Art Work Placement

Art Work Placement is our pioneering initiative in collaboration with a group of key businesses in the Northamptonshire. For the first time, 5 professional artists will be placed in 5 of the county’s key businesses to help employees develop creative solutions to today’s business challenges. Funded by Arts Council England, Art Work Placement is an innovative, new idea involving artists working with the businesses to explore how integrating art into daily working life can not only enrich the workplace, but create change.

During each Art Work Placement residency the artists will be meeting staff and making art work and, as a result, understand how creativity makes a difference in finding new ways of thinking about the workplace and company culture. The programme is inspired by Fermynwoods’ aim to ensure that art infiltrates every day life and by the belief, shared by their business partners, that the arts and culture an essential part of making Northamptonshire a great place to live, work, play and learn.

The artists are all Associates Artists with Fermynwoods and the four residencies confirmed to date are:

• Sophie Herxheimer with East Northants Council Economic Development, Thrapston
• Virginie Litzler with Cosworth at both their Northampton and Cambridge locations
• Tim Simmons with Delta Motorsport, Silverstone
• Dr Simon Woolham with St Andrews Healthcare, Northampton
• Rebecca Lee’s residency will be announced in October.

Art Work Placement is being delivered by Fermynwoods with Culture Consultant, Morag Ballantyne, and Organisational Psychologist, Kirstin Irving.

Director of Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, Yasmin Canvin, said, “We are delighted to have had such a positive and enthusiastic reaction to Art Work Placement from businesses across the County. Artists are specialists in helping us to see the world differently and looking between the lines, so the expectation is that artists working in these organisation can help unlock further innovation and creativity”.

Nick Greenway, Director of Marketing for the iconic Northamptonshire motorsport and engineering company, Cosworth, added

“As a business we know that in order to succeed we need imagination, innovation and creativity, but we also need to retain the very best talent, that’s a source of business advantage – and, of course, we want our staff to be happy and motivated. I’m excited at seeing how having Virginie working with us challenges us to capture what we’re about and to see it more clearly.”

Greg Macdonald, Head of Economic and Commercial Development at East Northamptonshire Council, says

“This initiative is central to the values of Enterprising East Northants, our economic development strategy, in that it positions people and places at the heart of what we are trying to achieve and uses our history and heritage to understand and shape our plans to improve the district for all.”

Fermynwoods and the participating businesses expect to see a range of benefits to communication and productivity as well as contributing to quality of life at work and the wellbeing of staff.