University of York: University of York Research Centre announces artist collaborations

Researchers at the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity (LCAB) aim to understand the causes and consequences of biodiversity gains and losses, and inform and influence how society responds.

Now, the four appointed artists will work with researchers over the next 12 months to produce persuasive and innovative art, designed to inspire further interdisciplinary research.


LCAB received over 100 applications for the scheme and saw a huge breadth of artists pitching collaboration projects. A panel shortlisted the final four artists:

Amy Cutler – who will explore complex environmental data to generate new real-time cinematic performances, and a permanently self-composing online film.
Laura Denning – who will use braille as a tactile device for triggering sonic works which bring habitats through time alive.
Julia Schauerman – who is composing a soundscape mixed with spoken word which evokes specific places and time periods to tell a story of sustainable food production.
May Sumbwanyambe – who is producing a BBC radio play grounded in the harsh realities and opposing perspectives of wildlife trade regulations in Africa.


LCAB Director Professor Chris Thomas said: “We are really excited about these one-of-a-kind collaborations which provide a platform to develop new ways to communicate LCAB’s original research into how the relationship between humanity and the natural world is changing. Through interdisciplinary innovation, we can explore how we might imagine, develop and maintain a sustainable future.”

Sarah Bezan, an LCAB postdoctoral researcher who will collaborate with Amy Cutler, added: “We were truly overwhelmed by the number of applications we received; the creativity and enthusiasm from both artists and researchers has been fantastic. I cannot wait to begin working with Amy on this wonderful opportunity to create art based on the Centre’s interdisciplinary work and explore new ways of thinking about my own research.”


One of the artists, Laura Denning said: “You cannot imagine how excited I am to have been selected and to be given the opportunity to co-create with Chantal. It is such a unique and timely research project and the chance to work creatively with the ideas and trajectories within Chantal’s research is a real privilege. I am so excited by our collaboration and look forward to commencing a beautifully fruitful and creative relationship.”