PE is not a Panacea

From tackling obesity to producing sporting heroes: Physical Education is not a panacea:

On Thursday, Ofsted, the education standards watchdog, warned in a report on primary and secondary Physical Education (PE) that some PE lessons were failing to provide enough strenuous activity to improve pupils fitness and that not enough young people were playing competitive sport to a high level. Such claims hardly conceal the assumed purpose and nature of PE; to produce sporting elite and to respond to putative health crises, such as the obesity epidemic.   Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said “In particular, we found there often wasn’t enough physical, strenuous activity in PE lessons”. Alongside this, last week, the government published its draft school curriculum, Children’s Minister Edward Timpson said: “The new PE curriculum will put competitive sport at the heart of school life, ending the damaging ‘prizes for all’ culture. As well as helping us to unearth the next Jack Wilshere, Rebecca Adlington or Stuart Broad, this will build character, embed values of fairness and respect, and give all children the opportunities they need to be fit and healthy.”

Reading this, you might be surprised that I am not alone in challenging the ‘common-sense’ and misguided belief that Physical Education ought to be on the frontline in the ‘war on obesity’.  There exists a community of sociologists, social commentators, scientists and health professionals who highlight the uncertainties and complexities of obesity science and reveal the damaging effects of a simplistic weight-centric approach to health.  Of course, policies are inevitably complex and are (re)appropriated in schools with potentially positive and negative consequences. But, there are a number of built in assumptions about the drive to tackle obesity and increase fitness as a rational for PE that raise some serious questions.


The designation of obesity as a crisis of epidemic proportions plays no small role in propagating the view that PE ought to be at the front line in the war on obesity. This continues to drive public opinion about the nature and purpose of PE as if it ought to make a measurable impact on the body weight of populations of young people. The very nature of ‘crisis’ profoundly influences the way people understand a problem and perceive that doing something is better than doing nothing, even if we are yet to know the efficacy of that ‘something’.  This itself seems a rather fragile basis on which to either make a rational for PE or indeed to combat a putative health crisis. In part, this is because obesity science is full of uncertainties and rarely are these mentioned in the media nor the health policies associated with obesity. Whilst it is clear that there are potential health risks at the extreme ends of the weight continuum, for the vast majority of people who might be ‘overweight’ the evidence is rather less clear. The investment into a proliferation of anti-obesity policies and programmes on the basis of this science therefore seems dubious. Indeed,  Dr Michael Gard, in his book The End of The obesity Epidemic argues that predictions of a global health crisis have not yet materialised and that is impossible to establish an objective truth on which to develop policy. The complexities of weight and health are such that no simple solutions exist, yet these complexities disappear in political rhetoric.

Equally, Gard also argues that there is little empirical evidence on the efficacy of these policies and interventions in actually addressing obesity. Indeed many interventions have failed to reveal an impact on BMI.  This is partly because many anti-obesity programmes and interventions fail to engage with the complexities of body weight, weight loss and physical activity and the science lacks a clear solution. Yet, time and money continues to be invested in simple solutions such as ‘increasing vigorous activity’.  The suggestion that children should be doing more strenuous and vigorous activity ignores a particularly crucial point in addressing young people’s disengagement and disaffection with Physical Education; decades of research reveals that children do no like repetitive, strenuous activities, particularly those associated with health related ‘fitness’. Even if one supports the view that there is an obesity epidemic, this, surely, is not the way to encourage lifelong physical activity which is culturally relevant, enjoyable and sustained. Moreover, there is no evidence to suggest that physically active children will inevitably become physically active adults. This is hardly surprising when we consider the often narrow range of ‘competitive’ sports encouraged in PE proposals and the diverse range of culturally relevant lifestyle activities which might appeal to us as adults (how many of us continue to play hockey, netball, athletics once we’ve left school?). How quickly do we forget that school experiences are not isolated; we make decisions based on our broader economic, social contexts and physicality as we move across the lifespan.  Thus, the investment in changing children’s physical activity now, tells us something about the integral positioning children have come to hold within current socio-cultural and socio-economic discourses about the ‘future’ of neoliberal society where ‘weight’ and ‘lifestyle’ feature as part of the neoliberal constitution of personal responsibility.

