Curating research group

Leeds School of Arts

Many of the researchers within the Curating Research Group are also practicing artists and bring an artist-led approach to the discipline. The group aims to develop strategies and practices for curation which meet the needs of the complex contemporary conditions in which artists are making work, speaking to subjects such as lived experience in the digital age, identity, and ecological issues. 

The Curating Research Group focuses on the following key strands: 

  • Hybrid and multi-platform curatorial practice 
  • Curation for collaboration and interdisciplinary production 
  • New media curation 

Curating Research Group Members

Of particular interest are playfulness, humour and satire in the language of art. Current research focuses on the currency of writings on the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods and reflections around prehistory from our confused contemporary condition. Much of this current research is evidenced in work currently being made jointly with Nathaniel Mellors. 

&Model is a curatorial project and a research vehicle for Chris Bloor, James Chinneck and Derek Horton. As part of Regeneration Through the Arts&model occupied a gallery space at 19 East Parade Leeds where it presented 27exhibitions and residencies between January 2014 to June 2017. Full archive can be viewed here:  

Although his work has various concerns, two main themes predominate: the constraints imposed on our lives by data and coded systems, and the randomness of nature and chance. The former, characterised by the structures of capitalism, ownership, mechanisation and automation, is usually in conflict with the latter. In a post-industrial world driven by multinationals and global economics, our sense of individuality is lost in an array of brands and co-ercive allegiance to corporate identity and bureaucratic control in the workplace. Liberty is subtly eroded and we are locked into a system that we have little affiliation or agreement with, leaving no room for us to think and behave in a manner of own choosing. The ecological effects of this – the maximization of corporate profit at the expense of environmental damage – are familiar to all, but the day-to-day effects are more pernicious. As writers, such as Mark Fisher have contended, the cultural structure of capitalism is now viewed by many as a natural phenomenon to which there is no social alternative. Allied with our increasing disconnection from the ecosystem is the tendency for our experience of the world to be mediated through the screen, be it computer or television or the car window. We experience, or rather consume, nature through a secondary medium, forging a steady separation from our environmental. Our participation in global commerce – be it directly fiscal or through the more indirect self-commodifying arenas of social networks – distracts us from our physical detachment from nature, fostering a nonchalant attitude towards understanding our planet as a single organism.

&Model is a curatorial project and a research vehicle for Chris Bloor, James Chinneck and Derek Horton. As part ofRegeneration Through the Arts&model occupied a gallery space at 19 East Parade Leeds where it presented 27exhibitions and residencies between January 2014 to June 2017. Full archive can be viewed here: 

Alan's current research is twofold. One area concentrates on the recent technical developments in electronic billboards and their potential to host artistic content. In January 2016 he curated one hour's worth of content for Europe's largest moving image screen opposite Lime Street station in Liverpool, commencing his 'FOUR WORDS' project that has since seen iterations at Bath Spa University, Leeds Tech Hub and on Channel 4.

The second area is an ongoing investigation into the relationship between sound art and the everyday, using live events, CDs and broadcasts to introduce new audiences to audio material from a range of professionals and community members. This research has been recognised by Arts Council England amongst others as good practice in the development of non-gallery cultural practice and by academics in relation to sound art pedagogy. 

Marion Harrison is an artist and curator based in Leeds, UK. In recent years she has developed a number of broadcasts, projects and collaborations using radio as the primary medium. She is interested in the idea of nomadic transmission and receivership, the radio voice and radio as a space to blur fact and fiction. She has worked on a number of radio curatorial projects including co-devised and programming of RadioCity, 2014 at Tate Britain with Harold Offeh and Project Radio, 2015 with Sophie Mallett.

Ben Judd uses performance and video to examine his relationship to specific individuals and groups; recently the choreographic and the rhythmic has been used as a method of constructing temporary communities. Judd has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad, including: ICA, London; Whitstable Biennial; Tokyo Opera City Gallery, Tokyo; The Barbican Art Gallery, London; Royal Academy, London; International Center of Photography, New York; Impakt Festival, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany; The Photographers’ Gallery, London; Kunstbunker, Nuremberg, Germany; The Whitechapel Gallery, London; The David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Rotterdam International Film Festival; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; The Chisenhale Gallery, London. 

The complex relationship between language and power is a recurring theme in Nathaniel Mellors' multi-faceted work, typically manifesting itself in absurdist, humorous narratives that reveal a penchant for satire and the grotesque.

