Art in Public seeks to understand and generate new forms of the artist’s role in society.

Its themes of artistic leadership, temporality and improvisation have been considerably strengthened through studentships, international collaborations and funded research partnerships. Recent doctoral projects have covered such diverse subjects as social/ecological art practice (negotiation, empathy and 'imperfect' art), art/organisation relationships, cultural leadership and feminist archives.

Since its inception Art in Public has welcomed the input of Francois Mattaraso (see staff list below), who has contributed conceptual models for valuing the arts within the On the Edge programme.

Art in Public is currently split into two main working areas:

Artistic Leadership – investigating the role of the creative practitioner working directly in the public domain through practice-led research.

The use of the arts within Public Health – focusing on public health and marginalized groups, using visual methods to provide new perspectives on intractable social problems such as addiction and exclusion.


Art in Public image

Two Leaves. Anne Douglas. 2012. Sounding Drawing exhibition to launch sound international contemporary music festival 2012, AHRC Time of the Clock, Time of Encounter research.


Current Projects:

  • Connecting Communities through the Arts - AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with Woodend Arts Limited. (Douglas, Smith)

Past Projects

  • Time of the Clock, Time of Encounter: Connected Communities Pilot Demonstrator Project - AHRC funded. (Douglas)
  • Improvisation as embodied knowledge in artistic practice - Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. (Douglas)
  • Alcohol: Through Our Eyes - with Glasgow Centre for Population Health. (Hackett)
  • Visualising the Invisible: Health, Environment and the Arts and Humanities - AHRC /SFC Knowledge Exchange Programme (Hackett)
  • Calendar Variations - Woodend Barn. (On the Edge research - Douglas)
  • Fold 2012 - Woodend Barn. (AHRC funded PhD research - Helen Smith)
  • Sounding Drawing AHRC funded.(Time of the Clock, Time of Encounter research - Douglas)

Art in Public - Charlie Hackett Image

Alcohol: Through our Eyes. 2012. Charlie Hackett in collaboration with Glasgow Centre for Population Health.


Theme Leader:

  • Anne Douglas

    Anne Douglas

    Emeritus professor leading research into the role of the artist in public life through On the Edge research.  

  • Staff:

  • Charlie Hackett

    Charles Hackett

    Lecturer at Gray's School of Art, leads research into public health and marginalised groups while collaborating with specialists outside the arts arena.  

  • François Matarasso

    Francois Matarasso

    François Matarasso is an Honorary Professor, independent writer and researcher, whose work has been recognised internationally. Current projects focus on artistic taste and musical intelligence.  

  • Students:

  • Caroline Gausden

    Caroline Gausden

    Researching feminist manifestos and socially engaged practice.  

  • Jon Price

    Jon Price

    Investigating the theory and practice of cultural leadership in the context of political, social and economic changes emerging from the global financial crisis.  

  • Helen Smith

    Helen Smith

    An AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with Woodend Barn, Banchory, looking at the influence of art as a social process in organisational situations.