Picturesqueness in Everything:Primitivism, futurism, mysticism and resistance in the art,craft, design and dress of British woodcraft groups 1916-2016

Lead Research Organisation: University of Brighton
Department Name: Sch of Humanities

Abstract

Picturesqueness in Everything will examine the role of art, craft, design and dress as radical strategies of resistance and reform, through analysis of the substantial, largely unexhibited and unpublished private and public collections of woodcraft art and design, and through exhibition, publications and public events. By mapping previously untraced intersections between woodcraft organisations, founded in the interwar years, and other contemporaneous cultural movements including avant-garde artists and occultists, dress reformers and folklorists, this project will establish the significance of a largely forgotten aspect of British social and cultural history, adding to existing knowledge and offering new interpretations of a period rich with utopian ambitions.

This research will be the first to contextualise and interpret the unique, large-scale art and design outputs of such organisations, with a particular focus on the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift (1920-1951) but also including the related and continuing groups, Order of Woodcraft Chivalry, est. 1916, and the larger Woodcraft Folk, est. 1925. These progressive, open-air movements had their origins in the turn-of-the-century ideas of American artist and naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946), who promoted the outdoor life and Native American camp skills as a means of creating an adventurous educational experience for boys. These ideas were subsequently adapted by Baden-Powell and incorporated into his scouting movement.

Woodcraft groups were largely formed in opposition to the Boy Scouts in its early years, particularly to its perceived militarism. As alternative youth movements, these co-educational and pacifist groups promoted camping, hiking, ritual and handicraft as means for radical social and economic reform. The ambitious visions of these dynamic organisations attracted thousands of members in their founding years and the support of significant writers, artists, scientists, sociologists and campaigners, including H.G. Wells, D. H. Lawrence, Julian Huxley, Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Mary Neal, Rabindranath Tagore, Augustus John and Patrick Geddes.

Although woodcraft experiments did not result in the establishment of new worlds, the organisations nevertheless developed a comprehensive vision for designing change. As woodcraft groups approach significant anniversaries, it is timely to reflect on their legacies and effects. These can be felt not only in their surviving adaptations and in the 21st century renaissance of interest in bushcraft survival skills for a post-oil world, but also in a range of current protest tactics, economic and educational reform agendas, new age practices and folk revivals. By examining the origins and precursors of these phenomena, Picturesqueness in Everything will provide fresh understanding of the present as well as the past.

In keeping with Seton's call for 'picturesqueness in everything', woodcraft groups considered the production of art, design, craft, ceremony and spectacle as central to their romantic, political and spiritual mission, not least in the case of Kibbo Kift, whose founder was a commercial artist and whose group attracted many creative practitioners (including, for example, celebrated photographer Angus McBean). Kibbo Kift's striking hybrid aesthetic combined Anglo-Saxon, Nordic, Egyptian and Native American motifs with occult symbolism and modernist graphics, and was visible across the tents, banners and totems, theatrical, ritual and camping costumes, printed literature and illustrated logbooks of the movement. These accomplished artefacts survive in quantity but remain largely unknown, despite the fact that they make visible the group's artistic and intellectual influences, and spiritual and educational agendas for social and cultural regeneration. Through the outcomes developed and disseminated during this fellowship, the extent and importance of these materials will be shown for the first time.

Planned Impact

This research will principally impact two main groups outside of academia:

1) Youth groups
With 10,000 members nationally, the Woodcraft Folk is the largest continuing woodcraft organisation and the research produced in this project will offer a new understanding of the organisation's history for members, group leaders and the young people they support. As Woodcraft Folk approach their 90th anniversary, this research will feed into planned educational activities that seek to engage with the group's cultural heritage. As the historical consultant for these anniversary celebrations, the P-I will provide training for leaders on the history of the organisation, and in the development of historical skills for group members (such as oral history methods), as well as devising educational activities for younger members utilising historic resources.

Members of continuing woodcraft groups will be interviewed to create new resources for historical understanding; as such, in keeping with oral history methodologies, they will construct and interpret their own histories. Members will also be invited to attend and participate in study days and events. As the project develops, research will be made available through outlines and updates in groups' newsletters and blogs, and through the P-I's contribution to woodcraft events.

Beyond the membership of woodcraft organisations, larger charitable umbrella groups - such as the British Youth Council (representing over 200 youth groups, est.1948) and related global organisations, including International Falcon Movement / Socialist Education International (over 60 youth groups worldwide, est.1922) - share intersecting histories. Additionally, the connection between woodcraft and the World Scouting Organisation (40 million members worldwide) means that the research will contribute to larger international histories of scouting and youth education. The P-I will actively seek opportunities to disseminate research through relevant organisations' publications and events.

2) Museums, Archives and Galleries
The exhibition at Whitechapel's Archive Gallery (proposal invited by the Archive Curator; currently under review by the programming team) will add new knowledge to the history of art institutions. The 1929 Kibbo Kift Educational Exhibition attracted 42,000 visitors and fitted within the Whitechapel Art Gallery's early didactic remit, which aimed to provide free, improving working class educational opportunities. The longstanding demotic tradition of the gallery, showing children's art, trade banners and flower shows, for example, alongside canonical fine art, provides the context for the Kibbo Kift exhibition. Current holdings relating to the original exhibition are sparse in the gallery's own archive; this research will provide new information about the social context, purpose and reception of the gallery's work. The ethos and legacy of early 20th century woodcraft ideals additionally fit with a number of areas that Whitechapel have been engaged with more recently, from the aesthetics of resistance (Protest and Survive, 2000; Reclaim the Mural, 2013) to art and utopia; they also intersect with interests of other art institutions (see the forthcoming Folk Art exhibition at Tate and Disobedient Objects at the V&A). As such, the content produced through this research will add to debates about art and social engagement in the museum environment. The study day, gallery guide and events will provide further interpretation for a range of audiences, including education professionals, artists, designers and the general public.

Research outcomes will also directly benefit each of the supporting institutions (Museum of London, London School of Economics Archive and British Library Sound Archive) in the form of new collections information and interpretation, and new holdings (oral histories and visual data). Outlines and updates will be disseminated through their webpages and publications.
 
