Artists in the Academy

Last October during our inaugural Festival of Cultural Knowledge Exchange, one of the events I curated was an intimate, in depth ‘in conversation’ event on the theme of Artists in the Academy. I brought together two artists; Anne Marie  Culhane and Ruth Jarman, from the artist duo Semiconductor, to share their expertise, reflect on their practices and shine a light on how  they have both been engaging with researchers, research institutes and universities as a core part of their work over a number of years.

The notion of artists working both with and as thinkers and researchers is one that runs to the heart of our entire cultural life. It is arguably almost just a given. University Arts and Humanities departments are populated by staff who are also creative practitioners across the spectrum of the arts from performance to literature, poetry and of course also the visual arts.

Yet, the presence of artists as researchers, activists, imagineers and knowledge mobilisers working in and with universities is by no means well explored. We do know though that artists work with universities often involves disciplines beyond the arts and humanities too. Across the social sciences and many scientific disciplines, artists are working in a myriad of capacities and roles, sometimes as part of wider collaborations involving a range of institutions, sometimes as part of university-led initiatives to encourage and support relations with the arts and, on other occasions, through curiosity and a desire to experiment that often emerges from individual conversations and alignments of interests and concerns.

Whilst the results of such practices and collaborations are often diverse, with manifestations across all areas of our social lives, the role of artists and artists/researchers working within research contexts remain somewhat under-narrated. This is an area of work that fascinates me and has done for a long time and that will I hope form the basis for ongoing investigation as part of our work at NCACE.

Artists in the Academy attempted to open up a new live conversation about this activity. Given the nature and duration of the event - a 60 minute online conversation - I established a number of broad questions and areas for discussion and what follows in this blog is a summary of our rich conversations. During the actual event, each question was posed to the artists in turn but here, in order to maintain a sense of narrative flow, I’ve collated Ruth and Anne-Marie’s individual responses to the questions as two separate sets.

From Ruth Jarman

Tell us about your practice and why and how did you start working with researchers?

“I’ve been working with my partner Joe Gerhardt for 25 years as the artist duo Semiconductor. We describe our practice as exploring the material nature of our world and how we experience it through the lenses of science and tech, blending moving image techniques, scientific research and digital technologies. From the beginning we were thinking about matter and events in the natural world that occur beyond the limits of our perception:scales that exist outside of the human frame, geological time,  matter outside of the visible spectrum, physical scales too vast or small to experience and we naturally turned to technology and science as a way to reveal these things. Initially we saw them as tools to give us access to the ordinarily inaccessible but, as we spent more time working in science labs,  we realised we were interested in the languages developed to study matter. Dr Janet Luhmann, NASA Space Science Lab once said to us that ‘science is a human invention; it’s nature that’s real’ and that gave us a license to ask more philosophical questions of science and technology. 

We have spent a large part of our career making artwork as a result of time spent in science laboratories carrying out in depth research. Some of these opportunities have been quite intensive, where we spend every day for 3-6 months embedded in the lab. Our first residency in 2005/6 was an ACE funded International Fellowship in the NASA Space Sciences Lab, UC Berkeley, California.

We were purposefully quite naive going in about the science as we wanted to try and learn as much as possible from the ground up, not the narrative that is fed to the public. We were also naive about the culture of the lab, as we hadn’t spent time in a lab before, we didn’t know what it would hold for us or what the journey would be. So this first residency was key. We learnt a lot about ourselves and our interests but we also learned how to get the best out of these situations and would go on to apply this knowledge to future residencies, gradually fine tuning our process and gaining confidence in it.

NASA Space Sciences Lab is a lab of around 200 scientists. We had desk space in the lab and wandered around, poking noses in, interviewing scientists and generally following what caught our attention. When we first arrived we gave a presentation about our work to a room full of literal rocket scientists. We were thrown into the deep end and now we go searching for this discomfort. We like to challenge ourselves and the work we might make.

On one of our wanderings around the lab we came across a scientist carrying out an experiment with a cool looking vacuum chamber. Sparks flying, we enquired if we could ask some questions and find out what he was doing. He stopped 10 minutes in asking if it was ok to carry on talking as his family didn’t let him talk to them about space science anymore. It was then we learnt about our social role in the lab.

