Top image: Beds, Beds,Beds by Sophie Lindsey, 2017

About the Gene Pool Residency

Sophie Lindsey (with Di McGhee) was selected as one of two Gene Pool residency artists (2017).
Di and Sophie arrived in Barrow-in-Furness at the beginning of August for a 10 day residency, and used the Art Gene’s Main Gallery as a base to work from. The idea behind the residency was for the artists to make work about the locality  – producing for the gallery works which, over subsequent months, would become part of an exhibition: a tall order for just 10 days – but we had selected Di and Sophie in part because of their intuition and responsive and reactive way of working.

We began with a few introductory trips and walks around the town and area – highlighting a few of the many special features of Barrow and it’s incredible coast – and introduced them to current Art Gene projects, such as Allotment Soup (our community growing space on Walney Island) and the brand-new wildlife observation Razzle Dazzle Hides on South Walney; and then let them find their own way through the (perhaps overwhelming) information.

Sophie Lindsey

“I approached this residency in a very open way, as I wanted to work responsively to create work informed by the reality of the place, rather than any preconceived ideas or assumptions.

In order to do this I spent the majority of my time exploring the area on foot. This allowed me to gain a better understanding of the context and various characteristics of the town. 

Through this I became interested in the use/underuse of public space, particularly in the number of brownfield, gap sites and the poorly planned street furniture. This led me to create two pieces of work that considered the functions of these spaces, what they could be and the value that already have”.

Sophie Lindsey, 2017

Below, find a short film by Sophie made about her time working as artist in residence with Art Gene – and find out about the artworks she made further down this page.

Image below: Research photograph by Sophie Lindsey at Piel Castle, 2017


“What a Lovely Spot For a Picnic’ was an intervention in which I occupied a number of these sites through the simple act of having a picnic by myself. This subverted conventional ideas of picnics, as they are traditionally seen as a scenic leisure activity that takes place in a natural environment or parks. By choosing to make use of these underused sites, I questioned the potential of these spaces as well as ideas surrounding beauty, landscape and nature”.

Sophie Lindsey, 2017


What a Lovely Spot For a Picnic (2 of 4), by Sophie Lindsey, 2017

“Back of Asda Jam’ was a continuation of this thinking that highlighted the value that exists within these overlooked sites, through the simple act of making jam”.

Sophie Lindsey, 2017

Find out more about Sophie here

Image below: Back of Asda Jam, by Sophie Lindsey, 2017