Creating Change

How communities and artists can work together

  • Studio Morison, Sleepers Awake, 2011. Courtesy Studio Morison

    Studio Morison, Sleepers Awake, 2011. Courtesy: STUDIO MORISON

Past Event

This event was on Sun 10 June, 11.30am – 4.30pm

Due to illness, STUDIO MORISON will no longer be participating in this event. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

This event brings together artists of international standing alongside grassroots projects which make a meaningful impact on the infrastructure of small towns and cities. In this special off-site event, artists and other contributors discuss creative ways they work with communities to make an impact on their local, often times rural environment through architecture, networks and spatial practice.

The first half of the day sees presentations of case studies by leading artists who have worked both locally, nationally and internationally on public projects, including Fernando Garcia-Dory. After a buffet lunch provided by a March-based chef, artists, curators, developers, arts organisations and locals are asked to contribute to an open and informal discussion about how we can join forces to support a creative ecosystem for public developments in our towns, villages and cities.

Other speakers include artists Lorelai LodestarHelen Stratford & Idit Nathan and Amahra Spence, architect February Phillips and curator Veronica Sekules.

In partnership with Wysing Arts Centre as part of their project New Geographies.

This event forms part of our series The Rural: Contemporary Art and Spaces of Connection which explores how artists engage with the contemporary rural sphere.


11.00am – Arrivals and coffee/tea

11.30am  Welcome from Katherine Nightingale, Director of 20Twenty Productions

11.35am – Introduction to the speakers and the day by Chelsea Pettitt, Head of Partnerships at Wysing Arts Centre


11.40 – 12.10pm  Lorelai Lodestar presentation on the legacy and Impact of the Show Home for Real Living project in Trumpington, Cambridge

12.10pm – 12.40pm – Fernando Garcia-Dory presents Inland as an open network for land-based collaborations, economies and communities-of-practice

12.40 – 1.15pm – Q&A with case study speakers led by Lotte Juul Petersen and Jane Scarth

1.15pm – 2pm  Lunch (provided)


2.00 – 2.10pm – Idit Nathan & Helen Stratford: Reimagining Place through Play

2.10 – 2.20pmAmahra Spence: Making your own creative ecosystem

2.20 – 2.30pm February Phillips: Practicalities for implementing your ideas

2.30 – 3.30pm – Break out sessions

3.30 – 3.45pm – Coffee/tea break

3.45pm – 4.30pm – Review of the day and discussions with contributors and audiences, chaired and moderated by Veronica Sekules

About the Speakers

Lotte Juul Petersen

Lotte Juul Petersen has been a Curator at Wysing since 2008. She has an MA in art history and cultural studies from University of Copenhagen and University of Leeds. Before joining Wysing, Lotte developed the residency and artistic program at the Factory of Art and Design, Copenhagen, during which time she was also employed as curator at the Fynen Art Academy. Prior to this she was part of the curatorial team at CPH Kunsthal, directed by Jacob Fabricius, and at Malmö Konsthall, Sweden. As Artists and Programmes Curator Lotte has worked closely with many artists at Wysing including Asli Cavusoglu, Akassen, Celine Condorelli, Luca Frei, Laure Prouvost, Christodoulos Panayiotou and Giles Round. Lotte co-edited an anthology on curating with Sanne Kofod Olsen, Malene Vest Hansen and Malene Ratcliffe, published by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde. She curated the public art project Urban Pedestals (2007/8) in Copenhagen & Helsinki in collaboration with artist Jacob Borges, which was documented in the book Temporary Urban Structures.

Lorelai Lodestar

Lorelei Lodestar (not her real name) was born in Essex and became class conscious as a union convener during the 1980s. After graduating from an MA in Contemporary Performance Practice, she spent the next decade making experimental, often highly political theatre. When she became a single mum, Lorelei stopped touring and started making assemblages and growing veg. She graduated from an MA in Fine Art in 2014. Lorelei collaborates with people and plants to create events, interventions, provocations and performances. She is particularly interested in authenticity, the physical action of the making process, and rules of exchange. These preoccupations and processes are consciously gendered creative gestures, which seek to examine (and challenge) the cultural, social and political mechanisms of 21st Century Post-Industrial Capitalism. Lorelei has spent 25 years teaching and facilitating in HE and the wider community, working closely with students and artists on the autism spectrum in particular.

