Dr Saskia Warren is a Cultural Geographer currently working on a large three year AHRC-funded project entitled Cultural Intermediation and the Creative Urban Economy. The research investigates governance, community engagement and practice-based interventions in the creative economy, with a focus on Birmingham and Manchester. It is a multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral project that draws together the expertise of academics, policy-makers, cultural organisations, artists and community participants.
Ph.D. Cultural Geography, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield
MA Art Gallery and Museum Studies, School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds
MA, English Literature and Language, University of Oxford
Dr Saskia Warren is a Cultural Geographer, who works on the intersections of social science and the arts. She has a particular interest in cultural production and consumption, with a specialism in contemporary art practices. Her Masters dissertation utilised qualitative methods to analyse the English for Speakers of Other Languages programme at the British Museum (AHRC award). In 2012, she completed a Doctorate in the Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, entitled Audiencing Artscapes: encounters between art and audience at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (AHRC award). From 2011-12 she worked as a research assistant on an exhibition and exhibition catalogue at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA), Kingston University, London.
Saskia has extensive professional experience within the arts and museum sector as a researcher, curator and consultant, including projects for Henry Moore Institute, Heritage Lottery Fund, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Collection’s Trust. She has worked as a consultant on a research project and report for Bradford College on democracy and representation within their Student Union. During her time at the University of Oxford, she worked on the committee of Oxford Access Scheme and directed St. Peter's College Arts Week. Prior to undertaking her Masters, she worked in central government as a policy-maker and has since acted as a delegate on regional and local cultural steering groups.
Dr Saskia Warren has taught Undergraduate courses on Qualitative Methods and Urban Regeneration and has accompanied Masters-level Social and Cultural Geography fieldtrips within the UK. She leads the Human Geography teaching and assessment of the A2B outreach scheme (2013; 2014). In 2013-14, she is lecturing on Level 1 and 2 Contemporary Human Geography courses.
Birmingham Surrealist Laboratory
I am leading a project (together with Stephen Forcer, Department of Modern Languages, University of Birmingham) funded by the Communities and Culture Network+ (EPSRC). The seed research project is the first stage in a feasibility study that investigates the ways in which new digital facilities can help unlock complex issues of cultural heritage and cultural sensitivity in a diverse city. It will use multi-touch digital facilities at the Digital Humanities Hub, University of Birmingham, to test the ways in which Surrealism translates to multi-cultural community groups recruited from Balsall Heath, the locale of the Birmingham Surrealist Group (1930-1950s) and proposed site of a dedicated surrealist heritage museum.
Cultural Intermediation and the creative economy
I am currently working with Dr Phil Jones, Dr Beth Perry and Dr Paul Long, alongside a wider team, investigating processes of cultural intermediation in the creative urban economy. Funded under the AHRC Connected Communities initiative, the research is a joint project between the University of Birmingham, University of Salford, Birmingham City University, Liverpool John Moores University, City University and the University of Bristol.
Audiencing artscapes: encounters between art and audience at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
My doctoral research tailored a combination of qualitative methods – archival, visual and ethnographic - to different typologies of audiences (workers, local residents, visitors, volunteers), in an exploration of the meaning and value of art in different people’s lives. The notion of ‘audiencing’ (Fiske 1993) is appropriated to an arts context, whereby audiencing informs cultural production and consumption, and the development of art, landscape and a cultural institution. Particular contributions are made to the understanding of: the public, public art, and public space; eighteenth-century - contemporary landscape practice; consumption and audiencing.
(2013) In conversation with artist Simon Pope, Vivid Projects, Birmingham.
(2012) Consultant on representation and democracy report, Bradford College Student Union/National Union of Students, BD7 1AY (Awarded Further Education Student Union of The Year 2013) www.nusawards.org.uk
"In February 2012 Bradford College SU embarked upon a research project to underpin our first strategic plan. Our goal was to break the cycle of decline at the Union and build a sustainable organisation delivering for its members. We engaged two PhD students from Sheffield University to carry out our research and produce the report."
(2012) Research Associate and assistant curator, Art, Performance & Activism in Contemporary Japan
Pumphouse, Battersea, London, 19 Jan – 26 Feb 2012.
(2012) Research Associate and assistant curator, Ernst Eisenmayer: Art Beyond Exile
Austrian Cultural Forum, London, 2 Feb – 23 March 2012; Sayle Gallery, Douglas, Isle of Man, 6 April – 10 May 2012
(2012) Invited referee, Professor Ian Hay (April 2013) Geographies of the Super-Rich, London, Elgar.
(2010) Curator of exhibition, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Living Heritage of Bretton Estate, West Bretton, Wakefield, WF4 4LG
(2009) British Library Certificated for Oral History
(2008) Consultant on ESOL Programme/The British Museum
Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
(2008) Exhibition Assistant Stanley Picker Gallery
‘International Orange: Ben Kelly in Collaboration, with Graphic Thought Facility,
Michael Marriott, Morph, Peter Saville & DJ Simpson.’
Kingston University, Knights Park, Grange Road, KT1 2QJ
(2007-2008) Curator of exhibition, Henry Moore Institute
Against Nature: The hybrid forms of modern sculpture’ sister show.
The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AH
(2006) Publication Assistant, Public Art Agency
Warren, S. 'Balsall Heath Biennale and Cultural Intermediation', in Balsall Heath Biennale 2013 (Forthcoming February 2014). Online first: http://www.balsallheathbiennale.com/saskia_warren
Pope, S. and S. Warren 'Forwards Back Together: Performing public art-geography' (In process)
Warren, S., ‘I want this place to thrive’: Volunteering, co-production, and creative labour’ (In process)
Warren, S. and Jones, P., 'Local governance, disadvantaged communities and cultural intermediation in the creative urban economy' (In process)
Warren, S., ‘The new town square, the new public sphere: subaltern alternatives to neoliberalising cyberspace in India' (In process)
Warren, S., ‘Audiencing James Turrell’s Deershelter Skyspace: Encounters between art and audience at Yorkshire Sculpture Park’, Cultural Geographies, onlinefirst, September 25 2012, doi:10.1177/1474474012458397.
Warren, S., (April 2012), ‘Phantasmagorical monsters in nature: Joan Miró at Yorkshire Sculpture Park’, Cassone [online].
Warren, S., (December 2008) ‘An Evaluation and Reimagining of the British Museum English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programme’, Museums Education Monitor.
Riley, B. (2007) Society (London: Steidl)