At the end of the residency we gave a talk on our research. We had made a piece of work during our time there called Brilliant Noise and it completely felt like taking coals to Newcastle, like we were holding up a mirror that said “this is what you work on”. Normally the scientists would work with just a still image but we bought together timelapses over many archives from six ground based observatories and satellites. They had great joy in not only seeing it all brought together in this way but the fact we were celebrating their science. Our general presence had energised the lab, the questions we asked resulted in conversations and discussions between the scientists that they wouldn’t ordinarily have had.

The works we made also went on to be shown in many museums and exhibitions internationally and other scientists would feed back to them about having seen them.

We spent 3 months at The Mineral Sciences Laboratory, at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC as part of a fellowship called the Smithsonian Artists Research Fellowship. When we initially sent them our proposal they got back saying they “had absolutely  no idea what we wanted to do’. A good example of different cultures. They took a vote in the lab and thought it would be interesting to have us there and it was the first time they would invite artists into the lab. From starting off feeling worlds apart from each other, by the time it was the last week of our residency, the museum was celebrating its 100th year. The director of the lab was adamant we should be in the staff photo, as we were now part of “the lab family’.

Very recently we have been able to initiate our own research in self-identified labs, something which has always been difficult to do. There are more hurdles to navigate in this situation which will come up later in this discussion, but it looks like we have managed to secure private financial support for this, which is very exciting. There are not many opportunities for financial support for artists to work with scientists.”

How in your view has that collaborative dimension affected or impacted on your work?

“Our work is deeply connected to the places we do our residencies in and to what they are studying, so for us it would be impossible to make the work we do without these opportunities. They have become integral to our art practice.

We’re given access not just to archives and data and labs, which we have gone on to make work with, but also to technical support, for example, in accessing, reading and processing data. High up on the list has to be scientists' time, which is always very limited  but this is when we discuss in depth their research as well as wider scientific topics and philosophical ideas. We’re free to direct our own questions with them. Some of our artworks are these conversations or incorporate them and more recently we have been offered access to scientific labs, to use the actual scientific equipment and materials used by the scientists, to make our own artworks, which is an exciting development. So there’s a certain generosity too.

There’s a social side to these opportunities. They’re incredibly rich inspiring environments, with cutting edge research, that we get to immerse ourselves in. They temporarily become our reality and as such our research can go so much deeper with this kind of time, space and place. 

After our Space Sciences Laboratory residency, we were in London at the Science Museum. It was  around 2008  and we were giving a talk on our experience there and about our artwork. That’s when we met the scientist Chris Davis from RAL near Oxford, who was also there talking about his experiment the Heliospheric Imager – which coincidentally was on the NASA satellite STEREO, led by the team at SSL and we actually saw it being made during our residency there on a trip to Goddard Space Flight Centre

During that talk Chris saw our artwork Brilliant Noise – made with solar archive images at SSL – and thought we might be interested in his experiment and the image data it was creating. We weren’t sure initially, as his experiment looks at the space between the Earth and the Sun capturing potential CME’s. With the sun we had all these amazing dynamics and terror and this was monitoring pretty much empty space, but we knew we were interested in raw data and all the unwanted ‘noise’ associated with that, before it’s been processed for scientific purposes. So after a visit to the lab we worked remotely with Chris’s technician. We started to access the data, one still at a time. The nature of the way these images work is that you need to reveal the information in it and you decide how much or little you do that, so this processing became quite unique to us. We went on to make our artwork Black Rain, which exists as an installation version and was shown at the Royal Academy in 2009. There’s also a single channel moving image version which can be seen on our website.

One interesting story about Black Rain is that the BBC got in touch with Chris, saying they had seen our work and could they use the data we had. He said they needed to come to us, as we had decided how the data looked and we ended up getting credited above NASA in his series Wonders of the Solar System, which we’re not proud of but, it raises interesting questions about ownership and Intellectual Property. Since that point, in science documentaries, you quite often see not just the processed data which the scientists think people want to see, but the raw data in some form.

Another work which took a similar process but in a much larger lab was our work HALO, which is one of the artworks which came out of our CERN residency. We were there for 3 months in 2015 where we had access to the vast CERN campus and carried out research following different lines of interest. One of the threads we persisted with, over the three months, was asking if we could work with any of the raw data from the ATLAS experiment on the large hadron collider.

Key to this happening was Dr Mark Sutton who we met early on.  He was based at CERN but is also a University of Sussex Research Fellow, just up the road from us in Brighton. Before  we headed to CERN, we gave a talk to particle physicists there, which was complete serendipity and the head of the group gave us contacts for some of the people there, including Mark. He has an incredible brain and would try to teach us about the finer details of the data capturing process, and after asking many people during our journey at CERN if we could work with the data, it was ultimately down to the relationship we had built with Mark that enabled this to happen. He was absolutely key to this work being realised.

