Engaging geography

iv. creative public geographies

with 6 comments


All public geographies are, of course, ‘creative’. This event will examine how, in recent years, an increasing number of geographers and artists, poets, filmmakers, and other creative professionals etc. have worked collaboratively, broadening the remit of research and its outputs beyond the traditional texts and spaces of university education. In addition, geographers, artists, filmmakers, etc. are often one in the same person, and artists, filmmakers, etc. seem more and more interested in drawing upon geographical themes and vocabularies in their work. This event will explore the collaborative potentials, working practices, forms and spaces of engagement, and publics generated through recent academic/creative work on, for example, climate change, GM foods, animal geographies, ethical/sustainable consumption and postcolonial curating through a variety of project work underpinned by academic/creative collaborations.

We would like to encourage the involvement in this seminar of anyone involved in, and/or interested in, this kind of work. We have organised the day in order both to discuss and to spark new ‘creative public geographies’ collaborations.


We have collated almost 100 diverse examples of Creative public geographies here. Please let us know about any work that can be added.


Date: 22nd June 2010
Venue: Council Chamber, Northcote House, University of Exeter, Streatham Campus, Exeter EX4 4RJ (directions here).
Registration costs: £0
Accommodation: download the list here.
Curators: Kathryn Yusoff & Ian Cook, ‘Geographies of Creativity & Knowledge’ group, School of Geography, University of Exeter.

Provisional schedule.

11.00-11.30: registration and tea/coffee

11.30-11.45: Introduction
(Ian Cook & Kathryn Yusoff)

11.45-13.15: Creative public geographies: talks/provocations
(3 invited speakers, each talking for 20 minutes with 10 minutes of questions/comments)

13.15-14.00: Lunch

14.00-15.00: Studio 1
(3-5 minutes prepared interventions about CPGs organised in advance through the application process)

15.00-16.30: Creating public geographies + tea/coffee
(conversations between participants who don’t know each other about work they could/might do together)

16.30-17.30: Studio 2
(3-5 minutes prepared interventions about CPGs based on these conversations)

17.30-18.00: Conclude/disperse

Invited speakers

Divya Tolia-Kelly
Divya Tolia-Kelly is a cultural geographer at Durham University. Her work investigates three themes: landscape, race and memory; articulations of national cultural memory in museums and art galleries; and geographies of material cultures. In collaborations with artists Melanie Carvalho and Graham Lowe and through ethnographic investigation she has mapped and recovered postcolonial relationships with landscape, nature and citizenship. Her most recent AHRC-funded research exhibition An archaeology of ‘race’ involved collaboration with archaeologists, archivists, curators, historians, cartographers and anthropologists to explore the race-history of Hadrian’s Wall (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Divya has written papers on the exhibition for Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (2010, in press), Journal of Material Culture (2010), and the Journal of Social Anthropology (2009). Her book Landscape, race and memory (2010 in press) is based on a visual research collaboration with artist Melanie Carvalho and South Asian women living in London. Divya is currently writing the second of her cultural geography review papers for Progress in human geography on ‘Art and Geography’.

Emily Scott
Emily Eliza Scott is an independent artist and scholar whose work focuses on the creative-critical interpretation of contemporary landscapes. In 2010, she completed a PhD in art history at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her dissertation, “Wasteland: American Landscapes in/and 1960s Art,” examines new ways that artists engaged the land in this period in relation to particular emergent physical and imaginative geographies of postwar America. In 2004, after nearly a decade as a naturalist/educator with the National Park Service, she founded the Los Angeles Urban Rangers, a group that develops guided hikes, campfire talks, field kits, and other interpretive tools to spark creative explorations of everyday habitats in their home megalopolis and beyond. Their recent projects include a series of public “safaris” elucidating Malibu’s contentious public-private coastline (documented in Actions: What You Can Do With the City at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Open City at the 4th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, and Just Spaces at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, 2007-10); a trail system through the only remaining “wild” plot in Almere, the Netherlands (Museum De Paviljoens, 2008); and a tour of the Whitney Museum from an eagle eye perspective (Whitney Biennial, 2008). In collaboration with the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, they are currently investigating the university’s little-known Natural Reserve System, an archipelago of field research sites spanning the state, with plans to design a field guide and related programming to facilitate expanded uses of these spaces, especially by non-scientists. An avid believer in the value of interdisciplinary exchange, she has taught contemporary art and theory to environmental scientists (UCLA Institute of the Environment, 2005-7); co-organized events about intersections between contemporary art and geography such as Re-working the world: contemporary art & geographical activism (Association of American Geographers’ annual meeting, 2007) and Field Works: Art/Geography (UCLA Hammer Museum, 2005); has forthcoming texts in Art Journal as well as the edited volumes Architecture and Field/work and Geohumanities: Art, History, Text at the Edge of Place; and will soon begin working with video artist Ursula Biemann on a large-scale, web-based project on resource geographies (2011-13). Her research has been supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Luce Foundation, the Smithsonian, and the Switzer Foundation. She recently relocated to Zürich, Switzerland.

