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, public space, sense of place, layers of history and the power of objects. Developing from her original practice as a painter, Jo now creates work, installations and interventions through a variety of media. 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 has worked on a number of socially engaged projects in the public realm, using art interventions in public space and different landscapes. Her works, temporary or permanent, aim to explore the notion of what makes a space a place. She often works collaboratively with other artists and curators, creating public realm projects to explore the idea of curated walks, connecting with place through imagination, enchantment and sensory experiences, creating installations and events in landscapes.
Since 2014 Jo has been Artist in Residence in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester. From 2014-16 her project explored the idea of relics: objects that can transform from rubbish (no value) to relic (high value). The project was inspired by archaeological animal bones in the collection at the University's Bone Lab. She is currently expanding this work to respond to landscape.
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.