Approved: 10.07.2009

Robyn Woolston

Artist, Film-maker, Lecturer / academic, Researcher, Gallery educator

Approved: 10.07.2009

Robyn Woolston is an artist who works across installation, photography and moving image. Her work focuses attention upon the parts of life that others shy away from, from waste materials to difficult emotions. She questions commercial meta-narratives and material 'use' against the back-drop of environmental urgencies. Her previous installations have included 7500 ice-cream containers, 45,000

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  • Location: Highlands, Scotland
  • Activities: Lecturing, Residencies, Public art, Private commissions, Film-making
  • Categories: Environment, Film & Video, Installation, Photography, Sculpture
  • Tags: waste, site-specific, site-responsive, environmental, mortality, mutliples, installation, sculpture, langauge, Hull
 
 

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    Biography

    Robyn Woolston is an artist who works across installation, photography and moving image. Her work focuses attention upon the parts of life that others shy away from, from waste materials to difficult emotions. She questions commercial meta-narratives and material 'use' against the back-drop of environmental urgencies. Her previous installations have included 7500 ice-cream containers, 45,000 carrier bags and a selection of trees from Ash to Silver Birch all classified as rubbish. She won the Liverpool Art Prize 2012 by siting a discarded tree inside a former water tower on the platform at Edge Hill Station for Metal. At its base were 132,000 plastic knives and forks that broke underfoot each time the work was viewed. As part of the prize she was awarded a solo show during 2013 at the Walker Gallery, Liverpool: 'Strangers in a Strange Land' juxtaposed an Artist's Book, 4 photographic works and 3.6 tonnes of waste against a painting of the same name from the permanent collection dating from 1889. "Central to this work is the notion of 'reconnection' - to the waste we create, to the soil to which we return, and to the processes that marry the two." Previous clients have included BBC, Green Party, Guys Hospital / London, HM Prison Service, Intel, ITV, London Print Studio, Maerz Arts Association / Linz, Mitsubishi, National Geographic Traveller, National Trust, Psychologies Magazine, Tenderpixel Gallery / London and the Walker Art Gallery / Liverpool.

    CV & Education

    EDUCATION:

    2011 - MA by Research - Manchester Met University / MIRIAD (35,000 words without amendment) 
    2003 - MA Module - 'Challenge of the Social Sciences', Open University 
    2007 - BA (Hons) - Fine Art. Wirral Met College / John Moores University, Liverpool. 1st Class Honours
    2000 - BA (Hons) - Photomedia. Plymouth College of Art and Design. 2:1 

    AWARDS:

    2014 GO SEE AWARD - Hull 2017 / Hull County Council in association with Arts Council England

    2012 - Liverpool Art Prize Winner

    2012 - A.C.E. Grants for the Arts in association with 'POST' Liverpool

    2010 - A.C.E. Grants for the Arts in association with 'POST' Liverpool

    2003 - FIRST CUT / New Directors Commission. Screen West Midlands & ITV

    2000 - Professional Qualifying Exam (Moving Image) - British Institute of Professional Photographers - Distinction

    RESIDENCY / EXCHANGE: 

    • 2015/16 Penrhyn Castle National Trust and Arts Council Wales Artist in Residenc?e
    • Harvest Lab, Metal, Peterborough & Studio Orta, Les Moulins / Paris, France (04-09/15)
    • International Solid Waste Association (Vienna) / World Congress Panel Member (Brazil) (09/14)
    • Points of Departure - A Scoping Mission and Round Table Discussion - Nantes, France, in association with the British Council (02/14)
    • Sound & Vision - Williamson Art Gallery, Wirral Schools Service & Wirral Council (06-09/13)  
    • The Canopy Suite - The Canopy project is run by Eden Arts, Cumbria in association with the National Trust, Arts Council England, Eden District Council, Cumbria County Council (2012-2013) http://canopyart.co.uk/info/
    • Trading Station / a POST project - Istanbul / Liverpool (2012) http://www.postliverpool.com/tradingstation.html 
    • Urban Interventions - Atelierhaus Salzamt & Liverpool Biennial, Linz, Austria (10)
    • Makhad Trust  - Sinai Peninsula, Egypt (03/10) 

    SOLO EXHIBITIONS: 