HALO is a 10 metre cylinder, which you can go in or walk around. It has a 360 projection which is made from particle data from the atlas experiment on the large hadron collider which triggers piano hammers to play vertical piano wires which run around the sculpture.”

What for you are the key advantages and disadvantages of working within the academy

“The advantages are that a sense of sharing and collaborating is already embedded in the culture. There’s a first stage where we have to work hard to get past all the surface noise, and scientists’ default mode when talking to the general public or press, but once we’re past that we can really get into the nitty gritty. We are reliant on them to learn about the whole picture, it’s not something you can just do from a book or a paper. But on the flipside, there is naturally a lot of privacy. Data is generally not open source and there’s more of a suspicion about what you might do, and perhaps more control over that.

We’ve found that scientists are often part of larger international specialist networks so if they can’t help you, they know someone else will and lots of our working relationships have come via recommendations from other scientists or being put in touch with colleagues across the world i.e. 20Hz / seismic data acquisition.

Particular to our practice is the access to knowledge, process and technologies, as mentioned previously, access to specialists in their field and it’s been postdoc students who have often helped us when accessing data. 

The disadvantages include all the administrative hurdles. There never seems to be a consensus for what we get referred to. Are we researchers or contractors? There’s never a clear artist role, and we often have to jump through different hoops to get paid even when we are officially operating within the institution.

We mostly having to start from scratch in terms of needing to emphasise that we are there to make an artwork and that our role isn’t to illustrate the science nor does  the scientist get to direct the artwork.‘’I know I’ve got to trust the process’’ as one recently said to us versus ‘Oh great I'll have something I can use to explain my work now”.  It's complicated as if the science department is raising the funding for us to be there  and they are invested in the outcome, but there isn’t always a clear agenda on what that is. We try to set up good practice not just for us but to also support any future relationships these scientists might have with artists. When we went to the SSL, the first thing one scientist wanted to be clear about  was that we weren’t taking any of their NASA funding.  He was partly joking but these things do occur and every project is different in that sense.

Art makes some problems itself though, it likes to shroud itself in a sense of mystery. A scientist once asked how we learn how to make art. It’s a very valid question, but the answer is not so different from science . You study it at university where there’s hopefully a rigourous process and systems in place to critique it.”

What advice would you give others wishing to do so and for researchers and institutions more widely wishing to work with or host researcher/artists

“We often have younger artists asking for advice when they first work in a science lab and we suggest having someone to broker the relationship initially, even if it’s just an introduction. Scientists often don’t know how to rate us as artists so a recommendation of some sort always helps.

There’s a lot of serendipity and if  the scientist or lab isn’t  interested, there’s no point in pushing. Often it’s about finding the right person, and sometimes it can be surprising who that person is.

At larger labs, we always have many lines of research at the beginning, and ideas then start to form about works you would like to develop.  And some of these fall by the wayside when you get to meet the key person, and they're not interested. This is fine, you move on, it’s just part of the process. Be flexible. It doesn’t work so well if you go in with a really fixed direction about how something is going to happen. 

“Trust the process” both for the artist and the institution - 

Have clear set agendas and expectations from the beginning together. For us, it’s important to come in and conduct our own line of research  but some artists' practice is more about collaboration or engaging with the public directly so they will need to find different ways to work.

A scientist asked recently how to find an artist. Our advice was to use the university, to approach people working in the arts and to ask for recommendations.

More recently we have carried out some projects remotely, with weekly visits here and there over longer periods. These do tend to be the smaller laboratories or small teams who are working on very specific subject matters. During 2019-2021 we worked with Dundee University scientists in this way, where the scientists raised funds for us to go in through their own science funding via the Science and Technology Funding Council and aimed at public outreach and we recently completed a piece of work there.

Some of the residencies we have done have specific programmes which are set up to bring artists into the lab. That was the case for CERN European Laboratory for Particle Physics, they have Arts at CERN. You apply to spend three months there and we were there in 2015.  We’ve always been very lucky that we can direct our own research when we’re in the lab. We’re very much research focused,  we just pre-dated needing to have with you a guide everywhere you wanted to go. Back then someone said “well you’re ok to go everywhere as long as the door doesn’t have a radiation sign on. Then we realised we were coming out of those doors!” 


