LCAB Artist in residence update - Laura Denning and Chantal Berry

News | Posted on Thursday 27 October 2022

PhD student Chantal Berry has been collaborating with artist Laura Denning, as part of LCAB’s artists residencies programme. She reflects on the progress of the project so far.

Working with Laura Denning has opened up a great range of possibilities for artistic collaboration across the University. Laura has brought energy and inspiration to the centre and my own research. She has developed her own historical interests as well as making numerous connections with other artists and academics across the University.

Laura and I have so far met and discussed ideas with Dr Mariana Lopez from the department of TFTI, Helena Cox, the Art Curator at the Borthwick Institute, archivists from the Borthwick archives, Ana Bilbao Yarto, Modern and Contemporary Art lecturer in the history of Art Department and the Rev Dr Catherine Reid, Anglican Chaplain for the University of York.

It is already becoming clear that collaborating with these people, and others both internal and external to the University, is leading to an exciting project which will benefit both the University and the city of York more generally. Laura has also developed her ideas further afield. In Plymouth, Laura has showcased her art and research so far in the exhibition you see and hear in the video and is currently preparing a paper which she and I will give at the conference, ‘Sonic Cartographies’ to be held at the University of Kent in October.

One of the most exciting aspects of our project so far is finding the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration. Because both Laura and I to varying degrees have experience in working with sound, we have shared in the joy of and possibilities of evoking near intangible aspects of research such as spiritual and emotional histories. This realisation promises to develop the depth of historical research in our own project as well as contributing to new methodologies for visual histories.

So far, Laura and I have decided to focus upon the year 1536. During this year, The Pilgrimage of Grace marched on London to show opposition to the reforms of the Reformation. This included large numbers of men from York, which has inspired Laura and I to represent the notions of pilgrimage and journey in York.

In particular, the spiritual and physical journey through York Minster has been another element of interest and has so far evoked a sense of natural-inspired beauty through the columns of Gothic architecture. Laura and I have most recently thought about how pilgrimage and natural flow, or ‘ductus’ might engage members of the public from York with research and artwork from the University, and hope to collaborate with other academics and artists to put this into action.

Related links

Find out more about Chantal Berry's research

Here is a short video that has been produced as part of the collaboration between Laura Denning & Chantal Berry – Ductus Sprite: 

Related links

Find out more about Chantal Berry's research