    • 'HABITUS'  - Edge Hill University Arts Centre Commission, Lancashire (09 - 12/13)
    • 'LITTLE RED ROOM' - Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead (06 - 09/13)
    • 'STRANGERS IN A STRANGE LAND' - Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (03 - 07/13)
    • 'SHADOW / LIGHT / REPRISE'  - Deane Rd Jewish Cemetery, Liverpool (09/12)
    • 'BANCA ROTTA - A Fiscally Co-dependent Break-up'. A durational intervention lasting 365 days. Location: The intersection of my credit rating and the banking system (09/05/11 - 09/05/12)
    • 'ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY? Part 2: The Bible & the Bankers' - Guys Hospital, London (11/11)
    • '...AND THEN THE RAINS CAME' - CURVE GALLERY, Liverpool - (06/08) 

    SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS:

    • 'HARVESTMENT' - 'Harvest' commission in conjunction with Metal, Peterborough and Studio Orta, Paris, as part of their '70 x 7 - The Meal' series (09/15)
    • 'THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER' - Threshold Festival, Baltic Triangle, Liverpool (03/15)
    • 'TEMPUS FUGIT' - Syson Gallery, Nottingham
    • '(RE)DISCOVERING A NEW WORLD: SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS FOR A HEALTHY FUTURE'- Solid Waste World Congress, Sao Paulo, Brazil (09/14)
    • 'EN ROUTE' - A Secret Shed. Freedom Festival, Hull, in association with Walk the Plank, Manchester (09/2014)
    • 'HOUSE OF SOUND' / Working Title - Threshold Festival 2014, Liverpool
    • 'WATCHTREE' - Ullswater, nr Pooley Bridge, Cumbria in association with Eden Arts / Dalemain Estate (04 - 09/13)
    • 'TREASURE FROM THE FOREST' - Key Theatre, Peterborough, in association with Metal and NIE Visual Theatre (2013)
    • 'LAST (BANK)' - National Trust / Acorn Bank, Penrith, Cumbria in association with Eden Arts (03 - 11/13)
    • 'TRADING STATION' a POST project - in association with Atilkunst & Nancy Atakan in Istanbul & Curve Gallery, Liverpool (02/12 - 11/12)
    • 'AlteRATION' - International Group Show. Curve Gallery, Newcastle, Australia (06 - 07/12)  
    • 'THE WASTE' (8hr Performance-based Installation) - Dress Code / High Street 2012, Whitechapel Road, London (06/12) 
    • 'DRESS CODE' by Ultimate Holding Company. Commissioned by Deborah Smith Projects and Ben Eastop. Funded by Tower Hamlets as part of the High Street 2012 initiative (06-07/12)
    • 'ALWAYS GIVING YOU EXTRA' - 'Encompass', Falcon Mill, Bolton (05 - 06/12)
    • LIVERPOOL ART PRIZE 2012. 'last' - Metal, Liverpool (04 - 06/12)
    • 'ANYTHING TO DECLARE' - International Group Show. 'new castle' (Artists Book) Curve Gallery, Newcastle, Australia (04/12)
    • SMART PRICE'  - Threshold Festival, Camp & Furnace, Liverpool (02/12)     
    • 'SHADOW / LIGHT' - Deane Rd Jewish Cemetery, Liverpool (10/11)
    • 'FRIEND OR FOE' - Gustaf Adolf Kyrka Church, Liverpool (06/11)
    • 'ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?'  - Guys Hospital, London in association with Kings Oral & Maxillofacial Society & Saving Faces. (06/11)
    • 'FIELD OF DREAMS'  - 'Threshold' Festival, Novas Contemporary Urban Centre, Liverpool (01-04/11)
    • 'CLEAN / SOILED'  - Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool in association with Culturepool (11/10) 
    • 'HOW MUCH EXCHANGE CAN YOU STAND?' Galerie Maerz, Linz, Austria (07-09/10)
    • 'GLOBAL STUDIO' / riPOSTe - Bluecoat, Liverpool (04-06 /10) 
    • 'WOLF RUNNER' / 'CURVE GALLERY v PICASSOS DOG' - Curve Gallery, Liverpool (05/10) 
    • 'IN EVERY DREAM HOME A HEARTACHE' - The Bridewell Gallery, Liverpool (05/10) 
    • TIME AND TIDE...' - Mersey Basin, an Exhibition, Art + Design Academy, John Moores University Liverpool (02/10) 
    • FELLOWSHIP SHOW / WIRRAL MET - Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead (02/09)
    • 'FAITH, HOPE AND CLARITY' / LIVERPOOL INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS / LIVERPOOL INDEPENDENTS BIENNIAL- Novas Contemporary Urban Centre, Liverpool (09/08) 
    • 'SUPA SCOOP 2' / DOT ART / LIVERPOOL INDEPENDENTS BIENNIAL - Pilkington Paint Warehouse, Liverpool (09/08) 
    • 'ROCHE FERRE' MANCHESTER ARTISTS BOOK FAIR - Holden Gallery, Manchester (07) 
    • GRIZEDALE GROUP SHOW / LIVERPOOL INDEPENDENTS BIENNIAL- A Foundation, Liverpool (06) 

