Writing about art as if people mattered
I’m a writer and researcher, based in the UK. I’ve worked in socially engaged arts practice for almost 35 years, as an artist, producer, researcher, consultant, teacher and trustee. I’m particularly interested in how people create, receive and interact with culture. I’ve worked, published and spoken on these questions widely.
In the 1990s, the focus of my work moved towards research, and I published studies of the arts, including Use or Ornament? (1997) and Only Connect (2004), though I continued working with organisations. Much of that research has been archived and is available to download from my Academia page.
Since 2010 I’ve been connecting some of what I’ve learned through research with creative practice. Regular Marvels tries to reconcile the different ways of thinking used by academics and artists, exploring how they create knowledge and accepting the instability of that knowledge. It also tries to shape a practice that is consistent with my beliefs and values.It’s work in progress that I’m sharing here as a kind of ‘thinking in public’ for anyone who finds these questions interesting. If that includes you, do leave a comment: thinking is often improved by dialogue.
Parliament of Dreams is a sister site to this one. It covers the other side of my work (the part that pays the bills), including contracts with cultural organisations, commissioned research, recent speeches, essays and thinking about culture in a world undergoing rapid and often difficult change.