Rona Lee
Rona is currently Artist in Residence (funded by the Leverhulme Trust) at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, one of the world’s top five oceanographic research institutions, working with sonar geophysicist Dr Tim Le Bas . Her work there has sought to question modes of  ‘dry thinking’  associated with observation as a way of encountering the world; foregrounding liquid intelligences centred upon the imagination, desire, the body and touch. Her practice encompasses a range of media; photography, video, sculpture, performance and digital media, alongside other forms of engagement and intervention and is thematically underpinned by an interest in the uncertain and indeterminate. In recent years her work has focussed on a range of sites – epistemological, architectural, geographic or social, associated with water, each of which has functioned as a basis for enquiry into the capacity of the fluid, by virtue of being ‘neither one thing or the other’, to trouble binary structures. She currently lectures in Fine Art at Cardiff School of Art and Design and an honorary research fellow at London Metropolitan University. She is also a member of the international cross disciplinary research group Land Use Poetics. Exhibitions include: Beaconsfield, The Ikon Gallery, Tate Modern, Firstsite, Newlyn Art Gallery and abroad: Henie Onstad Museum, Oslo, La Chambre Blanche, Quebec City, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.


Chris Bodle

As an artist and landscape architect, I am interested in place and territory and the potential for art interventions or changes modifications to place to alter perception and change the way an individual may relate to or use that space. I am particularly interested in the potential for audiences to become engaged and become participants, however subtly in developing and evolving places. In Feb 2009 I ran a site-specific art project which took up some of these themes. This project is summarised below:

Sea levels are rising due to climate change… but how much could they rise and how quickly? And how could this affect the world’s coastal cities.

Watermarks is an ongoing public art project that explores these questions. Between 6th and 12th February 2009 a series of large-scale projections were displayed at sites across the centre of Bristol (UK). In Bristol, flood level marks were projected on to the sides of buildings, showing how high water levels could potentially rise as the sea inundates the central, low lying areas of the city. By displaying these levels in real space, the project aimed to help the audience imagine the depth and extent of this potential future flooding – allowing us to measure the possible future water levels against ourselves in familiar environments. The Bristol projections were the first phase of Watermarks – further phases will extend the project to other cities in the UK and globally. The complexity and inherent uncertainty involved in predicting sea level rise means there is little consensus across the global scientific community as to how much sea levels could rise in the coming decades. The Watermarks project (Bristol) used current UK government predictions for the next century to set the key flood mark levels. The project, however, also acknowledged uncertainty by exploring other, more extreme scenarios. Future phases of the project will use the latest sea level prediction data as it emerges – displaying a wide range of potential scenarios from across the scientific community. This project contends that the future of our cities and landscapes and our responses to rising sea levels are not just left to scientists, politicians, engineers and the built environment professions but emerge from as wide a base as possible with participation and involvement from all sections of the wider community. Ultimately the mitigation and adaptation measures will be social and cultural as much as scientific and technical.

Penny Somerville

Postgraduate Student, Faculty of Creative Arts, UWE, Bristol. I been focussed on ’deep mapping’ on the small island of Flat Holm in the Bristol Channel resulting in a series of etchings, enamels and a book.

