Thursday 1st March 2018


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Heart of Glass hosts the fifth Staging Post of the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP), an ambitious transnational cultural programme focusing on the dynamic area of collaborative arts across Europe.  

We are doing this by hosting a special edition of our With For About conference series.  

With For About aims to create a space to discuss and reflect on the fierce and urgent questions facing collaborative and social art today, and more broadly reflect on the role of art and artists in civil society, and the nature and potential of collaborative art with and within community and social contexts.

This April we invite you to join us for Making A Meal Of It, the third iteration of our conference series and this year, in association with CAPP, we are seeking to create a different type of ‘conference’ experience.

When and where is this happening?

Tuesday 17th April 2018, Town Hall, St Helens, UK 9.30am-9:30pm

Wednesday 18th April 2018, Tate Liverpool, UK 9.30am-1pm (Afternoon activities will continue at Tate Liverpool until 5pm and full details can be found below)

What do we want to have happen?

We want participants (who would normally be understood as conference delegates) to collectively create, serve, and eat a meal. We want to use this collective task as the basis of a shared discussion that addresses the issues we are concerned with: of documentation, knowledge sharing, building a lexicon, building an archive, supporting artists and workers. We want to collectively publish a document within the timeframe of the gathering.

Our collective task is:

To produce a dinner course, present it in a meaningful way; document the process and the event; contribute to discussion; submit a page for publication.

A support structure will be in place to help you realise the contribution you want to make. No pre-conference preparation is necessary. All your experience is useful.

Why are we doing this?

We want participants at this gathering to have a collective experience in space and time. We want to embody the values we expound. We want to reflect on a common task.

We wish to symbolically and actively ‘enact’ the principles we seek to discuss, to work together bringing different experiences and perspectives together through artistic endeavour.

Participants will explore the principles of collaboration through doing, and over the course of a day forge relationships, making a meal and creating meaning in the process. We will reflect on the experience we have embarked on together as a way to explore some of the urgent questions we encounter in our work. We will share the knowledge we uncover with the wider sector.


While a large number of conference places have been allocated to our Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme partners, Heart of Glass is delighted to be able to offer a limited number of places through OPEN CALL. Anyone interested in collaborative and social arts practice, or with experience of participating in the development or realisation of a collaborative project, is invited to apply. The conference is free to attend. 

Those wishing to apply should send the following information to, no later than 5pm on Wednesday 28th March 2018:

  • Name & contact details
  • Short biography (up to 250 words)
  • A short statement describing in what ways the opportunity to attend the conference will benefit your artistic and professional development (up to 350 words)

Please note a number of conference bursaries (up to £100 per individual) are available for artists and independent producers & curators to contribute towards travel, accommodation, subsistence, childcare and/or access costs. Priority will be given to those who would otherwise be unable to attend. Those wishing to apply should include (alongside the information outlined above), the following information:

  • Amount applied for (up to £100)
  • Brief explanation (2 – 3 sentences) of how the bursary will support attendance

All applicants will be notified week commencing 2nd April 2018.


For travel and accommodation information, please see our information document



Heart of Glass is a collaborative arts commissioning agency based in St Helens, Merseyside. Founded in 2014 by an initial investment of £1.5 million from Arts Council England through the Creative People and Places programme, we established as an independent entity in 2016.

Our programme is rooted in collaborative and social arts practice and embodies the principle of partnership. Our core value, philosophy and approach are founded on co-production with the community and the active participation of the collaborator, non-artist, audience and viewer, in the creation of ‘Great Art’. People both individually and within communities of place and interest, are central to both our thinking and our practice.

We support artists and communities to collaborate and realise ambitious contemporary artwork that reflects and responds to the politics of our times. We work across context and across art form.  Through our projects and initiatives, we create a space for dialogue, research and experimentation, placing art in direct interaction with all areas of life that form society.

All aspects of our work are informed by issues of difference and diversity, and our work is made with, of and for every community in which we work.

We have chosen to build our organisation and commissioning ethos around these philosophies. The politics of our times have presented us with an unprecedented moment of re-evaluation. Our communities, our values, our social structures are in flux due to a number of converging agendas. Collaborative art presents the opportunity to engage meaningfully with these agendas and draw audiences into work in new and exciting ways, allowing many to add their voices to commentary on these times.

