`The Artists' City' project at Liverpool School of Art and Design (LSAD)
was designed to strengthen Liverpool's creative communities by supporting
emerging and early career artists. The research, recognised and supported
by Arts Council England, has benefitted established arts organisations in
the city (Bluecoat and FACT) as well as newer organisations (Royal
Standard and Metal) in their offer to artists by improving the
opportunities for artists to access studio spaces, engage with other
artists, discuss their practice, and exhibit their work.
Nowhereisland by artist Alex Hartley was a public artwork curated
and produced by Claire Doherty
as part of the Situations public art commissioning programme. This
large-scale touring public
artwork and accompanying online programme of activity enabled over 23,000
(including over 10,000 young people) from 135 countries to reimagine civic
citizenship and to rethink the nature of place, belonging and nationhood
within the context of the
London 2012 Olympiad. As an internationally recognised example of
participatory public art Nowhereisland helped change perceptions
about the nature of public art.
Afterall is a research and publishing organisation founded in 1998 by
Research Fellow Charles
Esche and Professor Mark Lewis at Central Saint Martins, University of the
Arts London (UAL).
Afterall focuses on contemporary art, and its relationship to wider
theoretical, social and political
fields. Researchers associated to Afterall undertake and commission
research, which is
disseminated to an international audience through publications and events.
Afterall impacts on the
cultural sector and an extended audience by providing a platform for
critical and creative
responses to art, curatorial and cultural practice and by shaping
discourse in this area. The
significance and wide reach of this impact is demonstrated through
partnerships and high-profile
cultural events, publication reach, and support from the cultural
The impact of this case study is the evidence that public art can
function for social benefit. Significant research projects were completed
for Ashford, commissioned by Kent County Council (2010), New Art Gallery
Walsall (2005 - 2009), Collective Gallery Edinburgh, UK (2008), Liverpool
Biennale (2010). This research claims three types of impact: 1. Public
Service: a public artwork as part of a shared traffic scheme, which
demonstrates a reduction in traffic accidents, 2. Civil Society:
participatory artworks that enable public engagement in the design of a
place (Ashford & the Black Country) , and 3. Influencing Policy — making: a contribution to policy debates concerning public art's function
for social and economic regeneration.
This case study focuses on three areas in relation to the social impact
of art, across the categories of `cultural life' and `public discourse'.
1) Artistic collaborations with non-artistic specialists in order to
generate new interdisciplinary pathways
2) Artistic collaborations with non-artists within a given community or
non-artistic institutional setting in order to create new forms of
3) The sharing of knowledge/skills between either non-artistic
specialists or a non-specialist audience and artists in the production of
a shared task or project.
4) Performance-based practice inside and outside of the gallery
The outward facing nature of this research, then, addresses the way such
work tests the prevailing competences, boundaries and identities of artist
and audience alike. This means researchers are involved with both artistic
and non-artistic funding-bodies and agencies as the basis for work on a
range of critical issues affecting the borders between the art institution
and non-artistic settings and contexts.
Through the public exhibition of his own video practice and his dialogic
approach to the presentation of other artists' works Richard Grayson's
research projects as an artist-curator have impacted significantly on cultural
life and public discourse around contemporary visual arts in
the UK and internationally. Specifically his research has:
a) provided opportunities for audiences to experience new artworks and
exhibitions which question conventional social narratives and world views;
b) through exhibitions, critical writing and gallery discussions,
contributed to the development of public understanding of contemporary
This case study focuses particularly on the positive critical reception
and longer-term impacts generated by Grayson's video work, The Golden
Space City of God (2009) and two recent curatorial projects, Polytechnic
(2011) and Revolver (2012).
The Unit's research is at the centre of changing approaches to the
contemporary art and religious institutions by helping a variety of faith
communities to reflect on
their practices and by influencing public attitudes. The work focuses on 3
areas: the relationship
between nature and spirituality; the spiritual well-being of individuals;
the role of performance and
temporary works of art to increase understanding of religious communities
and sacred spaces.
Our findings have been used in policy documents published by the Church of
commissioning art in churches, in the National Conference of the Pagan
Swedenborg Society and by the Roman Catholic Church in Poland. These
impacts are particularly
relevant in the context of a new UK legal framework placing religious
belief among the protected
characteristics of Equality and Diversity.
Furtherfield has inspired and supported new forms of collaborative
practice and expression at the intersection of arts and technology
cultures to co-create critical, contemporary public platforms and contexts
for arts in networked society.
Furtherfield's innovative programmes have advanced practices and theories
of collaboration, remix, and openness; inspiring and informing thinking in
the UK Arts sector and international digital arts culture. This work has
worldwide cultural and social impact. It reaches and engages new audiences
through public gallery programmes, online collections, websites, and other
award-winning virtual platforms, acknowledged by artists, curators and
critics for their contribution to emerging digital art contexts.
Research at the University of Bristol on the international contexts of
British art has made a distinctive contribution to a renaissance of
British art studies that began in the late 1980s. Over the past five
years, scholars at Bristol have worked with museums in London, the regions
and overseas to engage the widest possible audience in fresh thinking
about British art. Exhibitions and catalogue essays informed by their
research have raised awareness of individual artists and changed public
and critical perceptions of British art as a whole. They have also brought
many benefits to the museum partners, attracting visitors, generating
income and enhancing the museums' understanding of their own collections.
Some exhibitions have inspired additional collaborations which have fed
back into research and further extended audiences for British art.
Research carried out at the University of Southampton into the social and
intellectual value of conceptual art has been the basis of creative
education and personal development programmes designed for school
children, teachers, young offenders and the general public. Through public
engagement activities run through the University's John Hansard Gallery,
public knowledge and understanding of conceptual art have been deepened.
Research has had a significant impact on 93 young offenders whose
participation in arts-based programmes has resulted in the attainment of
educational qualifications, enhanced employment prospects and a drop in
re-offending. New programmes, co-developed with Southampton Youth
Offending Service, have influenced public policy at local and national
government levels, with impact reach evidenced when they were recognised
by the Ministry of Justice as a model for best practice.