The turn towards a health based focus and its accompanying modes of regulation and surveillance of young people’s bodies plays no small part in their disengagement with physical activity nor the increase in disaffection even primary age children are experiencing with their own bodies. More than ever, young people are engaging in disordered eating, displaying disaffected relationships with their bodies and engaging in harmful forms of body modification or physical practices. Research I’ve undertaken with Professor John Evans (Loughborough University) and Laura De Pian (University of Bath), with young people across a range of schools sites in the UK have revealed the damaging consequences of school policy based on fitness, health imperatives and weight loss to the well being and identities of young people. Fears about the declining future health of current generations of young people are used as justification for intervening in people’s lives at an increasingly younger age and on an ever greater scale, through lunch box inspections, moral commentary on young people’s bodies, Body Mass Indexing, weighing and fitness testing are some of the approached being used in schools. The scrutiny of young people’s bodies has not only become relentless but also converges with broader discourses of neo-liberalism. Rarely have so many people have been made to feel so bad about their bodies or their routine maintenance through eating, moving, exercising, and so forth, with so little concern or sensitivity as to the potentially damaging effects of this especially on the lives of girls and young women. This interest in obesity reflects a biopolitcal shift toward organizing, shaping and regulating bodies in particular ways, through a simplistic focus on “weight”, irrespective of ‘health’.

Moreover, the appropriation of PE as a place to regulate, address medical issues, change behaviours and shape bodies (towards thin, supposedly healthy forms) silences other ways of developing PE in more creative and engaging ways that are of cultural relevance to younger generations. These are important points for the policy debates, lest we revert to a form of PE which is reduced to the shaping and training of young people’s bodies towards idealised and often unobtainable ‘ideals’.  After all, we are talking here about physical education not wider physical activity or sport – is it really the purpose of education to fight obesity? Is this what physical education ought to be about? Is this a good investment of time and money? The very idea that schools are designated as an appropriate place to tackle the ‘obesity crisis’ says something about the way PE is storied into existence in the public domain.  The announcements this week reflect once again that PE, perhaps rather naively is far too often constituted as a panacea, and charged with combating all manner of social problems from obesity to youth disaffection to producing the next sporting elite in a way other subjects are not. How is the profession to respond to the performative tendencies of neoliberalism which shape the focus on PE? Equally, how is it to take a seemingly impossible task to retain a commitment to high quality PE, raise its often marginalised profile and at the same time promote democratic and inclusive principals (which is surely one of the key purposes of education). There are enormous pressures on teachers in what is a policy saturated environment – the danger here is that both the subject and teachers are vulnerable in its pursuit of the reduction of BMI or increase in vigorous activity (no doubt destined to fail). We must make space within which other ways of developing PE can be brought into fruition – those which move beyond the sort of terrors of the culture of performativity Stephen Ball alerts us to. Are there alternative voices to be heard in this debate that tell a different story of health, well-being and community?

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New article in Culture @ the Olympics

Watch this Paralympics Documentary


During 2012 I was fortunate enough to work with some students from City of Bristol College (with thanks to tutor Sacha Butterworth) as part of a series of research projects. These students have been involved in various citizen media activities in collaboration with Relays at watershed.

The link above will take you to a short documentary produced by these talented young filmmakers providing an insight into the lead up to the Paralympic Games and some of the contemporary issues confronting disability sport.

The film was funded by the University of Bath as part of a broader research project on disability sport (Dr Emma Rich, Dr Michael Silk and Dr Jill Porter) and undertaken in partnership with Relays at Watershed (a huge thanks to Liz Milner) and City of Bristol College (Sacha Butterworth). Many thanks to all the students, athletes, coaches, staff at the Bath Sports Training village and to David Goldblatt for their help in making this documentary possible.