Lucy Rose

School of Geography, University of Exeter. My PhD and associated fieldwork embraces creative methodologies and practices as a means to facilitate and explore community networks in Falmouth, Cornwall, and the ways in which they interact with and interpret environmental and sustainability knowledges and issues. I look to embrace the energy that drives the formation of community networks, embedding the creativity and originality of groups and individuals with whom I work into my own research practice. At this seminar I would be interested to explore and share the collaborative nature of public geographies and the iterative effect that this has on research design and practice. I want to work closely with the Falmouth oyster fishing community; the last fishery in Europe to work under sail.  This is a fascinating community interwoven with historical narratives, connections to place and masculine identities. I wish to develop a creative approach enabling us to jointly explore their interactions with concepts of sustainability and environment and the way that these ideas impact on their group identity and sense of place.

Matt Wilkins

School of Geography, University of Exeter. My own experiences and contributions are practically non-existent, but a recent introduction to Public/Engaging Geographies has inspired a new appreciation of how best to add a more nuanced ‘political’ perspective to my PhD work. Although my understandings are currently limited, I am drawn (with great enthusiasm) to the prospect/s of how such engagements might allow me to raise public awareness about my own research interests – thus creating opportunities to discuss (and learn) more about blindness and disability, the spatial dynamics of shopping practices, and how multi-sensory marketing might be able to influence our consumptive behaviours. I would be grateful to speak to whoever is interested, but I would ideally like to make contact and possibly collaborate with anyone who has experience in raising awareness of similar issues – especially with children and the visually impaired – while working with relevant brands or products (i.e. The Body Shop, Nokia, McDonalds or Subway etc etc).

Gail Davies

Department of Geography, UCL. An ongoing interest in the permeability, or otherwise, of the relationship between scientific and other forms of knowledge and materiality has led me to engage with art and artists working at the boundaries between science and art.  Most of my reflections on this element of my work have appeared in editorials in Geoforum or reviews in Progress in Human Geography, and has focused on biotechnology. I’ve recently hosted the artist Neal White, who works under the banner of the Office of Experiments, as an artist in residence at UCL, and this work has begun to focus more explicitly on the implications of locating engagements with science and technology as an aesthetic and experimental strategy.

Lynne Wyness

School of Geography, University of Exeter. I am currently in my second year of PhD study, conducting an ethnography of several primary schools, in the UK and Tanzania, linked by DFID’s Global School Partnership programme.  I am rapidly approaching the time when I need to be thinking about how I will write up this work, conveying the multiple stories I have encountered in both a respectful and creative manner.  With a background in teaching, both mainstream and ‘special needs’, I am a firm advocate of creative pedagogies which reach out to wider audiences.  I am thinking through ways I can make my own work accessible and useful for my participants, and hope that this conference will offer some inspiration.

Becky Sandover

School of Geography, University of Exeter. I’m interested in engaging with creative public geographies as part of my PhD research into cooking and eating. My present title is ‘Cooking for social justice’ and I intend to work with community groups using a cooking methodology.

Hilary Ramsden

School of Creative Arts, UWE. I am in the process of creating a new participatory methodology to record responses to our environment through an aesthetic practice of everyday walking. The methodology potentially creates opportunities for extended dialogue and discussion by heightening participants’ awareness and listening abilities. For this PhD research I am drawing on disciplines of conceptual and visual art, architecture, geography and performance from a practice-led perspective in quite a subtle and nuanced way. This has made it tricky to articulate in terms of methodology but also very exciting in terms of the potential for application in academia and in the world outside. I have encountered similar exciting and innovative perspectives and projects amongst geographers and feel very at home in this particular (and possibly, peculiar) of convergence of creativity and geography. I recently attended an ‘Experimenting with Geography’ workshop week in Edinburgh and hope to work further with some of the participants from that. But I am up for doing something ad hoc with people willing to be flexible and open to different ways of working.

Harriet Hawkins

School of Geography, University of Exeter. My work explores the relationships between geography and creativity. This ranges from the geographies of the creative industries to a geographical analysis of contemporary art-work.  I am currently interested in exploring the ways in which geographers and artists critically inhabit each other’s disciplinary terrains and practices. The focus of my work is the geographical analysis of art works. I have also worked with and studied arts institutions and the geographies of arts governance (both historical and contemporary). Recently I have been developing collaborative practice led research working with artists and curators to make work and develop exhibitions.

