The Creative Exchange Programme
The Creative Exchange Programme facilitates collaboration between creative practitioners and researchers on our Cornwall Campuses who share an interest in issues of environment and sustainability.
The programme inspires new research relationships and stimulates opportunities for public engagement and collaborative learning. We work closely with University of Exeter Arts & Culture and other initiatives that seek to develop the region’s creative industries.
In 2020-2021 we curated a virtual exhibition featuring Creative Exchange legacy collaborations. During the 2021-2022 academic year we will be hosting a series of established art-research collaborations and developing a new programme of activities for early career researchers and creative practitioners. For more information, please contact Caitlin DeSilvey or Kate Pennington Wilson.
If you want to be kept in the loop about Creative Exchange events and opportunities please contact our admin team: email@example.com.
Current Collaboration Upcoming Collaborations
Our Disappearing Darkness and Recreating True Night
Ninety-nine percent of the population of the United States and Europe experience light-polluted skies to the point that well over half of them can no longer see the Milky Way. Artist and educator MJ Sharp, who has been making large-format, long-exposure photographs for over a decade, is collaborating with Professor Kevin Gaston to explore this ‘disappearing darkness’ as part of a 2021/2022 Fulbright award. The Creative Exchange programme is providing space for her residency throughout September – October 2021 and will support the creation of an immersive art installation that is also a scientifically rigorous simulation of night—evoking specific ancient moon- and star-related sites in Cornwall as well as the general uncanny experience of pure darkness that heightens all other senses. MJ Sharp will be based in the Creative Exchange space at the ESI on Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 2pm and welcomes drop in visits from staff and students across campus.
For details of workshops and events linked to MJ’s residency, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the 2021-2022 academic year we will be hosting a series of established art-research collaborations and developing a new programme of activities for early career researchers and creative practitioners. For more information, please contact Caitlin DeSilvey or Kate Pennington Wilson.
Image: 'All Washed Up' © Liz Franklin in collaboration with 100 school children.
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.
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.
Image: Towards Field Station Catalyst Remix © Bram Thomas Arnold 2021
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.
In 2020 painter Bridget Roseberry and painter and sculptor Katrina Slack collaborated with Professor James Scourse and researcher Alejandro Roman-Gonzalez from the University of Exeter on 'Rare Earth', an immersive online exhibition inspired by an Antarctic research expedition taken by the academics in 2019. The work produced by Roseberry and Slack explored microscopic worlds in the ocean and on the ice whilst simulataneously drawing attention to the effects of climate change on the Antarctic environment.
This exhibition ran from 28 February - 3 April 2020 as part of our Underworlds series. Dr Tim Cockerill and Dr Elze Hesse worked 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.
Sail Against Plastic
Sail Against Plastic, a pioneering team of scientists, filmmakers, photographers and artists, made an expedition to the Arctic to determine the levels of plastic pollution making its way there on ocean currents.
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.