Article in the Independent

Read my Blog feature in the Independent on  London2012  – read here 


The end of the affair? Why London2012 ‘inspiration’ could be short-lived

As the London2012 Olympic Games drew to a spectacular end this week, attention quickly turned to the future and potential legacy and ‘inspiration’ it will deliver. This word has populated the media landscape and a quick search for #inspiration on twitter will give some indication of its prevalence. Unsurprisingly, the capacity for sport to ‘inspire’ has fronted the discourse before and during the 2012 Games. Over the coming months and years, the success of the Games will be held to its claim to ‘inspire a generation’. Yet only days later, following a BBC survey, concerns were raised that the effect of the games would be short-lived.

Continue reading The end of the affair? Why London2012 ‘inspiration’ could be short-lived

New publication – Olympics – New legacies of learning?

Body Culture Exhibition

In September 2011 some of my work on the Body and Physical Culture was the    subject of an exhibition at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Insitution. Click here to view the Online Exhibition Book.

Body culture is an interdisciplinary contemporary art exhibition exploring young people’s relationship with their bodies within a culture of increased surveillance and body perfection. Thirteen artists have translated research findings of work by Dr Emma Rich, The University of Bath and colleagues from Loughborough University (Laura De-Pian, John Evans, Rachel Allwood) into forms of performance art, conceptual sculptures and photography.  Amidst growing concerns about the rise in disordered eating and body dissatisfaction, the exhibition uses these various art forms to explore the impact of an increased focus on weighing, measuring and the surveillance on young people’s bodies.

Olympic Open Weekend and citizen journalism

Please visit the blog

On 23rd – 24th July Weymouth hosted their Olympic Open Weekend as part of the Cultural Olympiad and in the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games. Funded by University of Bath and in collaboration with RELAYS Watershed Bristol, Weymouth College and #media2012 I have just completed a pilot study on young people and citizen journalism. A number of local young people underwent training with David Goldblatt to become citizen journalists to report on the weekend’s activities, highlighting important issues and documenting the cultural activities.   The young people involved in this project have all done a fantastic job of interviewing, photographing, videoing and blogging topical issues connected to Weymouth’s involvement in the 2012 Olympic Games using smart phone technology.  Well done and thank you to all involved! Please do feel free to comment on any of the posts on the blog.

This project has been made possible by a number of people and organisations.

Funding for the project was provided by Univerity of Bath and the research strand led by Dr Emma Rich

The project is part of a larger network #media2012 you can follow this on twitter, facebook or visit the website

The project has been undertaken in collaboration with  RELAYS at Watershed and the process will be repeated repeated over the forthcoming year with the aim of another visit to Weymouth during next year’s London 2012 Olympic sailing. RELAYS at Watershed is Watershed’s contribution to the region wide RELAYS project. RELAYS is an ambitious, innovative and flexible programme of linked cultural and sporting opportunities across the South West which marks one of the regions contributions to the forthcoming 2012 Olympiad in London. Watershed is one of three venues contributing cultural activity to the RELAYS celebrations. A thanks to Liz Milner for all her hard work on this project.

Support at the event was also provided by Mathew Swindells, RELAYS colleague from UWE and artist Kerri O’Connell.

Many thanks also to Tim Abberley from Weymouth College and Alan Rogers, Arts Development Officer, Weymouth and Portland and Richard Crowe, London 2012 creative programmer south west for making this project possible.

Many thanks to all of those involved with the Olympic Open Weekend – technicians, students, members of the public, artists, organisers.

If you want to find out more about this project, please email me – Please visit the blog here

Presentation – Researching the body

Integrating perspectives on schools-based research – July 14th 2011

July 14th – presenting a paper on methodological issues of undertaking research on sensitive issues around health and the body in schools. This is part of a one day conference on ‘Integrating perspectives on schools-based research’ at Cardiff University organised by Ceryn Evans.

