Trellis: knowledge exchange between researchers, artists and communities
What is Trellis?
Trellis is a multistage art commissioning programme that aims to bring together artists, UCL researchers and local east London communities to co-create work together.
The programme began in 2018, when the first cohort of artists and researchers came together at a matchmaking event. Since then, we worked with over a hundred artists and researchers, and many local community individuals and organisations through a process which has so far led to 15 commissions in three exhibitions.
Trellis is part of a wider scheme of cultural and community engagement work happening around the new UCL East campus, which aims to build a culture of mutual benefit, collaboration and exchange between UCL staff and students and our local communities.
The current round of Trellis is now closed for applicants. We will be running another round in 2024. Please look out for information in Nov 2023.
How does it work?
Trellis is a multistage programme to support UCL researcher and east London artists to collaborate and exchange knowledge. For each iteration of Trellis, the stages are:
- Supported matchmaking: we invite groups of artists and researchers to facilitated networking sessions, where they share their areas of interest and knowledge.
- Stage 1 - Initial funding of £2,000: 10 groups or partnerships who met at the networking are funded for around 2 months to support the artists time to develop the relationship and their ideas for a collaborative commission.
- Stage 2 - Commission of £15,000: five groups are funded for around 8 months to create an art commission. This must be a co-creation between at least one artist, at least one UCL researcher and an east London community.
- Exhibition of work: all commissions come together to exhibit their work, with accompanying activities and celebrations.
So far 15 collaborations have been commissioned to be co-created as part of Trellis since 2018.
Trellis 1: the beginnings
Trellis 1 began in December 2018 when UCL invited a group of artists and researchers from disciplines linked to EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) priority areas to a matchmaking event. You can read more about this event on our Public Engagement blog.
In this first year, we focused on the relationships between artists and researchers, and community involvement was lower.
The final four commissions were exhibited at the Last Drop Café at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
You can find out more information about the commissioned project on this page.
Artemis of the Lea - artists Amanda Lwin with Tse-Hui Teh with Lena Ciric
Beyond Sight Within Grasp (Red, Yellow and Blue) - artist David Rickard with Prof. Tony Kenyon in collaboration with Beyond Sight Loss
Point Patterns - artist Alison Turnbull with Elsa Arcaute with Hugo Glendinning
No Smell, No Dirt, No Trouble* - artist Lucy Harrison with Efstathia Kostopoulou
Trellis 2: facing global challenges
Trellis 2 brought together 80+ artists and researchers, and expanded on Trellis 1 by involving research from all disciplines and placing a greater emphasis on involving communities in the co-create of artwork.
Although heavily affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the five projects that were commissioned went above and beyond to achieve great results in collaboration with their community partners.
The online exhibition in March 2021 was a new format for the Trellis team, but worked well to showcase the projects.
Visit the Trellis 2 Festival website to find out more about the five collaborations.
Flow Unlocked – artists Jon Adams and Briony Campbell with Georgia Pavlopoulou
Xenia Citizen Science Project – artist Sarah Carne with Charnett Chau and Danielle Purkiss
Mulberry: The Tree of Plenty – artists Sara Heywood and Jane Watt with David Chau
H Is For Hostile Environment – artist Edwin Mingard with Keren Weitzberg
Light-Wave – artist Rubbena Aurangzeb-Tariq with Bencie Woll
Trellis 3: embedding our methodology
Six collaborative projects worked together in 2021-22. While the initial matchmaking took place online due to the ongoing pandemic, the teams were able to work collaboratively together in person for much of the time.
The six projects involved a wide range of different subjects and also community groups. Trellis 3 allowed us to explore and confirm our methodology for the programme.
The artists, researchers and communities involved in these projects exhibited their work at the Art Pavilion in Mile End in April 2022. More information can be found on the Trellis 3 exhibition website.
Patterns of Connection - Marysa Dowling and Catherine Perrodin and Liam Browne
Bubble Worlds - Duncan Paterson (brother_Sjur) and Azadeh Shariati and Helge Wurdemann
Material Conversations - Caroline Wright and Tim Adlam, Maryam Bandukda, Youngjun Cho and Ben Oldfrey