    FILM CATALOGUE:

    'HARVESTMENT' 16min 20. Artists Film and Video (Cam/Edit/Dir). Arts Council England / Hull City Arts Unit / Hull 2017 / Metal, Peterborough (2015)
    Screened: 
    - 'Harvest - a cultural celebration of the land' with Metal (Peterborough) & Studio Orta (Paris) / St John's Church, Peterborough (15)

    'ET IN ARCADIA EGO: THERE IS DEATH EVEN IN UTOPIA'  1min 20. Artists Film and Video (Dir/Prod). Arts Council - (2010) 
    Screened: 
    - Aesthetica Short Film Festival / Official Programme Selection (11) 
    - RUSHES Film Festival / T E N D E R P I X, Tenderpixel Gallery, London (10) 
    - RIPOSTE: A 'POST' EXCHANGE as part of GLOBAL STUDIO shown at: 
    • Bluecoat, Liverpool, UK (04-06/10) 
    • Galerie Maerz, Linz, Austria (07-09/10)

    'IMMERSION' 10 min Film Drama (Dir). Film Council / First Take - Commission (09) 
    Screened: 
    - The Firestation Arts Centre, Micro Gallery, Windsor (11) 
    - Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival Competition, France (10) 

    'EMIGRE'  10 min Documentary (Dir/Prod). Film Council / Screen West Midlands / ITV - Commission (04) 
    Screened: 
    - 'Global Studio' - Bluecoat, Liverpool (04/10) 
    - 'Optimistic Immigrants'- Jewish Museum, London  (03/10) 
    - 'Exodus' - Imperial War Museum North, Manchester (07) 
    - ITV Broadcast Commission (04)

    RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS: 

    • 2016  'A change of (s)cene: reviewing our place in a new geological epoch.' Postgraduate conference. University of Lincoln (Photography, exhibition & paper presentation)
    • 2015 'Artcycling Guide: Instructions for Sustainable Art & Design Production' Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. Produced by Cultura21 Nordic, Denmark (Photography)
    • 2015 'Humans make Nature' Christian Schwagerl, University for Applied Art, Vienna (Photography)
    • 2015 'The Anthropocene - the human epoch, and how it shapes our planet.' Christian Schwagerl & Dr Jan Zalasiewicz, The Royal Institute, London (Photography)
    • 2015 'Anthropocene Hipsters & the Critical Theory Apocalypse' a talk by Jami Weinstein Linköping University at Goldsmiths, University of London (Photography)
    • 2014 'Dot Earth' / The New York Times in response to Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences Annual Meeting, New York, USA (Photography)
    • 2014 'Conservation Biology' course literature & presentation, Biological Sciences Department, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California, USA (Photography) 
    • 2014 International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities Research Group 'Ethics of Science in the Research for Sustainable Development' -University of Tübingen (Germany) & http://esureblog.com/en/ (Photography) 

    ARTISTS TALKS & LECTURES:

    • ARTISTS TALK: Blackpool and the Fylde College, Lancashire (02/16)
    • ARTISTS TALK: Drumduan Upper School, Forres, Moray, Scotland (09/15)
    • ARTISTS TALK: 'Wasted Space' an ecology of rejected matter, found objects and site-responsive work. Hull College of Art and Design (10/14)
    • ARTISTS TALK: Harrogate College School of Art & Design (02/14)
    • ARTISTS TALK: 'The Ecology of Time/Waste/Space' Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth (10/13)
    • VISITING LECTURER: Fine Art Dept, Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth (10/13)
    • KEYNOTE SPEECH: 'What is Practice? What is Pedagogy? Plymouth College of Art Symposium, Plymouth (07/13)
    • PANELLIST: 'Activating the Archive', Bluecoat, Liverpool (05/13)
    • ARTISTS TALK: 'Post Doctoral Opportunities in the Creative Arts and Industries' MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester (03/13) 
    • LECTURER: BA Hons Fine Art, John Moores University, Liverpool (09/12 - 02/13)
    • ARTISTS TALK: The Unexpected Guest Tour, Bluecoat / Biennial, Liverpool (09/12)
    • VISITING LECTURER: BA Hons Fine Art, John Moores University, Liverpool (03/12) 
    • ARTISTS TALK: 'Crossing the Line' - TEDx Merseyside. Open Labs @ LJMU (02/12) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS1HUty1mQo  
    • ARTISTS TALK: BA (Hons) Fine Art , John Moores University, Liverpool (11/11)
    • MASTERCLASS FACILITATOR: 3 Minute Wonders - Metal in association with St Helens Creative Network / St Helens Council Arts Service (11/11)  
    • CONFERENCE FACILITATOR: 'Putting the Art into Partnerships' - Liverpool Primary Care Trust / CHaMPs / Merseyside Arts Health Initiative / Bluecoat (01/11)
    • ARTISTS TALK / Culturepool, 'Building On What We've Got' in association with The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (11/10)
    • VISITING LECTURER (MOVING IMAGE): Wirral Met College, Wirral (03/10) 
    • BA Media, HND, BTEC Nat Dip and 'Access' courses - Plymouth College of Art and Design (99/00)

    PUBLICATIONS:

    • Green World / Green Party Magazine - Issue 79 / 2013 (Photography- Front Cover) 
    • National Geographic Traveller - July / August 2011 (Photography)
    • 'Think Then Think Again' / MMU Post Grad Research Degree Prospectus - 2011 (Photography)
    • Psychologies - November 2010 (Photography)  

    COLLECTIONS:

    • Walker Gallery, National Museums Liverpool: 'Waste. Product. Istanbul' - Artist's Book Work (edition of 50) (2013)
    • More to Life Foundation, London: 'Every Morning a New Arrival' - Artist's Book Work (edition of 20) (2011)
    • University of the West of England Research Repository, Bristol: 'Et in Arcadia Ego: There is Death even in Utopia' - Artists Film and Video (2010)

    ART IN EDUCATION: 

