NORTH WEST ARTISTS DEVELOPMENT LAB
Meet our artists and mentors
An artist development programme led by artists and curators – to connect, support and develop emerging artists from across the North West, with a focus on how creative technology or digital media as well as collaborations and collectives can develop or expand artistic practice.
Hosted in the unique location of Barrow-in-Furness located on the rugged West Cumbrian Coast, the two-days will provide an exciting programme of activities led by a diverse mixture of influential artists and curators working in the North.
The lab includes the opportunity to take part in a funded exhibition, either by submitting a proposal individually or collaboratively with other practitioners from the group, as part of the wider platform programme.
meet our Selected artists
Positioned within the everlasting present, Sam’s work examines the cultural underbelly that defines the current Age of the Anthropocene. Prioritizing process over outcome and transition over permanence, She investigate the nature of materials and artefacts, both organic and human-made, and their influence within the patterns of everyday behavior. By combining the principal themes of myth, ritual, materiality and function Sam’s practice has evolved into an environmentally sensitive body of work that includes installations, sculptural work, digital film and interventions. Learn more >
The work Samra create is committed to art being a vehicle for social change. That could be by critique/envisioning new futures in the work or creating physical alternatives to the problems society faces. My practise attempts to use economic, political and social systems as the stuff/material of the work. Which, as the stuff of contemporary society can and should be picked apart, whizzed around and reconfigured. I am able to interrogate these systems by experimenting with video, sound, movement/dance, workshops, slightly disruptive performances and installation. Learn more >
Jack is a socially engaged artist working across a range of mediums. His work articulates or allows instances of linkage, observation, rumination or pause. He create projects and events that bring people together through making or thinking collectively. Jack often works with other people; collaborates, teaches, coordinates, leads public realm projects and facilitates artist networks. His work looks at the overlooked, things that should be given more than a passing glance, moments that would benefit from magnification. Often as a counterbalance to his socially engaged practice, Jack’s work plays with ideas of placement, slightness, observation and interaction. Learn more >
Julia Parks’s practice encompasses film, animation and photography, often using series of photographs and projected 16mm film. Through this medium, she explores the different relationships between landscape, place and people, often focusing on the west-coast of Cumbria. Having graduated from Central Saint Martin’s School of Art in 2015, Julia has since exhibited work in exhibitions and film festivals in the UK, Europe and Japan. She organised the Arts Council-funded residency, The Allerdale Film Farm, which explored handmade 16mm film making in West-Cumbria. In April 2018 she was featured on BBC Countryfile where she demonstrated how to develop 16mm film using seaweed. Julia is based in west Cumbria, UK. Learn more >
JESSICA EL MAL
Covering a range of mediums, mainly centred around photography and installation, rather than a material explanation, Jessica’s practice is best described contextually. Whether photography projects, social protests and community arts, the work is always a means for instigating change. Be it a collage, a self-portrait, an instillation of lights or a dance to 70’s disco, her practice varies, but is always intended to have agency past the point of production. Learn more >
Joe Beedles is an audiovisual artist who explores ideas surrounding club music abstraction and the threshold between the real and the simulated. Joe’s current focus is on generative systems for live performance and installation providing audiences with compelling, highly-detailed compositions, emphasising magnified yet obscured soundscapes. Stroboscopic lights and projected audio-reactive geometry and video footage of the surrounding environment are often abstracted in reaction to the audio components in a pseudo-synesthetic fashion. Learn more >
Cat Scott is a scientific-artist and independent curator based in Bradford, UK. Cat uses scientific ideas to create and lead artistic-led concept experiments that fit into a hybrid of contexts, including but not limited to: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. She is interested in the role of the artist to interpret cutting-edge scientific research from a personal perspective, through collaboration with specialists outside of her discipline, allowing the research to evolve into new and innovative directions. Cat leads projects with artists, scientists and makers as an active member of The Superposition collective, as well as independently curating art and science themed exhibitions and events. Collaboration is vital to her practice, to expand and develop her ambitious ideas into innovative projects that evoke questions about the universe that we live in. Image credit: Karol Wsysznski Photography. Learn more >
LAURA M R HARRISON
Over the past five years, Laura’s practice has focused on an investigation of lostness; an emotional state of fundamental uncertainty, a profound vexation of the spirit where direction, desires or aims are unclear. Rather than focusing on the commonly perceived difficulties of such a mental state, through her work Laura suggests that there is value in considering the latent potential within the uncertainty of lostness. In order to explore this potential Laura has turned to literal, rather than metaphorical, darkness, and water. Laura is based in North Cumbria, works predominately in installation-based video and audio and specialises in the use of alternative spaces for exhibitions. Learn more >
Philip Green is a photographer based in Cumbria. He creates narratives working in medium and large format photography. Phil’s current project uses the photographic medium to try to understand and link loss, journeys and dementia with the anamorphic formations found within the natural landscape. The image set is accompanied with a series of commissioned poems from Mark Ward. Learn more>
Amy’s work is interdisciplinary with a focus on using digital forms of expression such as; video, audio, photography installation, and projection, Experimenting with new techniques is key to her practice. Testing new processes and ways of working becomes part of the process of making the work itself and allows new outcomes to emerge. Amy has a background in videography, and her past work has focused on exploring the landscapes of Cumbria from a variety of aspects including; physical, social and historical. She is interested in taking her practice forward to explore, interpret and interrogate notions of reality, at a human day-to-day level as well as a larger cosmological level. Learn more >
Keeley’s latest series, The Vegas of the North, originated from a study that forms on-going photographic practice, which questions the ‘unreality’ of female adolescence in the media. She has explored the role that the teenage adolescent has played in various sources, exploring how the false reality, when imposed upon the adolescent female, becomes the cause of unease and presents us with an oscillation between reality and fantasy. The false apprehension is therefore likely to alter the females’ conception of reality. Keeley ventured around her hometown of Blackpool; the rationale being that drawing on my own experiences and knowledge of my hometown, she could look for the cinematic in the mundane. Learn more >
Jenn is a freelance creative facilitator and sound artist, She has delivered a wide range of community initiatives including oral history projects and community exhibitions. She also delivers creative workshops for older people and people living with dementia. She has produced a number of radio and sound art commissions. Jenn is passionate about exploring multidisciplinary approaches to storytelling, and this if often reflected in her range of work. Learn more >
Rachel‘s current work weaves the known and unconscious through film, photography and textiles, adding a new dimension to our collective narratives. She has just completed an MA at Manchester Metropolitan University. Learn more >
Ellie Barrett is a sculptor, curator, teacher and researcher with a particular investment in artist-led activity. As an artist, her practice investigates the societal relationship between material culture and art theory. As a curator, she has eight years of experience working with a variety of arts organisations, including The Royal Standard in Liverpool and Your Beautiful Collective in London. Currently, she is a co-director of GRAFT Lancaster CIC, working to create new opportunities for emerging artists, and to connect with schools and young people, promoting the importance of creativity in educational contexts.
