Our research strand informs our learning and outreach activity. Working with communities in Cardiff and the surrounding areas we seek out opportunities for collaboration and engagement that stimulate and benefit all participants, producing evidence to support best practice and lead to real change.


focus group

Artes Mundi 6 Focus Group

 Valleys Kids – exploring barriers to engaging with contemporary art.


‘On the whole, I would say the experience has been thought provoking and interesting and challenging.  My attitude toward the meaning of ‘ART’ in the modern world has been brought into question.’


We worked with a group of adults who live outside of Cardiff and have a general interest in art, but who had no prior knowledge of Artes Mundi and were very unlikely to attend the Artes Mundi 6 exhibition or any of the host venues. The aim was to explore some of the barriers to engaging with contemporary art, evaluate the quality of the experience and build engagement with a new audience.

At the end of the 6 week project, it was clear that the key factors in improved engagement were:

  • A shared, social experience – attending as a group and being provided with a supportive, facilitated space for group discussion. The peer learning and opportunity to contribute and share thoughts built confidence and encouraged critical thinking, that inevitably led to:
  • Personal connections between participants’ own lives, histories and experiences and the issues and themes of the art, and:
  • Emotional engagement. 

‘The discussion and ideas put forward by the group were enlightening and varied, it helped enable us to see many sides and sometimes surprising imagery.’

 ‘Sometimes shocked and uncomfortable, sometimes a bit bemused, but always thought provoking. An experience privileged to partake in and one that will be remembered. Unique.’


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