Amy Farthing

Sustainable Development MSc student, University of Exeter. My interests lie in the link between architecture and education/communication for sustainable development. I am particularly interested in the contributions that the interdisciplinary nature of architecture can make to the school curriculum.

Helen Scalway

Freelance Artist & Writer. I am interested in the ways in which art becomes part of geographical knowledge making, in the ‘knowledges’ or ‘understandings’ – it helps to generate. I attended and enjoyed very much the day organised by Harriet Hawkins at the RGS/IBG conference at Manchester in 2009. It’s great to see how this is being developed in this event. I’m particularly interested in the role of drawing and collage as research methods in this context, basing it on the specificities of my experiences in the AHRC funded research project ‘‘Fashioning Diaspora Space’, (Royal Holloway University of London and V&A) 2007-2009, for which I was an Artist Research Associate at Royal Holloway, investigating drawing and collage as ways ‘transrupting’¹ (Parker 2000) orthodox geographies of place and identity; specifically, exploring the textile geographies within two sites, the postcolonial diasporic urbanscape of Green St., Newham, with its South Asian textile and fashion shops, and the V&A galleries and stores in colonial South Kensington. Outcomes include an exhibition, ‘Moving Patterns’ at the Royal Geographical Society in May 2009; another was a blog on the V&A website: (http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites/1750_scalway/blog/; another will be a contribution to a book, ‘British Asian Style’, to be published by V&A Publishing later in 2010. I worked with Profs Felix Driver and Phil Crang at Royal Holloway University of London and Prof Christopher Breward, Head of research at the V&A. I’m looking for contacts interested in urban studies and affective cartographies. Among a lot of other work, I developed a ‘map’ of a London South Asian textile shop (see my V&A blog) which seemed to offer an interesting methodology for some further work in other urban contexts. I’m currently developing some thinking towards a book proposal in this area and I would very much like this opportunity to present this ‘map’.

Kate Rich

I’m an artist dealing mainly in data, networks and other informational media. Since 2003 I’ve been running the Feral Trade project, trading goods (primarily grocery products) along social and cultural circuits, as a material investigation into the nature and conduct of the contemporary global commodity. The grocery business is based in Bristol and uses the surplus freight potential of existing movements (friends and acquaintances, artworld, diasporic) to source and distribute goods internationally. The project has accumulated a wealth of relationships and experience in its 7 years of operation, and I am currently interested in possible opportunities for academic collaborations to document, evaluate and expand on this work. I’m particularly interested to chart the confrontations and opportunities revealed in the passage of imported goods through different regulatory protocols, for example between private (personal) and public (commercial) status.

David Paton

School of Geography, University of Exeter. I am carrying out a Creative Public Geographies PhD (The quarry as sculpture: sensing place in the embodied productions of carved granite); therefore this is an opportunity to engage with other practitioners, widen my knowledge of art-geography practices, and develop my relationship with the CPG programme.

Phil Crang

Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London. I am interested in the multiple practices of Cultural Geography and the role of the creative and performing arts in so-called ‘practice-led’ research in the field. I am therefore interested in creative practice as modes of thought and communication. I am also interested in how practitioners in the arts have, in some cases, developed skills of public engagement, digital archiving and creative connection that the academy is much in need of. My own experiences in this regard include collaborative research work with visual artists, most recently as Director of an AHRC funded project on ‘Fashioning Diaspora Space’ that involved drawing research by Helen Scalway, and included the ‘Moving Patterns’ exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society in 2009. More generally, I work in an academic setting – the Geography Department at Royal Holloway, University of London – that has a track record of collaborations with artists, and an emergent portfolio of variously ‘practice-led’ research projects (e.g. within our PhD community). Beyond Geography, since 2007 I have served on the Creative and Performing Arts research panels for the AHRC; and I am also involved with LCACE (London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange), which is a university initiative promoting the exchange of knowledge and expertise with the capital’s arts and cultural sectors. I have worked with the visual artist Helen Scalway (on her Moving Patterns work) and (very briefly!) Richard Wentworth (on the foodscapes of the Caledonian Road in London). I am keen to develop collaborations with artists interested in various forms of ‘topography’, ‘displacement’ and ‘spatial practice’, in the performing as well as the visual arts. I am interested in creative practices as forms of research and thought. Having just finished one project based in drawing research, my future plans are emergent, but I am keen to think about options for creative and performing art practices in explorations of the ‘material texture’ of places and their transformations and displacements (for example, seaside towns, their aesthetics and their art scenes intrigue me).

