Precarious Landscape: Connected City Network event

Ruth Levene and Ian Nesbitt

Friday 8 December, 9:30am – 3pm
North West Preston. Collection and drop off at Preston Station.
Free: click here to book your place

Join Ruth Levene and Ian Nesbitt for a morning of exploration and discussion about ‘changing and precarious landscape’. Following their five-day walk around the metropolitan boundary of Preston last year to observe and gather information of the landscape around the city’s edges, Ruth and Ian are looking to broaden and deepen their understanding by seeking the experiences and knowledge of others.

The event will take participants on a coach to locations on the western bounds of Preston and include readings, discussion points and conversation. Lunch will be supplied followed by a discussion chaired by Landscape Archaeologist, Bob Johnston (University of Sheffield). Collection will be at 9.30am and drop off by 3.00pm at Preston Station. The event is free. Book your place.

Precarious Landscape is part of The Connected City project, a series of artworks and events exploring areas that will be affected by the City Deal – a scheme that aims to deliver new jobs and housing in Preston.


Setting in Place: The Making of a Jellied Map of Nether Bartle By Olivia Keith

Olivia Keith - Setting in Place

Setting in Place: The Making of a Jellied Map of Nether Bartle
By Olivia Keith
Wednesday 8 November: Bartle Hall, Preston
Saturday 11 November: Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston

The story of the land between Bartle Hall and Cottam, from 1895 through to its imminent future development, will be told visually by ‘performing the map’. The natural transparency of jelly will enable the ‘seeing through’ to the past of the landscape as the map is built throughout the day.

The creation of the map will draw together material from a variety of sources; a large-scale 1895 map forms the foundation with additional information gathered by walks and conversations.

The process of Setting in Place will illuminate the story of the area, little changed for two hundred years but which, in the immediate future, is to experience rapid and extensive residential development. Setting In Place, the making of a jellied map, seeks to express something of the patina of place using the language of cartography.

Wednesday 8 November
Bartle Hall, Lea Lane, Bartle, Preston PR4 0HA
Watch Olivia making the map: 11:00am to 4:30pm
Help to make the map: 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Morning coffee and afternoon tea available to purchase

Saturday 11 November
Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Market Square, Preston PR1 2PP
Watch Olivia making the map: 10:30am to 4:00pm
Help to make the map: 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Part of the special event: Beattie Open Day, Preston & Beyond


Routes In, Routes Out: Connected City Network event

36 views by Gavin Renshaw, 2016.

Thursday 27 July, 6–8pm
Avenham Park Pavilion,  Avenham Park, Preston PR1 8JT
Free: click here to book your place

How do we navigate a city and decipher the urban landscape by bike? How can we map a city and provide all the information cyclists need? What are the unique experiences cycling a city can give us?

The Connected City Network presents a discussion between artist Gavin Renshaw and cycling journalist and presenter of The Bike Show Jack Thurston.

The discussion will be shaped by the experiences the pair have on a night ride of Preston and its surrounds the night before the event. It will allow them to reflect on their experiences of cycling both urban and rural areas of Lancashire, their shared interests in cycling infrastructure and ideas about using cycling to find routes in and out of a city. There will also be time for the audience to contribute and ask their own questions.

This is a free event and refreshments will be provided.

The event is part of Gavin’s work for The Connected City project by In Certain Places, a series of artworks and events exploring areas that will be affected by the City Deal – a scheme that aims to deliver new jobs and housing in Preston. Gavin is exploring current and future cycling infrastructure within the district and is developing his own routes that map information relevant to cyclists, such as storage, topography and traffic black spots, and take into account considerations such as convenience, scenery, safety, speed and accessibility. His research will culminate in a cycling resource that collates routes, information and existing infrastructure within a single, visual inventory. Read Gavin’s publication Viewfinding, produced as part of his research.

Jack Thurston is a cycling journalist and author, presenter of The Bike Show and author of Lost Lanes Wales: 36 Glorious Bike Rides in Wales and the Borders.

