Press Release

Jun 22nd 2016


The Habitation Artist Residency Programme for the University of Cambridge's North West Cambridge Development is unveiled on 28th June 2016 from 5-8pm, with an exhibition of artworks and a discussion by the artists in residence, Lise Autogena, Joshua Portway and Ruth Ewan, and an introduction to the ArtScapers Education Programme.The event will take place at Gravel Hill Farm, the project base for the new development.

The event will feature new works developed through the residency as well as a free discussion between the artists and Dr Marquard Smith, academic, curator and Editor-in –Chief of the Journal of Visual Culture.

28th June 2016

5–6pm | Artists Discussion with Dr Marquard Smith in the Artists' Studios, free but places are limited and must be booked here

6–8pm | Private view with speeches, drinks and light supper Gravel Hill Farm, Madingley Rise, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0FU

Ruth Ewan | Another Time is a meadow and test-bed which, over the next three years, will transform a disused field next to Gravel Hill Farm workers' cottages into a non- mechanical clock. The plants featured in the meadow have been carefully selected
for their predictable flower opening and closing times – as first hypothesised by Carl Linnaeus his book Philosophia Botanica, 1751. The project is accompanied by a pamphlet detailing the research and ideas behind the project.

Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway | Imagining cities like plants is an exhibition that captures research carried out by Joshua Portway and Lise Autogena during their residency with The Sainsbury Laboratory. The artists have investigated the structure of cities using models of plant growth and techniques acquired from plant biology. The exhibition takes a sideways look at the relationship between urban ecology of the city and the cellular biology of plants.

Heather Topel, Acting Project Director of the North West Cambridge Development said: "The outcomes of the residency programme are the result of a year-long research partnership with departments to respond to the nature of evolving communities. We hope that the local community will enjoy participating in the programme, and reflecting on the pieces."

Managed and curated by the Contemporary Art Society and InSite Arts, the Habitation Artist Residency Programme forms the backbone of the public art strategy for the development. The artists are the first inhabitants of the site and participate in research collaborations with University of Cambridge departments to produce a range of creative responses that engender a sense of place for the new community.

ArtScapers | A display of work from 150 local primary school students developed through the North West Cambridge Art in Education Programme. ArtScapers has been developed by Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination, Dr Esther Sayers from Goldsmiths University and Gabby Arenge, a post-graduate student with the Faculty of Education of the University of Cambridge.

Also announcing ArtScapers Education Day – Saturday 2nd July 11am – 4pm, Gravel Hill Farm

Join us at a family-friendly event on Saturday 2nd July where you can participate in activities and see the work of the ArtScapers from Mayfield School and University of Cambridge Primary School. ArtScapers is a programme exploring how art and the work of the North West Cambridge Development artists can help children relate to their city as it grows. As Artscapers the children were invited to work as artists and creatively explore the themes of community, place, sustainability, ecology and archaeology, alongside Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination artist Susanne Jasilek. Join us to explore the interactive displays of the children's work and imagine how our cities could be shaped in the future.

The event is free and all are welcome. Drop in for half an hour or spend the day.

Please cycle, walk or use public transport to get to Gravel Hill Farm.

There is no parking available at the site, please park at Madingley Park & Ride.

The North West Cambridge Development is creating a new district and extension to the city, which is the largest single capital project that the University of Cambridge has undertaken in its 800-year history. The development is centred on a mixed academic and urban community that allows the city and the university to expand sustainably.

For further information on the North West Cambridge development and public art strategy, contact:

Lanny Walker, Art Consultant, Contemporary Art Society

+44 (0)20 7017 8408

For all press enquiries, contact:

Marcus Crofton, Communications Manager, Contemporary Art Society

+44 (0)20 7017 8412


Notes to Editors:


The North West Cambridge Development is the largest single capital project that the University of Cambridge has undertaken in its 800-year history. Outline planning permission was granted in February 2013 for the scheme, subject to approval of site-wide legal conditions and Reserved Matters Applications, on the 150-hectare site of University farmland situated in between Huntingdon Road, Madingley Road and the M11.

