• Knowsley Flower Show Archive: a Resource and Celebration

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester
      The Knowlsey Flower Show Archive presents personal memories, materials and memorabilia of Knowsley Flower Show, between its inception in 1999 and today. In particular, the Archive focuses on the growers, competitors and visitors to the Marquee, which remains the centre of the event. Knowsley Flower Show averages around 20,000 visitors to its large day event in August every year. It is a free public event held at Court Hey Park, a public park in Knowsley. The event centres on a traditional Marquee with around 90 amateur growers exhibiting and competing for prizes in categories encompassing fruit and vegetables, flowers, produce and crafts. The Archive includes a free online image and text archive, a publication and a touring exhibition.
    • Kurt Schwitters - Responses to Place, Sayle Gallery (Exhibition Review)

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester (Kurt Schwitters Society Newsletter, 2014-02-14)
      Essay/review of the exhibition Responses to Place at the Sayle Gallery, Isle of Man, 27 September - 27 October 2013. The exhibition was curated by Fran Lloyd (Kingston University) and featured a selection of artworks and other artefacts by Kurt Schwitters and other artists who were interned in the Isle of man during World War II.
    • Kurt Schwitters in Isolation - An Aesthetics of Resistance

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester
      Following his escape from Norway and arrival in Britain - via Edinburgh - Kurt Schwitters was interned in the Isle of Man from July 1940 to November 1941. The essay investigates Kurt Schwitters isolation and marginalised position during the internment period and the different modalities of exile which Schwitters trajectory reveals. Upon his arrival in Douglas Schwitters use of the discarded and worthless in his finding, collecting and transformation of materials was already established. In the context of exile this process finds its denouement in a series of collages, assemblages, sculpture and paintings, which form part of an archive of over 200 works made during this time. In these works, the febrile and sensitive nature of their handling and making embodies the conditions of habitation, isolation and exile within which they were crafted. The artworks which Schwitters made embody a very specific material presence in the rarefied use of objects, materials and things, which take on a different significance in this context. Schwitters status as an artist in exile is that of a ‘double-bind’ having fled a home to which he and fellow refugee artists could likely never return. The situation was one defined, confined and reconfigured by circumstances both within and beyond his control in terms of the choice and or availability of materials, which he and fellow artists had access to. These conditions were ultimately defined by the isolation, uncertainty and fear, which the internees endured in their separation from family and friends. At the same time the fabric of the environment and significantly here the lived-in-space, which Schwitters inhabited came to signify the hermetic nature of specific works and performances. The separation from home, family and friends and the depression and anxiety, which Schwitters and other internees suffered was compounded in their not knowing from one week to the next when they might be released. This was exasperated as a result of the restrictions which their correspondence was subject to in its censorship.
    • Learning Jam: an evaluation of the use of Arts Based Initiatives to generate polyphonic understanding in Work Based Learning

      Passila, A.; Owens, Allan; Pulkki, Maiju; Lapeenranta University of Technology; University of Chester; Aalto University (Emerald, 2016-05-09)
      The purpose of this paper is to conceptualise ‘Learning Jam’ as a way of organising space, time and people through arts based pedagogies in work based learning. This form of encounter originated in Finland to challenge functional silo mentality by prioritising polyphony. Through the use of a 'kaleidoscopic pedagogy', Arts-Based Initiatives (ABIs) are used to collectively and subjectively reconsider practice. The research design is grounded in one of a series of Learning Jams co-created by practitioners from the field of arts and arts-based consultancy and academics from the field of arts, arts education, innovation and management, learning and development. The focus was on exploring the value of each participants work based learning practice through the lens of an Arts Value Matrix. Rancière´s critical theory was used to frame the exploration. The research questions asked; what are the ingredients of this creative, transformative learning space and in what ways can the polyphonic understandings that emerge in it impact on Work-Based Learning? Findings of this study centre around alternative ways of being in a learning setting where we do not defer to the conventional figures of authority, but collectively explore ways of organising, where the main idea is to lean on something-which-is-not-yet. A key research implication is that teaching in this context demands reflexive and dialogical capabilities for those who hold the role of organizing and facilitating spaces for learning and transformation. The main limitation is in stopping short of fully articulating detailed aspects of these capabilities. The originality and value of the practice of Learning Jam is that managers and artists explore the potential of operating as partners to develop new ways of working to realise organisational change and innovation.
    • Leaving the Building: Elvis, Celebrity and the Limits of Psychological Autopsy

