Testing Ground

Covid is requiring us all to continually adapt quickly; as organisations, audiences and as practitioners and as individuals. Testing Ground is an experimental platform where we can test new ways of working in a time where geography, access and engagement are considerably altered. 


Announcing 8 new artists working with In-Situ, we are very excited to announce a brilliant line up of artists and practitioners selected for our Testing Ground residencies. In the end, we were able to double the number of paid opportunities available, so we now have 8 people working with us between November 2020 - March 2021. 

The list represents a mixture of established and early-career artists based predominately in the North, with some joining us from elsewhere in the UK.  Each artist will receive a fee to undertake a properly funded residency with In-Situ for one week, working on The Gatherings programme and exploring people and place.


This is an opportunity to experiment with support from the In-Situ team and an opportunity to feed into the community we are embedded in - both directly and in less direct ways.


The proposed projects are diverse in their approach, including journalism, dance, audio, illustration and geography. 

Here’s the line up: ​

Christian Bell

Jasmine Calland

Amy Cutle

Lydia Griffiths
Georgia Lomax Thorpe
Eva Sajovic
Bethany White
Andrew Wilson

We would like to add that we were blown away by the incredible variety, volume and quality of level of the 130 applications we received. With such a high number of exciting and innovative ideas, it was so hard to whittle it down and was why we made the decision to extend it from 4 to 8 opportunities.


We wish we could do more at this time. But we would like to honour the amount of time people put into these applications. We see that times hard for artists, shifting a socially engaged practice online or to a more distanced way of working and these residencies have been designed to support artists to navigate these increasingly difficult times.


We will continue to run programmes that help artists to navigate new ways of working and work at the intersection between the artists and social transformation in the communities we are working in.


Thank you again to everyone who applied to this programme.

Introducing Kerenza McClarnan

We are pleased to announce that Kerenza McClaren has joined our team as an Associate Curator. 

Kerenza has been working as a freelance producer and curator for over 15 years. In that time she has largely delivered programmes of work that have a strong track record in managing the collaborative process of artists working with communities and engaging different groups in that process. Much of the work she has undertaken since has furthered the ideas around what is now considered as socially-engaged practice.


Kerenza has worked on some large-scale, and high-profile projects in the North West region with commissioners such as Liverpool Capital of Culture, Liverpool Biennial, Channel 4 Big Art Project and Manchester International Festival.


Producing for Manchester International Festival on most festivals since 2009 delivering the festival’s most ambitious participation or community collaborative projects including Jeremy Deller’s Procession, The Biospheric Project and MIF 17 opening event What is the City?


Other work includes Blackpool and Wyre’s Creative People and Places organisation LeftCoast as their engagement manager and public art and architecture officer for Arts Council England.

Introducing Calum Bayne

Following from our recent graduate opportunity we would like to introduce you to our newest team member Calum!


Calum Bayne is a Scottish artist & curator based in Salford. He graduated from Newcastle University’s Fine Art BA(Hons) in 2018 and, until recently, continued to live and work in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Calum has joined our team as a Graduate Trainee and will be mainly working on The Gatherings programme with Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership.

As an artist, his most recent projects include the solo show Stunts (2020) at Mansions of the Future and Queer Contemporaries (2020), a digital group show organised by Short Supply.


Looking at ways to foster creative routes to queer protest, Calum’s curatorial focus has been as a member of The NewBridge Project Programming Committee 2020-21.


We are so happy to welcome him to the team!

Update from The Gatherings

This summer brought us our first-ever Digital Gathering: a month-long season of debate, discussion and ideas sharing as well as intimate ‘in conversations’ with some of our current artists and collaborators.


We were joined digitally by over 280 people from across Pendle and beyond to discuss topics from Pendle’s Radical history to landscape intervention and the future of our communities. All of these conversations can be viewed for a limited time on our Facebook page.


We have also announced a fantastic opportunity for a recent graduate to join our partnership programme in the form of a 2 year, full-time, paid traineeship. For details on how to apply, please see our opportunities section.

Coming up over the next few months, we will be announcing a series of new opportunities for artists to explore the landscape and new ways of working with the community in these uncertain times. 


As we move into Autumn, our new Artist in residence Isabella Martin will also be joining us to explore the theme of Traditional Boundaries. Isabella will be working with communities across Pendle over the next year to explore the history of boundaries in the landscape and what they mean today.


