Research

Research projects have included –

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2013 –DIGITAL INTIMACY

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An intergenerational research project collaborating with Movement Artist Kieran Sheehan and Jake Kelly from GENDERED INTELLIGENCE

When you log on to the internet does it increase your connection to the world around you or make you feel more alone? Are dating websites and apps a good way to meet new people or a place where you feel judged and exposed? Or both?

MAGIC ME the UK’s leading provider of intergenerational arts activities partnered with GENDERED INTELLIGENCE and OPENING DOORS (AGE UK CAMDENS LGBTQ elders group) to run a creative project called DIGITAL INTIMACY. The project brought together younger and older men who identify as gay in order to explore their experiences of using the internet and mobile phone platforms for dating and relationships. The group used discussion, movement, moving image and photography to explore ideas. The group held an informal event for invited guests in order to share work created throughout the project.

WHY?
The aims of DIGITAL INTIMACY:
• To bring a diverse group of younger and older men who identify as gay together to explore issues through the process of working on a shared creative project.
• To create a safe space for younger and older gay men with different experiences to consider the effect of digital dating and relationships on themselves and the gay scene
• For participants to develop creative, technical and critical skills specific to the different art forms: movement and photography.
• To enable participants to gain insight into one another’s lives and experiences, challenging stereotypes relating to age, gender and sexuality.

As a result of taking part in the project we hope that participants will feel they have engaged in a creative process, made new friendships and been offered an opportunity to be heard and seen by an invited audience.

WHO?
• A man identifying as gay aged 18-25 or 50 plus
• Willing to participate in a group from across the gay male spectrum including trans men and cis-gendered (non-trans) men
• Have something to say about the issues and open to exploring them through discussion, movement and photography
• Interested in working collaboratively with a group to create art. This process will be supported by professional artists and no previous experience is required.

ARTISTS
Kieran Sheehan is a movement practitioner. Currently he is a Senior Movement Tutor at ALRA and Brian Timoney Method Acting Studio. He is Revival Movement Director for the 2013 GLYNDEBOURNE FESTIVAL production of the MARRIAGE OF FIGARO. He has developed a range of dance theatre productions and participatory projects about, with and for disenfranchised communities as part of his own company’s work since 2008. In 2011 he was associate artist of DANCE DIGITAL where he developed a piece of performance about gay digital environments funded by ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND.
http://www.kieransheehan.com/

Douglas Nicolson works as an artist/educator. Alongside working on personal projects and exhibiting in the UK and overseas he has collaborated with a range of partners developing socially engaged art projects such as the FIJI ARTS COUNCIL and the RED CROSS in Mozambique. He has made artwork with inmates in a prison in the UK, children in a Romanian homeless shelter, young offenders in East London, residents in a psychiatric hospital and communities living with HIV/AIDS in the UK and Kenya.

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Personal, professional and policy factors within a community arts practice.
MA in Cross Sectoral Community Arts Practice research.

Abstract
Personal, professional and policy factors within a community arts practice. The aim of this study is to improve the knowledge base and therefore the practice of community arts through exploring the experience of a sample group of community artists based in London, in relation to personal, professional and policy factors. By Identifying main factors that affect motivation within the field of community arts key recommendations for artists and policy are formulated. Research methodology uses qualitative data from interviews of community artists, where the adaptation of a framework from a study by Herzberg et al (1959) is noted. An initial literature review finds a lack of research on the experience of community artists from the artists’ point of view.

The study adds to the knowledge base on community arts, particularly concerning:
• A lack of adequate management in the field.
• A lack of recognition of the professionalism of artists, especially by social sector staff.
• Artists have a lack of clarity over official aims and can focus on personal aims.
• Artists have concerns over the instrumental aims of social policy.
• Artists find grouping people by funding criteria problematic.
• Artists have concerns over short term funding and lack of funded time allocated within projects.

A desire for a union to counteract negative managerial and financial factors is identified. The study also uncovers the importance of the self-actualisation effects of the work on the artists, particularly those linked with participants, as a major motivating factor.
Link to Personal professional and policy factors within a community arts practice

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Signs of the City

2007 –2008 Urban Dialogues, Berlin, London, Sofia and Barcelona.
Artist/facilitator working with young people to generate online photographic image database exploring the sign systems of four European cities.
Project selected by the European Commission as an example of good practice in Creativity and Innovation.
Link to project website

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Perambulating Art Workshops

2008 Perambulating workshops, London.
Artist action research in the streets of South London.
Perambulating Art Workshops report

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