      Duffett, Mark; Hearsum, Paula; University of Chester; University of Brighton (l’Association Française d’Études Américaines, 2018-10-01)
      This article probes the limits of one particular mode of biographic investigation—psychological autopsy—and considers its relationship to the way in which fans have sought to understand their hero. Using Elvis as a case study, we aim to prompt wider discussion about the efficacy of psychological autopsy as a means of understanding popular individuals. If psychological autopsy is so compromised, why does it remain popular? Our discussion develops in two parts. The first examines how psychological autopsy departs from objectivity and is problematic as theory. The second asks why fans are still interested in discussing why Elvis died, even though psychological autopsy necessarily lacks methodological rigour.
    • Leicester City lift the title: A triumph to touch the hearts of all sports fans

      Hassall, Paul; University of Chester (Eurosport UK, 2016-05-07)
      A focus on the afternoon Leicester City FC made a fairytale dream a reality and sealed one of the most famous sporting surprises of all-time.
    • Let’s Do the Time Warp Again: Performing Time, Genre, and Spectatorship

      Ellis, Sarah T.; University of Chester (Routledge, 2019-07-01)
      "Let's Do the Time Warp Again: Performing Time, Genre, and Spectatorship" identifies an affective link across nonrealist, time-warping genres of science fiction / fantasy and musical theater, as well as their dedicated and overlapping fan cultures; by considering reality to be historical and contingent, these anti-quotidian genres explore the limits of what is objectively present, and physicalize a temporally divergent world in the here and now.
    • Literary and Historic Flâneuses: Observation, Commentary, Enterprise and Courage in Late-Nineteenth-Century Women’s Professional Lives

      Grennan, Simon; Hall, Leo (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019-02-09)
      Abstract Discussions of the conception of that exemplar of late-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth century urban modernity, the flâneur, have focused on both critique of the figure’s masculinity and more radical and nuanced conceptions of women’s flânerie. This article considers both the re-gendering and ungendering of flânerie in the character of three flâneuses in fiction published in the 1870s, 1880s and 1910s: Madame Sidonie, Henrietta Stackpole, and Elsie Bengough, and related dissonances and synergies in the career and work of London actress and cartoonist Marie Duval, active 1869–1885. It will argue that changes in types of reading supervened upon the boom in the production and distribution of serial publications during this period, resulting in the embodiment of new female professional identities, relative to both changing experiences of urban life and changing experiences of reading. The article makes a distinction between new ideas of these types of urban professional woman and the development of the identity of the New Woman after 1894. It examines the historic comprehensibility of the fictional flâneuses to readers of Zola, James, and Onions, according to the new opportunities and prohibitions that constituted the lived experiences of the developing urban entertainments industry of the period, in Duval’s comic strips and vignettes in the weekly London magazine Judy, or The London Serio-Comic Journal.
    • Long Grove Asylum Medical Journal

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester
      The piece documents the disposal of a large scale Edwardian asylum complex that closed in 1992. I documented the aftermath of the site from 1993-98, before private development into an executive housing estate. Unbeknownst to me and at the same time, county archivist Julian Pooley was rescuing abandoned documents, medical journals, ephemera and artefacts from the same location. These would later be housed in the Surrey History Centre in Working. The work is a coming together of these two collections with new documentary photographs of the estate as it is today. The work takes the form of a dossier, styled as a large medical journal and contains multiple elements which can be viewed in any order. Alongside photographs taken in situ are photographs of the artefacts held in the archives, creating an unusual mixture of primary and secondary documentation. Within the dossier are details from large hand-written registers left abandoned at the site, chronicling the patient journey from admission onwards. In addition to these formal records, the dossier also includes ephemera relating to the hospital's social programme, a portfolio of curiously redacted press photographs, team photographs of the medical staff, maps and patients personal effects all of which were left abandoned.
    • Malcolm Lowry - Detours and Dislocations - Douglas and Dollarton: Proposals for Artworks