We want St Helens to be a home for thought and practice and at the same time, to be part of an international conversation, leading, experimenting and convening discussion around the role of art and artists in our changing world. In many ways St Helens is every place, it is home to multiple and diverse communities of place and interest, with a strong sense of heritage and ambitions for the future. There are also marginalised, silenced, misunderstood, dominant, and niche communities, and we are committed to working with this diverse range of voices, supporting collaborations with artists from across all art forms to make ambitious new work that shakes, challenges and unearths.

We are interested in building communities of enquiry, in sharing skills and experience, and in placing art in direct interaction with all areas of life that form society. As we move forward, we will continue to work in partnership, we will build links, we will have reach and impact. We will question who gets to make art and where it gets made.


WITH FOR ABOUT formally closes at 1pm on April 18th and then you are invited to stay with us for an afternoon of activities at Tate Liverpool, as outlined below:

2.00pm – 4.00pm

You are invited to A Conversation on Place-making, as part of Engaging Places: Collaborative Praxis in Art and Architecture at Tate Exchange, presenting six leading Irish practitioners in the area of collaborative art and architecture. The practitioners are; artist Michelle Browne, curators Rosie Lynch and Eilís Lavelle from Callan Workhouse Union, artist / architect Blaithin Quinn, and architects Emmett Scanlon and Laurence Lord from Out.Post.Office. Their practices examine how socially engaged art and architectural practices critically engage in questions of spatial justice and influence how we create a sense of place and community in the built environment.

On Wednesday 18th Tate Exchange will host an informal conversation on the theme of ‘place-making’. This is part of a programme of activities across that week including open studio sessions, discussions and workshops, as a way of initiating further creative works. The practitioners will also be part of With For About: Making a Meal of It. Engaging Places: Collaborative Praxis in Art and Architecture is supported by Culture Ireland’s GB18: Promoting Irish Arts in Britain programme.

4.00pm- 5.00pm

An opportunity meet Brazilian Collective Opavivara! and discuss their practice as they begin to install their show Utupya  (April 27 – June 24)  in the fourth floor gallery at Tate Liverpool.



Tate Liverpool

27 April – 24 June 2018

Tate Liverpool is preparing a major new project with the Brazilian collective Opavivará for spring 2018, the collective’s first solo exhibition in a UK institution. Founded in 2005 in Rio de Janiero, Opavivará is an art collective who work together to develop actions and projects that provide collective experiences and change the way we understand public space. In their interventions, Opavivará are interested in bringing domestic environments and behaviours into the public domain. Echoing the ambition for active participation of pioneering Brazilian artists such as Hélio Oiticica (1937–1980), their projects aim not just for participants to interact with the work, but to be fundamental agents of the execution of the work itself.

For Tate Liverpool, Opavivará extend and develop their ongoing project ‘Utupya’, which conceives environments and situations to reflect on the hybrid, mixed nature of contemporary culture. A key touchstone is the 1928 Cannibalist Manifesto of the Brazilian poet and polemicist Oswald de Andrade 1890–1954), a text that asserts that a key aspect of Brazil’s history is its ‘cannibalising’ other cultures. Opavivará are interested in the evolution of hybrid cultures and in celebrating the potential that arrives when people from different cultural backgrounds come together. For them, the Brazilian Tupi or Tupy tribe are an emblem of cultural admixture and interweaving.

In the gallery, Opavivará will create a series of immersive environments, drawing on hybrid elements of Brazilian indigenous tradition and contemporary culture. Repurposing or converting pre-existing everyday objects, they adapt them to new social functions in an ad-hoc manner. In Rede Social, they create a multi-part hammock, a ‘social network’ that invites negotiation and cooperation between participants, accompanied by the sounds of traditional chocalho rattles. In Pajémirim, they invite visitors to concoct and share tea using medicinal herbs grown in Liverpool. In the central gallery space, Opavivará fuse ancient Brazilian dance rituals with contemporary music, creating an interactive sound system and inviting visitors to wear different sensorial props amongst a forest of traditionally inspired parasols.