Talk Action at the Martin Hall Theatre

808Radar, the Unversity’s own arts programme, presents an evening of commissioned performances and films at the Martin Hall Theatre this Wednesday evening (27th March) which respond to research by the University’s Discourse and Rhetoric Group, which uses conversational analysis to examine how we communicate within our everyday lives.

Harvey Sacks, the American sociologist who is regarded as being the founder of conversation analysis was interested in looking at sequences of conversation and ‘tearing them apart in such a way as to find rules, techniques, procedures, methods, maxims that can be used to generate the orderly features we find in the conversations we examine’.  It is his interest in the technology of conversation that has led to an ongoing study of our social interactions within a range of everyday situations, a field for which Loughborough University has established an international reputation.

Cally Spooner, Gary Stevens and Imogen Stidworthy have been invited to respond to the work being undertaken by academics into discourse and rhetoric and develop new performances inspired by their investigations around speech and the verbal interplay between individuals.

The event begins at 7pm in the Martin Hall Theatre. Admission is free, but you will need to book a place online.

On the Radar – Nowcasting Launch

857Join the Radar Team this Sunday afternoon (23rd March) for a unique meteorological fair to celebrate the launch of Nowcasting, a programme of new artist commissions responding to the weather station on campus.

Taking place on World Meteorological Day, the event will feature artist’s projects, refreshments and a range of family friendly experiments and demonstrations, from simulating weather conditions using domestic appliances to the use of food as a biosensor to map air quality.

Nowcasting will take place between March to October 2014, presenting a series of interventions that connect ideas around meteorology, climate change and forecasting. Informed by the research of Rob Wilby, Professor of Hydroclimatic Modelling within the Geography Department at Loughborough University, the programme considers ways in which we can understand and interact with the phenomena of weather and the role that artists can play in bridging scientific thinking with everyday behaviour.

The event kicks off at the Loughborough University Weather Station (just opposite the Library) at 1pm this Sunday and will close around 4pm. Admission is FREE.

On the Radar – Making Something of Nothing


Next Friday (7th March) Radar, the University’s own art’s programme, is running a day-long symposium which will seek to explore the nature of artistic practices as ‘reproductive’ and ‘affective’ labour.

This symposium looks at how some recent artistic practices seem to be interested in interrogating the nature of labour, and artistic labour in particular, placing certain activities, such as printmaking and ceramics for example, in proximity to those Marx would have spoken of as ‘reproductive labour’, and also to what more recently has also been defined as ‘affective’ labour.

The title is borrowed from Lucy Lippard’s famous text ‘Making Something from Nothing’ (1978), in which Lippard was attempting an articulation of the contradictions arising with more women emerging in the art scene, between their artistic labour and the reproductive labour they performed in the home, connecting their artistic activities to traditional making activities not part of high-art or culture.

The symposium will be wondering if today, with the de-skilling, precarization and ‘feminisation’ of labour in post-Fordism, artists are starting to look at the question of reproduction in relation to making afresh. Print and pottery have been engaged with, in recent times, by artists interested in critiquing value production within the art system or involved in participatory and community-based work. It will look at raising questions about the status of the objects generated through these activities.

The symposium is part of a programme of activity organised by Loughborough School of the Arts’ Politicized Practice Research Group around the theme of value and a related series of commissions by Radar.

The symposium will be taking place in the LUA Project Space in the Edward Barnsley Building between 11am-5pm. Tickets cost £10, which includes lunch and refreshments. To book yourself a place, go to the Online Store.

Forthcoming Events on Campus During the Spring Term

790There’s a wide range of musical and artistic events to look forward to on campus during the Spring Term.

Radar, the University’s own arts programme, kicks off the New Year with an intriguing new installation work, Product Pleasure, which is being hosted in a kiosk on Market Street in Loughborough town centre! Academics within the University Design School have been exploring how consumers see products as sensorial, emotional and meaningful experiences, not merely as objects to deliver a service, and artists Jeremy Hutchison and Cecile B. Evans have been asked to respond to these questions and the research that is taking place within the Design School through these installation works. Jeremy Hutchison begins with his commission which is launched on Friday 10th January at 6pm, and continues throughout the following week from 11am daily until Saturday 18th January.

On Wednesday 22nd January award-winning guitarist Alan Thomas will be providing a free lunchtime performance of classical and Spanish guitar favourites, and timeless Lennon/McCartney compositions in the Art Cafe at the Cope Auditorium at 12pm.

Eden Flix continues their season of hard-hitting documentary films with an environmental twist with a showing of How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster? introduced by Professor Jacqui Glass, Professor of Architecture & Sustainable Construction in the School of Civil and Building Engineering, on Wednesday 29th January at 3pm (free entry, but booking is necessary). The film traces the rise of one of the world’s premier architects, Norman Foster, and his unending quest to improve the quality of life through design.

