Call for Symposium: Beyond Jewellery - Relationships between sculptural objects, the body and performance

We invite speakers to take part in the Beyond Jewellery symposium to coincide with the exhibition flockOmania2, an exhibition and live performance event which crosses boundaries between jewellery and dance (please see further info below).  Located within the field of contemporary art jewellery and with a keynote presentation from Di Mainstone, this symposium explores the relationships between sculptural objects, the body and performance.  In doing so, Beyond Jewellery offers a space to interrogate and reflect upon interdisciplinary projects interested in the body as a meeting place or nexus for collaboration.

Proposal submissions might include (but are not limited to) the following themes:
OBJECTS – embodied objects, wearable objects in motion and in performance, artefact as performance, experiments with scale and materiality
BODY – notions of the post-human body, inter-subjectivity in performance, the mediated body and haptic knowing
COLLABORATION – creative partnerships, co-creating and emerging process orientated making practices
BOUNDARIES – interdisciplinary adventures, blurring boundaries and disciplinary rule-breaking
PERFORMANCE – composing the object, activating objects through performance, sonic landscapes, sites of sensorial investigation and temporal relationships
AUDIENCE – engagement and interaction, performative making, playful encounters and audience as co-creators

The symposium will offer a space for discussion, engagement, debate and experimentation, and aims to initiate dialogue around the role of the body in creative practice. We invite proposals from scholars, artists and research students in a range of modes and formats including: 20 minute papers, curated panels, artists talks, film, performance lectures, 10 min lightning talks, and performative interventions.

Beyond Jewellery: Performing the Body

Keynote Speaker: Di Mainstone

Thursday March 17th 2016
Birmingham City University

Key dates:

Abstract submission: deadline 8th January 2016
Notification of acceptance: 1st February 2016
Registration opens: 15th February 2016
The symposium: Thursday 17th March 2016

For informal enquires and submission of proposals, please email Zoe Robertson at  before 5pm on January 8th 2016
Further information can be found here:

Please ensure your proposal includes:
Name(s) of contributors
Email contact address
Title of proposal
Indication of presentation type
Outline proposal (250 words max, with up to 3 images if appropriate, jpeg 72dpi)
Indication of any technical requirements. Please note due to the nature of the event we are not able to offer space or technical support for full scale performances.
Short biography of contributors (150 words), including web links
Formatted as a word doc

The Beyond Jewellery symposium will be held at Birmingham City University, The Parkside Building, 5 Cardigan Street, Birmingham, B4 7BD. It is organised in conjunction with the School of Jewellery (Faculty of Arts Design and Media, Birmingham City University) and the Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE, Coventry University).  Convened by Zoe Roberson and Sian Hindle (School of Jewellery) and Dr Natalie Garrett Brown (C-DaRE).

ABOUT: Di Mainstone
The New York Times has featured Di Mainstone as ‘one of a new generation of visionaries’ in the international digital-arts scene.  Di is the founder of the widely acclaimed Human Harp Project, a collaborative instrument that transforms suspension bridges into giant harps.

Di’s sonic devices have been performed at home and abroad, most notably at The V&A, The Barbican, The National Portrait Gallery, Eyebeam NYC, The Brooklyn Bridge and the Swedish National Touring Theatre.  Each happening is unique, revealing openings for audience and performer encounters.  Her work has been featured in media outlets such as BBC World Service, BBC News, New Yorker, New York Times, Time Out, Dezeen and The Observer. Di’s work can also be seen in the films which she writes and directs. Her studio is found up a windy stairway, amidst the reclaimed tube trains that roost on top of Shoreditch’s Village Underground, where her sculptural adornments are brought to life with dancers, musicians and scientists.  For more information please visit

ABOUT: flockOmania2
flockOmania2 will be hosted at the Parkside Gallery, Birmingham City University from Monday 22nd February to Friday 1st April 2016.  The exhibition showcases wearable objects which explore the relationship between jewellery, dance and performance. It was created by Zoe Robertson in response to a collaborative relationship with dance artists Dr Natalie Garrett Brown and Amy Voris.  Their background in contemporary dance, movement improvisation and site based performance provided the catalyst for this body of work.  The resulting jewellery is theatrically-sized to emphasise and explore themes relating to the scale and movement of the body.  flockOmania2 challenges the traditional conventions of jewellery display: here, the work hangs freely in the space rather than being contained by a glass cabinet, creating an immersive environment encouraging performativity, audience interaction and response.  The space is seen as a laboratory of making in which the dance artists improvise movement and the audience is invited to interact, touch, play, wear, explore and respond.  For further information please visit

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