Rosalie White, 14 January 2017

In attendance:

Rosalie White

Lara Lloyd

Chloe Whipple

Lizzie Crarer

Frances Stoakley-Merriman

Anna Barrett

Kate McGrath\

Harriet Usuer

David Lane

Rosie Scudder

Kate McStrew

Roger Kay

Jack Drewry

Joshua Gadsky

Naomi Kuyck-Cohen

Julia Payne

Matthew Linley\

And more…

Frances shared her experience of working on a project about Lichen at the Botanic

Gardens Edinburgh.

Models for collaborations: 1) Artist has idea for new work, has some science content,

finds scientists to ‘check the science’.

Another approach is as above and then involving them in the accessiblility/

accompanying workshops programme

Setting up collabs…. sharing skills and experience key. ‘speed dating’

Fuel example of collaboration with UCL's Ear Institute on their podcasts. in this

example the lead researcher who they began the project with found and brought in the

other collaborators

Researcher was movtivated by the idea that if academics engaged with artists, they

would be more creative in their research.

Aberwystwth Uni artist in residence - outcomes?

How do you measure impact of this kind of work - did it make the researchers more


In one example, the data that the artist collected was used by the scientist

Can be very exciting for an artist to work in this way because it opens up access to

new industries - example given of an artist in attendance who was able to work with

collaborators from the water industry. Can reinvent the form and enable stories to be

told in different ways.

Micro and macro stories from science and art. Complicite given as an example of

those who do a lot of research and collaborate in this way and make amazing work.

How can you get people to share stories? and resources?

Artists are also ‘experts’ - expertise in storytelling and engaging people. Artists are

often also phenomenal researchers.

You can do a lot even in a day of this type of collaboration. Fuel new project ‘short

sharp shocks’ - one day in a room together

A botanist who didn't realise he was an artist.

Before you can collaborate you need to understand someone's world a bit. When

people are really different and come together they can come out altered. It can be v


Positioning how you approach research as a starting point for the collaboration

(example The Hub, music project w collab at the heart, nr Colchester). Or using

thematic approach as a starting point.

It's not that hard to forge this type of collaboration! Just email them! If you're working

on the same issue/ same outcome but coming from different sides then it can definitely


Journalism, expertise, we as a sector could be more collaborative. (eg defence of

CNN by Fox), critics, writers, solidarity

This type of work is fun. If you are interested in many things you will learn a lot. But it

is difficult.

Constant Change

Artists are good at asking stupid questions. Academics are sometimes limited by the

need to sometimes seem to be competent

Then we discussed collaborations with the heritage sector for a while.

Diff sectors mean different:

- language

- timescales

- expectations

- contractual differences

- visitor numbers

Can't expect to start on the same page - do be clear about expectations at the start of

a project

Trust is crucial, freedom to do what you like, respect what is imporant to them - if you

are using their collection then they will feel protective

The benefit of gettting drunk together = aka social time, getting to know each other as

human beings, asking about each other

Comments: 1

Chris Grady, 15 January 2017

It has been fascinating working with a mix of academics, creative artists/theatremakers, and general interest groups, as we

explore Revelation (see Naomi's session on Sun). My observations is that the academics began a little unsure of the artists,

then became slightly in awe in a “how do you learn all the lines” , and then realised that the artists were professional

inquiring minds too - and then the rich deep contextual exploration began.

When eventually a piece of art was delivered growing from the expert involvement, they did tend to revert first to “darling

you were wonderful” and then when encouraged to speak from their academic hearts - the real collaboration and challenge

of ideas continued.

I can't wait to continue the facilitation of these conversations