The Creative Exchange Programme

The Creative Exchange Programme aims to facilitate collaboration between creative practitioners, the ESI and researchers on our Cornwall Campuses who share an interest in issues of environment and sustainability.

Through this programme we are seeking to develop the region’s creative industries, inspire research and stimulate opportunities for public engagement and collaborative learning.

We circulate a call for proposals for Creative Exchange collaborations bi-annually at the start of the academic year and again in late Spring. Details about calls will be made available on this page. For more information, please contact Caitlin DeSilvey, Joanie Willett and Claire English or for administrative support please contact the ESI admin team.

For email updates on the latest calls for proposals, funding opportunities and Creative Exchange events please sign up to our mailing list.

    Current Collaborations

Sail Against Plastic

Sail Against Plastic, a pioneering team of scientists, filmmakers, photographers and artists, will be exhibiting work carried out on their expedition to the arctic to determine the levels of plastic pollution making its way there on ocean currents.

    Upcoming Collaborations


 An interactive exhibition exploring how to live when sea levels rise by Creative Affiliate Natalia Eernstman.

2018-19 Programme Coming Soon

Having received some very exciting proposals, we are currently putting together our programme for 2018-19 academic year. Details will follow soon, with our first exhibition of the new year taking place in September.

Previous collaborations

Visible Mending

As part of the Repair Acts 2018-19 programme, a pop-up repair café, talks and exhibition will be co-hosted by the ESI and the Falmouth and Penryn Repair Café as part of International Repair Café Week. The event, taking place on Friday, 19 October from 16.00-19.00, will finish with the exhibition opening of our latest Creative Exchange project Visible Mending curated by Steve Bond.

Kurt Jackson at the ESI

An exhibition of Kurt's work celebrating his new painting Taxonomy and Biodiversity being installed in the ESI and the reinstallation of water sculpture Cornish Trembling Sea Mat. Read more.

Melting Pot

The University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) hosted the Creative Exchange Programme’s ‘Melting Pot’ on 19 April 2018. The event brought together local creative practitioners to discuss and develop new collaborations with University of Exeter research staff. Details of future Melting Pot events will be posted here. Read more.

Rock Paper Scissors - When Microbes Play Games

Mariann Landsberger (immunologist, ESI) and Orlando Serpe (3rd year Fine Art BA, Falmouth University) are collaborating on a graphic novel illustrating the intense struggles between viruses of bacteria and their bacterial host Read more.

Contaminated Soils in Ceramics

Dr Elze Hesse (evolutionary ecologist, ESI) and Fleur Winter (ceramic artist and teacher, Leach Pottery) have teamed up to test contaminated soils in ceramics. In particular, the project will test the impact of mine-degraded soils as additions in ceramic glazes and clay bodies. Read more.

More than Food

The exhibition is a collaboration between the University’s Social Innovation Group, distinguished photojournalist Paddy Dowling, and local foodbanks. Reflecting on lived experiences of foodbank use, the images and stories illustrate the complex circumstances at play and the power of localised forms of care. Read more.

Stuart Townley - The Mathematician and the Artist

The Mathematician and the Artist featured Prof Stuart Townley’s landscape paintings that he reinterpreted digitally. By viewing these paintings as models we use to represent and interpret reality, parallels can be drawn to Stuart’s computer-based mathematical models of the environment. Read more.

Resilient local food systems in the Tamar Valley

Rosie Fierek’s artwork is inspired by the work that Tamar Grow Local undertakes in the area - stimulating and incentivizing local food production and consumption - and research by ESI researchers Gloria Salmoral and Xiaoyu Yan on water-energy-food nexus in the EPSRC funded WEFWEBs project. Read more.

Bee Health: Audio Immersion

Juliet Osborne and Lauren Holt from the ESI facilitated a representation of honey bee data into a contemporary cello piece with an interpretive piece of music for both healthy hives, and those affected by pesticides and disease played by Oak Matthias. Read more.

6000 Flowers

'6000 Flowers' was an arts collaboration between Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB - Richard Hardy), the ESI (Dr Grace Twiston-Davies) and artist Jodie Purcell. Read more here.


Natalia Eernstman, artist, researcher and project manager for Golden Tree, collaborated with the ESI on various projects concerning coastal change, extreme weather and community resilience. Read more here.

Goonhilly Village Green

Through the Goonhilly Village Green (GVG) project, artists Sara Bowler and Elizabeth Masterton worked with academics and students at the ESI who are conducting research on the Lizard Peninsula's Goonhilly Downs. Read more here.

Soil Culture

Artist Marissa Lee Benedict was awarded a Soil Culture residency to work with researchers in the ESI in August 2014. The residency was delivered by the ESI in partnership with the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW). Read more here.

Crafting Stability, Tipping Points and Chaos

Dr Markus Mueller and Samantha Gerlach’s collaborative project sought to translate dynamic-behaviour mathematical models into crafted objects; these were creative interpretations of the concepts of stability, tipping points and chaos. Read more here.

Foreign Soil

Jonathan Bennie, ESI Associate Research Fellow, collaborated with artist and writer Gabrielle Hoad to identify and exploit microclimates where edible dessert bananas might be grown outdoors in the South West. Read more here.

All Washed Up

All Washed Up is a collaboration between Dr Matthew Witt, a lecturer in Natural Environment within the ESI, and Rame Peninsula Beach Care (RPBC), a beach cleaning group from South East Cornwall. Read more.

Natural Alchemy

he Natural Alchemy project, a collaboration between Chris Bryan and Oliver Raymond-Barker, is an exploration into process. Read more.

Reshaping Fashion Norms

This project, a collaboration between Clare Saunders, Sue Bamford and Irene Griffin, looked to ask: how might fashion norms be re-shaped so as to reduce the environmental and social impacts of fashion?. Read more here.

Night Walks

The collaboration between Hannah Guy and Thomas Davies took place between May and December 2013 and stemmed from the ESI research project, ECOLIGHT, which investigates the aesthetic, environmental and human health impacts of artificial light pollution. Read more here.

X-Ray Art and Design

Chris Thorn, who joined the ESI as the inaugural Creative Exchange Affiliate in February 2013. Produced the X-Ray Art and Design projecting collaborating with a number of researchers in the ESI. Read more here.