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.


Artist Jen Southern and Cenotaph architect Charlie Mackeith discuss monuments and collective memory

Homing - installation view

Homing – installation view.

On Wednesday 9 November,6pm, at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, Homing artist Jen Southern, writer Dominic Smith and award winning Cenotaph architect Charlie MacKeith will come together to discuss the work and the relationship between monuments and collective memory.

Homing is an interactive sound artwork, experienced through headphones, animating the original letters of Preston soldiers serving in the front line trenches of WW1. Read more about the project.

Southern, Mackeith and Smith will consider the perpetuation of memory through objects, including the supposed permanence of architectural monuments, and the interpretation of past and present through sensory experience. A new publication on the work and a Homing app for smartphone will also be launched.

Homing has been selected as a case study on sound based art by the British Art Network and Contemporary Art Society for a special event On Space and Sound held at Tate Britain on 27 October.

Homing is at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery until Armistice Day, 11 November.


Expanded City Perspectives: Artist Olivia Keith


by Lauren Velvick on The Expanded City blog.

There are elements of Olivia Keith‘s work for The Expanded City that are familiar within socially engaged practices, such as using the unwritten knowledge and experience of local inhabitants to informally map an area. Keith has developed a way of recording this information, and her process is complex and considered, moving beyond the collecting of memories for its own sake. Click here to read the full post.



(Dis)ordering the City: Buildings, Bodies and Urban Space

Detail from 'Panoply' by Emily Speed - a commissioned work, made for the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool as part of the TOPOPHOBIA exhibition. Photo by Mark Reeves

Detail from ‘Panoply’ by Emily Speed – a commissioned work, made for the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool as part of the TOPOPHOBIA exhibition. Photo by Mark Reeves.

(Dis)ordering the City: Buildings, Bodies and Urban Space
Emily Speed in conversation with Duncan Light
Wed 5th October 2016, 6 – 8pm
The Bluecoat, School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BX
Free. Click here to book a place.

As part of the Practising Place programme, In Certain Places is proud to present an evening with artist Emily Speed in conversation with human geographer Dr Duncan Light, hosted by the Bluecoat.

The event will focus on the making and reshaping of urban space. In particular, it will explore the relationship between official urban planning processes and the subversion of city spaces by the people who use them. Drawing upon their own creative and academic research, Speed and Light will examine the ways in which urban spaces are performed, and how certain practices – such as walking, urban exploration and the creation of ‘desire lines’ – might be viewed as tactics for ‘disordering’ the city.

About the speakers

Emily Speed works in sculpture, installation and performance and her work is concerned with the relationship between the body and architecture. During 2016 she has solo exhibitions at TRUCK, Calgary and a major new commission at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, Texas. Recent exhibitions include Plymouth Art Centre; g39, Cardiff; Oredaria Gallery, Rome; Laumeier Sculpture Park, St Louis, USA; Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland. Speed’s work is held in the Arts Council Collection, Tate Artists’ Books Collection and her artists’ books are held in numerous libraries in the US including Yale, Library of Congress and MIT.

Click here to visit Emily’s website

Dr Duncan Light is senior lecturer in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality at Bournemouth University. A human geographer by background, he worked for 20 years in Liverpool before moving to Bournemouth.  He has research interests in urban landscapes, particularly in Romania (a country he has visited regularly for more than 20 years). In particular, his research has explored the efforts to remake the ‘official public landscape’ created by Romania’s communist regime in the post-communist period. He has published papers on these issues in a range of journals and has also contributed chapters to a number of recent edited volumes about post-communist change.

Click here to visit Duncan’s profile page

Practising Place is a programme of public conversations, designed to examine the relationship between art practice and place. Each event is hosted at a different venue and explores a specific aspect of place by bringing artists together with people from different backgrounds, who share a common area of interest.


When is a star a star?

When is a star a star

Preview: Tuesday 28 June, 6–8pm (refreshments provided)
Exhibition continues until Friday 8 July 2016 (Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm)

Lancashire Science Festival drop-in family event:
Saturday 2 July, 9am–5pm

PR1 Gallery, Victoria Building, Victoria Street, University of Central Lancashire, Preston


As part of our ‘Testing Ground’ scheme, In Certain Places is proud to support ‘When is a star a star?’ – a new project by artist Bonnie Craig, developed with astrophysicist  Prof. Derek Ward-Thompson, in the School of Physical Sciences & Computing at the University of Central Lancashire.

The exhibition will feature a series of prints that explore the use of colour, shape, pattern and composition in representing the mathematics and science of star formation. Based on an ongoing dialogue between the artist and astrophysicist, the work demonstrates how artists and scientists can work together, bringing new perspectives and processes to each other’s work.

As well as viewing the work, there is also an opportunity to join the artist in creating a large-scale artwork, and to take home your own star souvenir, at a drop-in family event, as part of the Lancashire Science Festival on Saturday 2 July, 9am–5pm.

Bonnie Craig is an artist and designer who works predominantly with pattern. Her practice explores the use of existing pattern and decorative detail in architecture and involves applying pattern to different places and contexts, resulting in site-specific installations and interventions.

Professor Derek Ward-Thompson is Director of the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute of Maths, Physics and Astronomy at the University of Central Lancashire, and President of the UK Society for Popular Astronomy. He researches the formation of stars and planets and has appeared on the BBC ‘Sky at night’ programme on numerous occasions.

Testing Ground is professional development project, which aims to help artists develop their practice through access to resources and research at the University of Central Lancashire, as part of the wider In Certain Places project.