‘In-Between Places: Class, Creativity and Contemporary Art’
William Titley in conversation with Steve Millington
In Between Places examined ideas of creativity, place and social class, through a focus on artist William Titley and geographer Steve Millington’s individual research. In particular, the speakers discussed the value of vernacular forms of creativity, such as festivals, local crafts, or domestic Christmas light displays, which often exist outside of mainstream definitions of art and culture, but play important roles within the everyday life and traditions of a place. The event also explored how professional artists can help to uncover and communicate the value of such practices, by inhabiting the spaces between different places and communities, and acting as conduits for discourse and exchange.
About the speakers:
William Titley is an artist and Co-Director/Founder of In-Situ: a non-profit arts organisation based in East Lancashire. His work plays on ideas around spatial ownership, including notions of home, borders, and socio-cultural spaces; identifying and inhabiting a position in-between spaces from which he can engage with communities, the environment and place. From local histories, digital media and hybrid landscapes to political boundaries, social situations and local cultures, his work uncovers aspects of environments, cultures and a sense of place. Projects have included curating an artistic exchange between Lancashire and Lahore, capturing feral pigeons in Coney Island NYC, and an all-night Northern Soul event in Manchester’s Victoria Baths. William is also a lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Central Lancashire.
Dr Steve Millington is a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Place Management and a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is co-author of two edited collections, Cosmopolitan Urbanism and Spaces of Vernacular Creativity: Rethinking the Cultural Economy, both published by Routledge. His recent research explores the relationship between illumination and place, focusing on household Christmas light displays and Blackpool Illuminations, work that formed the subject of an episode of BBC Radio Four’s Thinking Allowed. Previous research has examined football fan culture, but more recently he has been working on an ESRC project examining the vitality and vibrancy of UK High Streets. Steve is a Trustee of the Manchester Geographical Society, and a Director of Institute of Place Management’s Special Interest Group for Geography and Planning.