Bridging the gap between academia and art
Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 14 August 2012
Two distinguished artists are set to work with the University of Leicester as artists-in-residence after securing a prestigious partnership grant.
The funding, from the Leverhulme Trust’s Artists in Residence programme, will allow East Midlands-based artists Sarah Kirby and Andrew Williams to work with the University for a full academic year.
During this time each artist will collaborate with academics and researchers in two departments of the university – the Centre for Urban History and the Space Research Centre.
Sarah Kirby, who has produced a series of prints of iconic Leicester buildings, will work with the University’s Centre for Urban History on a series of prints depicting Leicester’s architectural history – with a particular focus on its industrial past.
Sarah, 50, who lives in South Highfields, said: “It’s a great opportunity to be able to focus on a particular area of my work. I’m really looking forward to exploring new ways of looking at Leicester’s history – and having access to the centre’s expertise and resources is a whole new experience for me.
“As an artist I spend a lot of my working time alone and any ‘public engagement’ usually only comes at the end by way of an exhibition. Working in partnership with others while exploring subject matter and content is a great privilege - if a bit scary!”
Sarah’s work is currently on display in the University’s café in the Botanic Garden, and last year the University purchased a print of her image of the Engineering building. The picture is now on display on the first floor of the building.
The partnership came about after Professor Roey Sweet, Head of the University’s School of Historical Studies, approached Sarah with the idea of working with the Centre.
Professor Sweet said: “We are really interested in seeing people’s responses to Sarah’s work as it will help us see what these buildings mean to people. In this way, Sarah’s art will feed into our own research into Leicester’s industrial heritage.”
Composer and multimedia artist Andrew Williams will be based within the University’s Space Research Centre, and will explore new ways of visualising and explaining scientific research to the public.
Andrew uses sound, music, video and digital media to produce innovative compositions and interactive installations.
He hopes to bring visual and multimedia material together with events and projects at the centre to highlight and publicise work being developed.
Andrew, 47, who lives in Matlock, Derbyshire, said: “This is a great opportunity to work with new people, new ideas and experiment with new materials and process. It is a new way of working, a challenge, and will provide interesting possibilities for people working at the Centre.”
Andrew has previously collaborated as an artist with Rolls Royce and British Gas and produced new work for orchestras based upon science and technology.
He also previously collaborated with Dr John Lees, who leads the BioImaging Unit in the Space Research Centre, for a project at the University’s Embrace Arts centre.
For the project, Radioactivity: Friend or Foe, Andrew produced a multimedia show which illustrated Dr Lees’ research into how radioactivity can be used for medical purposes.
Andrew added: “I have an interest in collaboration with scientists and creating art linked to science. Space is a wonderful concept - our lack of knowledge and the idea of new exploration is surely a source of inspiration for a lot of people. I am no exception and look forward to my own journey of discovery.”
Dr Lees, who is hoping to work again with Andrew on ways of visualising how gamma cameras can be used in the treatment of cancer, said: “Working with Andrew is really inspiring. It gives you a different way of looking at your own work, and shows you how it is perceived elsewhere.”
For more information about Sarah Kirby, please visit: http://www.sarahkirby.co.uk/
Alternatively, please contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Andrew Williams please visit: http://andrewwilliams.net/
Alternatively, please contact Andrew at email@example.com
About the Leverhulme Trust
The Leverhulme Trust was established in 1925 under the Will of the first Viscount Leverhulme. It is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing funds of some £60 million every year. For further information about the schemes that the Leverhulme Trust fund visit their website at www.leverhulme.ac.uk /www.twitter.com/LeverhulmeTrust