The summer of 2013 marks the start of an exciting new collaboration between two Nottingham academics, Dr Ben Bedwell (Computer Sciences) and Dr Gabriele Neher (Art History). Ben and Gaby are embarking on a joint research project, Wander Thoresby.
In this project, the Stonebridge Trust and University of Nottingham are working together to explore new ways to reveal the cultural, industrial and historical heritage of Thoresby Estate in North Nottinghamshire through harnessing new technologies. In particular, the team aims to draw on the GPS and web capabilities of many new mobile phones and tablets, to allow visitors to uncover Thoresby’s hidden treasures, both the (still underexplored) works of Marie- Louise Roosevelt Pierrepont (1889- 1984) and the beauties of the house and estate she lived in, through war time occupation and post- war austerity.
Bedwell and Neher’s collaboration kicks off with an exhibition of Roosevelt Pierrepont’s paintings and water colours of the Thoresby grounds, where the gallery experience becomes just one staging point of engaging with the environment of Thoresby. By calling in at the exhibition at The Courtyard Gallery, curious visitors will be able to find out just how Thoresby is helping to play a vital role in developing cutting edge mobile experiences, while the more adventurous can wander out onto the Estate and participate in the research for themselves.
Over the next few months, the team will return repeatedly to Thoresby for a range of workshops, some of them including groups of student volunteers, and culminating in an on-site residential camping workshop for art historians.
Ben Bedwell is based at The Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute at University of Nottingham which is at the forefront of research around new opportunities for individuals and organisations to get value from new technologies. With a strong focus on research “in the wild”, the Institute relies on the public to participate in and shape its investigations. For Wander Thoresby he has teamed up with an art historian, and in this unique collaboration, both academics hope to unlock some of the hidden treasures of Thoresby, both with the help of the public and the help of teams of students.