How can the arts and design mitigate against the increasing erosion of public voice in civic space? This latest phase of the ‘On the Edge’ programme focuses on this question, which has arisen from the experiences of the artist-researchers throughout the earlier phases of the project. We have experienced something of a juxtaposition of perspectives on the arts in public life; in some areas of experience, there is a palpable erosion of ‘voice’ in civic life that extends beyond the arts, but in others there is an opening up of opportunity for the arts as a sphere of action and influence. A key focus has been the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project ‘Cultural Leadership and the Place of the Artist’, which has built on two earlier strands: the ‘Artist as Leader’ project from phase two and Jonathan Price’s PhD (‘Discourse of Cultural Leadership’) from phase three. This, the fourth phase of the programme, has enabled the ‘On the Edge’ team to expand their network of partners, including the European Network of Cultural Management and Policy, the Clore Leadership Programme, Creative Scotland, Bozar, the Wellcome Trust and Woodend Barn. We have held four seminars, which explored leadership within a three-part chronological framework: the first part being 2006-2008, the second being 2009-2014 and the third being 2015 onwards. Conclusions from the seminars suggested that the first period was well-resourced in terms of the arts and culture. Meanwhile, the second period was felt to relate to a marked reduction of public funding and the emergence of a discourse of resilience. Finally, in the third period, we are experiencing an erosion of public voice, and the marginalisation of the arts in public- and academic life. This research draws together a number of concepts that characterise public life as plural, unpredictable and boundless (Arendt 1958 in Price 2016). The insights gained from this research reveal an important characterisation of the place of the arts in cultural life: the imagination and skills of artists can open up new horizons that show that whatever is, may be different.

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  • Practice-led research and improvisation in post modern culture. 

    Douglas, Anne (http://www.orpheusinstituut.be/en/education/docartes, 2016-02-26)
    DOUGLAS, A. 2016. Practice-led research and improvisation in post modern culture. Presented as part of the docARTES: crossing borders programme, 26 February 2016, Ghent, Belguim.
    docARTES is an international inter-university doctoral programme for practice-based research in musical arts, designed for musician-researchers. This was an invited lecture for the Crossing borders programme.
  • What poetry does best: the Harrisons' poetics of being and acting in the world. 

    Douglas, Anne; Fremantle, Chris (Prestel, 2016-10-25)
    DOUGLAS, A. and FREMANTLE, C. 2016. What poetry does best: the Harrisons' poetics of being and acting in the world. In Harrison, H.M. and Harrison, N. (eds.) The time of the force majeure: after 45 years counterforce is on the horizon. Grantham: Prestel.
    "Simply paying attention guarantees the transformation from a nature supposedly asleep to the work that displays nature’s strange vitality. Art is what attention makes with nature." This observation by Michel De Certeau, ...
  • "Context is half the work": developing doctoral research through arts practice in culture. 

    Douglas, Anne (Routledge https://www.routledge.com/The-Everyday-Practice-of-Public-Art-Art-Space-and-Social-Inclusion/Cartiere-Zebracki/p/book/9781138829213, 2015-11-19)
    DOUGLAS, A. 2016. "Context is half the work": developing doctoral research through arts practice in culture. In Cartiere, C. and Zebracki, M. (eds.) The everyday practice of public art: art, space and social inclusion. Abingdon: Routledge, chapter 8.
    In 2001-4, a small research team of post doctoral and doctoral artist researchers, working with five cultural partners drew together two apparently incommensurable issues: remote rural culture and contemporary art. The ...
  • Leading cultures of transition through arts practice. 

    Douglas, Anne (University of Valencia, 2016-11-30)
    DOUGLAS, A. 2016. Leading cultures of transition through arts practice. Keynote presented at the Art and ecology seminar, 28-30 November 2016, Valencia, Spain.
    In this third keynote I want to rise a little to the surface while rising to the challenge that both speakers have offered the arts. All three presentations share in common the importance of the stories we tell ourselves. ...
  • What is it possible to know? 

    Douglas, Anne (NAFAE http://www.nafae.org.uk/events/research-practice-practice-research, 2016-07-15)
    DOUGLAS, A. 2016. What is it possible to know? Presented at the Research practice practice research symposium; fine art research network, 15 July 2016, Lancaster, UK. Lancaster: NAFAE [online]. Available from: http://www.nafae.org.uk/sites/default/files/papers/research_practice_keynote_anne_douglas.pdf
    In his 1978 movie Manhattan, Woody Allen’s character, lying on a coach in his apartment after a break up of a relationship, records his thoughts on life: “An idea for a short story about people in Manhattan who are ...
  • Making maps and exploring territory. 

    Douglas, Anne; Hope, Mark (Woodend Barn Publishing, 2015-08-22)
    DOUGLAS, A. and HOPE, M. 2016. Making maps and exploring territory. In Newling, J. The last islands. Banchory: Woodend Barn Publishing, pages 55-59.
    This essay co-authored with Mark Hope, co-founder of the Barn, Banchory, forms a chapter in the book, The last islands published on the occasion on the opening of The Map Room of the Last Islands, new work by John Newling ...
  • Walking in unquiet landscapes: layers of human settlements in the hills of Aberdeenshire. 

    Douglas, Anne; Fremantle, Chris (Tate Publishing, 2016-01-04)
    DOUGLAS, A. and FREMANTLE, C. 2016. Walking in unquiet landscapes: layers of human settlements in the hills of Aberdeenshire. Tate etc., Issue 36, pages 94-95.
    Other traditions run through depictions of the British landscape, below and beyond romantic idealisations. Here, Anne Douglas and Chris Fremantle trace the layers of human settlements in the hills of Aberdeenshire.
  • Inconsistency and contradiction: lessons in improvisation in the work of Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison. 

    Fremantle, Chris; Douglas, Anne (Gaia Project Press, 2016-01-01)
    DOUGLAS, A. and FREMANTLE, C. 2016. Inconsistency and contradiction: lessons in improvisation in the work of Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison. In Brady, J. (ed.) Elemental: an arts and ecology reader. Manchester: Gaia Project Press.
    The aim of this essay is to draw out the learning from the authors' analysis of the practice of Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison, collectively known as 'the Harrisons'. The Harrisons are widely acknowledged as ...
  • Values and assumptions in the concept of cultural leadership. 

    Price, Jonathan; Harris, Paul; Douglas, Anne (IAFOR (The International Academic Forum) http://www.iafor.org/archives/offprints/ecah2013-offprints/ECAH2013_0490.pdf, 2013-07)
    PRICE, J., HARRIS, P. and DOUGLAS, A. 2013. Values and assumptions in the concept of cultural leadership. In Proceedings of the 1st European confernce on arts and humanities 2013 [ECAH 2013]: connectedness, identity and alienation, 18-21 July 2013, Brighton, UK. Nagoya, Japan: International Academic Forum [online], pages 398-412. Available from: http://www.iafor.org/archives/offprints/ecah2013-offprints/ECAH2013_0490.pdf
    Cultural leadership is still a young concept in cultural policy and academic study. Emerging as a sectoral concern in the UK around 2002, its early development as both practice and discourse took place during a time of ...

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