Title Audio interview for SoundArt Radio 
Description My research into the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift was the subject of an hour long radio programme on Devon's SoundArt radio station, hosted by filmmakers Dean Puckett and Seany Tea. The event was available for live listeners and later made available as a podcast via SoundCloud. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact The collaboration for the radio programme has led to further invitations to participate in events and creative projects. 
URL https://soundcloud.com/seanytea/radiothing03-02-2016episode5
 
Title Display on the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, 90th Anniversary Pageant, The Woodcraft Folk 
Description To accompany the 90th anniversary celebrations of the Woodcraft Folk, an organisation that aims to empower young people and which comprises 15,000 members, I staged a visual display of historical images and information at Dulwich Fort, London. The event was visited by past and present members and supporters of the organisation of all ages, including Jeremy Corbyn. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact Through discussions and conversations about the history and prehistory of the Woodcraft Folk, I met new participants for my study and strengthened networks within the organisation. Members reported that they had not known the information I was sharing. 
URL https://woodcraft.org.uk/news/90th-anniversary-pageant-13th-june-2-5pm
 
Title Exhibition, 'Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred', Whitechapel Gallery 
Description Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred was co-curated by Annebella Pollen and Nayia Yiakoumaki of Whitechapel Gallery. Staged in the Archive Gallery, 50 square metres permanent space dedicated to examining Whitechapel Gallery's history and visual archives, the exhibition ran from 10 October 2015-13 March 2016 and partly restaged the Kibbo Kift Educational Exhibition held in the same location in 1929. It featured over a hundred objects from eight lenders, including public collections at the British Film Institute, British Library of Political and Economic Science, Museum of London and Whitechapel Gallery archives. Objects on display included moving image, sculpture, photography, decorative art, garments, textiles, puppetry and archery equipment, furniture, printed ephemera, ceremonial objects and painting. Many of the objects had not been displayed before and many others had not been on public display since the 1920s. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact The exhibition was widely reviewed in print and online media, across news, arts and academic areas. Previews and reviews appeared in the British press in Time Out (four star review), Financial Times (with online image gallery), The Guardian (c.2000-word review by Jon Savage, online image gallery, and preview of symposium in weekend Guide), Selvedge (based on interview with Annebella Pollen and Nayia Yiakoumaki), Crafts (c.1000-word article by Tanya Harrod), Frieze (c.1000-word article by Matthew De Abaitua), Caught by the River, Review 31, American Suburb X, Hero, Sorn, Sang Bleu and Goop.com. International mentions and reviews include Art in America, La Vanguardia newspaper and Playground magazine (Spain), Dagospia (Italy), Mediapart (France), Bant magazine (Turkey) and Les Archives de l'Etat de Belgique (Belgium). At the time of writing, the exhibition has been visited by over 100,000 visitors including artists, academics, teachers and members of youth groups. The exhibition was used for study trips by students in the Institute of Education, MA Photography at London College of Communication and MA Curating courses at the Royal College of Art, London College of Fashion, and University of Essex. The three exhibition events (Curator Tour with Annebella Pollen and Nayia Yiakoumaki, Study Day, and late night gallery event featuring Annebella Pollen and musician Judge Smith) were designed to coincide with the exhibition. 
URL http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/exhibitions/intellectual-barbarians-the-kibbo-kift-kindred/
 
Title Video interview for History Today 
Description The journal History Today invited me to their London premises to record a short film to accompany the article that I wrote for their magazine on the subject of the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift. The film edits together interview footage with archival photography and moving image and is hosted on the magazine's website and on YouTube. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact The film was viewed over 350 times in its first week of publication. 
URL http://www.historytoday.com/history-today/video-kibbo-kift-kindred
 
Description The original objectives of this award have been met (and exceeded). The project aimed to uncover and interpret previously hidden histories of little-known cultural organisations who figured in the British woodcraft movement, 1916-2016 (such as the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift and the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry) and to reflect upon the continuing histories of art, culture, educational and campaigning organisations (such as Woodcraft Folk) who share common roots. Through engagements with a range of public archives and project partners - including Museum of London, London School of Economics and Whitechapel Gallery - and through the development of research relationships with key stakeholders such as the Kibbo Kift Foundation, Woodcraft Folk and current and former woodcraft movement members, a range of previously unseen and underused resources have been interpreted and disseminated through a series of events and major outputs, including a sole-authored book, a co-curated exhibition and a collectively edited publication. I have delivered - and exceeded - all of the projected outcomes and engagement events predicted.
The most significant aspects of the project include the exhibition and publication, which both reached wide audiences, of all ages and backgrounds, and attracted high-profile publicity across specialist and popular media. The knock-on effect of these public outcomes led to regular and highly diverse invitations to speak at events which led to engagement with a much broader range of audiences than I had originally anticipated. As a result the project opened up new routes for enquiry and analysis, including related cultural projects and organisations of whom I had previously not been aware. The archives and contacts accessed through these organisations has provided richer context and consolidation for my planned research, and has also informed newer work that will develop beyond the life of the award. Another significant aspect of the funded project has been the range of creative responses that the research has prompted in a range of media, across Europe and beyond. These have led to further invitations to collaborate including on moving image and film projects, which had not been predicted. A further significant aspect of the research has been the recognition given in the form of national and international awards (from The Elephant Trust, founded by Lee Miller and Roland Penrose, and by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture).
The collaborations that developed as a result of aligning aspects of my research with a parallel award for a community-based history project (90 Years of Woodcraft Folk, funded in 2015-16 by Heritage Lottery Fund) meant that my modest ambitions for oral history interviews have been enormously expanded; through assisting in the provision of training two dozen members of the public in historical methods, and advising on the direction and delivery of the HLF project overall, together the AHRC and HLF projects were able to execute more than 45 oral history life story interviews (rather than the 12 that I had planned to create alone). The production of this large-scale and high-quality resource suggests further new directions for future research, and current projects include locating a PhD student to research and interpret this collection. The relationships built through this collaboration continue in new forms and working groups that follow on from both awards.
The project continues to develop after the life of the research period, and further book chapters, journal articles and public talks will be forthcoming in 2018. Significant cultural spin-offs are in the making and further funding applications are planned to develop creative and educational applications of the research.
Exploitation Route The publications, public events, exhibition, book and oral history recordings suggest a range of uses by researchers and practitioners interested and / or involved in grassroots organisations, youth movements, alternative education and spirituality, as well as in the art and culture of life reform. The early green politics of the founders of the British woodcraft movement, and the creation of alternatives to industrialised living, has led to interest from a diverse groups, including nature writers, environmental campaign groups, pagans and sceptics, youth and educational groups, artists and makers, musicians and filmmakers, and those living experimental lifestyles in the present day. For these domains, my research has uncovered little-known intellectual and practical pre-histories, provided inspiration for contemporary practice, and suggested new directions for future developments.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Retail