The Connected City Network is a series of conversation events taking place as part of the Connected City programme of artworks. These events provide an opportunity to engage with the artists and contributors to the programme, to find out more about the context of the work and share in the conversation that each artist’s work encourages.


Traces of Place: Mapping the memories of north-west Preston: Connected City Network event

Traces of Place is a project by artist Olivia Keith, who is mapping, preserving and sharing memories of north-west Preston, an area undergoing rapid change. Olivia is interested in how maps can keep elements of a place alive and ways that memories can be preserved and passed on, such as place names, stories, poems, songs and drawings.

From 26 June until 10 July, Olivia will be based at the Final Whistle Cafe in Preston, collecting memories from residents about the area. She will be collating residents’ contributions and asking people to add their memories to an online community map of the area, as well as creating her own maps based on what she discovers. The project will culminate in information and maps that will be distributed to new homes in the area.

Come and talk to Olivia at the Final Whistle Cafe at 10am–1pm on 27 June, 2, 4 and 9 July and 1pm–4pm on 29 June, 1, 6 and 8 July (and other times by arrangement). Free tea/coffee voucher for everyone who attends. For more information and to share your memories, email Olivia.

Last year, Olivia explored the histories and current identities of places and communities within Preston as part of her research for Traces of Place. This involved engaging people in conversation about their places through the making of large-scale reportage drawings, which combined heritage and current information to explore the traces of tradition and historical context that are able to ‘make it through’ new developments. These drawings will be exhibited in the Final Whistle Cafe between 26 June and 10 July.

Traces of Place is part of The Connected City project by In Certain Places, a series of artworks and events exploring areas that will be affected by the City Deal – a scheme that aims to deliver new jobs and housing in Preston.

The Connected City Network is a series of conversation events taking place between July and September 2017, as part of the Connected City programme of artworks. These events provide an opportunity to engage with the artists and contributors to the programme, to find out more about the context of the work and share in the conversation that each artist’s work encourages.

Join the conversation: On Tuesday 4 July at the Final Whistle Cafe, 6–8.00pm, we’ll be talking about what makes us feel at home in a new place. What helps us to put down roots and feel connected to the environment? What can established residents pass on to newer residents about community and place itself and how can this gift of information be shared? All are welcome to join us, to listen or to participate and refreshments will be provided. Book your free place now.

Final Whistle Cafe, UCLan Sports Arena Tom Benson Way Preston PR2 1SG
The cafe is next to the Lancaster Canal and has access for cyclists/walkers and free parking.
Opening times: Mon–Thurs: 10am–8pm; Fri: 10am–7pm; Sat and Sun: 9am–4:30pm.


Practising Place: conversations about art and place

Practising Place - art and place

In Certain Places has published a new article on the blog that outlines the whole Practising Place programme, presenting synopses and links to films of each event.

Practising Place was a programme of ten public conversations designed to examine the relationship between art practice and place. Each event explored a specific aspect of place by bringing artists together with humanities researchers who shared a common area of interest. The artist/researcher pairs focused on topics relating to their own work, including perceptions of the rural, language, nostalgia, typography, urban spaces, renewal and urban noise.

The events took place between 2013 and 2016, with each one hosted at a different venue in the north of England.

The artists and researchers formed solid partnerships that lasted beyond the events, leading to continued dialogue and collaborations. They were commissioned to write essays that continued these discussions, which were published on online arts magazine The Double Negative and will be presented together in an e-journal.

All the Practising Place events were filmed and are available to watch on the In Certain Place website.

Read more about the Practising Place programme and watch the films.

What’s next for Practising Place?
In Certain Places is currently working on a Practising Place publication featuring contributions from each of the ten pairs in different written and visual forms. Look out for the e-journal of Practising Place essays later this year.


Practice-based PhD opportunity at In Certain Places

Applications are invited for a full-time practice-based PhD (via MPhil) studentship in the School of Art Design and Fashion.

