What’s On

Take a look at what’s coming up in 2022, and explore online artworks.

Low Carbon Barrow

Low Carbon Barrow examines issues around sustainability, biodiversity, climate change and low carbon initiatives in Barrow-in-Furness.  Art Gene is delivering Low Carbon Barrow grants – if you’re a local business or community group doing capital works to reduce your carbon emissions, you could be eligible.

Extreme Views: Armchair Walks

Extreme Views: Armchair Walks  Join architects, artists, naturalists, and landscape designers on a tour through Barrow-in-Furness, from the comfort of your own home.

Extreme Views

Art Gene’s programme of research, engagement with communities and delivery of art works within the extreme post-industrial coastal landscape of the Islands and Bays of Barrow-in-Furness.

Allotment Soup

A long term Art Gene Project, led by Artists/Directors Maddi Nicholson and Stuart Bastik with Artist in Residence Hannah Brackston and Ecological Designer Vincent Walsh, to develop a community growing space on an acre of scrubland on the Isle of Walney.

Landscape Working Party

Landscape Working Party- exploring, re-invigorating and enhancing the local green spaces around the Islands and Bays of Barrow and Furness.

The Islands and Bays of Barrow and Furness Coastal Team

An association of stakeholders of the Cumbrian coastline: community representatives, local businesses & industry, environmental & ecological statutory bodies and charities, initiated and headed by Maddi Nicholson, co-founder Director of Art Gene.

CLIMAVORE – March 2018

Art Gene are collaborating with The Delfinia Foundation, London and Cooking Sections. For their first project in Barrow, Cooking Sections will be inviting a diverse group of local stakeholders to attend their CLIMAVORE performance dinner (March).

Fort Walney, Uncovered

Uniting artists, archaeologists and the community to explore, excavate, record and celebrate the WW1 (and WW2) training trenches on North Walney.

Seldom Seen

Art Gene’s artist-led research programme charts the Seldom Seen™ assets of Morecambe Bay across a series of exhibitions, events, maps and apps.

Art Gene on South Walney

Following support from Arts Council England and WREN, Cumbria Wildlife Trust commissioned Art Gene to produce a detailed Masterplan around the future of the South Walney Reserve – and to design two bespoke hides to be sited within the South Walney Nature Reserve.

Tracks of the Iron Masters

In 2015, Sustrans commissioned Art Gene to develop a prototype project to showcase ways of building community relations, for inclusion within a HLF grant application.


The initial concept for Barrow-by Design was developed over a five year period by Art Gene, gradually taking shape out of our collaborative research residencies with artists and architects and ongoing conversations with Borough Council officers.

Barrow-by-Design: Ramsden Business Park

Art Gene Associates worked collaboratively with Barrow Borough Council and their appointed architects (Capita Symonds) on the first Barrow-by-Design pilot project: a new 6500sqM Coastal Business Park in Barrow-in-Furness.

Barrow-by-Design: Shop Fronts

This Barrow-by-Design pilot project saw Art Gene Associates work collaboratively with Barrow Borough Council to produce low cost shop front upgrades through a grant scheme for small traders. Most of the individual grants awarded were for around £2000.

Roker Pods

The Roker Pods, constructed by Millimetre, Brighton grew out of a response to the unique natural and industrial heritage of Roker, Sunderland and it’s coastline’s cannonball rock formations.

Urban Retreat

Following a successful and interesting artist-curator residency at Art Gene in 2008 we wanted to develop our collaboration with Sophie Mellor. This led to her proposing a series of potential projects which eventually evolved into Urban Retreat

Ormsgill Outdoors

In 2005 Maddi began a commission to work for Creative Partnerships Cumbria as lead artist at Ormsgill Primary School in Barrow-in-Furness and led the school as a ‘Creative Agent’ through to completion in 2010.    

Kid Pod: Outdoor Classroom

Kid Pod is a concept structure focused on learning through play. Identified by ‘OFSTED’ as demonstrating ‘the way forward’. The space was designed to enhance teaching practice with under 5’s, through facilitating experiential learning in the outdoors.

The Re-visioning Utopia Charrette, 2009

Over 4 days, Re-Visioning Utopia brought Artists, Architects and Academics together in small multi-disciplinary teams that were fueled both by an intensive series of research field-trips exploring the diversity of Barrow and its islands, and chaired debates on both achievable and imaginable objectives.


Over the years Art Gene have hosted our own programme of seminars to accompany events and exhibitions or to inform our research into revisioning the social, natural and built environment. This page provides links to these events.