Teaching an old dog new tricks

Yesterday Nana had the opportunity to audition for the role of elderly-canine-attempting-to-master-new-skills. It wasn’t easy, and it was certainly exhausting….but it was also stimulating, exciting and, above all, fun. Did she get the part? Well…..

dog in glasses

This was the first workshop of the Afterlife of Heritage: Research to Public venture; a project organised by Arts Methods@Manchester (an AHRC-funded research hub) and delivered by the combined forces of the University of Salford and the Institute for Cultural Practices at the University of Manchester.

The whole set up is a little like The Apprentice; potential candidates submit a proposal and, if selected, are invited to attend two intensive training workshops, identify a cultural institution to partner them and submit a well-developed bid to bring an aspect of their research to the public through the auspices of said cultural institution. The six or so winners selected from the final bids will receive peppercorn funding to set the whole process in real-life motion.

It’s all very exciting and Nana was awfully chuffed make it to the second round workshops. It was the first of these that saw Nana fretting over weather forecasts and rising at the crack of dawn to take the train from Bristol to the University of Manchester.

The Apprentice analogy doesn’t quite fit, though – mercifully there’s no Lord Sugar, and Suzanne Spicer, Kostas Arvanitis and Emily McIntosh can’t be said to resemble Margaret Mountford, Nick Hewer or Karren Brady.

Margaret and Nick Karren

No, we’re definitely on a safer footing with the canine analogy…. and it was a little like Crufts.

The room was bristling with bright-eyed, alert, best-of-breeds and as the day progressed we were put through our Obedience Ring paces.

Then Best-in-Show guest speaker, Jenna Carine Ashton – a warm whirlwind of creative energy – was brought in to show us how it was really done (see just some of her impressive range on her colourchroma blog).


Lunched like champions, checked and biddable, in the afternoon we were carefully given the scent and drafted out; a baying pack of keen researchers released on the trail….

hunting hounds

Tally Ho!

So, is it possible to overturn an adage? All Nana knows so far is that there’s much joyful learning to be had in the trying…

About nanafroufrou

Nana is currently developing two strands of creative practice; translation art ,and [w]righting. View all posts by nanafroufrou

2 responses to “Teaching an old dog new tricks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

sheila sea

like thalassic velvet

Sage Brice

Socially and environmentally engaged art - developing collaborative approaches for a changeable world.


Just another WordPress.com site


short story writer

DoubleU = W


Elan Mudrow



A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Keep trying

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

Investigate | Create

involve, surprise, enthuse


visual & sound treasures

%d bloggers like this: