Over the last academic year, it has been a great pleasure of mine to have been able to work closely with our first SMQB Artists in Residence cohort. Those artists, Vicky Roden, Mellissa Fisher, Pietro Bardini and Carol Breen, all remain very much part of SMQB’s extended family and we have been really pleased to see some of the fantastic achievements that have been realised since their residency ended.
From a successful Arts Councils bid for Mellissa to further develop her creative practice (building on the work she initiated whilst at SMQB), to Vicky’s partnership work with The Thyroid Trust (leading on creative workshops for thyroid patient and public groups), and more beyond this. Our artists’ achievements over the past year are all the more incredible when you consider the tremendous challenges they have all faced in collaborating almost entirely through Zoom and in creating artwork in the midst of a global pandemic.
Throughout it all they remained positive and focused. With no suitable arts spaces open to physically exhibit their work late last year, we had to adapt as a team and so we moved things online, collaborating on a virtual exhibition and public webinar. We continue to wish our previous artists well, knowing we will be keeping in touch and crossing paths again soon.
But now… we are absolutely thrilled to welcome four NEW artists into SMQB’s Artist in Residency programme for 2021-22.
Firstly, I just want to say how delighted we were with the number and high quality of applications we received in this round, which made our shortlisting and final decisions very challenging indeed. A big thank you to Vicky Roden for supporting us with this process.
However, we were particularly drawn to and impressed by the work, ethos and ideas of the four artists we ultimately selected. It’s my great pleasure to introduce them and to invite you to read more about them below. We welcome:
- Agi Haines
- Charlotte Dunn
- Karina Thompson
- Lucy Hutchinson
Each of these artists has unique qualities, skills and backgrounds, and we are so excited to see what this year’s collaborations will bring! Do check back every few weeks, as we will be updating this webpage with artist updates. We will also be planning more public engagement activities in future – giving you a chance to meet our artists and their teams. I hope you’ll join us then!
Artists in Residence Programme Manager
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Agi Haines is an internationally exhibiting practitioner, researcher and lecturer whose research looks at the propensity for design to reevaluate the nature of the material of the body in the face of nascent biomedical and healthcare technologies. Her inspiration comes from the weird and wonderful things that exist inside us. Questioning how our morbid curiosity for the viscera of life might affect the future of design, not only for the environment but also for us as sentient sacks of flesh within it?
She specialises in creating physical works using a mixture of traditional sculptural techniques and novel technologies. She successfully defended her PhD from Plymouth University with CogNovo (Marie Curie ITN) and Transtechnology Research after graduating from a masters in Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art. She has taught as Assistant Professor of Industrial Design at Rhode Island School of Design and Course leader of Object Mediated Interactions on Product Design at Royal College of Art as well as being Visiting Practitioner on the Material Futures course at Central Saint Martins. She exhibits and lectures on design futures and scientific imaginaries. Some significant exhibitions include Stedelijk Amsterdam, Art Science Museum Singapore, MOCA Shanghai, and MOD Australia.
Agi will be working with collaborators Robert Neely, Anthony Samuel and SMQB Fellow Paul Roberts on a research project aimed at deciphering the 3D structure of the epigenome for improved cancer diagnostics.
In Charlotte’s practice she aims to question and transform traditions that form the way we analyse and comprehend our environment. She looks at manipulating scientific and natural history artefacts and locations, transforming their context through methods of presentation.
The power that tools of presentation have to alter the context of a subject inspires her to transform objects, so that they have the effect of deceiving the viewer, looking at individual perception and what knowledge we gather from informative presentation.
Drawing is an essential medium within her practice, often mixed with the use of light and the use of transparent surfaces. Methods of scientific illustration create a foundation for her to distort, commenting upon their purpose to educate an audience. The illustrative quality that underlies her work, takes references from formal methods used within scientific illustration, adopting highly accurate techniques of drawing. Meticulously intricate studies have always been her focus and she is constantly intrigued by microscopic studies, as well as the ‘patterns’ created by medical imagery and the meanings these can have to the patient.
Charlotte will collaborate with Nicholas McCarthy, Kamila Silverio Fernandez and SMQB Fellow Meurig Gallagher on a research project which looks at the automation and statistical refinement of an unsupervised analysis pipeline for measurable residual disease (MRD) testing in acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Karina Thompson has over 30 years’ experience creating and exhibiting her large scale textile based artworks made from digital embroidery and print. She has a particular interest in how we use data to observe and understand the world around us. Her frequent collaborations with historians, researchers and clinicians have led to work inspired by the heart, blood disorders, IVF, Hansen’s disease, depression and historical medical and engineering archives.
She has work in major public and private collections and has made site specific work for several hospitals. In 2019 she was commended in the Fine Art Textiles Award.
Karina joins collaborators Andrew Bagshaw, Caroline Richards, Samuel Johnson and SMQB Fellow Leandro Junges for a research project focused on disentangling the impact of epilepsy and co-occurring neurodevelopmental disorders on brain networks. Karina brings with her personal experience of epilepsy via a relative with the condition.
Lucy is an artist based between London and Lancashire. Her research-based practice works at the cross-section of art, science and technology to explore how visual practices and storytelling are used to shape the world. The outcomes of her work often take the form of prints, publications, installation, moving image and data generated objects and are often made in collaboration with academia and members of the public. Through blending fact and fiction she attempts to connect seemingly disparate sources, creating elaborate and subversive visual narratives which highlight and speculate on the complex realities of contemporary existence.
In 2019 she graduated with an MA in Fine Art Print from The Royal College of Art. To date, she has undertaken a number of art-science collaborations working with researchers, patients, and healthcare professionals at UCL, The University of Warwick, Kings College London and Coventry City of Culture. The outcomes of her work have been exhibited at a number of institutions around the UK; including The Royal Academy, London College of Fashion, South London Gallery, London Design Festival, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and The Library of Birmingham; and are held in permanent collections at The Arts Council Collection, V&A Museum and The Royal College of Art.
Lucy Hutchinson will be collaborating with Niki Karavitaki, Gabriela da Silva Xavier and SMQB Fellow Alexander Zhigalov on research into precision medicine in acromegaly using with metabolome analysis in blood samples.