Art in Public Space – Virtual Museum:



Annual International Conference, London, 26-29 August 2014

Royal Geographical Society (RGS) with Institute of British Geographers (IBG)



Dr Saskia Warren & Dr Martin Zebracki

University of Birmingham & University of Leeds


This virtual exhibition complements the homonymous in-situ exhibition at the largest annual Geography conference in the UK. Both exhibitions offer a visual and material counterpoint to themes revolving around the critical roles of artists and communities in the context of contemporary urban public art and its geographies of co-production. The exhibitions showcase participatory and experimental methods and materials used by selected artists, displayed alongside a visual documentation of events, performances and happenings, which attend to both community-orientated and community-led practices in the city.

Showcased public-art projects in this Virtual Museum include:

Ibis Portraits: Towards Ecologies of Belonging and The Ibis and Us: Ecologies of Belonging, photomedia work by Andrew Gorman-Murray;

The Demolition of Royal Park School, Leeds, photography by Michael Ainsworth;

Balsall Heath Biennale, conceived and co-ordinated by artists and Balsall Heath residents Elizabeth Rowe and Chris Poolman;

and Forward Back Together by Simon Pope.

In distinctive ways, these projects critically reveal the complexities of using public-art forms in promoting a sense of place, common ground and shared identity, or their antipodes. These works engage with the potentials and challenges of the mediating roles of artists and communities in urban public art. They also address artistic co-production in urban public space along lines of cultural diversity and empowerment, social inclusion and critical intervention.

The exhibition is enabled by support of the RGS-IBG, AHRC/Cultural Intermediation, Ludus Festival, Simon Pope, Chris Poolman and Liz Rowe (AKA Balsall Heath Biennale).


Background artwork © Michael Ainsworth