Project title: The role and significance of artist’s led exploration in the contribution to the form and function of a place
Closing date: 30th April 2017
Proposed interview date: week commencing 15th May 2017
Reference: RS1620

A full-time, 3-year, practice-based PhD is available to examine through art practice, how artist’s led exploration can contribute to the form and functions of a place, by exploring new approaches to art, culture and urban development. The PhD student will be based in the In Certain Places unit on the university campus. The student will be encouraged to generate new understandings of the urban environment, enabling ideas to be tested in the city’s public spaces. The project will be set within the context of the current Connected City programme of creative activities and collaborative artworks, focused on places involved in the City Deal areas – a £430m 10-year infrastructure scheme within the centre and peripheries of Preston. The project will be able to build upon the extensive research, community connections and institutional support already generated by our researchers and artists over the past ten years.

Candidates should have an honours degree at 2:1 or above in a related area (or equivalent qualification).

International applicants require an English Language level of UKVI IELTs 7.0 (no sub-score below 6.5) or equivalent qualification.

The studentship is tenable for up to 3 years full-time [subject to satisfactory progress] and will cover the cost of tuition fees at UK/EU rates. International applicants may apply only for the full-time studentship and will be required to pay the difference in tuition fees. The successful applicant will be required to comply with the terms of funding. It is expected the successful applicant will commence on 1 July 2017.

Click here for full details and an application form.

For an informal discussion about the project please contact Charles Quick: cquick@uclan.ac.uk


Wetland liminal spaces of the Mersey and the Hunter

Wetland liminal spaces of the Mersey and the Hunter

Thurs 6th April 2017 6–8pm
Mitchell and Kenyon Lecture Theatre, Foster Building, Kendal Street, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE
Free: Click here to book tickets

In Certain Places presents an evening with artist Tracy Hill in conversation with In Certain Places curator Professor Charles Quick.

The evening will focus on Hill’s work over the last two years with different wetland sites – along the Mersey River in the UK and the Hunter River in Australia. Hill’s process of collecting data using digital mapping technology and presenting this as installations and hand-drawn imagery revealed interesting similarities between the two sites, allowing the viewer to experience these places in a unique way.

In particular, the conversation will explore Hill’s use of digital mapping technology within printmaking and the role of her work in the place where our digital and physical worlds overlap. It will also consider the importance of the liminal spaces she chooses to work with, which sit on the edge of urban conurbations, linking and connecting communities, marking borders and defining modern transport links.

About the speakers

Tracy Hill is a Research Associate of Artlab Contemporary Print Studios, UCLan and visual artist whose practice investigates and reconsiders the relationship between digital technology and the aesthetic of the hand created mark in response to a sense of place. Through a cross-disciplinary approach Hill’s work challenges perceptions of traditional skills within contemporary practice. Hill’s work is exhibited both nationally and internationally with paper works held in several collections.

Click here to read about Tracy’s wetlands projects

Click here to visit Tracy’s website

Charles Quick, Professor of Public Art Practice at the University of Central Lancashire, has nearly 40 years’ experience of working as an artist/researcher and curator in the public realm. He has contributed permanent and temporary projects for cities across the United Kingdom. In 2003 he co-founded the curatorial project In Certain Places, which has since worked with regional, national and international artists to develop works for the city of Preston, which have revealed, critiqued and provoked new understandings of a place and its peoples. Quick was co-editor and contributor to ‘Subplots to a City’ a publication which marked the first ten years of In Certain Places’ work in Preston.


Publication launch: Time Travel

Time Travel zines: twentyfourzero by Steph Fletcher and Outward journeys must not be in the past by Cherry Tenneson.

Time Travel zines: twentyfourzero by Steph Fletcher and Outward journeys must not be in the past by Cherry Tenneson.

Thurs 23rd March, 2017
6pm – 7.30pm
The Salutation, 12 Higher Chatham St, Manchester M15 6ED
Free: Click here to book a ticket

Free refreshments provided

Join us for the launch of Time Travel – a limited-edition publication by artists Cherry Tenneson and Steph Fletcher. Consisting of two individual zines – ‘twentyfourzero‘ and ‘Outward journeys must not be in the past‘ – the publication was informed by a series of urban interventions and events in Preston City Centre, which examined urban signage and contemporary working practices. Alongside documentation of the projects, the publication also includes new work by the artists and features contributions by Eddy Rhead and Ivor Southwood.