URL http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/projects/woodcraftfolk
 
Description The two major outputs of the award so far, the publication The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift: Intellectual Barbarians (Donlon Books, 2015) and the co-curated exhibition, Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred at Whitechapel Gallery (10 October 2015 to 13 March 2016) have attracted a wide range of high profile media attention. The 2000-word review of the book in The Guardian by Jon Savage, a leading author on youth culture subjects, described it as 'a revelation'. The article attracted over 400 comments in its first week and was shared over 7000 times on social media in the same period. It propelled the book to the position of No.1 bestselling title in the Art and Photography category on Amazon.co.uk. Since the release of the book and exhibition (October 2015), I have been invited to speak on the topic in lecture and seminar series in a range of national and international locations including scout huts and pubs, museums and galleries, universities and bookshops, nightclubs and arts festivals, to varied audiences including youth groups, educators, psychotherapists, artists, designers, pagans, curators, academics and politicians. I have been commissioned to write for scholarly and popular publications, and the research has been translated into Czech, Norwegian and Swedish. Both book and exhibition have been widely reviewed in national and international news media, arts publications and scholarly domains, including features on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 6, and in print media in Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and USA. The exhibition was visited by over 125,000 people, and each of the accompanying talks, tours study days and creative events sold out. The book was nominated for Photobook of the Year 2015 by several organisations including PhotoEye and Photocaptionist. It won a 2015 award of £4500 from the Elephant Trust as well as a Swiss Federal Office of Culture design prize as a Most Beautiful Swiss Book 2015. As a winner of the Most Beautiful Swiss Books prize, the book appeared in a 2016 travelling exhibition that visited four cities in Switzerland, as well as Paris, Oslo, Vienna, Venice, Copenhagen and London. The book was reprinted in spring 2016. Both exhibition and book were used as a basis for a 2016 fashion collection that was shortlisted for a London Fashion Week prize and directly inspired an extended fashion photography spread by Tim Walker, with set design by Simon Costin, in Vogue Italia in November 2016. I have had six invites to develop moving image treatments for film and television, and a Kibbo Kift-inspired album of creative musical responses is in production for a 2018 release. The book and exhibition has inspired performance art and sculpture (such as those staged at Supernormal Festival 2016 and 2017) and images from the book have been repurposed by record labels, graphic designers and tattoo artists internationally. An invitation to draw connections between the symbolic and ritualistic practices of artists / musicians The KLF and Kibbo Kift in 2017 drew further audiences and widespread media attention. The research relationships that have been built have led to a wide range of further projects and funding bids, including an artist residency at Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, 2018 (successful) and AHRC Follow-On Funding, 2018 (in preparation).
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description Creative Lab: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow
Amount £250 (GBP)
Organisation Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts 
Sector Multiple
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2018 
End 12/2018
 
Description Elephant Trust grant for the arts
Amount £4,500 (GBP)
Organisation Elephant Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country Unknown
Start 07/2015 
End 10/2015
 
Description Heading to a Hundred: Woodcraft Folk centenary advisory group 
Organisation The Woodcraft Folk
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Following the completion of the Heritage Lottery Funded project, 90 Years of the Woodcraft Folk, to which I was an academic advisor in a steering group, a new advisory group was formed to build upon the knowledge developed. Heading to a Hundred is concerned with developing plans for the hundredth anniversary of Woodcraft Folk as an organisation, and it seeks to develop the creation of and engagement with heritage resources, and to plan for future projects. I sit on this group, which meets three times a year, alongside other academic advisors, archivists, oral history specialists and senior members of Woodcraft Folk.
Collaborator Contribution The Heading to 100 group was established and is overseen by Woodcraft Folk, who provide organisational expertise, administrative coordination and financial input for meetings and project plans.
Impact The project is at an early stage of development so there are no material outputs to be recorded as yet.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Project partner / steering group member, 90 Years of the Woodcraft Folk (Heritage Lottery Funded project, 2015-16) 
Organisation The Woodcraft Folk
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Advising on Heritage Lottery Fund application. Co-steering 90 Years of the Woodcraft Folk project with other academic, archival and organisational project partners. Attending bi-monthly steering group meetings. Providing lectures and displays on woodcraft history to members. Conducting and summarising oral histories. Supporting the oral history training of 24 volunteers at two residential training sessions. Advising on archival methods for archive volunteers. Advising on and assisting with the delivery of the travelling exhibition. Assisting in the interpretation of historical materials and resources. Advising on and contributing archival research and writing to pictorial history book. Advising on heritage website. Advising on historical film. Advising on historical leaflets.
Collaborator Contribution Management of Woodcraft Folk's heritage, memorabilia and artefacts Interpreting Woodcraft Folk's heritage Engaging a broad range of individuals in heritage learning Increasing access to information about Woodcraft Folk's heritage through partner archives, networks and www.heritage.woodcraft.org.uk Increasing the heritage skills of 40 volunteers Increasing the commitment of existing volunteers and young members to Woodcraft Folk Attracting new volunteers and young members to Woodcraft Folk Promoting the expertise, specialisms and support of project partners
Impact 90 Years of the Woodcraft Folk travelling exhibition at City Hall, London 1-17 December 2015 https://www.woodcraft.org.uk/news/come-and-see-woodcraft-folk-city-hall-home-greater-london-authority (advised on content) 90 Years of the Woodcraft Folk travelling exhibition at Rochdale Pioneers Museum, Rochdale, February-April 2016 https://www.woodcraft.org.uk/news/woodcraft-folk-first-90-years (advised on content and delivered exhibition to site) 90 Years of the Woodcraft Folk two oral history residential training weekends, March 2015 and November 2015 https://woodcraft.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?id=22&reset=1 (provided opening lecture and historical display on woodcraft history and supported delivery of training) 90 Years of the Woodcraft Folk 90th anniversary pageant, 13 June 2015 https://woodcraft.org.uk/news/90th-anniversary-pageant-13th-june-2-5pm (provided visual display of woodcraft history)
Start Year 2015
 
