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Robert Pyecroft-Rainbow


  • AVA 1.01, Docklands Campus
    School of Arts and Digital Industries (ADI)
    University of East London
    Docklands Campus
    E16 2RD


    At the heart of my work is the interplay of research and practice that is applied with an interdisciplinary accent. This symbiotic activity draws on 20 years of working across public, private and 3rd sectors. Informed by working in different media, in varied contexts and roles and extending this work locally, nationally and internationally.
    With a wholeistic (more viscerally real than holistic) understanding of design and sensitivity to the nuances of participants, communities and audiences the most useful outcomes can be envisaged and realised.
    Initiating and instigating projects and forging collaboration and partnership has further projected action and informed research. Projects have come to fruition through the connection of abilities and an applied cross-disciplinary approach. New forms and ways of working have been realised through fusing established ideas and working processes, bringing overlooked or unimagined ideas to the surface.
    Intimate Anthropology, from 2013
    I was approached by Jennifer Randall and Rupesh Shah to help deliver an action based research project where the methods and practises of anthropology, the visual arts and the methods of a NGO combine to provide a programme of activities co authored and delivered by young workless people in the London Boroughs of Newham and Hackney.
    This will be encountered through specialist anthropology and applied through change making action research.

    Air pollution Arts project, from 2012
    Working with Avant Gardening and artist Christian Nold.
    This work was initiated by Paul Green of AV with some partnership with London Sustainability Exchange and responds to air pollution, socially awareness and public policy.We are working towards developing participative learning activities that responds to citizen science and further expanded softer scientific application. To extract both quantitative and qualitative information through participative activity.Chart and broadcast our research creatively with a view to public policy and better understandings of health.
    Reinterpret Transform Synthesise, from 2012
    RTS is a, cross disciplinary project that provides fertile ground for transformative practice through reinterpreting salvaged materials.
    It seeks ways of reframing waste and putting this to useful application and resolve needs.
    This project began in the wake of the London Olympics.
    With materials kindly donated by Icon World who played a substantial parting in delivering London 2012. These materials were employed by UEL level 1 Architecture in response to a range of briefs for a community garden in Newham.
    Students transformed these used materials through creative processes.
    We are looking to build, further apply and document. Drawing on wider expertise and partners and extending the range of output to new sites.
    Transplant, from 2007
    I won an award from UnLTD to develop a working process that creates dialogue through using lens based media and digital media. The project intersects at sites of change to affect a dual and reciprocal approach to transferring expertise.
    This devise makes the knowledge of specialists understandable to local people and importantly gives voice to local people’s wisdom and distinctiveness, which is vital to the understanding for agencies on how to deliver policy thereby developing more successful and sustainable communities. The participative process also serves to inform local people of impending developments and equip them with the appropriate transitional tools while the processes-based techniques across lens-based media and digital media allow participants to reposition and reframe their lived experience as expertise.
    This concept has been a consistent personal interest, developed through additional application and processes of revision.
    Advanced by participatory filmmaking, community consultancy, work in schools, museums and galleries where people at sites of change or transition become expert and author.

    Current focus is on themes of horticultural production the city and communities.
    Particularly with a view to understanding by testing out economies of information, food and nutrition, of creative practice and action as research.


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    Conceptual development and the exchange of ideas is driven by enthusiasm for collaboration. Having established an action research base on which to apply and explore a range of practice, conceptual development goes on to inform, my academic work and further professional work.

    Over 18 years I have produced a range of interdisciplinary work including commissions for museum and gallery installations, short films, live performances, documentation, branding and experiential marketing events, audio-visual production for corporate events, through to workshops and participative work, teaching and lecturing. I also work in a consultancy role across the third sector.

