Find out more about the latest research projects at Kettle’s Yard
House and Collection Research
‘Tangier Days: the Edes in Morocco, 1936-52’ presents new research taking a closer look at the years Jim and Helen Ede – Kettle’s Yard’s creators – spent living in Tangier, Morocco. Drawing on material from the Kettle’s Yard Archive and Swan family archive, the series shares previously unseen imagery and excepts from Jim Ede’s Tangier Log.
Jim Ede and India
In his unpublished memoir (1946), Jim Ede (the founder of Kettle’s Yard) reflected that his travels in India between 1917–19 had the ‘most reverberations of any period’ of his life. While residing at Kettle’s Yard, he incarnated this sentiment by placing a rug that he had bought in India near the entrance, where he would wait to receive guests.
Jim Ede and India was a research project that set out to explore the relationship between Jim Ede, the Kettle’s Yard house and India.
The project culminated in a display in the Research Space and a downloadable map of objects in the Kettle’s Yard house inspired by Jim Ede’s travels.
Community and Learning Projects
As part of the University of Cambridge, research is central to our activity at Kettle’s Yard, and this includes the work of the Community and Learning programme. As well as considering the processes and impact of our own work, we also partner with external researchers and research programmes, bringing our unique position and practice to their investigation.
Open House is a long-term collaboration between Kettle’s Yard and our neighbouring communities in North Cambridge.
From 2015 – 2021, Open House welcomed an artist-in-residence each year, selected by the community, to explore the local area, collaborate with local residents and create new artwork together. The cocuration and long-term nature of the programme has made it a unique research opportunity.
In 2015 Dr Sarah Plumb used Open House as a case study for her PhD at the University of Leicester. You can read it here.
Plumb then undertook a reflective evaluation of the programme in 2021 which you can read here.
During the process we collaborated with our community collaborators to inform a set of values to inform our approach to engagement. Download it here.
Circuit Cambridge is Kettle’s Yard’s peer-leadership programme for young adults aged 18 – 25. The programme began as part of a nationwide project delivered local in partnership with Wysing Arts Centre and led nationally by Tate. Circuit set out to create better access to the arts for young people.
From 2013 – 17, the programme demonstrated that art can have a significant impact in building young people’s confidence, practical skills and their social and personal development.
Learning and evaluation were embedded throughout Circuit, with gallery staff, young people, artists and partners supported to reflect on their experiences. Find out more and read research papers, conference materials, reports and blog posts on the Tate website.
Ready or Not?
Kettle’s Yard Learning & Community team has been working in partnership with researchers from the University of Cambridge and Birmingham to explore how creativity can support children and their families in getting ready to start school. This work has resulted in a new resource for parents and nursery teachers full of creative ideas and activities to spark conversations, inspired by art collections.
These resources will support the research of the Ready or Not? study led by teams at the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge and the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham.
In 2022, the Clore Learning Studio at Kettle’s Yard transformed into a creative research lab and everyone was invited to take part.
During July and August, artist Kaitlin Ferguson transformed the Clore Learning Studio at Kettle’s Yard into a creative lab, where she hosted a series of discussions, workshops, open days, and displays. Together with members of our local community and researchers at the University of Cambridge, Kaitlin used this space to explore how we can use art and creativity to better care for each other and the planet.
CoLAB’s themes were inspired by the research of Dr Louise Hickman at the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy. Louise investigates how people with a diverse range of needs physically access the built environment and daily routines and how this data can inform the future of work. By exploring this topic creatively and with local voices, CoLAB has produced a new archive of experiences and perspectives.
In 2016, students from North Cambridge Academy selected Johann Arens to be artist-in-residence alongside Kettle’s Yard. Arens transformed a classroom into an experimental space and hosted a programme of activities including an after-school club, sensory walks, debates and immersive art-days. A reflection of the residency and its impact was considered by Kettle’s Yard learning team in an article for the Engage Journal.
Max Literacy: Inspiring Writing Through Art
Kettle’s Yard was one three lucky recipients of the inaugural Max Reinhardt Literacy Award, which has seen the Grove Primary School in Kings Hedges and Kettles Yard work with writer Claire Collison to respond to the collection. Children from year 3 worked with the writer and gallery for 6 weeks to develop their creative writing skills. A new learning resource inspired by the project entitled ‘Making Conversations’ has been developed and can be downloaded for free here.
SpaceMakers was a two-year project using creativity and contemporary arts to help pupils from two Cambridgeshire schools to engage with architecture and the built environment, to become ‘SpaceMakers’. Devised and overseen by Kettle’s Yard’s learning team, it was primarily delivered by two professional artists working closely with two lead teachers.