The masterplan includes 3,000 homes (50% 'key-worker' housing, available for qualifying University and Colleges employees), 2,000 post-graduate student spaces, 100,000 sq metres of research space, a local centre and community facilities including a primary school, nursery, doctors' surgery, supermarket and retail units, as well as all of the site-infrastructure and landscaping for the scheme. The development has been designed as an extension to the city, with an urban rather than suburban grain and will be of the highest design quality as well as being an exemplar of sustainable living.


The Contemporary Art Society and InSite Arts manages and delivers the public art programme for the North West Cambridge Development. The programme centres on a thorough understanding of place, developing a distinctive identity for Cambridge and setting a standard for public art that has the potential to be a benchmark nationally and internationally. The programme maximises the potential for diverse audiences to participate and offers meaningful ways for art and artists to connect to existing and future communities.

The backbone of the programme is the Habitation Artist Residency Programme, which will run throughout the duration of the development. The programme encourages collaboration between artists and departments within the university relevant to each phase of the development.


The Contemporary Art Society Consultancy provides art advisory services to develop contemporary art collections, public art commissions and visionary arts and cultural strategies. The Art Consultancy supports the Contemporary Art Society, a charity that purchases important new works of art to place in public collections across the UK. Identifying the great artists of today is at the heart of our approach, bringing the best in contemporary art to our clients. Current and recent projects include the development of a national public art strategy for Qatar Public Realm, major public art commissions for the Olympic Park in 2012, London School of Economics in 2010 and 2014, and developments including Television Centre, One Blackfriars and Angel Court in London.

InSite Arts is an independent art consultancy working through the UK and on behalf of a number of International clients. InSite Arts develops art strategy and delivers commissioning programmes within a diversity of contexts, from large scale development programme for retail, commercial and housing developers, to advising local authorities and to working with architects and other design professionals exploring innovative ways of integrating artists work. InSite Arts have commissioned artists at all stages in their careers and seek to establish a diversity of role for artists within the public realm, we facilitate artist-led community engagement programmes, to temporary events and commissions, through to large scale public art installations.


Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway

Live and work in London

Autogena and Portway have worked together since the early 1990's, developing large scale performances, multimedia installations and site-specific work, usually in collaboration with organisations and experts across many specialised fields. In their work they have sought to transform aspects of cultural and technical history, which typically remains below the level of everyday consciousness, into a shared experience of open possibilities. They have an interest in how visual language, technological interfaces and aesthetic form can impact on collective processes, and thereby open up new processes of inquiry; and the wider potential and impact of these processes on society.

Selected Exhibitions and Commissions:

'Untitled (Superorganism)' Commissioned for Anthropocene Monument, curated by Bruno La Tour, L'Abbatoirs, Toulouse, France, 2014. Exhibited at ZKM, Germany, 2015

'Foghorn Requiem' (2013) Collaboration with composer Orlando Gough. Commissioned by The National Trust, South Tyneside Council and Festival of The North East. 2013

'The Thor Heyerdahl Globe', 2013. Permanent commission for the Thor Heyerdahl College in Norway. Commissioned by Arts Council of Norway and Vestfold District Council. Preliminary designs exhibited at The Media Architecture Biennale 2010: Urban Media Territories; the re-stratification of urban public spaces through digital media.", Künstlerhaus, Vienna

'Most Blue Skies I & II' - Commissioned for the Gwangju Biennale, South Korea, 2006,

RETHINK CLIMATE (Rethink Kakotopia), Nikolaj Copenhagen Contemporary Art Centre. 2009. Touring to Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm, 2010,

'Salons' - 'Convivialité, écologie et Vie Pratique', Chateau de Chamarande, Paris, 2012 and 'Data Landscapes, Toward an Art of Environmental Change' - The Arts Catalyst, London, 2011