Description 'A People's History of the Woodcraft Folk', talk and book launch, Housmans Bookshop, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This talk marked the launch of the collectively authored and edited 'A People's History of the Woodcraft Folk', to which I contributed three short essays and oversaw as part of an editorial board. The event formed part of a season of talks entitled 'London's Burning: A Celebration of Radical London Past and Present', at Housman's Bookshop, London. The event included another talk by Phineas Harper, a lifelong member of Woodcraft Folk, and together the discussion focused on the findings of the Heritage Lottery Funded project, 90 Years of the Woodcraft Folk, and the implications of the group's radical history to present day politics and educational practices.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.facebook.com/events/1723994664408619/
 
Description 'A history worth keeping or one best forgotten? Woodcraft Folk's origins in the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift', invited workshop, Woodcraft Folk Assembly, Oxford 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact This presentation formed part of a workshop at the Annual General Meeting or 'Assembly' of the progressive children's educational organisation, Woodcraft Folk. My talk explored Woodcraft Folk's early history, drawing on research into early twentieth century British and American woodcraft groups including Ernest Thompson Seton's Woodcraft Indians, the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift and the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry. The discussion explored the aspects of the organisation's history that could provide inspiration for the present day. The event also included a book launch for the collectively authored and edited 'A People's History of Woodcraft Folk', and formed part of a series of events that reflected on the lessons learned at the close of the Heritage Lottery Funded project, 90 Years of Woodcraft Folk, in which I had participated as a steering group member.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description 'Albions Nye Barbarer [Albion's New Barbarians]: Kindred of the Kibbo Kift', invited talk, Kjettersk Kjeller [The Heretical Cellar], Oslo 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This talk was invited by organisers of the Kjettersk Kjeller (The Heretical Cellar), a regular series of talks, discussions and music, hosted in an Oslo city centre venue by a group of self-identified sceptics dedicated to exploring religion and belief, particularly in relation to fringe organisations. The event took place in a public bar, and included a specially programmed Kibbo Kift-inspired musical set-list played by Neofolk DJs. My lecture introduced the beliefs and practices of Kibbo Kift, as a 1920s utopian camping and campaign group who borrowed spiritual and aesthetic motifs from a range of ancient, modern, occult and avant-garde sources. The event has led to further invites to write, speak and collaborate with international partners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://underskog.no/kalender/112048_albions-nye-barbarer-kindred-of-the-kibbo-kift-kjettersk/forest...
 
Description 'Art, Politics and Magic: The Kibbo Kift Kindred', Symposium, Whitechapel Gallery 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This day long symposium was designed to accompany the exhibition Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred at Whitechapel Gallery. Convened, chaired and with an opening presentation by Annebella Pollen, the event examined the group's contexts and legacies and included a range of invited speakers: Tanya Harrod, design historian; Andrew Flinn, Reader in Archives and Oral History at University College London; Philip Carr-Gomm, author and leader of the Order of Ovates, Bards and Druids; Cathy Ross, Honorary Research Fellow at the Museum of London; Hazel Powell and Jon Tacey, adult children of Kibbo Kift parents; Paul Bemrose, a Woodcraft Folk leader of more than 25 years standing, and Matthew De Abaitua, author of The Art of Camping and Kibbo Kift-inspired science fiction novel, If Then. The event was sold out (95 places) and the audience was made up of youth members and leaders, artists and curators, academics and students, members of new religious communities and the general public. The event was promoted in The Guardian Guide in a piece by Oliver Basciano, and was filmed for posterity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/events/art-politics-and-magic-the-kibbo-kift-kindred/
 
Description 'Britain's Strangest Youth Movement? The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift', Wanstead Tap, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This public talk and discussion, invited by a member of the Kibbo Kift Foundation, took place as part of a literary talks programme at a London pub, The Wanstead Tap. The event was attended by a broad range of audience members including youth group members and leaders, journalists, creative practitioners and scholars.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description 'Cultural revolutionaries and alternative communities: Mapping historical connections', invited presentation, Planned Environment Therapy Trust Archive and Study Centre, Gloucestershire 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The study day, 'Common Roots: Recreating Communities' was jointly organised by the Wennington Old Scholars group (former members of Wennington progressive school, 1940-1975) and the Planned Environment Therapy Trust, at the PETT Archive and Study Centre, Gloucestershire. The emphasis of the event was on revisiting educational experiments and moments of transformation; I was one of three speakers, alongside Carolyn L. Mears, trauma scholar and mother of a survivor of the Columbine High School shooting, and John Slowley, former educationalist at the experimental New Barns School. My talk explored the links between British woodcraft groups and those associated with the development of Planned Environment Therapy. The audience was made up of current and former members of free, libertarian or therapeutic schools, and students of the history of these educational environments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.pettrust.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1266:common-roots-2016-a-cla...
 
