Izzy Randall

I am a BA English Graduate with an interest in literature, publishing and editorial work. I have completed work experience at a prestigious publishing house as a marketing and publicity assistant within the children’s department in London as well as a three-month work experience opportunity at an indie cookbook publisher in Sheffield. I have a keen interest in the marketing and publicity that surrounds the book business, as well as the rights and legal sector that works alongside this. These interests have continued on into my MA, where I have become increasingly interested in the marketing and planning areas of arts and cultural institutions, such as during our individual project in which we were tasked with creating and planning an event for a company of our choice, including budgets and financial statements.  

My other professional interests include music, live events and the importance of local, grassroot venues. This has become clear over several assignments, such as my research project where I investigated the use of streaming services for emerging artists and my dissertation, which is focusing on the importance of grassroot music venues for the local community and live music ecology. During my time on this course, I have developed a keen interest in the accessibility of arts and culture. I am especially interested in investigating ways in which this can be improved and whether the digitalisation of the sector during the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the ways the sector can be accessed; this also includes how arts and culture can be used within non-traditional educational settings. I feel that arts and culture should be accessible to all and can be used as an important and effective tool in improving confidence, life skills and, in some cases, educational attainment. I researched this for one of my assignments, focusing on the use of the arts in the criminal justice system and further pursued through my work experience, where I chose to volunteer for a charity that uses creative writing to improve children’s confidence, imagination and literary/creative writing skills.  

Reflective journal entry
This is the first assignment I completed on the course. I discuss one of the required texts that I had previously read and provided my own thoughts and opinions on the topic. The text was exploring the issue of inequality in the arts and what more can be done to close this gap. I used my previous knowledge and own interests to provide examples to support my arguments. 

Research project powerpoint 
This is the powerpoint presentation for my research project. I chose to investigate the impact of streaming services on music consumer habits and emerging artists. I went on to interview emerging artists about their opinions on the subject and was inspired by some of their comments which led to inspiration for my dissertation. 

Arts Management in Practice module proposal  
This is my proposal for the Arts Management in practice module. I chose to use a rural theatre company in Shropshire as my focus, creating a fictional project for them. The project I chose was school, FE and HE touring workshops where participants could learn various skills relating to the performing arts sector. 

Dissertation proposal  
This is the proposal for my final project/dissertation. I have chosen to write my dissertation on the impact of grassroot live music venues in Northern England, focusing on the cultural, social and economic benefits and what more needs to be done to keep these venues open. 

Emily Barraclough

I am interested in access and participation in the arts, particularly visual and creative projects. My research often highlights inequalities within various sections of the creative industries and explores how the sector could improve its access for all. My personal art practice also explores the involvement of people in pieces through the use of ephemeral materials and public space. My research and art practice influence each other, and my work overall aims to develop inclusive and fun spaces for all to be creative. 

This short essay was developed in response to the growing divide in Britain during Brexit tensions and reflects my thinking at the time. Art and media often perpetuates the idyll of Britain’s rural areas, whilst behind the curtain lies broken towns with histories of struggle; or curator Amanda Crawley Jackson’s idea of ‘post-traumatic landscapes’. The eerie mystery of our countryside is recognisable for its emptiness, and sparks intrigue on what history our ‘non-places’ hold. 

Curt Whitehouse

An image of Curt Whitehouse

My interests are very much catered towards the visual arts and how they’re used in social settings to improve lives. This takes different forms, as I am interested in the way visual arts and art activism are used to create change in society.  I am also keen on how arts are used in education to develop children and young people in schools, and the how art can be used as an outlet for mental health, and services surrounding that.  

How  is the Legacy of Contemporary Feminism Informing Activism in the Cultural Sector: 
This was a presentation I created to showcase the early stages of my research about Feminist  art and how different waves of Feminist activism have affected society. This includes people like the Guerrilla Girls and moves all the way to modern day artists and how they’re using their work in places like the Middle East. This research was then developed into an essay for this module.  

Explore the debates arounds how the arts may contribute to civic life: 
This essay is based around the STEM V.S Humanities debate in the school system and how arts and humanities should still be a focus in schools. It looks at the benefits surrounding the arts and humanities, as well as if STEM has any benefits, and how this fits into a wider policy context.  

The Arts and Mental Health: 
This piece was about how the arts are used in society to improve mental health and create an outlet for people to express themselves more freely through different mediums. I interviewed a Yorkshire based Social Enterprise, Keep Real, who support and provide help for people with issues surrounding mental health through workshops etc, and discussed how this kind of work fits into wider government and NHS policy.  