As well as an opportunity to purchase the publication and some limited-edition prints, the evening will feature a talk by Eddy Rhead, Co-founder of The Manchester Modernist Society, about the origins, significance and demise of Modernist urban signage.

6.00 – 6.15: Welcome

6.15 – 6.30: Speaker: Eddy Rhead

6.30 – 7.30: Meet the artists and see the publication



Deatil from 'The Boundary Project' by Ian Nesbitt and Ruth Levene

Tues 15th November, 2016
6pm – 8pm
Tyneside Cinema, 10 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6QG
Free Click here to book a ticket

As part of the Practising Place programme, In Certain Places is proud to present an evening with artists Ian Nesbitt and Ruth Levene in conversation with landscape archaeologist Dr Bob Johnston.

This event will explore ways of understanding the landscape through an immersive engagement with it. Drawing on their respective practices of art and landscape archaeology, the speakers will discuss the idea of landscape as the product of human actions, with a focus on traditions of land use, boundaries and authoritative and unofficial forms of mapping. In particular, they will examine how activities such as walking and oral history can generate alternative perspectives of landscape, which challenge established narratives and reveal the shifting meanings of a place.

About the speakers

Working independently across film and video, sound, photography, cross-disciplinary research and socially engaged projects, Levene and Nesbitt have collaborated on the Boundary Project since 2013, which to date has involved walking the political boundaries of Sheffield and Preston.

Ruth Levene’s practice reveals the infrastructure systems that we live by and how they shape the environment we live in. She is currently in residence with Pennine Water Group, Sheffield University and working on the participatory arts project A Field of Wheat with Anne-Marie Culhane.

Click here to visit Ruth’s website

Ian Nesbitt’s practice is largely collaborative, focusing on exploring peripheral territories and working innovatively with marginal communities. He has been commissioned to deliver events and projects for Nottingham Contemporary, Eastside Projects (Birmingham), G39 (Cardiff), and Amorph Festival (Helsinki).

Click here to visit Ian’s website

Bob Johnston is a senior lecturer in landscape archaeology in the University of Sheffield. He researches histories of landscapes in the UK, with a specific interest in boundaries and prehistoric field systems. He is currently working in Wales: the western fringes of Snowdonia and Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire.

Click here to visit Bob’s profile page


The Expanded City event and publication launch


Large-scale drawing on historic map, showing the point at which the Western Distributor carriageway will cross Savick Brook as part of the City Deal scheme, by Olivia Keith, 2016.

Friday 18th November
Between 12 and 3pm
Ham and Jam cafe, 50 Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1DD
Tea, coffee and cake provided

In Certain Places invite you to join us at Ham and Jam for an informal afternoon of tea, cake, artwork and conversations about The Expanded City project, as well as a chance to collect a free publication which documents the first 12 months of the project.

The Expanded City is a three-year programme of artworks and events designed to generate debate about the City Deal – a national scheme, which aims to deliver new jobs and housing, by addressing strategic transport, environmental, community and cultural infrastructure challenges. Within Preston, the City Deal scheme will take place in three zones on the periphery and in the centre of the city, and includes the development of over 5,000 new homes, as well as new roads and amenities.

Following an invitation from Preston City Council to inform cultural provision within the scheme, In Certain Places have been working with artists Olivia Keith, Gavin Renshaw,  Ian Nesbitt and Ruth LeveneEmily Speed and writer Lauren Velvick to examine the existing characteristics and future plans for places within the City Deal areas. Through a range of creative activities, the artists have mapped the peripheries of Preston, and identified areas for further exploration – including walking and cycling infrastructure, the history and naming of places, and provision for play and leisure. There will be an exhibition of artwork and the artists will available throughout the day to talk about their research and discuss aspects of the City Deal scheme.

This is an informal drop-in event, so feel free to join us at any point between 12 and 3pm.