Professor Charles Quick
Professor of Public Art Practice , Co-principal investigator of In Certain Places
School of Arts and Media
Charles Quick is Professor of Public Art Practice and co-principal investigator of In Certain Places – an art-led research project, which brokers connections between people and places. Charles has developed an internationally recognised hybrid research practice which combines the production of public art works with tactics to inform policy within places. He is Chair of the national Arts and Place consortium which promotes the benefits of the arts in place. Charles also supervises art practice-based postgraduate research projects that investigate place.
Charles research interests have stemmed from an examination of the infrastructures of place; physical, social, historical and political. His outputs have included major public art projects in cities across the UK. Since 2003 his practice as an artist/curator has been embodied within the curatorial project In Certain Place which he co foundered originally as a partnership with the Harris Museum Art Gallery and Library, Preston. It has had significant financial support over its life time from Arts Council England and Local Authority grants. The publication Subplots to a City, Ten years of In Certain Places 2014, explored how it had formed new approaches to art culture and urban development. The impact of the projects work is captured in short film The Flag Market Preston.
Charles has made a significant contribution to the practice, development and understanding of Public Art since the 1980’s. The Henry Moore Institute and Leeds City Art Gallery hold this work in their collections and he has recorded his artistic life through the British Library sound archive, Artist’s Lives project. The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, Art and Architecture Journal, Arts Professional, A-N Magazine and the Sculpture Magazine, amongst others, have written about his public art projects.
His work and curatorial projects have been cited in publications across four decades including Miles M, Art for Public Places. (1989); Selwood S, The Benefits of Public Art. Policy Studies Institute. (1995); Walsh N, Curtis P(ed.), Sculpture in 20th Century Britain, Volume II. ( 2003); Courage C, Arts in Place: The Arts, the Urban and Social Practice. Routledge,(2017).
He has contributed to the public art international discourse by giving public presentations in Britain, Ireland, Malta, Portugal and Qatar, as well as contributing to national and local radio and television programmes throughout that time. Over the years, Charles has received awards from Arts Council England, the British Council, Higher Education Funding Council and many local authority grants. A project that typifies his multi-layered approach to investigating and working creatively with a place through practice based research is Beautiful and Brutal: 50 Years in the Life of Preston Bus Station (2019). This was a collaboration between Charles and the Curator of History, James Arnold of the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library. It was a programme of new contemporary public art commissions at Preston Bus Station, culminating in an exhibition at the Harris Museum, and supplemented by an events programme that included architectural tours, a birthday party event hosted at Preston Bus Station itself and a conference presented at the Harris. The project set out to examine, reveal and promote the building’s significance to the people of Preston in terms of architecture, urban planning, social engagement and a source of artistic inspiration.
Throughout his career, Charles has contributed to the forming and development of arts organisations as well as representing the arts at cross disciplinary forums. This has included being a Trustee & Chair of one of the first public art agencies supported by the Arts Council in the UK, Public Arts Wakefield 1988 – 1993 (now trading as Beam and still running). In 1994, Charles co foundered Leeds Sculpture Workshop in Leeds (still running). In the Northwest, he has been a trustee of arts organisations including Eden Arts Penrith and has been a panel member of the Design Review Panel. Since 2014 He has represented the University of Central Lancashire on the Preston Cultural Framework Board.
- BA (Hons) Fine Art Leeds Polytechnic 1980
- Art and Place, Public Art, Contemporary Art, Urban Planning, Architecture,
- Chair - Art and Place national consortium
- Trustee - Eden Arts Penrith
- Board Member - Preston Cultural Framework Board
Charles’s practice based research has examined the blurring of the boundaries between collaborative, curatorial and artists practice when creating public art works for a place.
In 2003, he co-founded In Certain Places a curatorial partnership based at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston. His role as co-curator and artist has enabled him through interdisciplinary projects and collaboration, to work with other artists, architects and partners to question, test, disrupt and shape the places in the city.
Charles has investigated the ways in which artists generate new understandings of places and instigate change, by engaging with the complexities of place in creative and critical ways. His projects have encompassed a range of art forms and include temporary public art works, architectural commissions, artist residencies, public talks, discussions, events and publications. Whilst locally specific, these activities have connected with wider issues of art practice and place. The cumulative effect of all these approaches in relationship to one place have resulted in creating a significant impact in the city. Neil Fairhurst – Deputy Chief Executive, Preston City Council, said, ‘In Certain Places are a strategic cultural partner leading on innovative placemaking practice in the city, as well as contributing to the cultural development and vision … With a robust track record of delivery ICP is leading on defining the expanding city footprint as part of City Deal … ICP is part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to developing Culture in Preston’.
Use the links below to view their profiles:
- View their unique and persistent identifier on the ORCiD registry
- Full list of publications and articles on CLoK
- Institute of Creative Practice
- In Certain Places
- 2020 July 9‘Arts and Place Now’ in conversation with Katerina Seda. Arts and Place online event
- 2020 July 2. ‘Public Space and Culture After the Virus’. panel discussion Contemporary Art SocietyConsultancy. Online event.
- 2020 Feb 2020 'Practicing Place Engaging with a City' and panel discussion and presented 'Tactics Nudging Places'invited by British Council and Future Everything at the 2 day conference Outside the Box: Public Art Forum Doha Qatar.
- 2019 Nov 19 Temporary Sculpture: Testing Places, Autumn Series,Sculpture in the City. Invited by Bristol University Wills Memorial Building
- 2019 Oct 11.’View from the City’ Brutalism Now. Invited by Liverpool University and 20th Century Society. Liverpool University in London.
- 2018 April 18. Artists and the Arts in Placemaking Big Meet 8 Place Alliance. UCL. London.
- 2017 Nov 4 ‘The Expanded City: The changing nature of cities’ Edge – Bordersinvited by Folkstone Triennial and UCL Urban Laboratory. Quaterhouse Folkstone.
- 2016 Nov ‘Open To the Public: unlocking the city through public art’. Cities as Community Spaces. City of Culture programme. Valletta. Malta
- 2016 Oct 27. ‘Homing’ commissioning site-specific sonic artOn Sound and Space. Invited by the British Art Network and Contemporary Art Society. Tate Britain, London
- 2016 April 15. ‘In Certain Places’ New ways of Seeing. Kirklees Council. Huddersfield.
- 2016 June 10. The Sense and Sensibility of Place: Sustainable Development in Sub-regions. Invited by the Samuel Lindow Foundation and University of Central Lancashire's Applied Policy Science Unit in collaboration with the Tourism Society. University of Central Lancashire, Westlakes Campus.
- 2016 March 3. The Value of Artists: A National Conversation. Invited by the Contemporary Visual Art Network. Leeds Art Gallery.
- 2015 April 30. OPEN15: Discussion – What is a 21st century art centre? Invited by Lancaster Arts. Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster University.
- 2015 Jan 23 Keynote ‘Preston Bus Station: Brutalist eyesore or modernist icon – who decides’
- What can ‘the digital’ do for architecture + its history , in Ireland. Invited by Trinity College, Dublin