Dominika Rojewska

An image of Dominika Rojewska

 

I have been completing the MA part time while working at ArtWorks SY, an organisation which supports artists with learning disabilities and autism. My focus over the last year has been specifically on the inclusion of individuals with learning disabilities into the visual arts sector. I would like to use the knowledge and skills which I have gained from the course to create even more amazing opportunities for our artists and work towards a more heterogeneous art world in the future. 

A Bit of Dead Wood
This is one of my Reflective Journal entries from the Critical Issues module of the course. This particular entry is an investigation into a statement made by artist Grayson Perry regarding the effect of the pandemic on arts organisations. The quote was shared widely by the media, encouraging shock reactions and criticism. I attempted to contextualise the artist’s words to create my own informed opinion on the subject. 

Research Methods presentation
This presentation explained my planned approach to a research project which aimed to examine the accessibility of the Sheffield visual arts landscape to individuals with learning disabilities. The research was grounded in a Marxist methodology with the intention to inform the progression towards a visual arts sector with fairer distribution of capital and power. The research methods included a review of policies of Sheffield visual arts organisations, a questionnaire and interviews. 

Critical Issues Essay – Abstract: 
This essay used Pierre Bourdieu’s theories to analyse the social dynamics which influence the placement of artists with learning disabilities within the contemporary art world. It looks at three ‘fields of cultural production’ which the work of these artists is often associated with: Community Arts, Disability Arts and Outsider Art. The concepts of ‘habitus’ and ‘cultural capital’ are applied to explain how classification under those titles impacts the perception of work produced by artists with learning disabilities. It also explores the predispositions which elicit the segregation under those titles, and how these influence access to success. 

Tiff Holland

 

Portrait of Tiff Holland

Originally from Staffordshire, I moved to Leeds to complete a practical BA Hons degree in contemporary dance at Leeds Beckett University. After completing those 3 years I found more of an interest in the background of the arts world, and in museum/gallery spaces, I found this MA fitted perfectly. I have found particular interest in exploring the various ways galleries/museums can be used and recently began researching the use of sensational exhibitions within them, with a focus on exhibits like ‘Sensations’ and ‘Body Worlds’ and the ethical, legal and contextual implications. 

Reflective Journal entry- Critical Issues in Culture module 
This is an entry from the end of the module, I took it as an opportunity to reflect on how I felt the first couple of modules went and how I felt about the course in general. I used it to provide not only that, but various issues/complexities that I found and what I was looking forward to the most in upcoming modules. 

Reflective Journal entry- Context for Culture module
This entry acted as a key information hub for an essay which compared various dance organisations around the UK and the ‘I am the Museum’ campaign that was based in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It investigated what was meant by the terms ‘access’ and ‘participation’ for these two very different case studies and their effectiveness in reaching more individuals. 

Dissertation Proposal 
This proposal is for research I am currently undertaking. Not only does it provide the provisional title, justification for the research and the various methods/methodology that will be used within the research, it enabled me to annotate sources and choose chapters/headings prior to writing. The research for this area is very wide so the proposal gave me a chance to see everything I had, narrow it down and create boundaries if needed before I began the writing process.  

Ellen Fletcher

An image of Ellen Fletcher

I previously studied International Events Management with Art and Entertainment (BSC) at Sheffield Hallam, and my experience has included working with festivals, theatres, and art galleries. Throughout my time at Sheffield Hallam, I have specialised in the representation of women in the music industry. This has included, the sexualisation of women in music compared to visual arts, behavioural consequences of music lyrics and gender disparity in music venue line-ups. All of this has empowered my feminist position within my future role in events.  My drive is to help others, create safe spaces and provide opportunities for everyone through an all-inclusive ethos and allowing for expressive creativity.  

Dissertation Proposal – “Analysing the gender inequalities of musicians within the line-ups at music venues, with a specific focus on the Sheffield based music venue ‘The Leadmill’”  

When analysing data, it is clear that white, able bodied, cis, heterosexual, men are dominating the music scene. Therefore, my final dissertation aims to look at the lack of equality and diversity within music venues and the potential issues this could be causing for artists and attendees. It will be analysing the gender in musicians within music venues, the causes, consequences, and recommendations. 

Research Report – “To what extent do chart music lyrics glamourise societal issues and influence behaviours”  

There are extreme difficulties with telling musicians what not to express within their lyrics, as many musicians today are fortunate to be in an industry in which free speech and artistic license are basic rights. However, when lyrics that appear in the charts and are incredibly accessible often contain sexualised themes, misogyny, profane language, and references to drugs, violence, where do we draw the line? This report highlighted the significant issues within lyrics and the impact of behaviours related to gender differences. All of which needs to be brought to the forefront of the music industry to allow for further discussion and to create a more socially positive listening experience for all.