Mellors makes film and video, sculpture, painting, mechanized (animatronic) sculpture and music. Script-writing underpins a lot of Mellors visual work as he explores different approaches to the development of his original texts in a variety of media. Parodying the formats and structures through which information is popularly conveyed – such as the television drama, political broadcast, critical analysis or avant-garde plays - Mellors sets up theatrical frameworks to test the line between meaningful content and incomprehensibility. At the core of his practice lies a fascination with the relationship between word and effect.

Simon Morris’ research appears in the form of exhibitions, publications, installations, films, actions and texts which all revolve around the form of the book and often involve collaborations with people from the fields of art, creative technology, literature and psychoanalysis. 

Simon Morris examines the relationship between reading and art. He proposes a new method of making art via conceptualist performed readings. This method grafts the aesthetic legacy of Conceptual Art on to various notions of writing (from literary composition to data management) in order to produce materially-specific poems as artworks that have in some way re-read a found object. This is an art of reading things differently. It starts from a premise proved by the impossibility of making purely conceptual art: that art is always aesthetical and conceptual. To that it couples an obsession with language as both material signifier and social activity. In doing so it establishes a mode of making art that asks: What could we write if reading could be a materially productive act of making art? How might a certain kind of reading-as-making problematise the understandings of authorship, production and reproduction ensconced in our cultural industries? Morris’ work celebrates reading differently as a praxis of exploring the elsewhere of what languages and their users can mean and do. Morris is committed to working collaboratively and against all-too-certain counter-productive divisions between contemporary art and contemporary literature. 

Harold Offeh employs a range of strategies, including found footage, performance-based videos, live art and workshops to assess contemporary popular media representations of race, identity and desire. His interest in video stems from his research into early video practitioners such as Vito Acconci, William Wegman, Bruce Nauman, Adrian Piper and Martha Rosler, all of whom used the medium to explore the body, space, race and gender as well as the relationship between addresser and addressee. 

He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally. In 2017 he exhibited as part of Untitled: art on the conditions of our time at New Art Exchange in Nottingham, UK and Tous, des sangs-mêlés at MAC VAL, Museum of Contemporary Art in Val de Marne, France. He'll be the 2017 Open House residency artist at Kettle's Yard in Cambridge and a summer artist in residence at Wysing Arts Centre. He lives in Cambridge and works in Leeds and London, UK. 

Elisa has previously worked as a curator and public programmer for Tate, FACT and New Art Gallery Walsall, she has published in a range of journals such as Corridor 8 and organised major conferences such as Repeat Repeat for Chester University 2007. More recently as part of FEAST she has been working with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester and the James Joyce Centre in Dublin on the curation of meals in the exploration of writing, region and identity as accessed through food and dining.

Recently Lisa's research has been based around The Arts and Sport, and has resulted in a number of national and International exhibitions, book chapters and papers. Such collaborative research seeks to challenge discipline boundaries and provides opportunities for joint research funding and projects. 

This recent work investigates the narratives, processes, rituals, performativity and apparatus of sports. The work combines both object based sculpture, photography, drawing and films that research sport by a direct involvement and performance within it.

Amanda is a chartered Architect, and an active member of the RIBA, she is acting Course Director for BA (hons) Interior Architecture and Design. She is also co-founder and co-director of ECAlab. A cross-discipline and cross-university research group, developing teaching led research projects into ceramic day-lighting technologies.  

Working alongside respected ceramicists, musicians and engineers ECAlab have created a number of large-scale working prototypes. They have hosted three international symposia, bringing together the world's leading Architects and Architectural Ceramicists. They have produced a number of critically acclaimed exhibitions at Tate Liverpool, RIBA North and The Building Centre, London and produced a number of research publications, books and presented internationally at conferences. 

She has been a design review panel member for Places Matter since 2009, alongside being a regular panel member, she is a BfHL assessor, has hosted engagement sessions,  chaired a number of high-profile schemes ranging in size and complexity, and providing design and strategic feedback to many Developers and Architects across the North of England.   

Amanda has also carried out a range of consultancy roles for the RIBA since 2008. Summer 2020, she was invited to be the Creative Director for the RIBA's National CPD members programme, writing tender briefs for their live and on demand programme. She has also been an RIBA awards judge on the National and Students Awards and an RIBA Pt III examiner.