A Field of Wheat harvest ritual 2016. Photo: Nigel Gibson

Anne-Marie Culhane

Tell us about your practice and why and how did you start working with researchers

“I am an eco-social artist, with a degree in Geography, a MA in Interdisciplinary Arts and a lifetime of working with different ‘communities’’. My practice straddles academia, people from non government organisations, public sector and communities, often fruitfully sometimes uncomfortably. What follows is a snapshot of some of the key projects I’ve developed with researchers and universities over the last decade or so.

Fruit Routes started in 2011 and ended up being a ten-year project with Loughborough University. It is a creative project to inspire a local food culture and edible campus. I was housed in and funded by the sustainability team as a consultant. And the project has now been adopted by the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at the university, Loughborough University Arts and also the local community. I was working across departments – arts, english, design, architecture and the Institute of Advanced Studies. Some key moments were the Sustainability team realizing it could also help deliver a raft of their objectives and the IAS recognising the value of the project from an academic research perspective.

“Fruit Routes is an invitation to undertake the work of living as art.. - a commitment wholly in keeping with Loughborough's determination to help create the possibility of a more sustainable and equitable world through knowledge and innovation. ….it brings different communities together - school students, local families and academics, international scholars from many different disciplines, young people and more mature visitors - sharing their wisdom, their stories, and their time as part of the life of the route. Fruit Routes is proof positive that the edge is always where the action is! “ Marsha Meskimmon -  Director Institute of Advanced Studies

In 2015 I was commissioned through an Arts Council England funded Residency Programme, to work at University of Exeter. I created Earthwalking, a collaboration with Professor Tim Lenton, Professor of Climate Change, Dr Tom Powell and  Dr Luke Mander from the Department of Earth Systems Science, University of Exeter, UK (now Global Systems Institute). Earthwalking was a two day walking journey along the south west coast path exploring stories of time and change (deep time, climate change).

Following that, working with Ruth Levene (artist) and Peter Lundgren (farmer), 

we were funded by the Arts Dean at Lincoln University to work on A Field of Wheat, a project where members of our collective included academics from the UK and overseas including Chris Fremantle, Aberdeen, Geoff Tansey, Lancaster, Susan Haidicke, Warwick and Tom Powell, Exeter. A Field of Wheat was also funded by Arts Council of England and Dance 4. Ruth and I had a shared curiosity about what it would feel like to be in and move around these extensive flatlands, to think about the connections between these fields and the food that is on our tables and to explore these vast fields in a resource depleted, low carbon world. We wanted to bring people to these spaces and make them visible. With a collective of 42 people from different backgrounds over a year growing cycle we explored the industrial food system from field to market.

Walking Forest with artists Shelley Castle, Ruth Ben-Tovim and Lucy Neal came out of an Arts Council England funded process commissioned by Season For Change and Coventry City Culture exploring female activism, forest ecosystems and the legacy of suffragettes, leading to the creation of an intentional woodland over 10 years.  Research around the Suffragette Arboretum in Batheaston has been informed by Cynthia Hammond, Professor of Art History, Concordia University. This year (i.e. 2022) we started as lead creative partner in MEMBRA, a UKRI Future of UK Treescapes interdisciplinary research project taking place over three years,  exploring tree memory, resilience and adaption. The scientific research elements of this project are being led by University of Birmingham and we are also working closely with classics scholar Dr Katherine Earnshaw from University of Exeter exploring how this research can impact the legal standing of trees in culture and policy.

Tidelines was a project with artist/designer Jo Salter. It explores creative, interdisciplinary responses to the changing marine and estuary environment in our home at a time of climate and ecological emergency. This was seed funded by University of Exeter as part of the ERASMUS + Socially Engaged Universities fund along with some smaller pots from Global Systems Institute, University of Exeter. Salmon Run, 2022 was funded by AHRC Creative Peninsula and was a Creative Arc pilot (University of Exeter, Exeter City Council and RAMM). In July 2020 I was offered a creative producer fellowship as part of the South West Creative Technology Network programme, led by UWE in partnership with Bath Spa University, University of Plymouth and Falmouth University, with Watershed and Kaleider. In Salmon Run we worked with Professor Jamie Stevens Molecular Ecology and fish geneticist, and in Alive Alive O! with Dr Sophie Nedelec, Sensory Ecology and Bioacoustics researcher (both University of Exeter) and with composer Emma Welton and members of the public.”

