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

How do small creative enterprises use archives for public engagement, creative, commerical and pedagogic impact?

Working closely with Helen Storey Foundation, Dr Robert Knifton (University of Leeds) and Dr Alison Slater (Manchester Metropolitan University) are developing a project that considers models to maximise the impact of archives.

The project has recently received follow-on funding from the Arts and Humanities 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 small to medium sized enterprise (SME) archive holdings for public education, public engagement, dissemination, knowledge exchange and unseen economic applications.

Events for the project 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.

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

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