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Credit: David Monteith-Hodge

Artist, writer and curator Andy Field will be working with Dr Maarten Koeners and researchers from The Playful University to explore, develop and foster play-based and playful educational practices. Credit: David Monteith-Hodge.

Exeter’s Arts & Culture Creative Fellows announced

The importance of playfulness, the link between nature and sexuality, and the pioneering work to combat anti-microbial resistance are among the key topics to be explored by the next generation of extraordinary collaborations between academics and artists at the University of Exeter.

The University’s Arts and Culture group has announced the latest Creative Fellowships, which will run from now until the summer of 2021.

The Fellowships provide a pivotal path to encourage illuminating and pioneering arts projects between renowned creative practitioners and innovative researchers at the University.

Sarah Campbell, Associate Director for Arts and Culture at the University of Exeter said: “We are thrilled to have such fascinating research areas to delve into – whether it’s anti-microbial resistance, understandings of nature and sexuality, or the importance of playfulness – and it is a joy to be bringing such talented creative practitioners into the mix.

“Every Creative Fellowship is different, growing out of the conversations that happen within each project, and I can’t wait to get started and see where those conversations lead.”

The University received more than 200 expressions of interest from creative practitioners across the UK for the Fellowships, from which three were selected.

The latest cohort of Creative Fellowships will explore how scientists are fighting anti-microbial resistance, how nature shapes sexual knowledge, and explore and develop playful educational practices.

For the project Antimicrobial Resistance Network  Investigative artist Simon Ryder will be working with Dr Kelly Thornber and academics from the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Network to understand the different perspectives and methods used to address AMR. He will work across campuses but will be based at the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health on the Streatham Campus. 

Simon Ryder said: “While the science fascinates me, I’m restless when it comes to boundaries between disciplines, preferring to wander freely (and often intentionally naively), mixing ideas and using/misusing other’s tools to find a new way forward.”

Dr Kelly Thornber, from the Antimicrobial Research Network who will be working with Simon added: “Our aim is create a truly interdisciplinary network, to really open up novel ways of thinking and working in terms of addressing the global AMR challenge. We’re delighted that Simon is joining us, and we hope that something novel and very exciting will come of it.

Stand-up comedian Siân Docksey will be working with Dr Ina Linge from the University’s department for Modern and Languages and Cultures, along with researchers from the Sexual Knowledge Unit based on our Streatham campus, to explore the way in which concepts of nature are used to inform, shape, ground and justify forms of sexual knowledge in a project called ‘The Politics of Sexual Nature.’

Siân said: “Comedy has always been a tool to bring counter-cultural identities and stories to audiences, and I’m very excited about the cool things over this fellowship that we can produce together.”

Dr Linge added: “‘I’m thrilled at the opportunity to collaborate with Siân this year. Her work inspires me to think differently about my academic work and to bring it to new audiences. I’m excited to collaboratively explore the political power of comedy and to question the limits of individual authorship.’

Artist, writer and curator Andy Field will be working with Dr Maarten Koeners and researchers from The Playful University to explore, develop and foster play-based and playful educational practices. Andy will be working across campuses with a focus on St Luke’s, Exeter and Truro.

Andy said: “I’m really excited by the idea of the Playful University and the opportunity it affords to bring such a varied group of people together to think about how we gather, how we study, how we navigate the world and how we share space with each other.”

Dr Koeners added: “The Playful University Club aims to promote a culture that can foster play within the University by creating capacity for awareness, uptake, and exposure of play and playful learning. Together with Andy Field, we wish to put ambitions into practice, enabling a creative practitioner to engage with innovative research and teaching addressing and integrating playful pedagogic practice across the University and improve public engagement and societal discourse.”

The University’s Arts and Culture strategy aims to ‘place creativity at the heart of all we think, imagine and do together’.

The Fellowships are an important mechanism for putting these ambitions into practice, offering creative practitioners the opportunity to engage with innovative research across the University’s colleges and campuses.

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Date: 22 September 2020

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