Description 'Fierce futurists and anti-establishment antiquarians: The historical vicissitudes of the Kibbo Kift Kindred', peer-reviewed conference paper, Radical Histories / Histories of Radicalism, Bishopsgate Institute 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The conference Radical Histories / Histories of Radicalism, held at Bishopsgate Institute, commemorated twenty years since the death of the left-wing social historian Raphael Samuel and forty years since the founding of History Workshop Journal. The event explored radical approaches to the past and histories of radical ideas and action through lectures, panels, performances, screenings, workshops and exhibitions. The event was hosted by Queen Mary University of London and organised by the Raphael Samuel History Centre (www.raphael-samuel.org.uk). It engaged a diverse audience, and brought together practitioners of many varieties of historical research, curatorship, writing and performance, from both inside and outside the academy.
My talk took place in the Radical Heritage, Art and Culture strand, and explored the various ways in which one radical historical movement - the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, of the 1920s - have been historicised since their inception. Conference abstract:
The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift was established in 1920 as an all-ages alternative to the scouts. For just over a decade, the group developed an idiosyncratic theory and practice of camping, hiking and handicraft in the hope of establishing world peace. The performance of particular pasts - from prehistoric and medieval as well as the more problematic ahistorical categories of the primitive at home and abroad - was a key part of Kibbo Kift's activities, and it also informed the eclectic styles of their prolific production of art, design and dress and theatre. This was in part due to the group's keen interest in folklore, inspired by the popularity of texts such as James Frazer's The Golden Bough, but it was also because of their promotion of a particular method of youth education (or 'Tribal Training') based in G. Stanley Hall's influential theory of recapitulation. In Hall's scheme, children needed to re-act specific periods of a linear conception of cultural history from 'savage' to 'civilised' in order to become fully developed adults. Kibbo Kift itself was described as a recapitulation of history. The creation of their carefully illuminated logbooks and detailed photographic records took place in parallel with an engagement with historical theory and pedagogy. Together these projects anticipated the coming of the Kibbo Kift Era. Although this modernist Utopia was never to arrive and the group remains mostly forgotten, this paper examines the Kindred's enthusiasm for history, the particular content of the retrofuturist artefacts they produced, and finally, the ways in which their histories have been crafted and contested since their demise.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.raphael-samuel.org.uk/radical-histories-conference-information/
 
Description 'Folk-Work-Place: Regional Romanticism and World Survey in the Kibbo Kift Kindred', conference paper 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Conference paper, entitle 'Folk-Work-Place: Regional Romanticism and World Survey in the Kibbo Kift Kindred', delivered at conference: Recording Leisure Lives: Places and Spaces of Leisure in 20th Century Britain, organised by Mass Observation Archive, The Keep, Brighton. The connections built at this conference have led to further invitations to participate in networks and to collaborate on future projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.leisurestudies.org/other-conferences-and-events/recordingleisurelivesplacesandspacesoflei...
 
Description 'Intellectual Barbarians: The art and design of the Kibbo Kift Kindred', Art History seminar series, University of Sussex 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact 'Intellectual Barbarians: The art and design of the Kibbo Kift Kindred, 1920-1932' was an invited paper, given as part of the University of Sussex's Art History seminar series, University of Sussex. The presentation sparked lively questions and discussion and strengthened cross-institutional collaborative partnerships between related departments in Brighton and Sussex universities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.sussex.ac.uk/scv/events/currentevents/pollen
 
Description 'Making a New World? Revisiting the craft theories and practices of Kindred of the Kibbo Kift', invited speaker at Maker Assembly, Sheffield 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This invited talk took place in a day-long event devoted to thinking about cultures of making. Organised by Maker Assembly, a collective of designers, makers and hackers, the event was one of a series, taking place across the country, to bring together architects, activists, artists and designers, curators and thinkers to discuss the role and purpose of making. The group states their interest and audience: "We're talking about people who craft, design, manufacture, tinker with, engineer, fabricate, and repair physical things. Art, craft, electronics, textiles, products, robots. Hi-tech and low-tech, amateur and professional, young and old, with digital tools or by hand. Historical perspectives, what's happening here and now, and how things might change in the future. We aim to be diverse and inclusive. If what you make, or how you see yourself, is a little bit on the fringes, you're doubly welcome." My talk for the event took part in a session entitled 'Activism' and I explored the craft theories and practices of Kibbo Kift, a utopian 1920s camping and campaign organisation, drawing parallels with contemporary cultures of the 21st century. The discussions throughout the day explored historical contexts and present day practices for creating hands-on solutions to social problems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://makerassembly.org/event/sheffield-31-august-2016/
 
Description 'More Modern than the Moderns: Performing Cultural Evolution in the Kibbo Kift Kindred', conference paper 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Conference paper delivered, entitled: 'More Modern than the Moderns: Performing Cultural Evolution in the Kibbo Kift Kindred', at conference: Being Modern: Science and Culture in the Early 20th Century, organised by Science Museum, and held at the Institute of Historical Research. Following the conference, I was invited to submit a chapter to the planned edited collection based on the event, to be published by University College London Press in 2017. My chapter was peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.qmul.ac.uk/being-modern/
 
Description 'Photoworks Presents: Fashion Spreads - Photography, Fashion and Cultural Identity', invited speaker and panellist, London Art Fair 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Photoworks panel at London Art Fair 2017 included myself, Professor Carol Tulloch of University of the Arts London, and Elizabeth Kutesko of Courtauld Institute of Arts. The theme of the panel was dress and cultural identity; my presentation was on dress and undress as political resistance. In particular I explored the way that sandal-wearing has become a popular form of insult against those in left or liberal political positions. The event was sold out and included a wide range of artists, collectors, curators, dealers, students and scholars. The presentations sparked lively discussion and the contacts made led to further invitations to present and to collaborate.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://photoworks.org.uk/photoworks-london-art-fair-18-22-january-2016/
 
Description 'Re-enactments of the past for historians of the future: Kibbo Kift Kindred's historical consciousness', Public History Group seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited by Andy Flinn, convenor of the Public History Group seminars, to give a paper entitled 'Re-enactments of the past for historians of the future: Kibbo Kift Kindred's historical consciousness', at University College London. The talk was chaired by Hilda Kean. The discussions that ensued led to a further meeting of chair, convenor and presenter, and to plans for future collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/calendar/articles/2015-16-events/20151128b
 
