Dr. Suzy O'Hara

Research Fellow for Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries.

Dr Suzy O’Hara is a Research Fellow for Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries. As part of this role, she is research lead for Co/Lab Sunderland.

Suzy has a well-established research and curatorial practice that is informed by her curiosity around how innovation-based ideologies and strategies are shaping contemporary art and curatorial practices. Her research explores critical and interdisciplinary modes of creative practice that interrogates perceived distinctions between sites of artistic and economic production by brokering new, direct ways of working between them. In doing so, traditional understandings of the role of the arts and technology in society are challenged and the ways in which creative practice can stimulate innovation in many other sectors are revealed. Her research-led curatorial practice is represented by a diverse portfolio of artistic projects, product prototypes and an artist-led, born-global start-up that all employ novel ways of working and have generated national and global impact. Projects include: Thinking Digital Arts (Binaudios (2014), Thinking Digital Arts Banistonica (2017), Rewriting the Hack (2015), Little Inventors (2016 - ongoing), Sunderland 10x10 (2016), Recoding the Wall (2018) and Wonderlooper (2018).

In her role as post-doctoral researcher with Creative Fuse North East she drew upon the combined expertise of the five North East universities and SMEs, micro-businesses and freelancers across the region, to explore the concept of ‘fusing’ creativity, culture and digital technology in North East England. Her research explored the ways in which ideas and approaches from creative practice (drawn from across the Creative, Digital and IT sector) can directly impact the development of creative practices while stimulating innovation in other sectors. Digital Make Believe Art Hack (2016), Recoding the Wall Art Hack (2017), and Wonderlooper (2018). Each project exploring the mechanisms and particular methods that enable co-creation to occur within art and creative technology-based collaborations.

Finally, Suzy is Chief Curator of Little Inventors, founded by artist Dominic Wilcox. Little inventors combine curatorial research, educational and business expertise to successfully turn an artistic method seeded and developed within a creative (art and design) practice, into a born global, creative brand. To date, we have delivered invention challenges to children in over thirty countries, reaching thousands of children and makers.

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