#media2012 olympic research

This Summer I will be undertaking research on social media and the Olympics as part of the #media2012 social media community: “This is founded on principles of ‘open media’ and will facilitate community legacies and build stories about London, the Nations and the Regions that reach an international audience. It will focus on reporting all non-sporting legacy stories, locating culture and art at the heart of its practice. Its work will transcend national boundaries in ways that no other Games has achieved before, by promoting peer-to-peer conversations. The intention is that this community will help to build a new media legacy for the United Kingdom, built on the idea of citizen media reporting and the recognition that the Games are more than just sports competitions. They are social movements with high humanitarian and cultural aspirations”

A proposal for the project, directed by Professor Andy Miah, is also available online here

Working with South West partners (Watershed Bristol, Liz Milner, Matthew Swindells, Journalist David Goldblatt, Richard Crowe and Alan Rogers, Weymouth College) I will be undertaking a pilot project on citizen journalism  during an Olympic Open Weekend. Young people will be reporting on the Olympic Open Weekend as citizen journalists using a variety of social media platforms. It is intended that this project will continue throughout and after games time, registering a stories which might otherwise not get told. Please do get in contact if you wish to know more about this project or wish to be involved in the South West network of #media2012. For those of you in Weymouth on the Olympic open day, we hope to have a live feed into the big screen (ici 360 immersive video arena) that day so do come along and support the project.

To follow this project, please visit the #media2012 website, twitter #media2012 or #emmarich45. We also have a facebook page


Pedagogy and Physical Cultural Studies

New article published on pedagogy and physical cultural studies in the Sociology of Sport Journal

Exploring the Relationship Between Pedagogy and Physical Cultural Studies: The Case of New Health Imperatives in Schools

This paper explores how we might better engage with pedagogy as a feature of the growing field of Physical Cultural Studies (Andrews, 2006). It is promulgated that pedagogy and physical culture, as disciplines, may benefit from a much stronger dialogical engagement. In progressing these discussions, the paper draws on the case of the current interest in what is putatively described as a childhood obesity epidemic, to illustrate how physical cultural practices relating to “health” produce public pedagogy which speaks to a complex interplay of political, social and technological relationships.

Cet article explore la façon dont nous pourrions nous engager dans la pédagogie qui représente un aspect du domaine en expansion des Études culturelles physiques (Andrews, 2006). Il a été promulgué que la pédagogie et la culture physique pouvaient bénéficier d’un engagement dialogique beaucoup plus prononcé entre l’un et l’autre. En donnant le stade où en sont ces discussions, l’article met en jeu le cas suscitant l’intérêt actuel à ce qui est décrit comme une maladie d’obésité infantile, pour illustrer comment les pratiques culturelles physiques liées à la santé génèrent une pédagogie publique qui commente l’intéraction complexe des relations politiques, sociales et technologiques.

Speaking the Unspoken

Just given a paper on Boys body dissatisfaction, new health imperatives and sites of learning at

A really thoughtful symposium which problematized bodies, masculinities and body image

The image is untitled Acrylic on canvas by Emilie Kalinowski of The University of Western Ontario

My research in exhibition

  In September there will be an exhibition of artist’s interpretation of some of the research I have been undertaking for   the last ten years with colleagues (John Evans, Rachel Allwood, Laura De Pian, Jan Wright, Lisette Burrows etc) concerning the increased surveillance of young people’s bodies (funded by ESRC and Loughborough University).  This will be curated by Kerrie O’Connell and held at the Bath Royal Scientific and Literary Institution.

Further details of dates, opening night and artists to follow…

ESRC Seminar Series: Fat Studies and HAES


ESRC seminar series: Fat Studies and HAES: Bigness Beyond Obesity (More about the series here-

Seminar 4: Researching Fat Studies and HAES: working with/as fat bodies

5th-6th May 2011, Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (Elwin Room)

To register to attend the seminar please follow this link:

This seminar will address the ethical and methodological issues involved in researching Fat Studies and Health at Every Size and will explore possibilities for the engagement of public, activist, policy and practitioner communities in Fat Studies and HAES research. The seminar will bring together health professionals, musicians, artists and academics and will include a combination of presentations workshop activities and performance art.

