact what Grosz, Povinelli and others refer to as ‘geopower’ as a form of resistance to colonial practices.
  • Digital warp blue part of silken threads exhibition

    Wells, Kate; University of Derby (2014-10-24)
  • Invent-re-invent-Itajime: barcode I, II, II

    Wells, Kate; University of Derby (2014-06-21)
    Today there is an ever-increasing demand for printed fabrics to exhibit an ethnic twist or provide the impression of being hand produced. Some of the reasons for this may be due to a merging of cultures, through increased travel and advances in communications but there is also a growing trend in the importance of identity, place and individualism that has created a renewed interest in craft, one-off and hand produced products. An increasing desire for the unique and traditional: In-praise of the ‘hand’; ‘flaw’; ‘accident’ has potentially resulted in a growth of digital representations of traditional designs, many originating through painterly, dyed or hand printed techniques that produce marks upon or within the cloth that act as indicators of the technique employed and as such exhibit irregularity with the occasional fault implying the influence of the ‘hand’ in its production. The digitisation of traditionally patterned materials that are seemingly too expensive to still be produced by hand has enabled such design styles to enter into the marketplace. But this re-production, copying process of traditional designs using the new technologies of the time is historic, having taken place within Europe since the C18th with the birth of textile printing manufacture, so what makes digitisation of the process any different from a traditional copy? Hopefully successful digitisation of a design helps retain some of the qualities of ‘Slow’ production allowing reproduction of one-off pieces to be successfully digitally printed, even re-coloured. But many questions still remain: ‘Can digital copy with extensive CAD re-working retain the quality of ‘hand’ and ‘accident’ and continue to deliver the magical qualities, depth of colour and uniqueness that hand dyed and printed textiles exhibit?’ or ‘Can ‘hand’ and ‘technology’ unite together in creating a new, unique form of digital copy in the future?
  • Digital warp blue

    Wells, Kate; University of Derby (2015-11-04)
  • Shibori: digital intervention

    Wells, Kate; University of Derby (2020-03-04)
    Digital Copy: The Uniting of Hand and Technology. Today there is an ever-increasing demand for printed fabrics to exhibit an ethnic twist or provide the impression of being hand produced. Some of the reasons for this may be due to a merging of cultures, through increased travel and advances in communications but there is also a growing trend in the importance of identity, place and individualism that has created a renewed interest in craft, one-off and hand produced products. An increasing desire for the unique and traditional: In-praise of the ‘hand’; ‘flaw’; ‘accident’ has potentially resulted in a growth of digital representations of traditional designs, many originating through painterly, dyed or hand printed techniques that produce marks upon or within the cloth that act as indicators of the technique employed and as such exhibit irregularity with the occasional fault implying the influence of the ‘hand’ in its production. The digitisation of traditionally patterned materials that are seemingly too expensive to still be produced by hand has enabled such design styles to enter into the marketplace. But this re-production, copying process of traditional designs using the new technologies of the time is historic, having taken place within Europe since the C18th with the birth of textile printing manufacture, so what makes digitisation of the process any different from a traditional copy? Hopefully successful digitisation of a design helps retain some of the qualities of ‘Slow’ production allowing reproduction of one-off pieces to be successfully digitally printed, even re-coloured. But many questions still remain: ‘Can digital copy with extensive CAD re-working retain the quality of ‘hand’ and ‘accident’ and continue to deliver the magical qualities, depth of colour and uniqueness that hand dyed and printed textiles exhibit?’ or ‘Can ‘hand’ and ‘technology’ unite together in creating a new, unique form of digital copy in the future?
  • The emerging evidence of a time through the emergence of an image through time: a correlation between the early photographic imaging processes anthotypes and natural dyes

