Mike Collier is a lecturer, writer, curator and artist. He studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College before being appointed Gallery Manager at the ICA in London. He subsequently became a freelance curator and arts organiser, working extensively in the UK and abroad. In 1985 he moved to Newcastle to run the Arts Development Strategy at the Laing Art Gallery, where he initiated the Tyne International Exhibition of Contemporary Art. For the last 15 years he has worked in education and is currently Programme Leader for Foundation Studies in Art and Design at the University of Sunderland. Throughout this career, Mike has maintained his artistic practice and he is now based in the High Bridge Studios in Newcastle. He has shown work in a number of one person and group shows in the UK.
Over the last three years Mike Collier has embarked on a series of collaborative art-walking projects with natural historians, photographers, writers, sound artists and members of the public across a range of landscapes of the North of England:
- Field Notes – A Walk up the Tyne and the North Tyne – From Sea to Source
- In Temperley’s Tread – a 45 mile walk across the Durham Uplands in the footsteps of renowned natural historian George Temperley
- Street Flowers – Urban Survivors of the Privileged Land – a series of walks around the Edgelands of Sunderland and
- Walking through the Sands of Time: A Walk Along the Sefton Coastal Footpath (forthcoming)
All these projects link science and art to local issues, exploring new, embodied, ways of engaging with, and creating a sharper understanding of, the impact of change on the fragile eco-systems of our landscapes. In this presentation and discussion, Mike will talk about these projects.
Mike is the PI for WALK (Walking, Art, Landskip and Knowledge), a research centre at the University of Sunderland which he co-founded with colleagues Tim Brennan and Brian Thompson. WALK aims to explore how cultural practitioners engage with the world through walking. He is currently involved with touring the exhibition Walk On which he co-curated and presenting the exhibition Wordsworth and Basho: Walking Poets at Dove Cottage – an exhibition of manuscripts shown alongside new work by contemporary artists whose work has been inspired by the poetry and prose of Wordsworth and Basho.