Heather Peak Morison

Heather Peak Morison has established an ambitious collaborative practice over the past fifteen years that transcends the divisions between art, architecture and theatre. She is co-director, with Ivan Morison, of STUDIO MORISON, their artist led creative practice which supports and realizes their ideas and projects. On a societal level STUDIO MORISON is working to re-establish aspects of civic life and on a human level it looks to bring meaning, beauty and purpose into everyday life. They are based in Weobley, Herefordshire and Abergwynant, North Wales and work internationally. They are currently working to deliver a new library, a public glasshouse, a landscape for a school, several public sculptural pavilions, meeting places and civic spaces within communities, a skate park, developing an affordable and sustainable model for artist housing and shaping an artists’ commercial product collective. They have exhibited internationally including solo projects at Tate Modern, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, Vancouver Art Gallery, The National Trust, National Theatre Wales, Whitechapel Gallery, South London Gallery and represented Wales at the Venice Biennial. Heather is also employed as an artist strategist and convener for Heart of Glass, St Helens leading on a major project, The National Centre for Socially Engaged Art Practice and writing the first socially engaged public art policy for St. Helen’s. Their current project is the Artist’s House as part of the Park Life initiative led in Banbury by Eastside Projects, Birmingham.

February Phillips MA (cantab) DipArch ARB

February Phillips is an architect who interprets the multi-faceted and fluid factors that drive physical change in the places around us. She has almost twenty years experience collaborating on the design of the built environment – from infrastructure and urban design to conservation refurbishment and furniture design. February currently works with 5th Studio, a unique spatial design agency working across the fields of architecture, urban design, infrastructure and landscape.

February’s approach is founded in observing, listening and responding to the multiple voices that contribute to motivating action to construct places.  The outcomes of this approach are strategies and proposals that inform the process of shaping buildings and landscapes. February’s working process has been developed on a number of projects including:  The Creative Exchange in St. Neots, a controversial workspace in the grounds of a secondary school; The refurbishment of a Grade I listed student accommodation for Trinity College, which challenged conservation rules to their extremes through the installation of (what may seem innocuous) double glazing; Advising Peabody Housing Association on the best future for 20 tower blocks, on the 1960s Thamesmead Estate in East London, before and after the Grenfell Tower fire; and engaging in 5th Studio’s strategic proposals to inform infrastructure change in the Oxford / Cambridge Corridor.

Jane Scarth

Jane Scarth is Curator: Public Programmes at Whitechapel Gallery, where she curates an ongoing programme of talks, symposia, experimental live events and performances. Prior to this she held the position of Residency and Programmes Manager at Delfina Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation committed to hosting and working with international artists around thematic programmes, such as the Politics of Food or Performance as Process.

Veronica Sekules

Veronica Sekules was formerly Deputy Director and Head of Education and Research at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, UK, after an early career start in the environment movement and as a curator and writer. She is now Director of GroundWork Gallery in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, a new space dedicated to art and the environment. She is the author of Cultures of the Countryside: Art, Museum, Heritage, and Environment, 1970-2015 (Routledge, 2018)

Amahra Spence

Amahra Spence is an artist, creative producer and public speaker, who views her practice through the notions of equity, service and citizenship. In 2013, Amahra established MAIA, a production and development company, exploring how equitable, artist-led community building and infrastructure can develop and futureproof cities. Thinking about artists as catalysts for social change and justice, Amahra is leading on a number of projects, including the proposal for Art Hotel, a Birmingham-based multipurpose space for presenting, developing, connecting and accommodating artists and people interested in culture.

Idit Nathan & Helen Stratford

Combining backgrounds in theatre and architecture, since 2012 Nathan and Stratford have created projects that use play to reimagine place; taking participants on journeys through built and rural environments. Leading artists and researchers in community engagement, play and performance, to date they have been commissioned by the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2017/18), National Theatre (2016- 2017), Cambridge Junction (2017) and The Wellcome Collection (2016). They have worked in partnerships with Wysing Arts Centre, Kettles Yard, Cambridge (2012) and METAL Peterborough and Southend (2015-16) presenting work in events such as the Festival of Ideas Cambridge (2013), Walking Women (2016), CounterPlay ’16 in Aarhus, (2016). In 2015 they formulated Play The City Now or Never! (PCNN), to develop a site-specific geo-locative App for mobile devices positioned at the intersection of art, play and technology. Additionally, Nathan and Stratford each have independent practices exhibiting and producing work across the UK as well as internationally.