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 Natalie Pollard, 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 Collaboration Upcoming Collaborations
Painting a Parish Future is a collaborative project by ecological artist Peter Ward and Senior Lecturer in Politics Dr Joanie Willett. The project explores the importance of ecological engagement to political process through interdisciplinary workshops and research. Workshops involve group sharing, walking and participation in a communal painting using locally gathered earth pigment paints in response to specific local ecologies. Events were held in Pendeen and Gorran Parishes in Cornwall with the support of the Economic and Social Research Council and as part of the Creative Exchange Programme at the Environmental Sustainability Institute, Exeter University.
2021 marks almost a decade of the ESI Creative Exchange, to celebrate this fascinating programme of creative collaborations, we’re delighted to be working with Exeter Arts and Culture on a stunning new online exhibition called Catalyst.
We have developed a virtual gallery where you’ll be able to navigate through a series of spaces to view photography, creative writing, visual art and film all exploring issues of climate, environment and sustainability. Launching on Earth Day (Thursday 22nd April), the exhibition will feature artworks of twelve previous Creative Exchange participants, which have been developed since their original collaboration.
The artists exhibiting are:
The Art and Energy Collective, Dr Bram Thomas Arnold Dr Tim Cockerill, Chris Thorn, Harper and Chave, Hugo Glasier, Gabrielle Hoad, Josie Purcell Rame, Peninsula Beach Care, Roseberry and Slack, Rosie Fierek, Sara Bowler and Elizabeth Masterton.
Image: Towards Field Station Catalyst Remix © Bram Thomas Arnold 2021
The ESI Creative Exchange programme is jointly funded by the ESI and the University of Exeter's Arts and Culture programme. The Arts and Culture team work across the colleges and campuses of the University of Exeter, and with creative partners around the South West region and beyond.
Exhibition running from 28 February - 3 April 2020 as part of our Underworlds series. Dr Tim Cockerill and Dr Elze Hesse have been working together to produce of a series of large-scale macro photographic images visualising the effects of social and environmental cues on swarming behaviour in a model bacterium.
From January-June 2020 the ESI Creative Exchange will host an extended programme of art-science collaborations on the topic of UNDERWORLDS. In a series of four projects, artists and researchers are exploring themes of the underground, the undersea, the hidden and the microscopic.
Image provided by Pete Ward
This exhibition ran from 17 January - 21 February 2020 as part of our Underworlds series. Hidden in Plain Sight was a photographic journey into the subsurface of Cornwall’s mining heritage. Photographer, caver and mine explorer Hugo Glasier collaborated with Laura Newsome (an ESI-based geomicrobiology lecturer), Tomasa Sbaffi (a PhD student studying the microbial communities living in Cornish mine waste), and Carmen Falagan Rodriguez (a researcher in the ESI geomicrobiology laboratory).
Christiane Berghoff worked on an area of the walled garden on the Penryn Campus, planting and nurturing a variety of plants selected for the purpose of botanically dying textiles and for their value to insect pollinators. She worked in collaboration with PhD student Will Hawkes, an environmental biologist at the University of Exeter whose research is concerned with recording the migratory behaviour of insect life.
The Food for Change programme used food to inspire individuals to learn new skills and to progress into work or education. Participants in the programme used photography to document their experience of gaining new food skills through workshops with community chefs and growers in Cornwall.
Bram Thomas Arnold is an artist who started with walking and kept going, into performance, installation, drawing, academia, broadcasting and writing. Walking has become the foundation of his transdisciplinary practice, a practice that does not restrict itself to traditional notions, boundaries, mediums or modes of practice: it is an ecological form of practice that is simultaneously Conceptual in its methods and Romantic in its outcomes.
Dr Alison Harper (environmental textile artist) and Dr Sarah Chave (honorary researcher in the University of Exeter Graduate School of Education) collaborated to explore the human use and abuse of the material world.
This collaboration artistically presented mathematical and engineering research outcomes related to ocean wave and wind energy extraction through the use of wave and wind energy converters.
In July 2018 seven families took part in ‘Retreat’, a creative residency to imagine and design how to live when lives are radically affected by climate change. They came together as climate refugees fleeing their flooded homes to gather in a holding camp, where they had to reinvent ways to meet their basic needs and figure out how provide things they had taken for granted.
On the 19th October the ESI hosted an event which looked at the importance of repair in the circular economy and the fantastic work that is happening around Cornwall to repair our much-loved items. The evening included talks from Stefano Pascucci, ESI Professor in Sustainability and Circular Economy, on ‘Community, Circularity and Innovative Practice’, and Pete Halswell, Falmouth & Penryn Repair Café Chair, on ‘The First Cornish Repair Café: Origins and Outlooks’.
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 was a graphic novel telling the toils and hardships of a cunning little virus triumphing over its enemies with the help of a valiant knight. It illustrated the intense struggles between viruses of bacteria and their bacterial hosts.
The exhibition was 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 illustrated the complex circumstances at play and the power of localised forms of care.
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.
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.