Supported Studio Opportunity

An opportunity for a professional visual artist, partnership or company to work from a spacious supported studio at Art Gene, Barrow-in-Furness alongside our ambitious growing team.

One for Sorrow – Stuart Bastik writes about making the artwork

Installed in April 2017, One for Sorrow is an artwork commemorating the WW1 and WW2 practice trenches which now lie buried under sand, plant and animal life on the North Walney National Nature Reserve. Produced as part of the Forth Walney, Uncovered project. Stuart Bastik writes about this work…

A Small Shed of Curiosities

Whilst Artist-in-Residence on South Walney, Hannah Brackston learnt that the island’s population over the years, had each amassed a collection of interesting and curious objects. But there was no place to share these finds…

Niko Tinbergen and Larry Shaffer

The final design of the Razzle-Dazzle Hides, by Art Gene and its associate Research Design Architecture, references Niko Tinbergen (1907 – 1988) and his Nobel Prize winning research with gull colonies on South Walney Nature Reserve.

The Sunday Cake Club

While Artist-in-Residence on South Walney, artist Hannah Brackston heard locals express their desire for a small café for visitors. The Sunday Cake Club was a playful test of that idea in practice.

Art Gene Mission Statement

To embrace, develop and manage risk taking, skills sharing, trust and innovation, through multidisciplinary partnership working thereby creating opportunities for the empowerment of communities allied to increased responsibility so-as-to secure an informed, resilient, robust and truly sustainable approach to ongoing and progressive change…

Seldom Seen – Mapping Morecambe Bay

With editions of the Islands of Barrow map, version 1 already in print, a collaboration with Morecambe Bay Partnership led to funding being secured to produce a further 4 maps of the area.

Seldom Seen – Series of Maps: Morecambe Bay

Developed by Art Gene working closely with Morecambe Bay Partnership, together, these 5 maps span from the islands of Barrow to Cockerham; plotting the hidden assets of the spectacular Morecambe Bay area of Cumbria and Lancashire. This series of illustrated maps details current and historic points of interest, including internationally significant nature reserves and places of… Read more »

Seldom Seen – App

Seldom Seen is a walking audio tour which explores the hidden assets, stories, histories and nature of the wider area of Morecambe Bay. The walks cover Ulverston Canal Foot, Backbarrow, Hincaster and Heversham, Fort Walney and Sunderland Poin

Seldom Seen – Designing the App

Developing the apps took place over a 2 year period, with the final versions being completed and launched in October 2016. The process involved site visits, historical research, familiarisation with the Art Gene archive for each site, public consultation, product development think tank sessions and on and offsite product testing.

About Design Cafe and Seldom Seen Design Cafe

This page details a small selection of the different kinds of events Art Gene established as part of the Islands of Barrow immersive research programme. This work informs and underpins the design work undertaken by our Art Gene Associates, challenges our approach and keeps our thinking fresh, alive and we hope relavent beyond the period of our active engagement.

Seldom Seen – Furniture

Art Gene have created a series of engraved table tops including the Knights’ of Piel Round Table which explore the history of Barrow and it’s Islands. Inspired by the heavily inscribed throne of the Kings of Piel which will take pride of place in the new visitor centre.

Seldom Seen – Collection

Art Gene’s associate artists, architects and other specialists including ecologists, archaeologists, industry representatives, naturalists and historians have been working with local people to uncover hidden assets, achievements and to reveal the superlatives associated with of the Islands of Barrow for a number of years. This collaborative process is perhaps best evidenced in the diversity of assembled artifacts and stories encapsulated within the Seldom Seen collection of curiosities.

Seldom Seen – Piel Island

The white lime rendered inn looks like a typical south Lakeland farmhouse with barns & outbuildings. Possibly initially a chandlers, an inn is thought to have been on the site since the 17th century. The current building is 18th & 19th century.

Seldom Seen – Introduction to Piel Island Visitor Centre Project

In 2011 Art Gene were working in partnership with Barrow Borough Council and Barrow Regeneration on a suite of regeneration projects which collectively were to test a new Art Gene concept: ‘Barrow-by-Design’; exploring the role of artists, architects and communities in Re-Visioning the regeneration of the Social, Natural and Built Environment.

Hides don’t have to Hide – Razzle Dazzle Hides

Art Gene and its associate, Research Design architecture, have developed a new modular concept in hides design which is flexible in use. The system is based around weatherproof plywood equilateral triangles with 8ft sides supported on an easy release scaffolding exoskeleton.

Curating the Ground

Our first exploration of the new allotment was with the help of Year 6 children from Vickers Town Primary School, in a workshop led by Armelle Tardiveau of e.c. Architects and Maddi Nicholson of Art Gene.

Barrow-by-Design: The Islands of Barrow Map

The fold out map will be printed in time for the launch of the new visitor centre in the Ship Inn on Piel Island. The Map suggests a series of tour routes across the Islands of Barrow and illustrates their rich diversity through points of interest including Hidden Assets, Natural Wonders, Historical Sites and Industrial Heritage.

Charrette Discussion Paper – Re-Visioning Utopia and beyond…

For a brief period following the Second World War until the early 70’s the future was exciting. This excitement found form in the design of everything from furniture, fabrics and white goods to automobile design and architecture. The future was espoused on mass through the interiors and architecture of popular TV & Sci-Fi series’ which not always embraced a clear utopian ideal but at least looked like the future. That future gradually seemed more sinister, we began to fear technology and as the mass housing schemes of the 1960’s began to crumble so did a Utopian dream.

Charrette Discussion Paper – Re-Visioning Utopia II – From Yokohama with Love…

The “We need Creative…Er… Things!”… phenomena is alive and well in seats of power across the world, it seems, but do they really know what they are asking for? The next stage in human evolution (if there is to be one) is, I believe, not about finding creative ways to maintain the status quo. It is about making creativity ubiquitous, powerful, purposeful and ultimately influential in that it should change the why and way we live.

Charrette Discussion Paper – In Response to LNP Workshop

This is not a war between Cumbria and Lancashire or Cumbria and Lancashire and Morecambe Bay or all of these, others and the Government – It is not a war between Industry and Nature or birds and buildings, tourists and local communities, it is a war against irreversible Climate Change.

Seminar – Expanding Artists’ Professional Practice

The panel discussion was chaired by Adam Sutherland of Grizedale Arts and featured, Charles Blanc (architect) & Tristan Surtees (artist) of Sans Façon, Alastair Snow, arts consultant and Charles Quick artist and co-curator of In Certain Places. The event was facilitated by Kate Brundrette who brought together speakers from across the UK to discuss issues around art Gene’s research remit.

Seminar – Open Prize 2007

During her curatorial residency Emiko Kato (Japan) was able to join the Art Gene Open Prize 2007 selection panel.