DANIEL JOHN JONES
Daniel John Jones is an artist and software engineer whose work explores new ways in which sound and technology can illuminate our understanding of the world, translating patterns and data into living musical forms. His BAFTA-nominated practice spans topics ranging from bacterial dynamics to network infrastructures, and has been shown at venues including the Barbican, the Museum of Science and Industry, IRCAM, the Southbank Centre, and the Royal Institution of Great Britain.
John Darwell is an independent photographer working on long-term projects that reflect his interest in social and industrial change, concern for the environment and issues around the depiction of mental health. To date he has had eighteen books of his work published, eleven with Cafe Royal. He is currently Reader in Photography at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle.
Thomas Ireland is an artist and curator living and working in Blackpool, UK. Spanning a variety of media, Ireland’s practice is centred around broad notions of space, distance and the things which fill it; he is interested in what these things are, both physically and ideologically, their interaction with one another and how they operate within the world to shape our individual and collective understanding. He has presented work and projects at Deptford X Festival (London, UK) titledateduration (Manchester, UK) ArebyteLASER (London, UK); The Atkinson (Southport, UK); David Dale Gallery (Glasgow, UK); Baltic Centre For Contemporary Art and Baltic 39, Newcastle/Gateshead, UK) and Eastside Projects (Birmingham, UK).
Ireland is also founder, director/curator of Supercollider Contemporary Art Projects, a curatorial platform delivering contemporary art projects in Blackpool. Supercollider aims to make meaningful contribution to the redevelopment and regeneration of Blackpool’s cultural offer.
Dani Admiss is a curator and researcher working across art, design, and networked cultures. She adopts world-building and co-research strategies to collectively explore changes happening to our social and technological worlds. Her curatorial work includes projects with Abandon Normal Devices and the Barbican, London.
She is Founder of Playbour- Work, Pleasure, Survival, an art and research platform dedicated to the study of the worker in an age of data technologies. Her current research is looking at play utopias and histories of behavioural technologies. She is finishing her Ph.D at the Faculty of Arts and New Media at Sunderland University on world-building practices and curating world systems.
Paulette Terry Brien is curator at The Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool and former co-director of The International 3 gallery, Salford. Paulette has, over the last 25 years, worked part-time and freelance for a number of organisations including Arts Council England and Creative Industries Development Service. She is regularly invited to deliver presentations within academic and professional development settings, has written articles, critical texts and catalogue contributions for a range of organisations including AXIS web, A-N, Manchester Art Gallery and Drawing Room, London and works as an artists’ mentor.
Jack Welsh is a freelance arts producer, writer and researcher based in Liverpool. He has over 10 years experience of working across contemporary art and academia, including Liverpool Hope University where he leads the second year Professional Practice module. He is currently working as a Producer for Mark Devereux Projects, where he produced StudioBook, an intensive artist development programme; and also at Liverpool Arab Arts Festival. His arts writing is regularly published for outlets including thisistomorrow, Corridor8 and Artlyst. Welsh has worked extensively delivering projects across both artist-led and institutional contexts, including: Arts Council England, Bluecoat, Creative Organisations of Liverpool (COoL), Liverpool Biennial, Islington Mill, Places Matter!, and Tmesis Theatre.
Sam Meech is an artist and videosmith based in NW England, whose practice combines digital image making, projection design, community engagement, and machine knitting. He is interested in the overlap and interplay between analogue and digital media, and the possibilities of combining the two in production and performance. He is also a co-director of Re-Dock – a not-for-profit arts organisation, developing projects that explore ways in which communities relate to digital media, ideas and public space. Through Re-Dock he developed the Small Cinema project, exploring the role of cinema in relation to community.
Manchester Digital Laboratory (MadLab) is a grassroots innovation organisation, based in Manchester UK. Their primary areas of focus are science and technology; arts and culture.
They support a diverse range of communities and activities from monthly meet-ups through to public experimentation with new & emerging technologies, and collaborating with others to deliver new, interesting and exciting projects.