What is Positive?' 'Strategic Questions: 40 projects in response to 40 questions by Buckminster Fuller' Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Austria and De Apple, Amsterdam, 2008

'The Making of Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium' - at 'Derivatives: Art Financial Visions' , La Casa Encendida, Madrid, 2006/7

'Gustav Metzger – Breath Ing Culture'. A curated project exhibited at the Gustav Metzger Retrospective at the Generali Foundation, Austria, 2005

'Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium I & II' - Commissioned by Tate Britain for 'Art and Money Online', curated by Julian Stallabrass, 2000/2001 and Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, 2004.

'PING' Commissioned by the Barbican Gallery for 'GAME ON', 2002


The Journal Culture/Arts Council of England Award, 2014

(NESTA) Fellow of the National Endowment of Science, Technology and The Arts (Lise Autogena) 2004-8

Honorary Arts Council of Denmark Award 2004

The Art Foundation Award, (Lise Autogena) 1997

Ruth Ewan

Ruth Ewan lives and works in London.

Ewan's work takes many forms including events, installation and printed matter. Her practice explores histories of radical, political and utopian thought, bringing to light specific ideas in order to question how we might live today. Often engaging with others, Ewan's projects involve a process of focused research and close collaboration – in the past she has worked with historians, magicians, traditional crafts people, horticulturalists, archeologists, musicians, bakers and children.

One of her best-known works 'A Jukebox of People Trying to Change the World' (2003 – ongoing), invites listeners to select tracks from a CD jukebox containing over 2,200 politically motivated songs. She recently produced an audio guide, 'The Darks' with Astrid Johnston for Tate Britain exploring the histories connected to two prisons planned for the site. In 2012 she produced 'Liberties of the Savoy', taking inspiration from the Peasant's Revolt of 1381, for which over 200 teenagers from east London took over The Savoy's decadent Lancaster Ballroom. Several recent projects have engaged with alternative perceptions of time, 'We Could Have Been Anything We Wanted to Be' for the Folkestone Triennial 2011 and 'Back to the Fields' at Camden Arts Centre 2015 which brought to life the French Republican Calendar and decimal clock.

Exhibitions of her work have been presented at Camden Arts Centre, London (2015); Tate Britain and the Collective Gallery, Edinburgh (with Astrid Johnston) (2014 and 2013); Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, the Glasgow International and the Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2012);Dundee Contemporary Arts and the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla (2011); the ICA, London (2008); the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland (2007) and Studio Voltaire, London in 2006. She has realised projects in London for Create (2012), Art on the Underground (2011); Frieze Projects (2009) and Artangel (2007). Her work has also been included in survey exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw and Tate Liverpool (2013) and the New Museum, New York (2009).


ArtScapers is the education programme for the Public Art Programme. It has been developed in partnership between Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI), Dr Esther Sayers from Goldsmiths University and Gabby Arenge, from the University of Cambridge and has been working collaboratively with two primary schools during 2016. Children have been invited to take on the role of ArtScapers, exploring their city as it grows. As co-creators they have been thinking with us how to help others to think creatively about these urban changes.

CCI is a social enterprise collaborating with artists in creativity research, practice and community development. It works with people of all ages in all sorts of spaces, including most recently woods, hospitals, libraries, playgrounds and recycling centres.

More information about CCI and the ArtScapers programme to date:


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North West Cambridge Development Project Team

Ruth Ewan

May 2015 to April 2016

Sainsbury Laboratory

Joshua Portway and Lise Autogena

May 2015 to April 2016



Joshua Portway and Lise Autogena

Autogena and Portway have worked together since the early 1990’s, developing large scale performances, multimedia installations and site-specific work, usually in collaboration with organisations and experts across many specialised fields.

Ruth Ewan

Ewan’s work takes many forms including events, installation and printed matter. Her practice explores histories of radical, political and utopian thought, bringing to light specific ideas in order to question how we might live today.
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