Fruit Routes 2018. Photo: Jo Shields

How in your view has that collaborative dimension work affected or impacted on your work

“Take your pulse, feel your heart beat. Imagine that each of your heartbeats took a whole year, not a fleeting second; then your lifespan would begin to approach mine.” Tim Lenton Invocation to Gaia

“In so many ways, my work starts from listening and emerges in response to the dynamics of place and happens in relationships. Ideas are often born from the space of exchange and finding shared interests, building trust and synthesising, or experimenting with translating ideas into different forms and working with data. This includes collaborating in many different ways. Dr Tom Powell and I have worked on four different projects together with Tom playing different roles in each. It is always so enriching, sometimes I feel like my head might explode! I am passionate about getting university research into the public realm, in service of care of the planet and democratizing education and knowledge.”

What for you are the key advantages and disadvantages of working within the academy?

“I’ve marvelled at the breadth of different thinking and knowledge that I have come across and the openness to collaboration.  I’ve felt extremely fortunate in having access to academics first hand in live dialogue and have found most of them very approachable, particularly earth system scientists. With my background in Geography, I felt I had ‘come home’ (more so than in the contemporary art world). In my practice I'm often making connections between the extremely local context and global or earth systems perspectives. Working with collaborators with expertise in these wider fields is invaluable.

Emergent and improvised practices can be very difficult for some scientists to understand. You need time to build up trust, or to invite them to share an experience or process as participants  so that they can experience it from the inside. 

I’ve noticed signs of cognitive dissonance between what academic researchers do every day at work, their underlying personal values and ethics and the values of the institution -  the ‘personal’ and ‘professional’. I’m aware that market led aspects of the  academy often bring ethical challenges around funding, the focus and direction of research, risk and conformity.  For example the steps between declaring climate and ecological emergency, which a number of academic institutions have done, and enacting the radical changes that this necessitates can be painfully slow. I still find there is a fear of and reticence from within the academy to engage with ‘politics’ and to speak out about the real challenges we face living at a time of mass extinction and climate breakdown. 

There are hierarchies and taboos in academia. Science still reigns supreme. Arts can be perceived in a very narrow way as an add-on or as something peripheral rather than an essential and integral part of a questioning, thriving culture or society. Depending on the nature of the collaboration/agreement/partnership/relationship this can be problematic because you can feel like a poor relation.  

The metrics that are used to ‘value’ academic research may not fit with the outcomes of a cross-disciplinary arts-led process-led collaboration (where the product includes the process). A lot of the time I’m trying to create democratic experiential transdisciplinary learning spaces that expand beyond academia and incorporate the civic realm.”

What advice would you give others wishing to do so and for researchers and institutions more widely wishing to work with or host researcher/artists?

“The work should be curiosity led not funding led.  In this time of chronic overworking in so many sectors you need to make sure that you have a strong commitment from your collaborators to the shared enquiry and a written agreement around ethics and values and time commitment. There can be differences  in working practices and processes so all of this needs to be set up in advance or early on. 

Institutions: Be clear what you want. Do you want a beautiful artwork - communication tool for your work?  or do you want the artist to engage with people in collective enquiry to expand your work into the civic realm, or to build relationships with local people or to achieve wider academic objectives and generate community-led research, or improve student and staff wellbeing or a combination of all of these? 

And artists, work with someone mid-career if you want time from and with them.  More high flying academics might have too many plates in the air to give you their time and Early Career Researchers are sometimes not confident enough to take time to contribute to arts projects (because these kinds of projects may not be given value by their Academy) or are too busy trying to get themselves set up on a career path. 

Be aware that many organisations in the public sector/civic society are at breaking point  in terms of funding cuts and organisational stress so if you want to partner outside the Academy too this is getting increasingly challenging. Rich collaborations take time and money to do well. Start small and document well so you can share your outcomes and ideas widely. Situate the work/research within the context of climate and ecological breakdown. Name it. We need to keep renaming this and bringing it as context for everything.  The academy is a place of extreme privilege and usually pretty conservative. Don’t be afraid to challenge or push at the edges. And be very patient.”


Tidelines Salmon Run 2022. Photo: Jenny Steer

More information about the artists

Ruth Jarman is part of the artist duo Semiconductor. Over the past twenty five years of collaboration they have become known for a unique and innovative body of moving image works, sculptures and installations which explore the material nature of our physical world and how we experience it through the lenses of science and technology.