Davina Kirkpatrick

Whilst on my MA, in Multi-disciplinary Print (UWE, Bristol), I have been involved with the postgraduate reading group run by Iain Biggs. We started last year with Wylie’s book on landscape and have subsequently explored Ingold, Pearson & Shanks, Till & Jonker, Bachelard  and Solnit. This has enriched my own creative explorations with grief, loss and landscape. I would like to further explore how geographers and artists could work together. The reading group gave me the confidence to start work on a collaborative paper on art, poetry and the Severn Estuary with Owain Jones, to be presented in September at RGS conference

Jennifer Rich

I am currently co-ordinating two soundwalks on the sites of two former industries. The first takes a look at the former coal-fired Blackburn Meadows power station in Sheffield; whilst the second explores the former Avenue Coking Plant in Derbyshire.  Both soundwalks take place in situ, within the public spaces now at both sites.  The soundwalks promote an active and participatory approach to exploring local history.  Once complete, the soundwalks, will locate pedestrians as artists by providing access to different modes of learning, thinking, moving, remembering, re-remembering, discovering and forgetting. Both works will be a fundamental part of my research for a forthcoming PhD at Nottingham University’s Geography Department.  My research aims to answer the following kinds of questions: Can the soundwalk retain the epistemic regimes through which memories are formed? As geographers, how can we provide a non-didactic methodology for fellow and future creative practitioners in a range of disciplines, which will allow for individual creativity, experimentation and expression? How must we recognise the responsibility of the geographer as author/producer/facilitator of landscape and thus to consider notions of legacy; maintenance; life and landscape after the soundwalk is removed?

Kye Askins

Geography & Environment, Northumbria University. Within some participatory research with refugees and asylum seekers and ‘befrienders’ in a supported scheme, we’re hoping to work towards either a booklet or exhibition of ‘stories’ around their relationships with each other: art/pictures/photos/poems/quotes … whatever the participants decide …

David Lambert

Geography Education, Institute of Education, London University & Chief Executive of the Geographical Association. I am interested in the seminar series as a whole (but have been unable physically to get to more than one of them so far). In relation to this one I cannot claim any particular contribution to the field, but my interest is the rising interest in ‘creativity’ in education (in primary and secondary schools especially) and its potential intersections with geography in schools

Colin Sackett

I find it difficult to give an adequate answer here other than to say that the concern and focus of my work for the past twenty-five years or so has been: landscape, printing, publishing, reading, writing. See Jim Mays’ commentary: http://www.colinsackett.co.uk/writing_readings_11.php

Philippa Sewell

MSc Critical Human Geographies, University of Exeter. I’m interested in the fusion of geography and creative arts, particularly fiction writing and poetry. The boundaries of what counts as a discipline are being stretched, and I believe communication is the key to uniting the best features about two or more subjects. My work involves analyses of the human body, and the processes and feelings etc it undergoes in specific situations. I am interested in writing these investigations in a way that continues the analysis and complements the subject matter; for instance writing in a style that evokes the feelings I am discussing. I am unpublished and a complete novice at participating in seminars such as these, but I am genuinely interested and enthusiastic to talk to interesting and open-minded individuals.

Eleanor Rawling

Department of Education, University of Oxford. I am working on the relationship between poetry (and the poetic inspiration) and place. At present, I am writing a book which explores this relationship through the work of the Gloucestershire poet, Ivor Gurney and the landscapes of the Cotswolds and Severn Meadows. The book is for a general not a solely academic audience and will include suggested routes for walking and observing the Gloucestershire landscapes, linked with particular poems and or prose. Partly as a result of this research, I have also become interested in walking, running and the creative process. I am focusing on linking poetry, place and landscape and making these accessible for a non-academic audience. I am drawing on geography, geology, literature/poetry and am involving photographers and graphic artists in helping me with the work.

