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Interface: LU Arts

2 June 2021

6 mins

Interface is a series of events celebrating creative collaboration, led by LU Arts. These events take place from the 16 – 24 June with panel discussions, interactive sessions, performances and screenings and more. Find out more about these events and how you can get involved in this blog.

Interface: What’s Up with Everyone? Storytelling and mental health

16 June 2021, 3pm – 4pm

This session will introduce the project, including a screening of bespoke animations made by the world famous, four times Academy Award® winning animation studio Aardman (creators of Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Creature Comforts, Chicken Run) and will be followed by a Q&A with the lead researchers on the project.

This project has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and involves the Institute for Mental Health at the University of Nottingham, LSE, Aardman and the Storytelling Academy at Loughborough.

Interface: Artist Sarah Selby in conversation with Daniel Chadash (Twist Bioscience)

17 June 2021, 6pm -7pm

In this discursive event, University digital artist in residence Sarah Selby will discuss her artwork, which she is in the process of realising after a year of research and development, alongside Daniel Chadash from Twist Bioscience in Miami.

Sarah’s new work will use DNA data storage to encode stories and experiences of the diverse communities of Loughborough into synthetic DNA, which will then be embedded within pen ink and written into a new charter or manifesto for the University. To achieve her ambition she has been working with Daniel Chadash.

Daniel will cover the science behind DNA data storage, the work Twist has been doing and the potential applications of the technology. Sarah will then discuss her artwork, the concept behind it and the creation process.

Interface: Shared Language

22 June 2021, 12.30pm – 1.30pm

***Please note that this event is only open to Loughborough University academics and researchers***

Photographs can often convey complex ideas more easily than written or verbal communication can. Psychologists have also found that images can enhance and aid communication, improving our understanding of a subject. With this in mind, we want to bring together academics/researchers from different subject areas to explore the value of images in encouraging interdisciplinary conversations.

You will need to bring with you three digital images (jpgs) of your own work which will be used within short 1-1 introductions with other participants. You will be matched with an academic/researcher who we think has a shared interest with you through subjects you are working on or the processes or materials you are using. 

Shared Language is designed by Sigune Hamann and Jonathan Kearney, University of the Arts London in collaboration with neuroscientists at Oxford University. The project is aimed at overcoming some of the barriers that prevent collaboration between different disciplines. To explore more of the ideas from previous iterations of the project, go to or view this video clip.

Interface: Advanced Technologies in Textiles Art and Design – Laser as a Dyeing Tool

22 June 2021, 4pm – 5pm

Artists and designers come together to show how laser processing technology can be used within Textiles.

Artists and designers come together to show how laser processing technology can be used within Textiles.

In recent times there has been a lot of debate within the Textiles industry related to the development of new ‘smart and reactive materials’ and the Textiles Department at Loughborough has contributed to this discussion.

Interface: Collaborative Touch – A discussion between sport and performance

23 June 2021, 1pm – 2pm

This roundtable event brings together five academics/practitioners with a view to reimagining that most potent of presences in sport and performance: the body.

Sport and artistic performance have a long, intertwined history. This roundtable will discuss a range of interests and concerns including pain, discomfort, the fraught notion of work, touch and haptic communication.

The contributors to this roundtable are Tom Dawkins (wrestler, as Cara Noir, contemporary performer and fitness coach), Claire Heafford (former UK gymnast and bobsledder, wrestler and performer), Dominic Malcolm (Reader in the Sociology of Sport and author of The Concussion Crisis in Sport), Gareth McNarry (Para-swimming lead at Loughborough Sport with a doctorate in swimming embodiment) and Claire Warden (Senior Lecturer in English and Drama and co-editor of Performance and Professional Wrestling).

Interface: Creatures of the Lines (first cut and discussion)

23 June 2021, 6pm – 8pm

Creatures of the Lines is a stunning new film by the artist Sonia Levy, working in collaboration with the anthropologist Heather Swanson. It explores how the desire for economic growth and linear progress has produced straightened forms in England’s watery landscapes, and asks what risks are associated with the conversion of once-curvy and braided worlds into a linearised landscape. The film has been developed through a number of conversations with academics from Loughborough University’s departments of Geography and Environment, and English.

This event will combine a screening of the film’s first cut with a conversation led by Levy and Swanson connecting its form to the issues it explores. This conversation will inform the film’s final edit, to be developed across the summer and autumn of 2021.

Interface: The Interdisciplinary Nature of Drawing

24 June 2021, 12.30pm – 1.30pm

A discussion and Q&A with artists and researchers about how drawing can work across disciplines.

Deborah Harty, Chair of the Drawing Research Group (DRG) at Loughborough University will open this event with an introduction to the work of the group, highlighting some of the research undertaken by its members. This will be followed by a presentation by the artist Claude Heath, based on their paper Out of sight but not out of mind: A diagrammatic conversation on relational drawing, as an example of the interdisciplinary nature of drawing. Claude collaborated with John Stell, a mathematician from Leeds University, on this paper which reflects on a dialogue between drawing in the practice of art and the practice of mathematics. Diagrams are the vehicle for this collaboration across the two disciplines, through a common visual vocabulary of loops, connections, change over time, negative space and a shared interest in exploring the physicality of practice.

Saul Albert, Lecturer in Social Sciences (Social Psychology), who has collaborated with Claude on other interdisciplinary projects  which use drawing as a research tool, will then lead a discussion with Claude and members of the DRG followed by a wider Q&A.

Claude Heath is a British Postwar & Contemporary painter who was born in 1964. Their work was featured in several exhibitions at key galleries and museums, including the Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart and the MMoCA, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Find out more about Claude’s work here

To find out more about Interface, please visit the LU Arts website.

LU Arts is a student-focused arts programme based at Loughborough University (Loughborough campus). Through numerous online events, there is plenty of opportunities to enjoy and/or get involved in the arts during your studies.

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