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New arts research centre launched at Leeds Beckett


A new research centre which brings together creative practitioners and academics involved in the arts has been launched at Leeds Beckett University.

The Leeds Arts Research Centre (LARC) will focus on all aspects of the arts, including music, film, fine art, design and performing arts.

LARC draws on staff from the Leeds School of Arts at Leeds Beckett and brings together cultural historians and theorists with arts practitioners at the cutting edge of practice as research.

The research centre will also provide a forum for debate and collaboration on new projects as staff showcase their research outputs, helping to build together the research culture of Leeds Beckett.

Speaking about the new centre, Simon Morris, Professor of Art and Director of Research in School of Art, Architecture & Design, said: “Leeds Beckett University has a rich history of experimentation in the Arts. The new Leeds Arts Research Centre will put Leeds Beckett at the centre for arts research in Leeds. We want to promote the work of our leading scholars both externally through the website and internally for our staff and students to encourage collaboration, dialogue and debate.

“By promoting work from across the disciplines in the arts, we hope to encourage the potential of interdisciplinary work in the University.  The Centre will give visibility to the work our cutting edge researchers are doing and provide a public platform for engaging with their research.

Director of the Australian Centre for Photography, Cherie McNair helped to launch the centre with a guest lecture where she discussed her experience in the visual arts sector in Australia, as part of the annual year-long INSIDE/OUT programme. Cherie has more than 15 years’ experience in the visual arts sector in Australia and internationally, and has delivered major photography exhibitions with institutions and photographers throughout her career.

Other speakers confirmed in the series so far include: Manchester-based Belgian photographer, Mishka Henner, whose works are held in the Tate Collection, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York public library, on Wednesday 25 October in the Rose Bowl; Berlin artist Natalie Czech, who interplays photography and written words, on Wednesday 1 November; Canadian poet Derek Beaulieu, on Wednesday 14 March; New York artist Brian Dettmer, on Wednesday 21 March; and fashion designer and Senior Contributing Editor of LOVE magazine, Matty Bovan, on Wednesday 11 April.

Reflecting on what’s next for LARC, Simon added: “We've just made two new films of guest lectures by leading international performance artist and curator Claire Tancons as well as Cherie McNair talking about the Photographic Institution she leads and an exhibition she is co-curating on inequality. Both documentary films of their public lectures will be made publicly available on the website so people all around the world can listen to their fascinating presentations. Alongside that we will be constantly adding more research by our own academics, showcasing their innovative ideas for all to see. The Centre was officially launched on Wednesday but it's an ongoing project and will quickly become a central hub for research in the Arts.”

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