Description 'Rebel Youth: Political and cultural resistance in the Kibbo Kift Kindred', invited public talk, Anarchist Research Group, MayDay Rooms, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This talk formed part of a regular seminar series held by the longstanding Anarchist Studies Group in the MayDay Rooms, Fleet Street, London. As the organisers describe themselves: "The New Research Group - or to give a full title, the History Workshop Anarchist Research Group (Second Series) - is a monthly Saturday gathering of those with an abiding interest in left-libertarian ideas. Since 1985 we have met regularly to discuss ideas and share research: not just on issues of history, but equally on present and future personal, social, cultural, educational and political matters. Nor is our focus just concerned with academic enquiry but research of any form and type including the experimental." MayDay Rooms is an educational charity and "a safe haven for historical material linked to social movements, experimental culture and the radical expression of marginalised figures and groups. It offers communal spaces to activate archives' potential in relation to current struggles and informal research, challenging the widespread assault on collective memory and historical continuity." The talk led to an invitation to speak at a further event at the Planned Environment Therapy Trust in Gloucestershire in 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description 'Resisting Fashion, Performing Rebellion: Dressing and undressing for the camera', invited talk, Brighton Photo Biennial 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This commissioned public talk took place as part of the 2016 Brighton Photo Biennial, which was on the theme of Fashion, Style and Identity. The talk explored the relationships between 19th century dress reformers, European early twentieth century utopian life experiments, and interwar suburban nudists in south east England. It closed by bringing debates up to the present day by an examination of party political dress codes. The talk drew together previous work of mine on the legacies of dress reform and the camping and campaign groups of the British woodcraft movement, and it showcased newer work-in-progress about the rejection of clothes among early twentieth century intellectuals. The talk was filmed and led to further invitations to speak.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://2016.bpb.org.uk/event/resisting-fashion-performing-rebellion-dressing-undressing-camera/
 
Description 'Revival is Taboo: Recapitulating Kibbo Kift's historical future', The Return of History: Reconstructing art exhibitions in the 21st century, peer-reviewed conference paper, Association of Art Historians, University of Edinburgh, 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The conference paper was selected for a panel entitled 'The Return of History: Reconstructing art exhibitions in the 21st century'; participants included international curators, critics and historians exploring different aspects of the theme. My presentation explored the 2015-16 Whitechapel Archive Gallery exhibition, 'Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred' that I co-curated with Nayia Yiakoumaki, based on a reinterpretation of the Kibbo Kift Educational Exhibition held at Whitechapel Gallery in 1929. The panel led to the development of a further workshop event at University of the Arts London in 2017, with the intention to develop an edited collection on the theme.
Conference abstract:
In looking back to create a new world, the 1920s camping and campaigning organisation, the Kibbo Kift Kindred mixed miscellaneous histories with futurist fantasies in their extensive visual output. Elements from prehistory to the medieval were incorporated into all aspects of the group's practice, from costume to conversation, but a return to the past was never the aim. The group's 1929 exhibition at Whitechapel Art Gallery was underpinned by an application of Ernst Haeckel's now discredited biogenetic law, where ontogeny (organism growth) was said to replay or recapitulate phylogeny (the evolutionary history of the species). Kibbo Kift thus recapitulated a teleological evolutionary cultural history in order to position themselves as its modernist outcome.
The documents that outlined the 1929 exhibition's original purpose were repositioned as exhibits in the exhibition's 2015-16 reinterpretation. This took place, as before, at Whitechapel, but this time in the Archive Gallery, a dedicated space for working with archival art collections as well as revisiting institutional history. Cultural forms that look back are often described as retrogressive and as a search for stability in a time of crisis. Yet, as this paper will outline, in this context exhibition restagings are not so much re-enactments as historicist critique; they reveal the hidden transactions that shape curatorial decisions. In the case of Kibbo Kift, in addition, time was never stable or straightforward. Their pasts were largely imagined and always inflected by science fiction futures. To look back at Kibbo Kift now is to inhabit a complex temporality, for it is to look back at historical dreams that are yet unrealised. In reviewing the group's cultural legacy, Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred, arguably performed another stage of historical recapitulation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.aah.org.uk/annual-conference/sessions2016/session34
 
Description 'Strangers Come Amongst Us': Exploring the Kibbo Kift Kindred', TIMECODE seminar, University of Bradford 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This invited seminar was part of the TIMECODE series organised by University of Bradford / National Media Museum. The discussions that followed have led to new partnerships for future collaborations and new research leads.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bradford.ac.uk/ei/media-design-technology/research/communication-culture-media/timecode-s...
 
Description 'The British Woodcraft Movement: Origins and Legacies', lecture as part of Braziers Park's Wider Community Weekend 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact At the invitation of the Education Coordinator, I delivered an invited lecture as part of a Braziers Park Wider Community Weekend, where members of the public were invited to participate in the daily life of the secular intentional community, established 1950 (and with origins in the woodcraft movement). As part of this weekend, former members of the community came together to share memories and to explore original documents in the library and archives, which are not usually open to the public. A series of events were designed by the Education Coordinator to complement my lecture, including woodcraft activities on the estate. The talk attracted an audience of past and present community members, past and present members of youth groups and alternative educational projects, and former members of Kibbo Kift families. The talk was recorded by the Planned Environment Therapy Trust (PETT) and is hosted on their website. As a result of this event, I have been invited to collaborate with Braziers Park members and PETT archivists on future projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.pettrust.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1245:the-british-woodcraft-m...
 
Description 'The Craft of the Woods: Inspired by Kibbo Kift', Annebella Pollen in conversation with musician Judge Smith, Whitechapel Gallery 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The event, 'The Craft of the Woods: Inspired by Kibbo Kift', was programmed as part of the Whitechapel Gallery events series. As part of a late night opening evening at the gallery, the session included an opening presentation by Annebella Pollen on the artistic and creative legacy of the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, followed by a conversation, interspersed with recorded songs and performance, by Judge Smith, founder member of the rock band Van Der Graaf Generator, co-writer (with Maxwell Hutchinson) of the 1976 musical 'Kibbo Kift: The Rock Show', and Trustee of the Kibbo Kift Foundation. The event was recorded for posterity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/events/kibbokiftcraft/
 
Description 'The Dress and Undress of the Kibbo Kift Kindred', Costume Society blog post 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This invited blog post for the Costume Society outlined the themes of the Kibbo Kift book and exhibition that would be of particular interest to scholars and curators of dress. The post was widely shared on social media. The invitation led to further invitations to write for and speak at dress-related journals and events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://costumesociety.org.uk/blog/post/the-dress-and-undress-of-the-kibbo-kift-kindred
 
Description 'The Kibbo Kift Kindred', invited lecture in the Children and Socialism series, Marx Memorial Library, London, 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Marx Memorial Library's series on children and socialism attracted a range of audiences including those involved in education, politics and social work. Connections were established that have led to further public events and research networks (for example, presentations at the Radical Histories conference in summer 2016, and with colleagues interested in the history of psychotherapeutic communities).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.marx-memorial-library.org/index.php?option=com_civicrm&task=civicrm/event/info&Itemid=21...
 
