It’s #Museum Week – the perfect time to tell you about Flows latest project – Friction

Friction – where fact and fiction meet through art

Friction is an action-research project working within the Museum sector to explore New Museology, where fact and fiction meet through contemporary art. The title refers to how storytelling and fiction can underpin fact, evoke curiosity and create a spark of something new – the merging of knowledge, energy and creative-thinking. It also hints at the need to gently bridge the perceived divide between conserving the past in museums whilst exploring the future through contemporary art practice.

The Miniature Museum of Museums by Tara Downs & Bart Sabel will adapt and change in response to how people interact with it in three different contexts. The artists will work with three Gloucestershire Museums and their staff to explore points of friction, both literally and metaphorically, testing cross-sector partnership working.

Our partner museums are The Gloucester Waterways Museum, The Holst Museum  and the Museum in the Park. Meantime art space in Cheltenham will also be involved, and LightsgoingOn.

Flow’s mission is to initiate, develop and deliver visual arts projects that engage with partners from diverse disciplines for unusual places. The Friction Project provides a platform for Flow to test out how artworks can be commissioned to adapt and change yet still retain a genuine relationship with the places it tours to.



Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England



new links to things that I think about a lot lately, technospheres, nature and flow

So many things have inspired my work, it’s difficult to find the space for them all!

Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.” raises some good questions about nature and technology in a non-judgemental way. I like that, no preaching.

This website will radically shift your notion of nature. Our image of nature as static, balanced and harmonic is naive and up for reconsideration. Where technology and nature are traditionally seen as opposed, they now appear to merge or even trade places.

On the nextnature app I found the film Pimp my Planet by Studio Smack. A true inspiration! I find it very powerful – some find it scary, some depressing, but I find it thought provoking. Do we really believe that humans are all powerful? If the planet is badly damaged by us, are we the right people to fix it? Are the countries shifting politically, or maybe physically, as they did when the tectonic plates slipped around? Or during the Ice Age? Are we so detached from the place we live in, that it is no more than a virtual concept? Have we forgotten what it feels like to put our hands in soil, in the ocean, or gaze at the clouds? And importantly, can art in unusual places help us to re-consider the thing we call nature and think of these things in a different way?

Can nature still bring about a state of flow?

And then there’s Technobiophilia by Sue Thomas.

The New Natural Symposium
SemiconductorProf. Sue Thomas and Squidsoup
Saturday 25th May 10.30am-5pm
SVA, 4 John St, Stroud GL5 2HA
Installation Friday 24th-Sunday 26th May 11am-4pm Goods Shed, Stroud GL5 3AP

Modern technology and the natural world are often seen in opposition, the former perceived as either destroying or at least disconnecting us from the latter. So what of a new relationship, a new approach towards the natural world that reconnects us in ways only possible through the use of technology? The New Natural will bring together three people whose work explores different aspects of this question. A day of presentations at 4 John Street, a film installation in the Brunel Goods Shed, interwoven with good food and finishing with an open discussion led by Rob la Frenais of The Arts Catalyst.

The New Natural is presented by Heart of Wonder in collaboration with SVA, and supported by Alias.

Tickets £12 including lunch and refreshments £20 for weekend inclusive of evening events. Booking is essential as places are limited 01453 751440 or email