    • LEAD ARTIST: '...and the River flows on' - Creative lead on a collaborative project to produce 5 community art panels with Fine Art metal frames. Arts Council England, Wirral Methodist Housing, Mind, Birkenhead Supported Housing, YMCA, Williamson Museum and Art Gallery (06/15 - 04/16)
    • LEAD ARTIST: 'The Imaginarium of Common Understanding' - Transported. Arts Council England, Creative People and Places, South Holland & Boston, Lincolnshire 08/14 - 03/15)
    • LEAD ARTIST: 'Art Safari' - Arts, Health & Wellbeing in Adults. A 5 month, 10 part, programme in association with Hull County Council and Time Bank, Hull (10/14 - 03/15)
    • LEAD ARTIST: Williamson Art Gallery Summer School, Birkenhead (2008 - 2015) 
    • ARTIST - IN - RESIDENCE: Newsham Park Arts Festival in association with The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, Liverpool Council & Royal De Luxe (Nantes, France) (06/14) 
    • ARTS FACILITATOR: Maps, Memoirs and Moonscapes / 'Heart of Glass' Family Art Club, St Helens (04/14) 
    • ARTS FACILITATOR: Eco Art Workshop, Binbrook Church of England Primary School, Lincolnshire (03/2014)
    • ARTS FACILITATOR: 'Sound and Vision' / Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead in association with Wirral Schools Music Service (06-09/13)
    • 'ARTS HERO' / ARTS AWARD: Grundy Gallery in association with The Oracle, Blackpool (07/13)  
    • ARTS FACILITATOR: Delivering an educational strand in response to Hansel & Gretel, working with 320+ children of primary and secondary age. In association with Metal (Peterborough), Key Theatre and New International Theatre (02/13)
    • ARTS FACILITATOR: Delivering an educational strand (workshops and film) in response to Kelly Richardson: 'Legion', Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool (11/12 - 01/13)
    • ARTS FACILITATOR: 'Storyville' / Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk, Lancashire (02/12)
    • ARTIST - IN - RESIDENCE: Designing a bespoke resource tool to encourage interaction, response & reflexive thinking. (Arts Practice & Autistic Spectrum Disorder): Thumbs Up & Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (05/11 - 02/12)  
    • MENTOR: 'OPEN ME / DREAM BE' A partnership project between Allerdale and Copeland Borough Councils, local housing associations, local neighbourhood management boards and NHS Cumbria as part of the arts engagement programme for West Cumbria. The principle funder of the programme is Arts Council England (07-09/12)
    • ARTS FACILITATOR: 'Harvesting Histories / Sowing Seeds' - Metal in association with The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, Kensington Community Primary School & St Anne's Catholic Primary School (07-12/11)  
    • ARTS FACILITATOR: 'Start Club' Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool (11/11) 
    • ARTIST - IN - RESIDENCE: Environmental Installation / The Academy of St Francis of Assisi in association with McDonalds, Kensington, Liverpool (03-10/11)
    • ARTS FACILITATOR: Aiming High for Disabled Children & Wirral Borough Council in association with multiple project partners: Williamson Art Gallery, South Wirral Hub, Tranmere Rovers (2010 - 2011) 
    • ARTS FACILITATOR: 'Songlines' / Chapel Gallery, Ormskirk, Lancashire (08/11)
    • ARTIST - IN - RESIDENCE: Newsham Park Arts Festival in association with The Academy of St Francis of Assisi, Kensington, Liverpool (06/11)
    • ARTS CONSULTANT: Designing and implementing a pilot study to integrate Disabled children & their parents or carers within a gallery based environment.  'Artsplay': Aiming High for Disabled Children & Williamson Art Gallery (02 - 05 / 2011)
    • ARTS FACILITATOR: Zion Arts for Autism / National Autistic Society, Manchester (01/11)
    • VISITING LECTURER (MOVING IMAGE): 'Creative Media Diploma', Grundy Art Gallery/ Blackpool and Fylde College (09/10)
    • ARTIST - IN - RESIDENCE: 'The Arts Award' Blackpool, Arts Council England / Trinity Guildhall (07/10)
    • ARTIST - IN - RESIDENCE: Greasby Junior School, Wirral (04/10)
    • ARTIST - IN - RESIDENCE: Portland Primary School, Birkenhead (05/09)
    • ARTS FACILITATOR: Prison learners. HMP Kennet, Merseyside (07/07 - 01/08)

    ADDITIONAL TRAINING:

    • Understanding Dementia for the Artist - Hull Dementia Academy, Hull County Council (2014)
    • Mental Health First Aid Training - Mental Health Team, TimeBank / Hull County Council (2014)
    • Teenage Mental Health Training for Arts Practitioners - 42nd Street, Manchester (2014)
    • Using Play to Develop Positive Behaviour - Wirral Borough Council (2012)
    • Increasing Motivation & Engagement - Wirral Borough Council (2012)
    • Sensory Rooms - Wirral Borough Council (2011)
    • Well-being for disabled children and young people - Wirral Borough Council (2011)
    • Understanding, planning & delivery for children & young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder - Wirral Borough Council (2011)
    • Deaf Awareness - Wirral Borough Council (2011)
    • Introduction to Down's Syndrome - Wirral Borough Council (2011) 
    • Anti-Bullying Training - Wirral Borough Council (2011)
    • Structuring Provision to Minimise Anxiety with Autistic Spectrum Disorder - Wirral Borough Council (2010)
    • Managing Challenging Behaviour - Wirral Borough Council (2010)
    • Inclusion Awareness - Wirral Borough Council (2010)
    • Behaviour Management in Youth Arts - Artsplan Training (2010)
    • Access all Areas: Disability and Youth Arts - Artsplan Training (2010)