The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Leverhulme Residency

Paula Turner – a movement artist in Geography

Paula Turner is a movement artist currently working in Geography, exploring the links between spaces, places and people. Paula was awarded a Leverhulme Artist in Residence grant in 2017, working with Professor Rachel Woodward on a range of activities within Geography, the wider university and local community

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Quotidian Mapping - The world in a bucket.

Paula worked with our estates staff, particularly Pauline Ogg, exploring her movements around the spaces of the Daysh building, where Geography lives and Pauline works every day. Paula says,
‘Pauline goes about her work, sweeping, gliding, rubbing, wiping, carrying, maintaining and activating the spaces, readying them and always combining this with a greeting, a smile, a nod.’
You can try to keep pace with Pauline’s movements here

Sensory Mapping

Paula is now a Newcastle University Visiting Fellow.  Her current work includes the Near and Far project with Dr Matt Jenkins at Marine Park Primary school in South Shields. This project is funded by the Catherine Cookson Foundation and explores the connections between the children and other localities at a range of scales from the local to the global.  You can see some of this work here

Grand Gestures Dance Collective

Paula’s work in Geography included interventions with an elders dance group, Grand Gestures Dance Collective (GGDC), who have taken part in student seminars and lectures, and staged various movement interventions in and around the campus. You can view one of their happenings, which was inspired by images of exploration and ascent in and around the Daysh building, here

GGDC consider themselves to be movement activists who through their interventions question stereotypical views and assumptions about age and ageing. They collaborated with Dr Matt Jenkins on a performance piece which was premiered at The Tramway Theatre, Glasgow, as part of an International Dance Festival. Paula combined choreography and statistics to present a playful thought provoking piece on measurement particularly when it relates to cultural value and the ambiguous realm of well-being. You can read more here 

Time on and in our hands

The techniques of physical geography particularly fascinated Paula – the movements of the body in space when geographers venture into the field and engage with the earth.  Dr Maarten van Hardenbroek, Paula and GGDC got physical with sediments deposited long ago, and you can watch the process hereThe analysis of clay is a kind of dance as is the shaping of the clay unearthed from a Borders bog. 

Much of Paula’s work through the Leverhulme residency and the Near and Far project can be viewed here.