Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

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Life on the Outskirts: Making Sense of a Creative Life

February 21st, 2017

Life on the Outskirts Helen Storey FoundationKingston University Photography Ezzidin Alwan

A new University Academic Fellow in the School, Dr Robert Knifton, is working on a project which has recently received funding to build on key research into the use of small creative archives.

How do small creative enterprises use archives for public engagement, creative, commerical and pedagogic impact? Working closely with Helen Storey Foundation, Dr Robert Knifton (School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds) and Dr Alison Slater (Manchester Metropolitan University) are developing a project that considers models to maximise the impact of archives.

Life on the Outskirts: Making Sense of a Creative Life has received follow-on funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to build on key research into the use of small creative archives initially conducted through Creativeworks London. The initial research focused on the fascinating collections of Helen Storey Foundation, encompassing her work in fashion, science, art and major public exhibitions. The follow-on project will use this experience in order to test the feasibility of mobilising creative SME archive holdings for public education, public engagement, dissemination, knowledge exchange and unseen economic applications.

This stage of the project will run for 18 months from February 2017. Events will take place in Leeds, Manchester and London and will feature student archives workshops, knowledge exchange events between small creative archives and mentoring for recent graduates on making the most of their own archival collections.

In addition to workshops, outputs from the project will include a networking symposium on archiving in the creative sector, an exhibition, and a feasibility study into the future commercial potential of these collections.

Dr Robert Knifton recently joined the School of Fine Art History of Art and Cultural Studies as a University Academic Fellow in Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage. Knifton said of this new project:

“I am thrilled to be continuing my work with Helen Storey Foundation here at Leeds. Creative archives are such an under-valued resource, and we look forward to exploring their many applications over the course of this project.”

Robert is also working to establish new research projects focused on creative residencies and fellowships within the museum and gallery sector, in addition to the use of sound within museum exhibitions and collections.

For more information about Life on the Outskirts: Making Sense of a Creative Life contact the Principal Investigator, Dr Robert Knifton.

Image: Helen Storey and Tony Ryan, ‘Herself’ dress from Catalytic Clothing. Credit: Life on the Outskirts. Helen Storey Foundation/Kingston University. Photography: Ezzidin Alwan.


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