Semiconductor’s works often evolve from intensive periods of research spent in science laboratories and universities, including the Physics Dept at University of Glasgow (2022 – ongoing); the Physics Dept at University of Dundee (2021); CERN, Geneva (2015); NASA Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley, California (2005); Mineral Sciences Laboratory, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC (2010); and the Charles Darwin Research Station, Galapagos (2010).

Semiconductor exhibit and screen their work internationally, selected exhibitions include; Indivisible, New Media Gallery, Vancouver, Canada 2022; Sónar Lisboa 2022, Portugal; HALO, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, UK, 2021 (solo show); Invisible, Science Gallery Dublin, Ireland; Semiconductor, The 14th Media Art Biennale Santiago, National Center of Contemporary Arts, (CNAC), Santiago, Chile, 2019 (solo show); The Technological Sublime, City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand, 2019 (solo show); Quantica, CCCB, Barcelona, 2019; HALO, The 4th Audemars Piguet Commission at Art Basel, 2018; The View from Nowhere, Le Lieu Unique, Nantes, France, 2018 (solo show); SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium and Engagement, 21stBiennale of Sydney, Australia 2018; Groundwork, CAST, Cornwall, UK 2018; No Such Thing As Gravity, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan, 2017; Earthworks, Sonar Planta, Sonar Festival, Barcelona, 2016 (solo show); The Universe and Art, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, 2016; Infosphere, ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2016; Quantum of Disorder, Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, 2015; Da Vinci: Shaping the Future, ArtScience Museum, Singapore, 2014; Let There Be Light, House of Electronic Arts, Basel 2013 (solo show); Field Conditions, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2012; International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2012; Worlds in the Making, FACT, Liverpool 2011 (solo show); Earth; Art of a Changing World, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2009.

Their works are part of international and private art collections including; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, USA; Pompidou Centre, Paris, France and Sorigué Foundation, Spain.

Anne-Marie Culhane ( creates events, performances and long-term projects that invite people into active and enquiring relationships with each other, the land and earth’s natural systems working as artist, activist and collaborator across a range of artistic and academic disciplines. Her work takes place in outdoor spaces, community centres, parks, the street, river systems and sometimes in galleries and museums.

Her work is framed within the context of a global climate and ecological emergency. Walking Forest was commissioned by Season For Change and Coventry City Culture exploring female activism in defence of the earth, forest ecosystems and suffragettes and creative partner in MEMBRA a UKRI Future of UK Treescapes research project exploring tree memory, resilience and adaption (with Shelley Castle, Ruth Ben-Tovim and Lucy Neal).

Tidelines with artist/designer Jo Salter explored creative, interdisciplinary responses to the changing marine and estuary environment at a time of climate and ecological emergency. Seed funded by University of Exeter as part of ERASMUS + Socially Engaged Universities fund and Global Systems Institute, University of Exeter and Salmon Run, 2022 funded by AHRC Creative Peninsula and Creative Arc (University of Exeter, Exeter City Council and RAMM)

Fruit Routes was a ten year commission from Loughborough University creating an edible campus, winner of Guardian Newspaper Sustainable Project Award, 2014. A Field of Wheat was funded by Arts Council of England, Dance 4 and University of Lincoln, working with Ruth Levene (artist) and Peter Lundgren (farmer)and  a collective of 42 people from diverse backgrounds over one year growing cycle to explore the industrial food system from field to market. Singing to the Trees Soil Cultures Residency with CCANW (Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World) was developed with University of Exeter, UK 2015 Earthwalking Artist Residency was a collaboration with Professor Tim Lenton, Professor of Climate Change, and department of Earth Systems Science, University of Exeter, UK, 2015.

Exhibitions, performances, residencies, research and commissions for: National Trust; Access Space, Sheffield; ArtsAdmin, London; Kaleider, Exeter; Natural England; Triangle Arts Trust; National Museum of Scotland, Hauser & Wirth, Somerset; Edinburgh; Dark Mountain Project; Take A Part, Plymouth; Scottish Natural Heritage; Castlefield Gallery, Manchester; Bridport Art Centre, Bridport; Independent School of Art, Penryn; Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter; Newlyn Gallery, Penzance; Plymouth Art Centre; Bluecoat, Liverpool; Eden Project, Cornwall; National Media Museum, Bradford and British Council. Teaching, Lecturing and Talks: across UK and in Eire. Visiting Fellow Global Systems Institute, University of Exeter and member of International Eco-Art Network and part of Culture Declares Emergency