Ian Cook

School of Geography, University of Exeter. I try to find ways in which commodity connections can be made ‘real‘ enough to make a difference to the ways in which consumers imagine, understand and act in relation to those ‘distant strangers‘ who help them to do so much with their money. This work has involved developing fleshy, multi-sensory tropical food pedagogies via ‘follow the thing‘ ethnographic research (on Jamaican hot pepper sauces and fresh papaya) and social sculpture (relating to Shelley Sacks’ Exchange Values: images of invisible lives); publishing student work on material cultural geographies for geography teachers and their students; developing student-centred mobile phone pedagogies with school geographers (‘Making the connection’); convening discussions and new work in gallery, school and university spaces; and participating in the Geographical Association‘s ‘Young People‘s Geographies’ project where school students help to create what they study. Drawing on work undertaken about and with Exchange values, I have recently been experimenting with the ‘culture jamming’ and ‘public pedagogy’ possibilities of web 2.0 as a means to showcase, critique and encourage new, more visceral, collaborative and widely available ‘follow the thing’ commodity ‘shopping’ work. The prototype ‘shopping’ site I want to talk about is: http://followthethings.wordpress.com

Simon Lee Dicker

Artist and co-director, Fire & Ice Collective. My practice explores the relationship between the empirical experience of ‘place’ and the understanding of particular portions of space as a concept. Using a broad range of materials and methods of production I place as much importance on the processes involved in making the work as in what is produced or presented. With a particular interest in making art for public spaces I have developed a socially engaged practice that encourages an understanding of specific environments through creative participation. Previous work has involved the use of locative media and mapping software, earthworks websites, light based installations, action research, drawing and photography.

Kerry Burton

School of Geography, University of Exeter. My PhD research looks to the relational spaces of solidarity. This includes the idea of research as an act of solidarity. I am particularly interested in the ethical, theoretical, and empirical implications of militant methodologies and the possibilities and tensions there-in. This seminar series has been of interest due to the foregrounding of creative, political, and practical elements of engaged and public geographies.

Angela Last

PhD student, Department of Geography, Open University. I experiment with ways of making accessible processes, spaces and issues that are deemed invisible or intangible, for instance, because of their scale. These experiments have included interactive art-practice-based projects on genetic engineering, nanotechnology, ocean acidification and on the link between environmental issues and the human desire for perfection. I am interested in learning about other people’s projects and experiences. So far, I have worked by myself – with lots of different volunteers/participants/people making helpful comments. I gradually moved from art & design into geography and took some of my previous methods with me, because they corresponded well with geographical theory. They also helped me think and engage others with the issues I was working on in different ways. In Studio 1 I would like to focus on the method I used in two of my projects, which could be described as ‘symbolic experimentation’.

David Crouch

My work in cultural geography has developed a strand of participatory activism over some years, and in the last decade and more, engaged this interest in what I call `gentle politics` in relation to artwork, art practice, and art theory. I am an exhibiting artist, am developing a collaborative art project with John *Newling [Nottingham Trent], and this will engage gentle politics as well as be influenced by my work on nature and community gardening and our working title is `mulch`, very metaphorically, and involve sequential ethnographic engagement. My paper Flirting with space: thinking Landscape relationally: is in Cultural Geographies 2010 issue 1, and my book, Flirting with Space: journeys and creativity will be published by Ashgate in November 2010. *Please have a look at John`s website before the event if you have a chance: http://www.john-newling.com/ .

Valerie Coffin Price

As an artist-letterer my work deals with issues to do with the environment, language and cultural identity, a sense of place being fundamental to my work.  The poetic resonance of language and its connection to the environment drives my work which is concerned with how the environment is defined through language and cultural identity.  In recent projects I have been exploring ideas of mapping in relation to a sense of place, as well as an understanding of community and landscape, looking at the relationships between the human and natural, or manmade, environment. My current project explores the poetic responses of two writers, Edward Thomas and Ivor Gurney, to the landscape and looks into the diversity of languages that we use to connect to our internal and external human geography. The act of re-membering, used as a creative tool, can bring together divergent languages and landscapes to form a subjective map, allowing one to document the landscape, almost as a palimpsest, and connect us to an interior sense of self, whether verbal, physical, cultural or personal.