To find out more about Isabella’s work please visit: isabellarosemartin.com

Introducing Elena Jackson

We are happy to announce that Elena Jackson will be joining our Board Members as part of In-Situ.


Elena Jackson is a Curator and Producer. She is the Co-Founder of art and culture company, Deco Publique and Director of the National Festival of Making Community Interest Company. Through their work in the North, Deco Publique works towards creating cultural infrastructure that supports the development of place specific cultural ecology. Elena works with artists, industry and communities to create mass and intimate festival experiences and original art commissions that are rooted in people and place.


Through her work with the National Festival of Making, Elena curates the commissioning programme, Art in Manufacturing, placing 26 artists in residence with industry in Lancashire to date. In 2013 she co-founded Morecambe’s Vintage by the Sea Festival and recently co-produced five heritage landscape artworks around the Morecambe Bay coastline including two permanent sculptures, SHIP and Horizon Line Chamber. Elena is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Board Director of In-Situ.


She is based and lives by the sea in Morecambe.

Introducing Jane Lawson

We are happy to announce that Jane Lawson will be joining our Board Members as part of In-Situ.


Jane Lawson is an artist based in Manchester whose practice focusses on why things are the way they are and how they could be different. She is also Artist Development Co-ordinator at Castlefield Gallery, where she set up the Castlefield Gallery Associates programme in 2012, shortly after graduating from the Salford University Visual Arts BA. Previous to this Jane was a knitwear designer, a founder member of radical art and design collective UHC, a co-organiser of the first three UK Climate Camps and a researcher into corporate ethics for Ethical Consumer magazine. 


Jane was an In-Situ In Residence artist in 2013, when she made the Brierfield Timeline, and also participated in 2016 In-Situ Crash residency. In 2018, as part of the exhibition The Ground Beneath Your Feet at Castlefield Gallery (Manchester), Jane initiated a UK branch of the Radical Mycology network. She has hosted two Radical Mycology Gatherings (Hulme Community Garden Centre, Manchester, 2018; and Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, 2019, with Feral Practice, as part of Jade Montserrat’s exhibition Instituting Care). 


Exhibitions and projects include This Land Is Our Land (Paper Gallery, Manchester); Mushlove (Mulino, Oregon, as part of the 2018 Radical Mycology Convergence); BiblioTEch (Portico Library, Manchester); Cultivate: 7500 Stories (198 Gallery, London); Start Where You Are: Second Degree Potentias (Bloc Projects, Sheffield); Emergency (Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth); Press Room (Creative Time Summit at the Venice Biennale); Show Me The Money (NGCA, Sunderland; John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; People's History Museum); Small Change (AirSpace Gallery, Stoke). She has run workshops for NESTA, the Social Art Summit (Sheffield), the Incidental Unit (Manchester Art Gallery) and the People’s Bureau, and is an alumna of School of the Damned

Introducing Isabella Martin

We are delighted to now announce that artist Isabella Martin will be the next artist to work on a residency as part of The Gatherings. 


Over the course of the next 12 months, with a flexible timescale allowing for the current situation, Isabella will be exploring the Pendle landscape and learning about the heritage of its drystone walls and hedges. These borders are also places, revealing the geology of what’s under our feet and giving homes to whole ecosystems. Traditional boundaries define and shape our image and experience of the countryside. Along the way she will be working with rurally based partners, practitioners and communities based around the footprint of Pendle Hill. 


Isabella Martin is a visual artist who works with people and places, exploring how we fit in the world and relate to our surroundings. Her work moves between mediums and is context specific; driven by interdisciplinary collaboration, in-depth research and experimental play. 

To find out more about Isabella and the project click here

Madiha Aijaz / The Double Negative

As part of the Liverpool Touring Programme with In-Situ the works of artist Madiha Aijaz (b. 1981, Karachi, Pakistan, d. 2019) was displayed throughout Nelson Library. These three films and photographs connected with the cultural heritage in Pendle, reflecting on ideas of migration, modernity and the shifting relationships we experience to language and tradition depending on our position in the world.

Read two reviews on The Double Negative

Slow Violence: Madiha Aijaz at Nelson Library

Madiha Aijaz and Reetu Sattar – Reviewed


This exhibition is part of the Liverpool Biennial touring programme, which brings works by international artists presented at the 2018 festival of contemporary art to spaces across the North of England.

Supported with National Lottery funding through Art Council England’s Strategic Touring fund.

01282 617 995


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The Garage
Northlight, Glen Way,

Brierfield, Nelson,