On Wednesday 12th February the Heath Quartet (pictured above) will be playing at the Martin Hall Theatre from 7pm. Formed in 2002, the Heath Quartet is already establishing a strong international presence, having performed at prestigious festivals and venues across the UK, Europe and further afield.  In 2013 they won the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artists Award, the first ensemble in 15 years to win it, and in 2014 they make their Carnegie Hall debut. In this programme they will be performing works by Mozart, Tippett and Mendelssohn.

And on Monday 17th March from 7pm in the Cognito Bar at the Student Union, Speech Bubble will be blowing up for another scintillating evening of the finest poetry and spoken word by professional wordsmiths and student talent.

On a negative note, An Evening with Richard Mabey, arranged for Wednesday 29th January at the Martin Hall, has had to be cancelled owing to ill health. Those who have already purchased tickets need to contact the box office on 01509 635000 to arrange a refund.

Full and complete details of these events can be found via the Loughborough University Arts website here.

Enter the Festive Season with Loughborough University Arts


Christmas is coming, so why not get into the festive spirit with Loughborough University Arts own Xmas goody selection box this December.

The campus festive season begins next Monday 2nd December from 5.30pm with a special carol service organised by Chaplain Service, the Alumni Association, the Student Union, Open Heaven and the Loughborough Salvation Army Band, which will take place around the fountain in front of the Hazelrigg and Rutland buildings. Mince pies and mulled wine will be served and all staff and students along with their families are welcome.

Then a bit later on that evening why not pop across to the Student Union’s Cognito Bar where Speech Bubble, Loughborough’s renowned open-mike poetry jam, will be taking place at 7.30pm (students free, £3 at the door for everyone else). Performance poets Jess Green and Polar Bear will be headlining the evening, supported as usual by the very finest student poets Loughborough can offer.

The next day, Tuesday 3rd December at 1pm, best-selling author and former CERN physicist Simon Singh lifts the lid on the hidden maths in the popular American cartoon show with a lecture based his book The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets. Organised by the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Singh will talk about the book and use The Simpsons (and its sister show Futurama) to bring to life some of the most intriguing and meaningful mathematical concepts in his typically entertaining, accessible and compelling style. The event is open to the public, but pre-booking is essential.

The following evening (Wednesday 4th December) the University Choir will be performing a Christmas special in the Cope Auditorium from 7pm. Celebrate the season with Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit music for Christmas Eve based on French Christmas folk songs, and enjoy a performance by the String Orchestra. Ticket details available here.

Slip Along to Slide-Tape…


An innovative new exhibition utilising sound & image media begins this month in the LUA Project Space in the Edward Barnsley Building.

Featuring the painful yet beautiful imagery of Ian Breakwell’s BC/AD (Before Cancer/After Diagnosis), his last major work charting his decline from lung cancer, and Tina Keane’s funny, yet double-edged Clapping Songs, Slide-tape is a series of still projected images synchronised with a sound track.

This exhibition is part of a project which reappraises these works and features key works in the UK since the 1970s, and is open weekdays between 10AM-4PM from Monday 4th November until Friday 15th November.

The exhibition is also accompanied by a special Symposium which will examine the histories and context of artists’ use of slide-tape forms and consider why significant works have been omitted from curatorial histories to date.  The Symposium will also look to explore and reappraise the potential of slide-tape as a medium for new narrative forms, and comprises of a day of keynote presentations, roundtable discussion and screenings, and will close with refreshments and introductory talk by Felicity Sparrow, partner of Ian Breakwell, prior to the screening of his BC/AD, along with Tina Keane’s Clapping Songs.

This Symposium is taking place at the Design School on Wednesday 6th November, 10.30AM-5.30PM. Tickets to the event are £10, which includes lunch.

For further details, visit the Loughborough University Arts page here.

Shakespeare With a Twist at the Martin Hall Theatre


Award winning writer and theatre maker Michael Pinchbeck has created three devised performances inspired by the work of William Shakespeare, and he’s bringing them to campus next Friday 1st November.

The performance comprises of The Beginning, an interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Middle, a deconstruction of Hamlet, and The End, triggered by a stage direction from The Winter’s Tale. All three acts are to be shown together for the first time as The Trilogy.

Fusing an experimental approach to Shakespeare’s text with the company’s personal stories about their first or last times onstage The Trilogy asks the audience to enter a world where a performance can be a rehearsal, text can be both script and set and they are always aware of where the fire exits are.

The show begins at 7.30PM in the Leonard Dixon Studio at the Martin Hall Theatre. Tickets for students cost £5. For further details, visit the Loughborough University Arts page here.

Blake's Heaven at the Martin Hall Theatre


Award-winning poet, novelist and journalist Blake Morrison will be talking about his life and work during a two-hour event entitled Life Writing and the Life of a Writer in the Martin Hall Theatre this coming Thursday evening (24th October, 7.30-9.30PM).