Description 'The Kibbo Kift Kindred: Pagan Boy Scouts?', lecture, Treadwells Bookshop, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This invited talk by Treadwell's bookshop in London explored the mystical and occult aspects of the organisation for a specialist audience of pagans and scholars of mysticism as well as the general public. The talk led to new partnerships for collaboration and further invitations to speak.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.treadwells-london.com/tag/twentieth-century/
 
Description 'The bowler hat and trousers are outward signs of a death-dealing rationalism: Kibbo Kift's nude futures and anti-fashion fantasies', invited talk, Death of Fashion? The Barge House, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This invited talk took place as part of a day-long event themed around 'The Death of Fashion', comprising cabaret and musical performances, screenings, talks and discussions. Organised by Jonathan Faiers, Professor of Fashion Thinking at Winchester School of Art, and DJ Dellores Laing, the experimental event took place in The Barge House venue in London and also included academics, fashion designers and performers, including Catherine Spooner, Barry Curtis, Elizabeth Wilson, Chicks on Speed, Eve Ferrett, Iain R Webb and Andrew Groves. The event observed, "Fashion has recently experienced house closures, designer redundancies and untimely deaths. Fashion is a digitally disseminated, mass consumption industry recently declared extinct. How does popular culture and its icons impact upon fashion? Why does the establishment rebuild fashion on its ruins? What can we learn from fashion's previous deaths?" My presentation covered the anti-fashion manifestos of interwar campaign groups such as the Kindred of the Kibbo Kift and the Men's Dress Reform Party.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/death-fashion-salon-26042016-jonathan-faiers
 
Description 'Thinking about archives, histories, futures', invited speaker, Braziers Park Wider Community Weekend 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Braziers Park School of Integrative Social Research is a residential secular intentional community, based in rural Oxfordshire. The twice-yearly Wider Community weekends offer an opportunity for residents past and present, alongside other interested parties, to explore the ideas of the School and to debate new directions for the organisation's future. This is the fourth time that I have been invited to attend events at Braziers Park. Previous events include participation in Supernormal Summer Schools, and an invited public talk on the subject of the British woodcraft movement.
This event included a panel of interested parties, including representatives from the Committee of Management, community archives, local historians and other specialists with interests in the history of the School and the site, and with ambitions to collectively develop educational events to increase engagement with the organisation's unique archival papers and collections.
My talk explored the intellectual and personal connections that can be traced from the School to other educational, political, therapeutic and cultural endeavours throughout the 20th and 21st century. The session also included exploration of the contents of the Braziers Park archive, through a handling session which I devised with the Chair of the Committee of Management, and through discussions of possible funding routes for archival conservation and development.
The wider weekend included a range of talks, walks, outdoor activities and discussions including a new interpretation of the work of Ernest Thompson Seton by Barbara Witemeyer, and a roundtable discussion on the origins and activities of the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.braziers.org.uk/currentprogramme/
 
Description Bodies in Crisis, Fashion at the Dock: Radical Dress Reform in Interwar Britain, invited talk at Glasgow School of Art Design Domain event, October 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact The Design Domain at Glasgow School of Art is an annual event for all undergraduates across all years in the School of Design, organised around a common theme. For 2017, Bodies, Identities, Action and Engagement were the core themes, and I was invited to speak about the politics of the body in relation to my research on woodcraft outdoor experiments in living, dress reform and the anti-fashion practices of nudists. As a result of the presentation, which was warmly received by a large audience, I was invited to participate in a joint funding bid for an artist residency at Glasgow's Centre for Contemporary Arts; the bid was successful and the two week residency is scheduled for December 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Countercultural Camping from Nudists to Kibbo Kift, public talk at Supernormal Festival, 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact For the third year running, I have participated in the annual Supernormal Supersensory Summer School at Supernormal festival of experimental and participatory arts and music, held over three days at Braziers Park School of Integrative Social Research, Ipsden, Oxfordshire. For the August 2017 event, as part of the Supernormal Supersensory Summer School collective, I held a public talk on countercultural camping experiments, looking at woodcraft groups and nudist camps in the early twentieth century, and their links to utopian experiments in living (such as those continuing at Braziers Park). The talk was accompanied by a visual display that remained in place during the weekend, and was accompanied by a series of related artist-led activities including experimental shelter-building and costume-making for ritual.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.supernormalfestival.co.uk/2017
 
Description Curators' Tour of Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred, Whitechapel Gallery 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This Curator's Tour, jointly led by Annebella Pollen and Nayia Yiakoumaki of Whitechapel Gallery, provided an overview presentation of the purposes of the Archive Gallery and the rationale for the exhibition, Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred, and was followed by lively discussion. 35 members of the public attended the tour, including artists, photographers, students, curators and members of youth groups.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/events/nayia-yiakoumaki-on-intellectual-barbarians-the-kibbo-kift-...
 
Description From Scouts to Superhumans: Woodcraft experiments in living, 1916-1950, invited speaker, History of Design seminars, V&A Museum / Royal College of Art 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This talk, in the longstanding postgraduate research seminar series organised by the History of Design programme at V&A/RCA, presented work in progress. It reflected on the findings of the AHRC award 'Picturesqueness in Everything' and its focus on the visual and material culture of the British woodcraft movement 1916-2016 but also laid out possible directions for further development, post-award. The audience was made up of RCA/V&A postgraduate students, academic staff and museum curators.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.rca.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/vrca-history-design-research-seminar-dr-annebella-polle...
 
