New Exhibition Showcases the Power of Cross-Disciplinary Creative Collaborations at the Penryn Campus 

learn from a bird is a rare opportunity to discover more about the unique creative collaborations taking place between artists, researchers, students, and staff, from the University of Exeter and Falmouth University at the Penryn Campus.

Taking place between 9th – 27th July, learn from a bird is a rare opportunity to discover more about the unique creative collaborations taking place between artists, researchers, students, and staff, from the University of Exeter and Falmouth University at the Penryn Campus.  

Featuring an engaging mix of photography, video, audio, textiles, sculpture, and visual art, each week Grays Wharf Gallery in Penryn will showcase a new collaboration. The first week of the exhibition are dedicated to the FX Creative Exchange, an exciting transdisciplinary programme supporting collaborations between early-career/emerging researchers across the University of Exeter and Falmouth University.  

From 9th– 13th July, you will be able to see a captivating series of photographs from the 2023 FX Creative Exchange ‘Mapping Emergence’ which brought together Dr Thomas O’Shea Wheller from the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute, and Dr Catarina Fontoura from the Falmouth University’s Institute of Photography. The project combines artistic and scientific approaches to create collaborative artworks with a diverse array of ant species across Cornwall, using non-toxic inks to visually represent behavioural traces produced by colonies. Between 4pm – 6pm on the 11th July you will be able to join Thomas and Catarina for a special discussion exploring the benefit of such work from a scientific and creative perspective. 

During week two, Grays Wharf will play host to Movement is Natural, an exhibition of work by artist Iman Datoo which will incorporate video-work, sculpture, maps, and audio, to challenge misconceptions about soil health in Cornwall’s mining tips and pits. Work exhibited includes commissions from the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute and Radical Ecology, in addition to those stemming from the research residency titled Making Kin with Soil, undertaken in collaboration with the Eden Project and University of Exeter, Cornwall. On Tuesday 16th July, you can join Iman for drinks and an artist talk at Grays Wharf between 4pm – 6pm.  

Rounding off the three-week exhibition, the Arts and Culture team will be showcasing creative outputs from one of their newest programmes ‘FX Creative Together’. Over the last two years the team have supported six collaborations between Exeter and Falmouth University students in partnership with Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS Cornwall) , The Centre for Ecology and Conservation (CEC),and theDepartment of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DEES) University of Exeter, Cornwall.  

Capitalising on the rich inter-disciplinary environment of the Penryn campus, this year’s theme is Living Systems. The exhibition will showcase creative outputs generated as a result of collaborations between a Human Sciences student and a Drawing student, a Marine Biologist and a Journalism and Creative Writing student, a Zoologist is collaborating with a sound specialist from BA Film and a Business and Environment student is working with a Dancer and Choreographer.

Also on display will be the products of last year’s collaborations between a Politics and International Relations student and a Music Technologist, together with a Fashion student and a History and Politics student. On Tuesday 23rd July between 4pm – 8pm there will be a performance in addition to artist talks, drinks and more surprises to be announced.  

Throughout the three week exhibition, you will also be able to see work related to Tender Acts, a year-long project, commissioned by Arts and Culture, University of Exeter, designed to invite curious acts and to connect people who study or work on Penryn Campus. The title of the month show is taken from one of their artworks.  

learn from a bird has been curated by the University of Exeter’s, Arts and Culture team in Cornwall in partnership with the Environment and Sustainability Institute and Falmouth University

Dr Lucy Frears, Arts and Culture, Programme Manager at the University of Exeter, Cornwall said: “Collaboration is hard, many of us find it hard to compromise, but these exhibitors have all found a way to connect through creativity. At the opening events, when the artists and researchers talk about their work, we have the chance to tune into their secrets to success or understand their struggles as well as find out about their creative, intellectual and emotional processes – how did they combine their passions, imagination and skills to make work together?” 

Dr Huw Lewis-Jones, Associate Professor of Environment and Culture at Falmouth University, added “Finding new and creative ways to work together is the aim and both the FX Creative Exchange and FX Creative Together are opening-up wonderful new conversations for researchers and students alike. We hope very much for these projects to continue to flourish.”  

learn from a bird is taking place between 9th – 27th July at Grays Wharf Gallery (Commercial Rd, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 8AE). Admission to the exhibition is free, as are all associated talks and discussions. The gallery will be open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm and longer on the days where there are specific related events planned. You can find out more and see a full breakdown of who is exhibiting and when here.