    Wells, Kate; Jackson, Jane; Pearson, Emily; University of Derby (2015-03)
    This paper discusses the correlation of Natural dyes with the 19th Century photographic processes ‘Anthotypes’. Exploring the connection between natural dyes and their fastness properties in relation to the success of this early photographic imaging process: The emerging evidence of imagery on exposure to light as the colorants change with time either physically due to fading or heat and moisture. This project plans to document through Alternative photography, Archival evidence of an English Estate’s Garden (the traces that remain), Cotesbach Hall and the Marriot Family Archive from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries through collaborative research between different disciplines: historical archive and 19th Century English horticulture with natural dye colouration and ‘Anthotypes’ a early photographic processes of that period. By exploring the natural plant extractions of Cotesbach Hall Gardens with investigations and experimentation into ‘Anthotypes’ the aim of which, is to understand the symbiotic relationship that the natural colorant (Dye) has with the success or failure of this type of photographic process, the emerging evidence of a time through the emergence of an image through time: Positive exposure over hours/days/weeks. The main objective of the research is to employ archival research and past and current photographic images within a scientific technical methodology normally applied to textile coloration as to Why and How Anthotypes work? Their correlation both colorant and positive have with sunlight, artificial daylight and ultra violet light in relation to quality and colour of images achieved on exposure, with the fastness properties natural dyes /plant extracts employed within the process. The initial literature research undertaken was into the three completely different scientific areas that were being investigated during the 19th Century: English Garden Horticulture, Textile colouration via natural dyes and the success or failure of early photographic experiments using plant juices known as ‘Anthotypes’ developed by Sir John Herschel in 1842. Synthetic dyes had not been discovered or were employed within the Textile Industry until 1856 with the discovery of ‘Perkins purple’ or ‘Mauveine’ by William Henry Perkin. This was followed by a practical investigation into the relationship natural colours obtained from plants and vegetables within the gardens of Cotesbach Hall had with their fastness or fugitive properties in enabling the creation of a successful positive images using with the early photographic technique of the period, known as Anthotypes. The resulting imagery documenting: ‘The Emerging Evidence of a Time through the Emergence of an Image through Time’ A correlation between the early photographic imaging processes Anthotypes and Natural Dyes’.
  • Découverte de l’artiste’ (discovering the artist): Finding Marion Adnams through her work with a focus on ‘Infante égarée

    Forde, Teresa; University of Derby (2018)
    This video installation expresses the process of research Marion Adnams' paintings and the paper model of Infante égarée in particular. A version of paper model from the original painting has been constructed and animated in order to understand the structure of the original paper doll and to emulate the movement that is implicit in its structure. The animation was then superimposed onto the original painting. Adnams described the figure as lost and wandering in the forest and this sense of dislocation is captured within the twisting movement of the figure and haunting soundtrack. The title of the painting is also restored to Adnams’ preferred French title. The video is part of the Marion Adnams Project and illustrates an interest in practice as a form of research. The video installation formed part of the ‘Marion Adnams: A Singular Woman’ retrospective at Derby Museums and Gallery (Dec 2017-March 2018).
  • PaintingDigitalPhotography conference

    Robinson, Carl; University of Derby (2017-05-09)
    The PaintingDigitalPhotography conference seeks to investigate how artists and theorists are currently engaged in critical discourses around the shifting relationships of painting, photography, and digital manipulation. How are these mediums being defined in their connection to one another as new hybrid forms are being created through their combination? What do these combinations tell us about these mediums and disciplines, their natures and practices, in the digital age? In what ways might digital imaging and manipulation enable a painting / photography interconnectivity? Central to the debate will be the focus on the blurred boundaries, common threads, antagonisms, distinctions, and growing interrelationship between painting, photography, and ‘the digital’ in the development of new creative practices.
  • The legacy of Mad Men: cultural history, intermediality and American television

    McNally, K; Marcellus, J; Forde, Teresa; Fairclough, K; London Metropolitan University; Middle Tennessee State University; University of Derby; University of Salford (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019-12-12)
    For seven seasons, viewers worldwide watched as ad man Don Draper moved from adultery to self-discovery, secretary Peggy Olson became a take-no-prisoners businesswoman, object-of-the-gaze Joan Holloway developed a feminist consciousness, executive Roger Sterling tripped on LSD, and smarmy Pete Campbell became a surprisingly nice guy. Mad Men defined a pivotal moment for television, earning an enduring place in the medium’s history. This edited collection examines the enduringly popular television series as Mad Men still captivates audiences and scholars in its nuanced depiction of a complex decade. This is the first book to offer an analysis of Mad Men in its entirety, exploring the cyclical and episodic structure of the long form series and investigating issues of representation, power and social change. The collection establishes the show’s legacy in televisual terms, and brings it up to date through an examination of its cultural importance in the Trump era. Aimed at scholars and interested general readers, the book illustrates the ways in which Mad Men has become a cultural marker for reflecting upon contemporary television and politics.
  • Introduction