      Quayle, Cian; University of Chester (Liverpool John Moores University & the Bluecoat, Liverpool, 2017-07-28)
      As a set of 'Proposals for Artworks' and associated writing this project builds on previous research, which retraces the footsteps of Wirral-born author of Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry. The work emerges from photography and moving image made on location in Vancouver in June 2017. A paper entitled ‘Malcolm Lowry – Detours and Dislocations – Douglas and Dollarton’ was presented at the LJMU conference: Under the Volcano – 70 Years On: An International Malcolm Lowry Conference. A 1/50 scale model of Malcolm Lowry’s 1944 shack at Dollarton, and a carousel, slide-projected, artwork of 80, 35 mm slides (Cates Park and Maplewood Mudflats) was exhibited at the Bluecoat, Liverpool as part of the conference proceedings, July 28 - 29, 2017.
    • Marie Duval

      Grennan, Simon; Sabin; Waite, Julian; University of Chester, Central Saint Martins (Myriad Editions, 2018-03-22)
      General audience book presenting and analysing the work of Victorian cartoonist and actress Marie Duval.
    • Marie Duval and the Technologies of Periodical Publishing

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester
      The chapter will focus on three areas of activity constituting commercial illustration: training, degrees of labour organisation and types of employment and remuneration. It will construct a description of Duval’s career in commercial illustration according to relationships made between the known corpus of her published work, over a fifteen year period, and the technical processes, personnel and locations of the print technologies utilised by her publisher (Wright 1995). Duval appears to have lacked training in two key areas of her profession: studio – that is, academic – training as a draughtswoman and training as an engraver. The chapter will examine how training, and the lack of it, constituted types of access and prohibition of access to key personnel and locations, as well as to conventions of topic and approach, and levels of remuneration (Huneault 2002). It will argue that these types of facility and prohibition were explicitly gendered whilst also being established trade orthodoxies, in which proof of agreed types of technical competency was key to accessing employment. (Flood 2013). The chapter will consider contemporaneous concepts of women’s work in the media in the last half of the century (in Craik 1857, Starr 1899 and in the Alexandra Magazine 1864, for example), proposing that distinctions can be made on the basis of social class as well as gender, between women who joined or enjoined established trades, such as wood engraving, and women generating new types of work, alongside men, in media professions with emerging or changing identities, such as photography and journalism (Colligan and Linley (2011).
    • Marie Duval: Laughter in the First Age of Leisure.

      Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; Waite, Julian; University of Chester; Central Saint Martins (Illustrative Festival Berlin, 2016-10-15)
      A public exhibition of the work of 19th-century cartoonist and actress Marie Duval.
    • Marie Duval: Laughter in the First Age of Leisure.

      Grennan, Simon; Sabin, Roger; Waite, Julian; University of Chester, Central Saint Martins (Guildhall Library London, 2017-11-17)
      A public exhibition of the work of 19th-century cartoonist and actress Marie Duval.
    • Marie Duval: Victorian Cartoonist

      Grennan, Simon; University of Chester (Myriad Editions, 2018-03-29)
      Book chapter.
    • ‘Mass May Be the Single Most Important Sensation’: Perceptual Philosophies in Dance Improvisation

      Sarco-Thomas, Malaika; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2019-04-02)
      This essay investigates how sensory perception can be cultivated as a key practice in dance improvisation performance. It looks at how artists such as Steve Paxton, Deborah Hay, and Simone Forti propose frameworks for exercising attention to perception when improvising, and how these scores can be routes towards experiencing different ways of relating to one’s environment. The essay draws on Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s contribution to theorizing sensory perception in bodily movement and in strands of ecological philosophy, developing the idea of ‘intelligent flesh’ as fundamental to both. It then uses the author’s experiences of working with these artists’ scores to investigate how perceptual attention can be creatively proposed, physicalized, performed, or, in Alva Noë’s term, ‘enacted’ in improvisation.
    • The Materiality of Conflict in Contact: Improvisational Explorations in 'Pitch'