Description In conversation with designer Roland Brauchli, Have You Ever Kissed a Book?The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2015 in London, Instituto Maragoni, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This sold-out event brought together winners of The Most Beautiful Swiss Books awards of 2015, for an evening designed to celebrate the arrival of the travelling exhibition of winning books at the Umlaut Space, Fashion Street, London. The theme, 'Have You Ever Kissed a Book?' was a playful prompt to allow creative dialogue between pairs of winners, including artist Christian Marclay and designer Laurent Benner, curator Jenny Jaskey and designer John Morgan, and myself and Roland Brauchli, author and designer of the book The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, respectively. The conversations and discussions explored collaborative relationships and creative exchange, shown through illustrated presentations on working practices. The event was held at London's Instituto Maragoni,and was funded and attended by members of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, organisers of the annual Swiss design prize.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.themostbeautifulswissbooks.london/
 
Description KLF Night: Invited in-conversation with author Ian Shirley 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Following my presentation at the public hearing, Why Did the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid? in Liverpool in August 2017, I was invited to interview author Ian Shirley at and event to mark the publication of his book on The KLF, Turn Up the Strobe. The in-conversation took place at The Moth Club, Hackney, as part of an event of KLF-related screenings and music.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.mothclub.co.uk/events/2017/10/17/klf-night-k-foundation-burn-a-million-quid-screening
 
Description Kibbo Kift-inspired art, craft, ritual and performances, Supernormal Supersensory Summer School, invited contributor, Supernormal Festival, Braziers Park, Oxfordshire 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact As part of the annual experimental and participatory music and arts festival, Supernormal, held at Braziers Park, Oxfordshire, I was invited to participate in the Second Supernormal Supersensory Summer School, following my appearance as a guest speaker at the 2015 event. In 2016 the Summer School took place in a specially built 'woodhenge' structure, which was the site for a range of participatory workshops, art events, meditations, performances and experiments with sound, film and technology. For my contributions, I led a talk on Kibbo Kift, which drew out their relationships with the Braziers Park site (the founders of the residential School of Integrative Social Research, who have owned the Braziers Park house and grounds since 1950 had their origins in British woodcraft organisations). I also led and participated in some Kibbo Kift themed art events, including the making of spirit animal masks and costumes, a sound performance, a woodland craft trail, and children's cooperative games (in conjunction with members of the Woodcraft Folk).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.supernormalfestival.co.uk/performances/
 
Description Lecture on the history of woodcraft movements as part of oral history residential training weekend (1) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact As part of a residential oral history training weekend for the 90 Years of the Woodcraft Folk, I delivered a lecture and supported the delivery of oral history training for c.12 volunteer members of the Woodcraft Folk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://woodcraft.org.uk/activities/oral-history-training
 
Description Lecture on the history of woodcraft movements as part of oral history residential training weekend (2) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact As part of a second residential oral history training weekend for the 90 Years of the Woodcraft Folk project, I delivered a lecture and supported the delivery of oral history training for c.12 volunteer members of the Woodcraft Folk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.woodcraft.org.uk/news/oral-history-training-30oct-01nov
 
Description MA Fashion: Critical Studies seminar series, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The postgraduate student cohort of MA Fashion: Critical Studies, plus Fashion History and Theory staff from across Central Saint Martins, attended this invited talk, which developed new work on interwar nudist practices in England. I received useful feedback from the audience and developed new research relationships with staff members, leading to further invitations to speak and to publish.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description MA History of Design lecture, Royal College of Art 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Within a day of talks on professional development, as part of a themed session on applying for grants and developing collaborations with external partners, this invited lecture focused on my Kibbo Kift book and exhibition as models of practice. The discussion, which included other academics and research grant advisors, offered postgraduate students an inside view of applied research on the ground.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description MA Phototography lecture, London College of Communication 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This invited lecture focused on the preparation and delivery of Kibbo Kift book and exhibition as a research case study for MA Photography students. Through discussion of inspiration, exploration and execution processes, students reflected on their own working practices.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Private view of Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred, Whitechapel Gallery, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The private view of the exhibition, Intellectual Barbarians: The Kibbo Kift Kindred at Whitechapel Gallery, took place as part of the gallery's wider season launch. The event was attended by lenders, funders, artists, curators, publishers, academics, journalists, students, members of the Kibbo Kift Foundation, members of current youth groups and surviving family members of the group under scrutiny. New connections were built between groups who have not previously met and descendants were brought together for the first time.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Why did the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid? Presentation as part of a public hearing, Liverpool, 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of a series of events marking the passage of exactly 23 years since the K Foundation / The KLF burned a million pounds on the Scottish island of Jura, I was invited by artist Tom James to be part of a public hearing to try to understand the motive for the burning. Alongside artist Jeremy Deller, journalist Clive Martin, economist Ann Pettifor and writer Tom Hodgkinson, I presented a pitch for audience approval, based on a set of imagined symbolic associations between KLF and Kibbo Kift. This proposition won the audience vote and was presented to Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty as the definitive explanation for their activities in 1994. The event was widely covered in news and specialist music media, and led to a further series of invitations to speak and publish.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://fabersocial.co.uk/2017/08/15/k-foundation-burn-million-quid/
 
Description •Invited speaker on the history of the woodcraft movement, Supernormal Super Sensory Summer School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited to give a presentation on the history of the woodcraft movement, at the Supernormal Super Sensory Summer School, held as part of the Supernormal art and music festival at Braziers Park, Ipsden, Oxfordshire. The talk was part of a two day experimental educational event which included artists, educators, members of the Braziers Park residential community, historians and members of youth groups, and which explored the history of the site and its contributions to experimental education, humanistic psychology and experiments in living. My participation led to further invites to collaborate with the convenors in the Supersensory Summer School at Supernormal Festival in 2016 and an invitation to take part in further events at Braziers Park in 2016. The event was subsequently reviewed in The Wire magazine.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.facebook.com/BraziersPark/photos/a.754192388016312.1073741842.217262871709269/7069371360...