Top image: Gene Pool residency artist Di McGhee with some parts of her artwork Bow Wave

Meet Our Gene Pool Artists

Our call for artists for the Gene Pool residency at Art Gene this summer attracted a high number of extremely good candidates. Finally, we select Di McGhee and Sophie Lindsey. We liked their work a lot – above all feeling that they would create spontaneously and respond with intelligence to our location and community.

Di and Sophie will be using our Main Gallery as a base, and working around Barrow-in-Furness from the 1st to 11th August in an intensive short artist residency.

(Find out more about Di and Sophie’s work below).

If you, or a group that you work with want to meet the artists, see their work and/or get involved with this opportunity in some way, then please email (in advance of their visit), so that we can plan how to accommodate you.

Image below: Beware, Falling Clouds by Di McGhee, 2017

Di McGhee

“I am thrilled to be one of the artists selected for a Gene Pool residency this summer at Art Gene”.

“I am constantly drawn to the coastline of West Cumbria as a site for inspiration and making, but have had little opportunity to explore the locality around Art Gene. I would like to explore Barrow and Walney as a source for art making, this is an excellent opportunity to investigate further the contrast between the coastal and built environment along with the challenging and isolating nature of being a contemporary visual artist in Cumbria”.

“Although I have no definite plans for making, I definitely would like to talk to people about the area and their experiences to begin the process. The work made will be in direct response to site and use visual experience and materials at hand. I would also like to explore methods of recording the process of making art in some way, a new direction for me, developing from ideas touched on in Dorset last year.This could include a combination of text, sound, photography and video”.



Sophie Lindsey

Image above: Gene Pool residency artist Sophie Lindsey

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with Art Gene this summer, and to explore the specific context of Barrow. Within my practice I often respond to different locations and I am interested in interrogating ideas of place, as well as how artists are able to, and fail to, understand them”.

“With Art Gene’s aim to understand the complex nature of site before they begin, I am interested in how I, as an artist on a ten-day residency, can achieve this or if it is even possible. I intend to work responsively to consider how I can make something relevant to the community and environment of Barrow, whilst highlighting my own limitations to do so”. 

“While I am interested in considering ideas of sustainability, and the difficulty consumers face to make a truly sustainable choice, as well as the collision of nature and industry, I don’t have any preconceived ideas or a desired outcome for this residency. I am approaching this in a very open way so my response will be informed by the reality of the place, rather than any prior ideas or assumptions”.

Without a Dog

This performance was an attempt to becoming part of the dog walking community in the Welsh village Llansteffan. Through a series of walks, wearing deliberately selected clothes and accessories, this piece acted as a metaphor for how artists attempt to become part of a community during projects, while missing the main characteristic that achieves this, living in the place. This failure was shown by deliberately excluding the fundamental requirement of all dog walkers: a dog.


Image below: Without a Dog, by Sophie Lindsey, 2015

Further Reading