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Creative Learning: Open Labs

A projection of words in blue writing has been projected onto a persons face

Our Open Lab programme supports early to mid-career artists to develop their socially engaged practice, without the expectation of producing a final outcome.

Our Learning Open Labs aims to support early to mid-career artists who work in a socially engaged way. By socially engaged practice, we mean work that explores how people’s mental, physical and social wellbeing is improved by participation in and enjoyment of the arts. Throughout this process artists are encouraged to produce work that is inclusive, rooted in community, and should respond to the uniquely challenging times we find ourselves in today.

In the programme artists work with Creative Learning to develop new methodologies and approaches to their socially engaged practice. As part of the Open Lab, artists will document their learning and process, and share their process.

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2022 Artists

image of artist Azan standing behind a microphone

Azan Ahmed

Azan Ahmed is an actor and poet whose work focuses on navigating cultural identities. He has performed at the Almeida Theatre, was a finalist of the Roundhouse Poetry Slam, and recently created Deen & Dunya Poetry night at the Bush Theatre. His first play is currently being commissioned by Half-Moon Theatre.
Azan will be working with Nuu Theatre to develop a poetic play that explores British Muslim Masculinity and grief. Blending theatre, poetry, and rap he hopes to make a piece that interrogates how and why (Muslim) men of colour become statues as they grow older. Azan is very interested in using live performance as a form of archiving the British Asian experience. Nuu Theatre exists to push the boundaries of what 'young' artists can make. This will be a piece about loss, and all that you can gain from it. 

image of artist Luke standing in front of a brick wall in a garden. Luke has a beard and glasses.

Luke Beech

Luke Beech is an Artist and Educator using performance and visual art techniques to explore madness, queerness and the body. Drawing on his own experience he relates to wider social issues in creating subtle and sensitive performative statements that provide a visceral engagement for audiences. He is a Founder member and Director of The Feral Art School cooperative in Hull.

Luke is interested in using the metaphor of a boat suspended in water as a starting point to explore more plural ways of discussing and visualising psychosis and mood disorder. He will use a ship's movement, its six degrees of motion, and the suggestion that bodies of water are symbolically representative of a "shared unconscious" to centre and model a narrative around mental health experiences.