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Guests at the launch were able to see some of the 80,000 extraordinary objects from the University of Exeter’s Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

New University of Exeter arts and culture strategy unveiled

Ambitious new plans have been unveiled showing how the University of Exeter will play a leading role in supporting innovative arts and culture projects in the South West and beyond.

Academics and artists will collaborate to enhance teaching and learning and work to ensure the region is home to renowned artists, actors and performers.

A new Arts and Culture Strategy, unveiled this week, will Activate Creativity, helping staff at the University enhance the social, cultural and economic development of the region and further afield. The University of Exeter will continue to be a hub for cultural activities in the South West, both on and off campus.

Arts and humanities teaching and research at the University of Exeter is ranked amongst the best in the world, and on campuses in Devon and Cornwall there is already a dynamic portfolio of arts and culture activities.

Professor Janice Kay, University of Exeter Provost, said: “The Arts and Culture Strategy will place creativity at the heart of our activity and mean the University of Exeter plays a leading role in the social, cultural and economic development of the South West region and beyond. It will help to frame the exciting and ambitious arts and cultural offers of the city of Exeter, especially through the Exeter Culture Partnership.

“We will support opportunities for communities to come together to produce outstanding art, performance and creative opportunities which can be enjoyed by all ages. There will be time and space for academics and artists to work together in new ways. This will enhance the experience of our students and lead to new approaches to research.”

At the launch, at Exeter Castle, recent art commissioned by the University of Exeter was on show. This included videos produced by artists Blind Ditch, students, commuters and drivers inspired by the D-bus route, which crosses the city, from near the M5 junction, to campus. Also displayed was a soundwork made by primary school pupils in Exeter and Ed Baxter and Michael Umney from Resonance FM, The children whispered a sentence by Michael Rosen into each other’s ears and it slowly changed as they heard and misheard each other.

A digital soundwork by Duncan Speakman could be listened to as people were led by a guidebook. The headset they wore mixed immediate sounds with those from remote environments to give an eerie sense of both belonging and dislocation at the same time.

Those at the launch could also explore the work of artist Anna Best, who has worked with major public art commissioners, Ginkgo projects, to explore the relationship between the University and surrounding communities. They could also could also read from a collection of Cornish poetry and short writing, Ope: An Anthology, published by Sea Post Press, based near the University’s Penryn campus.

As part of the strategy, also launched in Cornwall, there will be a series of Arts and Culture Creative Fellows, who will collaborate with academics to unlock creative potential within the University. The inaugural Fellows included artist and educator Tania Kovats who has been working with researchers using drawing to develop and represent thinking, and designer and educator Nick Green who is exploring the future of learning spaces.

Date: 19 October 2018

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