Speakers include:

  • Keynote: Jacqui Gingras, Assistant Professor, Ryerson University. Fleshing Out Knowledges Beyond Bounds
    Jennie Pedley: Silhouettes and surroundings – art collaborations inspired by the history of exercise.
  • Vikki Chalklin, Goldsmiths, University of London: Shared narratives/collective selves: Queer performance as a community of affect
  • Professor John Evans, Loughborough University:  ‘Border Crossings: How not to win friends and influence people in obesity research’
  • Bethan Evans: ‘Juggling different hats: negotiating engagements between policy, activism and academia as a critical fat geographer.
  • Rachel Colls: Big Bodies Dancing: reflections on doing fat research
  • Neil Luck: (Composer)

The seminar will run from 1pm-6pm on Thursday 5th May and 9am-3pm on Friday 6th May.

The seminar is free to attend, including tea/coffee on Thursday 5th May and lunch on Friday 6th May, but participants must meet their own accommodation and transport costs. Directions to the venue can be found here: There is plenty of hotel accommodation available in the centre of Bath.

There will be an optional dinner on Thursday 5th May (costs not covered). Please indicate whether you wish to attend this on the registration form.

There are a limited number of bursaries available to contribute to travel/accommodation costs for students/unwaged participants. To request a bursary, please complete the relevant section on the registration form.

Any questions, please contact Emma Rich (, Lee Monaghan ( or Bethan Evans (




Seminar 4 – Researching Fat Studies and HAES: working with/as fat bodies

Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (Elwin Room) 5th-6th May 2011


Thursday 5th May 2011

13.00 – 13.30 Registration and coffee

13.30 – 13.45  Introduction

(Emma Rich, Bethan Evans, Rachel Colls)

13.45 – 14.30 Session One

Chair: Charlotte Cooper

13.45 -14.00 –  Paper 1: Charlotte Cooper: A Fat/Queer Timeline: An update

14.00 -14.30 – Paper 2:  Lucy Aphramor: It’s not good, its not bad, it’s just how it is’: participants’ experiences of a HAES programme in Coventry

14.30 -15.00 –  Paper 3: Jennie Pedley: Silhouettes and surroundings – art collaborations inspired by the history of exercise.

15.00 -15.30 –  Paper 4: Vikki Chalklin, Goldsmiths, University of London: Shared narratives/collective selves: Queer performance as a community of affect

15.30-16.00 – Tea/Coffee

16.00-17.00 Session Two

Chair: Lee Monaghan

16.00-16.30 – Paper 5:  Karen Throsby, Warwick University: “You can’t be too vain to gain if you want to swim the Channel”: marathon swimming, ethnography and the problem of heroic fatness

16.30-17.00 – Paper 6: Professor John Evans, Loughborough University: Border Crossings: How not to win friends and influence people in obesity research


17.00-18.00: Keynote address:

Dr Jacqui Gingras, Assistant Professor, Ryerson University: Fleshing Out Knowledges Beyond Bounds

Chair: Lucy Aphramor

19.00 – Dinner: Panasia Oritental Restaurant, 2 George Street. Bath. 01225 481001

Friday 6th May 2011


09.30-10.00 Coffee/Tea

10.00-12.00 Session Three

Chair: Karen Throsby

10.00-10.30 – Paper 7: Bethan Evans: ‘Juggling different hats: negotiating engagements between policy, activism and academia as a critical fat geographer.

10.30-11.00 – Paper 8: Rachel Colls: Big Bodies Dancing: reflections on doing fat research

11.00-11.30 – Paper 9: Neil Luck: (Composer)

11.30-12.00 – Paper 10: Sally Lemsford, socially-engaged artist-curator

12.00-13.00 – Lunch

13.00-15.00 – Discussion groups, roundtable and conclusion

Chair: Bethan Evans and Emma Rich


Throughout the seminar a range of art work will also be exhibited.