    In my practice I have taken a convergent approach to lens based media, extending across photography, film and video further through to the use of analogue and digital processes and platforms. This fluid approach to media practice is combined with over 20 years of active research into social and cultural fields that began with academic study for my BA (Hons) degree in History and Theory of Media and Design. The underpinning of this action research with the soft sciences has lent to the application of lens-based media and digital media as a research technique and means to greater understand human phenomena.
    With participative activity through to documentation this has been employed as a device to give voice, explore identities, senses of place or as means to creative expression.
    With reference to documentation and consultation these methods have been employed as a tool to understanding by raising dialogue. This approach allows for resourceful and inventive outcomes, seeing design and creative processes as connective and socially grounded.
    Understanding the interplay of lens-based media, as a source of documenting, investigating, unravelling, giving voice and distributing, combined with the plasticity of digital media that allows the potential for work to be tailored to innovative and effective outcomes.
    The development of ideas, active research and the application of creative activities, has assisted in realising both potential and actual positive social change.
    I have refined and applied a range of methods that have enabled the exchange of information particularly the inclusiveness of local voices to the transformation process. These techniques have been tailored to suit working with community groups, galleries and museums educational programmes, and schools, for local governments, artist groups, commercial realms and the 3rd sector.
    Drawing and developing upon past work (particularly methods that have employed engagement and dialogue) has provided a range of responsive methods and processes. Some of these go further by integrating creative action with positive social change at the starting point before going on to document the transitional changes.
    These are returning themes, much of the work in this area has responded to how we inform or are informed by the environments and situations we occupy; of understanding notions of I and we, of identity and place; of fears, needs and aspirations. Discussing these through creative documentation and presenting this expertise forward.
    My professional practice began in the mid 1990s with work incorporating participation, accessibility and engagement, which played a formative role in my development.
    Building upon my academic research enquiry and interest in the application of art outside of the gallery space I began working for artist Pete Codling on the 1,000,000 Pebbles project. The project offered much early professional insight into the notion of public and the flux of the crowd, through to participating with more defined communities. Through further work within disability arts organisation The Arts Connection I developed a working understanding of a process-based approach, where the creative journey takes precedence over an end piece or product. The organisation also provided training for artists and service workers of arts practices, exploring accessible methods and cross sensory techniques.
    From these formative points I have developed, applied and refined a range of techniques in line with my own methods and processes that I have used in numerous settings.
    Research interests that have extended from these points are notions of public, of the monument, of work that reflects upon or plays up how we inform and are informed by public space.
    These have increasingly included philosophical reflections on notions of self, truth, of the theorist as artist.



    This is the 5th academic year of working on the Photography programme.
    In this role I bring a cross disciplinary accent to the subject by integrating convergent methods of working with lens based media. This has covered both the static image and time based work and has included the design and integration of teaching and learning activities that incorporates short film production; 360 degree photography; audio recording; motion and time within the still; working in sequence exploring sympathy with the photo book/artist book and short film.
    I have also extended my experience of working with non-linear and interactive media tapping into installation work and aspects of my research based activities. This teaching is further supplemented by practice that has covered filmmaking; live performance that integrates film and video; installation and intervention.

    As a lecturer at UEL, I have taught on the BA Moving Image pathway. Again drawing on professional practice that has combined both traditional and experimental approaches to filmmaking; performance; public consultancy through lens based media.
    I have also taught on the MA Design programme, working with postgraduate fashion, textiles, photography and graphic design students.
    Also providing workshops using FCP, camera work and the wet darkroom, exploring interplay across disciplines and the possibilities of extending their subject through time based media.
    As a guest Lecturer I have also contributed to Architectural programmes providing teaching covering mapping through audio-visual media and also student feedback at presentations.
    This is my 5th year of lecturing at UEL. I draw on a range of professional experience, of past and current work that brings vitality to my academic and scholarly activity.
    I have worked in a variety of settings; in the formal contexts of schools, colleges and universities and in-formal settings such as accredited participative film making at the Rio Cinema. I have led animation activities with schooless and workless young people. My practice also involves exchanging skills and delivering programmes with community groups or presenting work at research conferences.
    Much of this work draws on integrating the use of photography and filmmaking with a social enquiry. Technical practice is substantiated by active research into a range of social and cultural themes, some of which extends over 20 years. Concurrent research that grows with these, once specialist and exclusive and now ubiquitous practices, informs the delivery of my teaching. This is all the more pertinent as photography and audiovisual media are increasingly entwined with human experience - transcending intimate, personal, social realms. As authors and consumers we further understand the breadth of human experience. Points of sympathy and dissonance, of needs, fears and desires, our most durable values subscribed by the visual language and media that we occupy - our heroes and villains, our honourable quest and causes.