      Sarco-Thomas, Malaika; University of Chester (Dance Studies Association, 2018-12)
      This presentation investigates the 2017 site-based dance film project Pitch, featuring choreography by Charlie Morrissey, as an investigation into the materiality of conflict within contact improvisation practices. New materialist philosophies invite reconsideration of matter as animate in ways which dance improvisers might be said to already perceive the body. Deborah Hay’s knowledgeable cells, and Steve Paxton’s animal body can arguably be read in light of Karen Barad’s notion of posthumanist ‘iterative intra-activity’ in which the consideration of the differentiated mass of thebody as nonhuman becomes another kind of choreographic agent within the performance.Working processes within the project, which included focusing on the tactility of conflict as friction and the consideration of resistance itself as a material, placed emphasis on the dancers’ material experience of the body as a key performative strategy. In this sense, matter became figured, in the words of Barad, not ‘as a mere effect or product of discursive practices, but rather as an agentive factor in its iterative materialization’ (2012: 32) in which the identity of the dancers became ‘radically reworked’. From an analysis of the choreographic process and film product, this presentation will investigate how contact improvisation practices which focus on the tactile experience of matter can be said to be examples of iterative intra-activity on multiple perceptual levels. Tactile confrontation of ‘the other’ and his/her struggle toward aliveness in movement, and confrontation of the porous materiality of the human bodybecome hallmarks of the film.
    • Meaningful play: applying game and play design practices to promote agency in participatory performance

      Harper, Jamie; Newcastle University (Taylor & Francis, 2019-06-24)
      As interactive and immersive forms of performance have proliferated, performance scholars have devoted increasing attention to gaming practices in order to describe the types of agency that these forms offer to their participants. This article seeks to problematise links that have been drawn between interactive performance and games, however, arguing that discussions of gaming in relation to performance are often limited to a textual paradigm which conceives game play as the exploratory uncovering of performance texts rather than the generative creation of emergent play narratives. This argument will be advanced by making three propositions: firstly, that performance practitioners and scholars who wish to draw upon games in their work should move beyond a textual paradigm to develop an understanding of how games can be understood as systems. Secondly, the article will propose that if the enhancement of participatory agency is desired, participatory performance designs might usefully respond to the cultural particularity of those involved. Thirdly, the article will argue that although system-based design can imply connotations of top down control, participatory performance design can be reconceived as a ‘curatorial’ practice that creates contexts for play that is co-created by participants, affirming their agency in shaping the emergent content of the work.
    • Medium (un)specificity as material agency – the productive indeterminacy of matter/material

      Bristow, Maxine; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-03-22)
      In this article, I consider some of the debates brought to the fore by the proliferation of recent textile focused exhibitions; namely the tension between a continued allegiance to medium specific conventions and the richness, hybridity and heterogeneity afforded by the post-medium condition of contemporary art. Through a new body of sculptural and installational practice I propose a constellatory opening up of textile in which the medium specific can be (re)mapped in a fluid and fragmentary way. Drawing particular reference from Adorno’s conception of the constellation and mimetic comportment, this model of practice involves a mode of behaviour that actively opens up to alterity and returns authority to the affective indeterminacy of the sensuously bound experiential encounter. This is manifest through a range of practice strategies - “thingness”, “staged (dis)contiguity”, and the play between “sensuous immediacy and corporeal containment” - which mobilise a precarious relationship between processes of attachment and detachment. Acknowledging the critical currency afforded to textile through feminist and poststructuralist critique, the work moves away from “a rhetoric of negative opposition” and predetermined discursive frameworks, returning authority to the aesthetic impulse, privileging the ambiguous resonances of an abstract sculptural language over more overt strategies of representation.
    • Medium, Knowledge, Structure: capacities for choice and the contradiction of medium-specificity in games and comics.

      Grennan, Simon; Hague, Ian; University of Chester, London College of Printing (ACME Group, University of Liege, 2016-06-01)
      A conference paper presented at ACME Research Group Conference, University of Liege.