Lucy Aprhamor


Vikki Chalklin


Shared Narratives/Collective Selves: Queer Performance as a Community of Affect

Drawing from the practices of auto- and performance-ethnography this piece will consider how queer performance club spaces appear to enable certain modalities of ‘self’ that are simultaneously individual and communal through the performance of personal narratives translated into shared, collective stories.  Through cabaret, burlesque, comedy, and spoken-word live art, this performance piece presents common experiences of trauma, exclusion and violence linked to stigmatised subjectivities and embodiments, blurring the distinctions of self/other, performer/audience and truth/fiction. Individual experiences and memories are made universal, and personal pain dissipates like laughter through the audience as it is affectively passed from one body to another. Rather than simply discuss in the abstract this phenomena as witnessed within various queer performance contexts, this performance aspires to engage the audience directly in the intersubjective practices of which it speaks by staging a performance that blends my own, my research participant-protagonists, and the audience’s experiences and subjective positioning to create a moment of collective relational being through the act of spectatorship.

Vikki Chalklin is a performer, activist and researcher based at Goldsmiths, University of London and an associate researcher with the AHRC research project Performance Matters. Her current work is located at the intersection of body theory and performance studies, investigating notions of performativity, embodiment, affect and intercorporeality.


Rachel Colls

Rachel Colls is a Lecturer in Human Geography at Durham University. Her research interests include geographies of ‘the body’, feminist theories of embodiment, emotions, obesity, consumption and clothing. She has published on women’s embodied and emotional experiences of clothes shopping, on the role of the BMI in anti-obesity policy and on the use of feminist theory to understand the materialities of fat. She is currently working on a project on big bodies dancing and on a book with Bethan Evans on Critical Geographies of Obesity/Fatness.


Charlotte Cooper

Charlotte Cooper is a queer fat activist based in London, and currently a Government of  Ireland Ph.D scholar at the University of Limerick, courtesy of the Irish Social Sciences  Platform. Charlotte’s background is in DIY culture and journalism. She authored the fat  rights manifesto Fat and Proud: The Politics of Size (1998) and the novel Cherry (2002).  Charlotte  blogs about fat at

Bethan Evans

Bethan Evans is a Lecturer in Human Geography and Medical Humanities at Durham University. Her research centres on the biopolitics surrounding health and education with specific reference to obesity. She has published on the position of young people in contemporary pre-emptive biopolitics concerning obesity and climate change, on young people’s embodied experiences of school sports and on the role of the BMI in anti-obesity policy. She is currently working on an ESRC project on the role of the built environment in anti-obesity policy and on a book with Rachel Colls on Critical Geographies of Obesity/Fatness.

John Evans

John Evans is Professor of Sociology of Education and Physical Education in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences. His research interests centre on issues relating to the politics of the curriculum, equity and identity; and embodiment, education and health.  John has published extensively in the Sociology of Education and Physical Education. His books include: Education, Disordered Eating and Obesity Discourse (with Emma Rich, Brian Davies and Rachel Allwood; London: Routledge, 2008); Educational Policy and Social Reproduction (with Brian Davies and John Fitz; Routledge, 2005); Teaching in Transition: The Challenge of Mixed Ability Grouping (Open University Press, 1985); and co-author (with Dr Dawn Penney) of Politics, Policy and Practice in Physical Education (E&FN Spon 1999).). His edited books include: Body Knowledge and Control. Studies in the Sociology of Physical Education and Health; Routledge, 2004), Physical Education, Sport and Schooling : Studies in the Sociology of PE (Falmer Press, 1986), Teachers Teaching and Control (Falmer Press, 1988) and Equality, Education and Physical Education, (Falmer Press, 1993).

Jacqui Gingras, PhD, RD

Assistant Professor, Ryerson University.

