CommonAs are:

  • Lesley Farrell, Project Manager and Co-curator
  • Darren Diss, Curatorial Advisor

Working with artistic practitioners to develop  new creative work around institutions with compelling social history.

CommonAs is a cultural collective creating projects that respond to sites of social heritage. Participatory projects are developed with site communities and creatives through a process of research and conversations towards artistic collaborations.

Lesley Farrell has extensive experience of curating and managing contemporary art projects. Alongside her role in CommonAs she is Curator of Exhibitions for the National Centre for Craft and Design and an Associate Lecturer at the University of Lincoln. From 1998 – 2008 she was Director of  Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea. Darren Diss is an educator, extensively published illustrator and curator, and is curatorial advisor to CommonAs.

Comments from recent participants and partners in our projects:

For me it has been a great experience. I have been a reseracher here for 19 years. It is easy to get stuck in a rut. This project has given me new insights into how some of the research can be used in new ways. .. It has been good to work with him and CommonAs – Lesley & Darren. They have been inspiring to us and I think we have been a valuable source for them. – Volunteer Researcher for the National Trust at The Workhouse, Southwell

Marvellous.The personalities of the organisers and the creative people made it a compelling project. The whole team were very welcoming and it was obvious to all how engaged they were. Thank you.  – Volunteer for the National Trust at The Workhouse, Southwell

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of volunteers who got involved with the project and delighted with the variety of responses to those contributions by Chris TT. The concert was particularly enjoyable – the songs were particularly moving in the workhouse setting. – National Trust Staff Member

It felt very true to the research about people in and of The Workhouse but with a modern edge, making more widely relevant or accessible today. – Freelance Consultant Curator for The National Trust