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Digital Cumbria July 2012 – March 2013

This project provided opportunities for Cumbrian residents and artists to take part in a range of creative digital media activities. Established digital media artsist’s Michael Day and Sam Meech spent time in Barrow-in-Furness and Egremont sharing and developing their practice alongside a diverse range of groups made up of emerging local artists, community members and young people. Partnering with The Florence Mine, Signal worked with residents on the west coast of Cumbria developing new digital media art works.

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Artists in Residence

As a key part of the project, artists Michael Day and Sam Meech each spent time in Cumbria developing new work and mentoring local artists. Michael Day spent June – September 2012 working at Signal Film and Media base, Cooke’s Studios, exploring the local landscape and developing new work based around the towns ship building heritage. Artist Sam Meech took up residence in Florence Mine, Egremont from October 2012 – February 2013 developing new work in response to the history of mining in the area.

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Taster Days

Digital media taster days took place at Cooke’s Studios in Barrow and Florence Mine in Egremont, working with the 2 artists in residence, 32 participants were introduced to digital media practices and worked together to produce short one minute films based on explorations of the local area.



Young People’s Workshops 

Working in partnership with Inspira, digital media workshops took place with 35 young people exploring digital narratives using still images to convey a story. Some of the young people who took part in workshops have since been involved in further activities at Signal including gaining places on the prestigious BFI Film Academy



Artist Workshops

Two groups of 15 participants took part in a series of developmental workshops, working with artists in Residence Michael Day and Sam Meech. Participants were introduced to new ways of working, experimenting using different forms of digital media including film, photography, programming and animation. With regular mentoring sessions, group crits and personal development time, participants worked hard developing new art works and preparing for exhibition.



On the 15th November 2012 Mike Stubbs, International Artist and Director/CEO of FACT, Liverpool delivered a Masterclass at Cooke’s Studios. During the masterclass, Mike Stubbs delivered a presentation about his own practice and experiences as CEO of FACT, he also discussed routeways into creative careers and what he looks for in aspiring artists. Mike Stubbs also conducted a Q+A session where guests were able to ask specific questions and gain feedback regarding their own practice. This was a great opportunity for people interested in arts and culture to share an evening with an exciting practicing artist and director of a national centre for the sector.

On the 18th October 2012 Sam Meech delivered a Masterclass based on his professional practice as an established artist working in digital media, during the session he showed examples of his work and discussed the benefits of artists working with local communities to produce responsive work. This was followed by a Q+A session and moved into a group discussion about arts, digital media, community arts and access.



The culmination of both residencies was 2 exhibitions, the first being held at the Cooke’s Studios in Barrow in September 2012 and the second held at Florence Mine in Febrauary 2013. 

The View From Here Exhibition: Ground Floor, Cooke’s Studios, Barrow-in-Furness

During the exhibition participants from both the community workshops and the full residency support programme exhibited new work alongside artist in Residence Michael Days new work. The opening evening was a great success and following on from the exhibition artist mentee’s have kept in touch via online networking building a new local community of artists working in digital media in the area.

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1 Minute Film Project




Peter Taylor          “Peter Taylor’s View From Here”

Freelance animation filmmaker (Nutty Films) based in Kendal, after graduating with a BAHons in Animation from Wolverhampton University.  This piece was to elaborate upon the concept of creating a photograph in the style of the classic landscape painters, similar to Beate Gutschow’s work but using film to create a constant single moment in time.

Unearthed Exhibition: Florence Mine, Egremont

Artist in residence Sam Meech exhibited new work alongside 12 local artists who presented new work also created during the residency programme. The exhibition was well received by the local community, residency/ workshop participants and Florence Mine staff and represented the first specialist digital media exhibition to take place in Florence Mine with staff citing it as the strongest and most professional standard exhibition to take place on the site.

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Richard Davies                  “Memory 33rpm”

Stop motion, card and paper. Loop

A piece exploring music and the human psyche in particular the constructing of memory through repetition, imagery and sound

For more information about the project and the artists involved please follow the links below:

Michael Day official website: www.michaelday.org.uk

Sam Meech official website: http://smeech.co.uk/

Residency 1 Workshop Blog: http://viewfromflorencemine.wordpress.com/

Residency 2 Project Blog: http://digitalcumbria.tumblr.com/

Residency 2 Project Host Blog: www.florencemine.org.uk


Participant Peter Dent said: “I’ve really enjoyed working on this and seeing the results of all the other participants. The project has had a great impact on my working processes”

Participant Yvonne Haley : “The support has been brilliant”

 “Great to see local artists exploring the local landscape, challenging themselves, how the viewers experience and perceive the area.”

– The View From Here exhibition visitor

“Barrow has more talent than we realise”

– Unearthed exhibition visitor

“A fascinating exhibition which has introduced us to a whole new world.”

– Unearthed exhibition visitor


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Artist in residence, Michael Day mentored local artists towards a digital art exhibition during August 2012.