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About the Art of Relationships

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The Art of Relationships has been designed to explore the power of art (in the form of a film series) to engage members of the public with social science research. It brings together cutting-edge OU research on relationships with digital art in an innovative manner. This project has involved two Open University academics Prof Darren Langdridge and Prof Jacqui Gabb working with the artist Steve Geliot to produce a film series that is available on this website.

The film series has been inspired by findings from the project Enduring Love that explored the factors involved in ‘enduring’ intimate relationships in contemporary Britain that was led by Prof Gabb (and Prof Fink, Huddersfield University). This is not all, however, as The Art of Relationships also speaks to a planned future research project by Profs Langdridge and Gabb on resilient citizenship amongst ‘queer youth’. These two projects address some of the 21st century’s most pressing challenges through their focus on relationships as a key element of contemporary citizenship.

In an era of crisis and austerity governments inevitably seek to shore up (mostly ‘traditional’) relationships in an attempt to ameliorate the impact of the economic crisis upon citizens. Resilient acts of relating may occur in many - and often surprising - ways in both ‘traditional’ and ‘non-traditional’ relationships, however, and this project seeks to explore the potential of art as a means of bringing those 'private' resources into public circulation. Finding effective ways of ‘translating’ research evidence and sharing this with the general public is crucial, and a central concern for researchers at The Open University.