International Networks, Local Landscapes

Sharing ideas and experiences of social arts practice over 3 days, across 3 locations. We ask ‘What is social arts practice?’ and enrich our understanding of how to employ creativity most effectively.


International Networks, Local Landscapes was a three day symposium held in February 2014. We enjoyed two days of presentation, reflection and informal conversation on key topics relating to socially engaged arts practice. We shared and explored ideas about cross-disciplinary approaches, corporate influences, negotiating places, grassroots approaches, and ethical arts practice. International networks were nurtured and local communities were imagined, cities were hidden and monuments were sent from the future.

The symposium kicked off with an evening at Brierfield Library where we hosted a postcard exchange with artists from Beacon House Art University in Lahore. Having worked closely with visiting students from Lahore for three years previously, the postcard exchange engaged local, regional and Pakistani artists and was followed by a presentation on the University’s ongoing partnership with UCLAN.


Day two was hosted at UCLAN where we gained local and international insight from guest speakers based on their experiences of social arts practice.


Speaker highlights included:

Rick Lowe – Director, Project Row Housing in Houston, Texas

Rosie Cooper – Project Curator, The Liverpool Biennial

Virginia Whiles – Chelsea College of Arts, University of Arts London

Elaine Speight – Curator of In Certain Places, Preston

We concluded with a day of conversation at Northlight Mill. Local artists ran workshops, gave talks about their work, and introduced us to the other social arts practice projects being embarked on around the country. This final day encouraged more intimate conversation and exchange of ideas, inspired by the activities of the previous days.

Special guests included

Alnoor Mitha – Myriad

Mike Chavez-Dawson – Artist & Curator

Maddi Nicholson – Art Gene

Ingrid Pollard – Artist

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