    Robinson, Carl; University of Derby (Cambridge Scholars, 2018-09-01)
  • Archaea and Rejoicing the Sun

    Rushton, Stephanie; University of Derby (Royal Photographic Society, 2019)
  • Abandoned village

    Fisher, Craig; University for the Creative Arts (2017)
    Rack 'n' Ruin was an invitation by an artist-led space to show work within the specific context of the gallery space which is modelled on American hunting lodges. Exhibited a series of new collage-paintings produced as a result of residency at Villa Lena, Italy that explore ideas of the architectural ruin through abstraction.
  • Jerwood drawing prize 2015

    Fisher, Craig; University for the Creative Arts (2015)
    Group exhibition tour.
  • Innovative curatorial strategies – a consideration of site

    Fisher, Craig; University for the Creative Arts (2015)
    In Miniature’ continues Fisher’s ongoing practice-based enquiry into exploring innovative curatorial devices and strategies. He was invited by curator Abi Spinks to respond to the particular context of the Small Collections Room, (four antique cabinets conceived as an innovative exhibition venue by artist, Pablo Bronstein) at Nottingham Contemporary in relation to his recent curatorial project, Mrs Rick’s Cupboard (2013-ongoing), which explores site and investigates the conventions of exhibition making and curating as a medium/methodology. Fisher responded to the Small Collections Room by curating, ‘In Miniature’ an exhibition within an exhibition in the smallest cabinet in the space (the other cabinets were used by Fisher and artist Debra Swann to present their own work in an exhibition entitled ‘Stand In’, which explored their shared interests in notions of representation). Under the curatorial umbrella of Mrs Rick’s Cupboard, ‘In Miniature’ brought together the work of nine artists to consider the particular confines of the chosen cabinet (the smallest) by asking each artist to make and present a work that was in some way a model, copy, or similar representation of their practice but on a smaller scale. Participating artists included Roy Brown, Louisa Chambers, Laura McCafferty, David Ersser, Lynn Fulton, Kit Poulson, Derek Sprawson, Emma Talbot and Paul Westcombe. Fisher currently invites 4 artists each year (artists such as Sean Edwards and Emily Speed, both 2014) who are at all stages of their career to respond to, make work and exhibit within an unconventional exhibition space, Mrs Rick’s Cupboard, a walk-in cupboard in the corner of his studio at Primary, Nottingham.
  • Razzle dazzle

    Fisher, Craig; Chambers, Louisa; Flint, Rob; University for the Creative Arts (2016-11)
    The collaborative exhibition, Razzle Dazzle takes as its starting point Dazzle Camouflage, credited to artist Norman Wilkinson where, ‘military vessels were painted with strong geometric patterns and bold contrasting colouration so as to misinform U-boat captains bent on attack. The intention was optical deception: to mislead the eye and manipulate visual perception.’ (Gil McElroy, The Uses of Abstraction). Artists Craig Fisher, Louisa Chambers and Rob Flint each employ pattern within their practice as a form of pictorial disruption, interruption and spatial collapse. Initially to start the dialogue each artist will work site-specifically by making work directly on the gallery walls. Over the duration of the exhibition each artist will develop work by responding to the space and each other; artworks will butt up against each other, they may be shown on top of each other making individual practices both indistinguishable and jarring. As the space begins to evolve, as well as adding, interjections will be made where artworks will be removed or displaced. The artists are interested in further crossovers, which will be made during a marked time frame, the possibilities of pattern disruptions and figure/ground painting relationships within the gallery space. Works in the exhibition are concealed within the overall dazzle effect of the installation producing interesting juxtapositions and correlations. The exhibition follows on from a public residency at the Harley Gallery in the East Midlands.

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