ECCI’s Artist in Residence takes up her post

11 February 2013

ECCI is celebrating the appointment of its first Artist in Residence this week.

©Elizabete RancaneDrawing and sculpture specialist Jennie Speirs Grant will spend the next 10 months working with the Edinburgh Centre to produce a series artworks that make a connection between art, culture, science and business, using ECCI’s work within the context of carbon, environment, innovation and sustainability to guide her.

The appointment comes courtesy of an award to the University of Edinburgh from the Leverhulme Trust. The Trust supports the residency of artists in UK institutions to foster creative collaborations between the artist and staff and students. The scheme is intended to bring artists into research and study environments where their artistic form or creative art generally is not part of the normal curriculum or activities of the host department.

Carbon Narratives

Speirs Grant often tackles abstract concepts in her work, breaking down ideas to their core constituents in order to understand, reinterpret and reimagine their meaning. She will use this experience in the context of current carbon related debates, exploring established practices like drawing and glass sculpture and carbon in its many material forms, from graphite to diamond.

The timing of the residency also overlaps with ECCI’s move to its new purpose designed low carbon building at High School Yards. Recycled material from the new building project may also feature and finished works will be on display in the building when it opens in Summer 2013.

Speirs Grant said:

“I very much look forward to working with ECCI and using this time to engage with the complexity of carbon related issues. This is likely to involve combining the physical materiality of carbon with the more abstract concepts surrounding it. By considering a variety of Carbon Narratives I hope to be able to locate this work within its changing cultural and conceptual landscape. “

Keep up with the latest from Jennie’s project and the building work at High School Yards online.


t: @edcentrecc


Jennie Speirs Grant (ba, mafa, mag, arbs) is an established artist with a practice based primarily in drawing and sculpture, involving a central interest in materiality and material processes. Combined with this is a long-term understanding of environment as source and origin of work and a number of projects specifically relating to carbon based contexts. These include landscape and industrial heritage works in Northumberland (“Stublick Bog”), a sculpture series entitled “Lost Landscapes”, a residency marking the closure of Blyth Coal fired power station, PhD research at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge ( archives, glaciation, work with the ice core team and study of the Arctic Tern) and establishing sustainable artist’s studios in Newcastle Upon Tyne (1986 – current). Studio practice includes public and private commissions, mainly sculpture, installation and exhibitions, most recently at the National Glass Centre. Additional activities include regular contact with students through teaching at further and higher levels, research outputs through conference presentations, and specialist teaching in perceptual areas.

The Leverhulme Trust was established in 1925 under the Will of the first Viscount Leverhulme. It is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK, distributing funds of some £60 million every year. For further information about the schemes that the Leverhulme Trust fund visit their website at /