Robbie Coleman & Jo Hodges will spend one month based at Tarset Village Hall in May 2021. Read more about their joint practice and initial ideas for their residency here:


We currently live and work in remote rural South West Scotland and are fascinated by the multifaceted and changing relationships that exist in this context. As a result, our practice often takes ideas about place as a starting point. We make work that explores the interrelationships between differing ecologies, exploring layers of connection between past, present and possible futures.

We are interested in how people experience art in an out of gallery context and through our work explore and test relationships and strategies that might allow new ideas to resonate in the wider public space. Our work usually involves participation and collaboration whether that be with other artists, scientists, food producers, academics or communities. 
We have no favoured methodology or medium and allow the site and situation to guide our working processes. Our projects can range in scale and ambition from creating sites for conversation to large scale public events.

EDGE: Large sale interactive installation exploring the place where land and sea meet. Spring Fling 2017
Gipt 2: Medieval botanical illustration and sonified score. Tønsberg, Norway 2019

ENTWINED: Rural. Land. Lives. Art.

We have been selected for a one-month residency at Tarset Village Hall in May 2021. Our initial idea is to work with some of the groups that use the hall to investigate layers of place though sonification and voicing. We developed this technique as part of ‘The Flowering’, a choral work for ‘GIPT’, a project in Norway 2019. In that project we sourced illustrations from an 11th century medieval manuscript of medicinal and culinary herbs that were grown at St Olav’s Monastery, Tønsberg. The illustrations were digitized and the data transposed into musical notations using specialised software. Composer Kate Howard ran a workshop in Moniaive, Scotland using the scores as a basis. This work culminated in a performance that was transmitted live over the internet into the monastery ruins to coincide with the opening of our artist made garden in which we were growing the same herbs.

We are interested in developing this process further to make a new work for Tarset. We intend to first investigate source materials that can be used to reveal layers of the ecology of place in collaboration with some of the groups that use the hall such as the Quilting and Stitchin’ Group. We will then use the sonification technique developed in Norway to create scores from the source material. We hope that the local Song Reivers Community Choir will work with us to voice the scores.

The resulting work will be able to take a number of directions – a performance, an interactive performative public walk, a new version of “carols-by-car”, taking this work generated by place to isolated people.. or something else.  Sonification is the starting point, but we are keeping options open as to the source material and the outcomes.

This residency is an exciting opportunity to develop a deeper work on how sound and the social act of singing can be used to reveal a series of emotional landscapes that lie beneath the visible. It will help us gain new insights on how creative work can help forge connections between individuals, community and place.


Robbie Coleman and Jo Hodges have a shared transdisciplinary public arts practice. Robbie has a background in sculpture and live art; project manages large-scale public arts projects and is Co-Director of the D-LUX light festival and co-curator of The Environmental Arts Festival Scotland. Jo Hodges has a background in Human Ecology and community development. Jointly their work investigates ecological and socio-cultural systems, processes and relationships, and explores new strategies for working in the public space. Their practice takes many forms including temporary and permanent works, site specific installations and socially engaged projects and processes. Their work is often led by context, where the outcome is determined as a result of process.

They are interested in research, experimentation and collaboration in the areas of environment and culture and in exploring the role of art in social change and place making.

They are Director-Curators of Sanctuary Lab, a public art laboratory that explores darkness, technology and place in the remote Galloway Forest Dark Skies Park.