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University names winning artists to reflect on Storm Desmond

Carlisle in the aftermath of Storm Desmond Photo: University of Cumbria

Two artists have been chosen to create work for a project looking at the devastation and aftermath of Storm Desmond in Carlisle.

John Dummett from Fife and Laura Harrison from Carlisle will take up the contemporary art residency, Immersion/Emergence.

The University of Cumbria’s Institute of the Arts and Carlisle City Council with support from the Arts Council England launched the scheme in January 2017 and received 28 applications for the posts. Seven artists were selected to develop their proposals further before the final two were selected.

For Laura, the chance to exhibit in Carlisle marks a return to her roots; she’s a former student of the university’s Institute of the Arts where she obtained a BA in fine art before going on ten years later to achieve her MA in contemporary fine art. She has devoted much of her practice to the study of water in relation to the condition of human ‘lostness’.

John studied at the Royal College of Art from which he achieved an MA in 2012. His recent work has focused on live investigation of ‘publics’ and civic space. John creates environments to facilitate a dialogue questioning the relationships between memory, behaviour and site.

The pair will receive a bursary to bring their proposals to fruition and be provided with access to office, studio and exhibition space within the Old Fire Station. Over a four-month period this will be a lab for their research, production and exposition.

In addition, during the residency John and Laura will also have access to specialist resources at the university’s Brampton Road campus and will deliver a lecture and tutorials to students to stimulate and extend discourse across the project.

Each artist will also host a public lecture/discussion event at the Old Fire Station.

The residency will culminate in the exhibition of new work, Immersion/EmergencePhase Two at The Old Fire Station from October to December 2017.

“It was a tough decision to make as all those shortlisted would undoubtedly have brought thought-provoking insights and work to a city in reflection on those testing times.

“The artists we’ve selected will bring very different approaches to the project which in turn will act to promote artistic practice as important and unique in exploring the world around us.”

– Roddy Hunter, Director of the Institute for the Arts