Jacqui is an Assistant Professor at Ryerson University’s School of Nutrition. Her research involves theoretical and experiential explorations of critical health and dietetics epistemology and what “counts” as knowledge in nutrition and food education and practice. She has a particular interest in how a dietetic student’s and/or professional’s subjectivity is constituted by power, discourse, race, class, and gender and how those attributes then inform professional practices. Her research engages autoethnographic, narrative, phenomenological, and arts-informed methods as a means for situated and particular understandings of dietetics theory, education, and practice. Her doctoral research, a critical autoethnographic fiction on how dietetic education, subjectivity, and performativity shape a collective understanding of food, weight, and health, was awarded the Ted T. Aoki Prize for Outstanding Dissertation in Curriculum Studies at UBC. Her work appears in the Health at Every Size Journal, Food, Culture & Society, Feminist Media Studies, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, Educational Insights, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, and the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Currently, Dr. Gingras serves as the Chair of the Centre for the Advancement of the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (Faculty of Community Services), as a Steering Committee member of the Partnership for Dietetic Education and Practice, and is a member of the Advisory Committee for Professional Affairs (Dietitians of Canada). She is a Registered Dietitian with the College of Dietitians of Ontario.

Sally Lemsford

Sally Lemsford, socially-engaged artist-curator who enjoys working collaboratively, addressing social issues by setting up events and encounters for specific situations in public spaces. She makes temporary relationships with diverse people in their own locality – shared art experiences of art as process, art as traces, art as an intervention.Starting with a concept and process, she invites people to engage actively so they contribute to the direction that the process takes; the result is cohesive, relevant and amazing. By setting up a thinking space where least expected, she gives people the opportunity to look afresh at their own space, to consider and reflect on their everyday experiences, stories and moments in life. By using everyday non-art formats, she gives people the chance to look, read, digest unfamiliar material in a familiar way. They may not even be aware of this as art. She looks for opportunities that intrigue her, which she thinks she can contribute to strongly and that challenges her to review who she is and how she works. Images, text, sounds, movement, storytelling and playfulness are all important in what she does. How this is communicated effectively to the general public is central to her planning and informs the structure and process of the work she undertakes, wherever she ventures.

Neil Luck


Neil Luck is a composer based in London. His compositional practice focuses on various approaches to non-standard notations, in particular those which implicate either the composer’s own body/movement in construction, or directly engage with the physiology of performance techniques themselves. He studied composition at the University of Surrey, and at the Royal College of Music.

He has also been active in performing his own work, and the work of others around the UK, Europe and Japan, as well as on BBC radio 3 as part of the Cut and Splice festival. He is the founder of ARCO – an experimental string ensemble, and is a co-founder of Squib-box; an artist led cooperative dedicated to the production, recording and dissemination of contemporary avant-garde music.

Neil’s work as a curator has seen led to two major exhibitions in 2008 and 2009 in collaboration with Sam Belinfante; Notations 2008 and The Voice and Nothing More . He has also produced a variety of concerts, happenings and events both independently and in collaboration with a range of other artists.

Jennie Pedley

Jennie Pedley is an artist and a children’s physiotherapist. She has a long history of art science collaborations, funded by the Wellcome Trust. She has created virtual environments based on the memories of young people with cerebral palsy. Jennie has worked with cardiac and respiratory rehabilitation groups on their personal exercise histories. This led to the creation of a Mini Shadow Theatre, allowing people to perform scenes from the history of exercise, available at Tate Britain and the National Theatre. She has just finished a shadow film commission for Newcastle University for the exhibition, Coming of Age: the Art and Science of Ageing. She is currently putting in another bid to the Wellcome Trust at the end of this year.

Idyll exhibition Royal London Hospital, London, Vital Arts, following research on history of exercise, Wellcome Trust funded, 2007

Coming of Age: The Art and Science of Aging “a is for ageing” a four film installation at Great North Museum, Newcastle, 2011 inspired by the research of Newcastle University.


Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution

Elwin Room

Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution
16-18 Queen Square,

Telephone: 01225 312084

My Photography

New Book Out..

Prosthetic Surveillance

Surveillance and Society Review The Medicalization of Cyberspace