Innovation Centre

Engagement with the University

In March 2013, CCANW moved into two small offices at the Innovation Centre on the main University of Exeter campus. The rent was discounted (annually £3,000) on condition that we curated a series of displays in the foyer of the Centre, the first of which opened in May 2013.

In June 2014 Dom Jinks, Director of Arts and Culture and our most important link with the University, left to take up the Directorship of Plymouth Culture. We tried to develop new engagements across the University, but soon found us to be a ‘very small fish swimming in a large pond’.

A first idea was to develop contact with its Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS), the only faculty which already had its own purpose built gallery. Knowing that we were soon moving to the University, one of our initiatives was to invite Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation to meet with a group of colleagues at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) in Exeter in 2013. Hoor was the daughter of the Ruler of Sharjah, an alumni of the University who had supported the building of its new Forum, and she was a personal friend. The discussion centered around her generous offer to lend work from the Collection of the Foundation. Unfortunately, despite our repeated encouragement, the offer was never taken up by RAMM or the University.

Documentation of the work of other artists from the Middle East who I had met during my time as a Commissioner for the 1995 Kwangju Biennale was also shown to IAIS for possible exhibitions but no collaboration resulted.

We also agreed to host internships from the new BA Art History and Cultural Studies course and one planned on Curatorship, but none ever materialised. A request to meet with the Dean of Humanities was declined.

In January 2015, CCANW was awarded a University of Exeter Catalyst project Seed Fund award to produce PEPing it …, a grounded guide to embedding public engagement practice for academics and community partners. Illustrated by photographs of our programme at Haldon, the guide was organised in three sections; finding potential partners, developing partnership working, and delivering collaborative engaged research. Copies of the guide were distributed to every faculty of the University, a few of which invited us to make presentations, but no partnerships ever materialised.

Complete PEPing it up… guide

We also met with the Directors of the new Centre for Environmental Arts and Humanities (CEAH), part of the University of Exeter but on the Penryn campus in Cornwall. CEAH hosted a showing of our Fashion Footprints exhibition and organised a symposium. They also committed to host a Soil Culture residency.

Next Page

Pros and Cons

Press enter to search or esc to cancel