His latest books are a collection of poems, A Discoverie of Witches, and a novel, The Last Weekend, which was recently serialised on ITV.  But his previous work includes play adaptations, libretti, essays, narrative non-fiction and the acclaimed memoir And When Did You Last See Your Father?, which in 2007 was successfully adapted into a movie starring Colin Firth, Jim Broadbent and Carey Mulligan.

During the evening Blake will be reading from his works and afterwards will be signing copies of his books.

Coincidentally, Radar, the University’s Book Club, is presently reading And When Did You Last See Your Father?, and members of the Library’s own Club 790 Book Club will also be attending. The Library has copies of several of Blake’s work among our stock, including that particular work. So if you’re not familiar with his writing but are tempted to attend, now’s the perfect opportunity to catch up!

To book your tickets for the evening, visit the Loughborough Arts page here:

European Union on the Radar

radar logo

Radar, the University’s contemporary arts programme, gets the new term under way with a new European-themed project running throughout October which will interest artists and students of European history and politics alike.

‘Welcome to European Union’ is an exhibition of photography, video and works on paper which examines the transformations that have taken place in the newly created borderland areas between Narva in Estonia and Ivangorod in Russia. As new EU lines have been drawn on a map the public spaces ‘inbetween’ the borderlands are contested and new rules and regulations applied, redefining the physical and social boundaries, and reshaping communities. It’s been developed as an interdisciplinary cultural project by the sociologist Alena Pfoser and artist Eva Engelbert, with participation and contributions from the photoclub ‘Narva’, Estonia, and opens tomorrow (Tuesday 8th October) daily between 10AM-4PM  in the LUA Project Space in the Edward Barnsley Building (next to the Cope Auditorium in the campus’s East Park) and runs through until Friday 25th October. Admission is free.

Accompanying the exhibition on Friday 18th October, also at the LUA Project Space, is a day-long symposium of presentations and discussion, European Borderscapes, exploring the reconfiguration of European borders after the fall of the Iron Curtain and Eastern enlargement, and how rather than dissolving, the number of borders has multiplied and become more differentiated. Alena Pfoser has programmed the event in collaboration with the CulCom Research Group and has been financially supported by Radar, the Graduate School Research Culture Fund and Loughborough University’s Department of Social Sciences. This event is also free, but booking is required via this link.

For further information, visit the Loughborough University Arts page here.

Forthcoming Arts Events on Campus During the Autumn Term


A host of award-winning artists and musicians will be visiting the campus this term.

Author Blake Morrison, whose novel The Long Weekend was recently dramatised on ITV, will be talking about his life and career at the Martin Hall Theatre at 7PM on Thursday 24th October. He will be reading from his works and afterwards will be available to sign copies of his books.

 On Friday 1st November from 7PM in the Leonard Dixon Studio at the Martin Hall writer and theatre maker Martin Pinchbeck will be presenting three works inspired by the works of Shakespeare under the umbrella title of The Trilogy. The Beginning, an interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Middle, a deconstruction of Hamlet, and The End triggered by a stage direction form The Winter’s Tale. Fusing an experimental approach to Shakespeare’s text with the company’s personal stories about their first and last times onstage, The Trilogy asks the audience to enter a world where a perfomance can be a rehearsal, text can be both script and set and they are always aware of where the fire exists are.

On Wednesday 6th November at 7PM in the Cope Auditorium the Gould Piano Trio will be playing a selection of Mozart, Smetna and Schubert. Regularly featured on Radio 3, the Trio are one of the UK’s leading ensembles, having established, over their 20 year history, an enviable reputation at home and abroad for their compelling style, integrity and imagination.

Music is said to aid the digestion, so why not take your sarnies along to a Lunchtime Concert at the Art Cafe in the Cope Auditorium starring the Cardinal Saxophone Quintet who will be performing a foot tapping programme of saxophone originals and arrangements of popular music. Better yet, it’s free!

Folk music fans are in for a treat when Kathryn Tickle and the Side (pictured above) visit the Martin Hall Theatre on Wednesday 27th November (doors 7PM). Channelling their diverse musical experiences into a powerful new sound The Side stay true to the spirit and essence of Kathryn’s own Nurthumbrian folk tradition whilst unleashing the talent and creativity of each individual musician.

On Monday 2nd December Speech Bubble, the Lufbra Poetry Jam, blows up again in the Cognito Bar at the Student Union from 7PM.  Featuring the performing talents of students, locals and professional mentally-muscled, pencil-pushers in a night of oral entertainment.

Christmas isn’t all that far off really, and to help give you that festive feeling the University Choir, aided & abetted by the University String Orchestra, will be performing Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit – music for Christmas Eve based on French Christmas folk songs – at the Cope Auditorium from 7PM on Wednesday 4th December.

For full details, ticket prices and booking links, visit the Loughborough University Arts page here: