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Collaborate project spotlight: the beauty project

Collaborate project spotlight

Find out more about the partnership between Quarantine and Rox Middleton, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol

The beauty project

Quarantine with Rox Middleton, School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol

This partnership was awarded a research grant in June 2022 as part of the first round of funding of the Centre for Cultural Value’s Collaborate programme.

The fund looks to support innovative new partnerships between cultural sector practitioners and academics to explore under-explored questions around cultural value.

A large board has text that reads: "369. Is the world how you imagined?" In the foreground people are moving cables and working on the stage.
Quarantine, 12 Last Songs at Transform Festival, October 2021 Photo: David Lindsay

What will the project explore?

How is an audience affected by beauty? When the event is over, what remains?

Beauty can motivate audiences, and in both arts and science, beauty motivates processes of research and creation. But beauty is subjective, difficult to measure and at risk of being overlooked as a benefit and aim.

Theatre company Quarantine, alongside physicist Rox Middleton from the University of Bristol, will work with a researcher in philosophy and with performers and audiences to investigate ways to understand and articulate the value of beauty.

The partnership will explore methodologies for better understanding and articulating the value of beauty, with a focus on live performance. They will test methods to evaluate intrinsic values rather than solely those that are good because of their effects. They will also seek a new vocabulary for articulating the value of beauty in cultural production.

Project learning and findings

Performance of 12 last songs. Colourful confetti in the foreground obscures the image.
Quarantine's 12 Last Songs, at HOME Theatre Manchester. Photo by Chris Payne.

In Arts Professional: The Beauty Project

A Beauty Project Lab book open on two pages. One page has yellow and pink circles and writing by a research participant. The other page is green with the word Beauty.
The Beauty Project. Photo by Lisa Mattocks.

Revealing the beauty of using lab books for audience research

Peformance of 12 Last Songs at Quarantine
Quarantine, 12 Last Songs at Transform Festival, October 2021 Photo: David Lindsay

How a theatre company, physicist and philosopher are exploring beauty

Find out more about our Collaborate fund

Musicians from the Manchester Camerata orchestra
Image: Manchester Camerata

Collaborate projects

Find out more about the projects that have been awarded funding from our Collaborate programme
Image shows the inside of a gallery with white walls and images on the walls. In the background is a visitor wearing a face covering.
Days Like These exhibition. Image: The Lowry


Our Collaborate fund supports innovative new research partnerships between the cultural sector and academics.

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