Matt Grace

PhD student, School of Geography, University of Exeter. I am interested in collaborations of people and places in the context of health care, particularly cancer. I am also interested in innovative ways in which people collaborate, and autoethnographies played out through interaction.

Mark Paterson

School of Geography, University of Exeter. This would be a new area, mostly my work deals with philosophical and historical approaches to the body and senses, but recently I’ve had to do more ‘applied’ thinking. There are possibilities for engagements with visually impaired and blind people and educating the public and schoolchildren about this, as well as media engagement. Plus work on robotics for Assisted Living projects – helping older people in the home. Generally there is a wave of tactile mobile technologies too that can be used in unusual, creative and educational ways, to explore cities and their ghostly histories through augmented reality applications for example.

Daisy Sutcliffe

I coordinate Creative Coast, the arts programme for the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.  The Site was designated for its rocks fossils and landforms, and contains a near complete record of the mesozoic (the rise and fall of the dinaosaurs) in its 95 miles of cliffs.  It has also been hailed as an open classroom for Earth Sciences. The Arts Programme aims to engage people with the Site, both its significance to earth science and its significance to humankind.  The World Heritage Convention states that we (England, currently through DCMS) commit (to UNESCO) to preserve the Site for all of mankind for now and for the future.  I am a Social Anthropology graduate with science A-levels and now extensive experience in using the arts to engage people, mainly with society and with themselves.  As such I am interested to develop my understanding of Geography and the potential for links, especially in the light that we have just been awarded an extended collaborative PhD studentship by AHRC in partnership with Exeter University’s Geography department.

Other participants:

John Wylie, School of Geography, University of Exeter

Kathryn Yusoff, School of Geography, University of Exeter

Tara Woodyer, School of Geography, University of Exeter


Written by Ian Cook et al

September 2, 2008 at 9:35 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Really interested in this seminar on Geographers, Artists and Publics. I am curently working on a publication entitled Walking with Ivor Gurney in Gloucestershire (IG was a Glos poet and musician). It is examining Ivor Gurney as a walker and poet in Gloucestershire, bringing out the intimate link between writing and walking. The publication is aimed at a general, not an academic, audience. I’d love to get some reactions from other geographers.

    Eleanor Rawling

    December 9, 2008 at 12:51 pm

  2. Sonic art-walk, exploring the history of the Blackburn Meadows power station in Sheffield.

    Spoken memories and voices from the Golden Age of Electricity re-animate a landscape which had inspired imaginings of Sheffield for almost a century.

    The memory-making process is explored as partial and transient; situational and subjective; as an act of being and becoming; as both affective and performative.

    Echoes of Blackburn Meadows is an exciting and timely addition to the movement towards creative public geographies.

    Jennifer Rich

    February 20, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    • Jennifer,
      do you know toby butler’s work on ‘memoryscapes’? He is now based at the Raphael Samuel History Centre, where details of his memoryscapes and ‘ports of call’ projects in London can be found; http://www.raphael-samuel.org.uk/about/team.php

      Philip Crang

      April 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm

      • Philip
        I am indeed aware of Toby Butler’s work. His interview with Graeme Miller on the LINKED project (Cultural Geographies/Oral History Reader) and his essay on Memoryscape, (http://www.uel.ac.uk/risingeast/archive05/academic/butler.htm) have been particularly influential to my work on Echoes of Blackburn Meadows. Hoping he’ll be at the Engaging Geography event in June


        May 3, 2010 at 11:50 am

  3. […] collaboration began in 2010, following a chance encounter at the Creative Public Geographies event in Exeter. It has proceeded through informal conversations around the production of draft […]

  4. A write-up of this event appeared on the Exeter University wesbite here

    It was also discussed in Catherine Nash’s chapter in the 2013 Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Cultural Geography here

    Ian Cook et al

    May 16, 2013 at 6:24 am

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