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
Rare Earth is an exhibition which intertwines scientific and visual research in a multi layered collection of micrographs, photographs, paintings, sculptures and sound recordings.
It was created in collaboration between a team of ESI-based scientists, James Scourse and Alejandro Roman Gonzalez, and Cornish artists Bridget Roseberry and Katrina Slack, who investigated and responded to climate and environmental change in the Antarctic.
The Rare Earth team will host an opening on Tuesday 31st May 4.30pm – 6.30pm. The exhibition continues from the 1st - 24th June. Open weekdays 9-5pm, except bank holidays. If you can't make it to the physical exhibition, view the online version here.
Seaweed Futures is a collaboration between visual artist and illustrator Tom Hubmann with social and natural scientists Dr Tom Chaigneau, Dr Ian Ashton and Dr Katie Orchel from the University of Exeter. The aim of the project was to develop an interactive research tool that helped visualise potential future scenarios relating to seaweed farming in the South West. The output enabled a more effective consultation process and meaningful dialogue to occur between local communities, potential stakeholders and academics. Using engaging and easily digestible visual imagery in this way created an exciting space for participants to explore complex data, research and ideas effectively in a new and innovative way.
Images: Seaweed Futures © Tom Hubmann
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.
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.
Lustrous, reflective, ductile, malleable, conductive, light sensitive…the unique properties of silver are used in a huge range of applications, from batteries to solar panels. Origins of Silver is a research project that aims to unearth some of the complex histories and entangled networks of this precious metal, with a specific focus on its use in analogue photography. This collaboration between artist & lecturer Oliver Raymond Barker, Professor Karen Hudson-Edwards and Professor Nicola Whyte will build a platform for future research and pose questions around this most fascinating of elements. Five independent artists will also be contributing research ideas to the project – William Arnold, Edd Carr, Alice Cazenave, Melanie King & Guy Martin.
The Researching Resistance exhibition developed from a collaboration between investigative artist Simon Ryder and the University of Exeter’s AMR network, and has been curated by Dr Kelly Thornber. Featuring portraits of members of the Network, Ryder’s artistic response illustrates that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an issue that goes beyond disciplinary, societal and national boundaries.
Fifteen members of the AMR Network, spanning the breadth of subjects and career stages, were invited to feature in a series of photographic works. Originally exhibited at the Forum, Streatham Campus, Researching Resistance will be on display in the ESI Creative Exchange, Penryn Campus from 14 January – April 2022.
Image: Dr Liliane Mukaremera © Simon Ryder
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.