Gillian Brent is a sculptor and installation artist based in Sheffield. She studied at Wimbledon School of Art and St Martin’s School of Art.
Gillian makes works for gallery spaces and for outdoors. She works in response to place, looking at what makes up our environment and how people use and feel about a space.
A large part of Gillian’s practice is collaborative. She works with all sorts of people, in art galleries and with schools, youth and community groups on creative learning projects and commissions to make public artworks for their locality.
Jo Dacombe is a Leicester based artist whose interests include mapping, walking, connections, public space, modes of travel, change and sense of place.
Jo's approach is socially engaged practice in the public realm, using art interventions in public space through a variety of media. Her works, temporary or permanent, aim to explore the notion of what makes a space a place. Jo undertakes commissions as well as generating her own projects.
Jo has been working in formal and informal education since 1994, within schools, communities, museums and galleries. Jo’s approach is experimental and responsive; rather than concentrating on any particular medium, Jo focuses on creative thinking and making as a way to explore the world.
Jo is interested in collaborative working practices. From 2005-2011 Jo ran Thinkspace, a public art project running in parallel with the regeneration of Corby, Northamptonshire, inviting artists to work with her to create work about the experience of change in public space. In 2008 Jo’s work for Thinkspace won an Arts & Business Award. A strand of the project developed the theme Permission to Play, advocating for creativity and the rights of children in public space, resulting in articles, seminars and presentations within disciplines as varied as international town and city planning, childcare and education.
From 2006-2008 Jo was part of CoLab, an artists’ collaborative. Their projects included “The Time Exchange”, commissioned to engage potential new audiences for Nottingham Contemporary through the creation of a stall for buying and selling time; and “Sites of International Insignificance”, a project developed with the Arts Council of Kern County in California to engage residents at the town of Weedpatch.
Jo has been artist in residence at Beanfield Primary School, Corby, since 2007, where she has a studio and a collaborative practice as part of Beanfield Artists.
In addition to being an Associate Artist at Nottingham Contemporary I am a practising fine artist based, since 2004, at Oldknows Studio in Nottingham. I am also half of Nu-Urban Gardeners (with Simon Withers), based at Primary, and a founder member (with Simon Withers and Gareth Jordan) of the live art/performance group Cyril Seaton’s Cycle Roots. I also write and perform music for and with Café Con Brio, Mad Dogs and English and various bands, batterias, ensembles and DJs.
My practice is dialogic, informed and inspired by the diversity of contexts in which I operate and the diversity of people with whom I collaborate. For several years my work explored evolving notions of cultural identity. I did this using assemblage, installation, printmaking, film, projection and live art. More recently, I have explored encounters with landscape/s. This exploration is informed by an interest in psychogeography and includes walking art, documented derives and costumed interventions. I often take students and workshop participants on a derive (or stroll) around the area in which Nottingham Contemporary is located, believing that Hundertwasser was spot-on when he declared:
‘the lines I make with my feet, walking to the gallery, are more important than the lines I find there, hanging on the walls’
I have become something of a flaneur, for whom the journey is more important than the destination.
I love working with the diversity of visitors that Nottingham Contemporary attracts. I see myself as a facilitator rather than a teacher and try to build a community of practice with all of the participants with whom I work. Nottingham Contemporary is a place in which interesting conversations take place and affinities are nurtured. I am delighted when former students and participants continue to meet, work, socialise and invest their energies in this place. For me, that’s what it’s all about.
For me, creativity is a vehicle for helping equip people with the skills, ability and confidence to enable them to work imaginatively and transfer different topics of understanding. I believe that it is important to try and foster creativity through finding ways of broadening the learning experiences of people and strengthen the relationship between children, young people and adult perspectives of contemporary art and learning.
As a practising fine artist based in Nottingham I am always interested in the wonderful journey that creativity can take you on, how visual art can be an information carrier be it in the form of storytelling, visual art or written word.
My work explores the way that maps are created from both the physical world and the soul of a landscape/community. Using the ideas of collecting how we see the environment through memories and stories. How we can mirror our landscape not just by understanding what a road, tree, path looks like but by what happened by the road, tree, path; the trails that are left around us.
I am proud to be an associate artist at Nottingham Contemporary; working within the learning team to devise and deliver a diverse range of exciting and innovative learning programmes for schools, teachers, young people, families and community groups. Creativity works as an interventionist; by weaving the creative process throughout the curriculum we can see new doors opening to people
I work as the lead artist for the ‘Get involved 17’ group, Nottingham Contemporary’s youth programme. This is a peer lead group that deliver art performances and events inspired by the work found within the exhibitions We work towards Bronze, Silver and Gold Art Awards.Nottingham Contemporary is a wonderful place that encourages and helps to develop their creative journey. Embarking on independent learning that pushes them to take risks, problem solve and expand their engagement in the world.