The Role of Collections and Archives in Art Practice



Re-Collect: Sculptural Responses to Place within Collections

Deborah Gardner has made a body of new work in response to selected artworks from the Arts Council and Kirklees Collections, which address, in some way, a sense of place. This presentation will explore how ideas of place and the nature of collections share a purpose in describing our relationship to the world around us and enable a collective understanding of identity and history. Deborah will address how her sculptural responses to these collected works act as an acknowledgement of a national collective heritage, but also focus on the particularity of the regional landscape, industrial legacy and architecture of Yorkshire.

Researching Material within a Film Archive

Louise K Wilson is a visual artist for whom processes of research and the participation of individuals from industry, museums, medicine and the scientific community are fundamental to the making of work. This presentation will focus on the experience of researching material in a film archive however: when the seductive pleasures of viewing (and listening) in proximity to the medium’s materiality combine with more unsettling awarenesses about the haunting and haunted nature of such material.

Anatomy of a Monument

Sarah Hanson’s research has contributed to the Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture 1851-1951 project, culminating in an exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery, which includes objects from the Leeds Sculpture Collection. The core aim of the project is to consider the expansion of sculptural practice happening in the stated hundred-year period, and the diverse legacy that remained. This presentation will focus on the Leeds City War Memorial as a specific case study, in order to address key issues concerning the creation of sculpture, such as variations of practice and breadth of place in which sculpture exists. Addressing the history and identity of the memorial (and investigating how such a monument is created, considering artistic, political and social aspects), allows for a better understanding of sculpture in general, whilst also highlighting how many individuals must be involved in order to create both public and private sculpture.

Objects, Collections and Cabinets

David Walker-Barker considers how collecting has occupied a parallel pathway alongside an art practice located in the study of landscape and its geological and human dimensions. Collections reside alongside artworks in the studio and have, over the course of the last ten years, gradually become integrated into the works themselves, the nature of which has changed because of this. A facet of this presentation will reflect upon a recent exhibition ‘Objects of Curious Virtue, Echoes of John Ruskin’ at the Ruskin Library and Research Centre at Lancaster University and involving ‘The Guild of George’ and the Ruskin Collection, Sheffield.


The creative practice-led research network LAND2 (“land squared”) – formally LAND2D) – was started in 2002 by Dr Iain Biggs (UWE Bristol) and Dr Judith Tucker (Leeds) as a national network of artist / lecturers and research students with an interest in landscape / place-oriented art practice. In 2008, following the expansion of the network, they invited Jayne Bingham (Norwich) to join the coordination group.