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From poetry and dance, to beam particle simulations and abstract architecture, discover Flow, an interdisciplinary exhibition exploring ideas and creativity.

Taking place online from 4 September – 10 October 2020, Modern Art Oxford and Oxford Brookes University present Flow, the first collaborative exhibition co-curated by Modern Art Oxford volunteers. Celebrating a range of work by people across Oxfordshire, the exhibition asks us to question where our ideas come from.


Watch our short documentary about the story of Flow


Discover the Flow virtual exhibition below, featuring artist interviews, behind-the-scenes videos, curator’s stories and more

Featured works in Flow were selected from a county-wide call-out for images, sounds, text and objects that reflect individual experiences of being in creative ‘flow’. Flow demonstrates that our own creative process is distinctive to us all, and highlights the need for creativity in uncertain times.

Selected artists in Flow are: Mariana Acevedo, Sue Chamberlin, Maisy Charlett, Mark Clay, Claudia Collett, Angela Edward, Jake Flowerdew, David Gasca, Charlotte Grocutt, Kate Hipkiss, Mirren Kessling, Claire Leech, Julia Mallaby, Simon Mandarino, Kashmira Patel, Hamideh Rimaz, Saskia Saunders, Ella Shepard.

Flow is co-curated by: Russell Antcliff, Jack Carrera, Elvira Faizova, Natalia Murashova, Laila Pipara, Deborah Pill, Maria Robertson, Jeremy Servian, Lillian Tranborg, with Creative Associate, Laura Purseglove.


Flow is a collaboration between Oxford Brookes University and Modern Art Oxford.


flow /fləʊ/ noun

(psychology) a state of total absorption in an activity, which individuals can experience when engaged in creative pursuits.


The story of Flow

Led by Modern Art Oxford’s Creative Associate, Laura Purseglove, over six months, the Flow volunteer group have been guided through the process of developing a public exhibition; engaging with concepts, debates and approaches that inform the curatorial process.

The group have researched themes of creativity and flow state in an exercise intended to broaden our understanding of where the creative process exists in our day-to-day lives; how ideas are generated; and the ways in which our environments - including the unexpected environment of lock down - shape our creative activities.

The ten curators have worked impressively to articulate and document a joint perspective, learning through experience and purposeful inquiry, culminating in a picture of what creativity looks like to them.

Flow presents interconnected ideas and experiences that share common properties and patterns across a variety of forms of expression. The works in this exhibition have been generously loaned from creative minds across Oxfordshire, interested to participate in a project designed to initiate interdisciplinary exchange.

This process of artistic enquiry is both reflective and responsive. Connecting personal, intimate experiences with collaboration, community and public presentation, the project reminds us of the value of learning in museums and galleries. Through both the works themselves and the structure of the project, Flow acknowledges the immediate need for creative adaptability that has been universally faced during this time of crisis.

Restricted to meeting online, the commitment and focus required for such an intensely creative task has posed further inquiry as regards the complexities of what it means to achieve a state of flow.
In a virtual environment, where ideas are shared, the hours pass quickly and moment to moment, familiar conditions evoke the autotelic experience said to be the end result of being in a flow state.

What it means for a group of people to come together, adapt in this way and achieve so much, invites the audience to consider what it means to be creative. By striking the right challenge-skills balance we can consider what our own perception of creativity is and discover our own relationship with it.

Introducing Flow with Creative Associate, Laura Purseglove

Flow on Film | Memory and landscape with Mark Clay

Flow on Film | Let's dance with David Gasca

Flow on Film | Creative flow with Ella Shepard and Mirren Kessling

Flow on Film | From building site to art gallery with Sue Chamberlin

Flow on Film | Maisy Charlett on storytelling with objects

Flow on Film | Beautiful throwaways with Angela Edward

Flow on Film | Light magic with Julia Mallaby

Flow on Film | Sculpting earth with Kashmira Patel

Flow on Film | The Space Within by Saskia Saunders

Flow on Film | Drawing tension with Simon Mandarino

Flow on Film | The architecture of home with Hamideh Rimaz

Flow on Film | Art and particle physics with Jake Flowerdew

Flow on Film | Dreams and filmmaking with Claudia Collett

Flow on Film | Lockdown uni and found objects with Charlotte Grocutt

Flow on Film | Sue Chamberlin: Clay

Flow on Film | The making of Mirren Kessling's Archive of Unmade Objects - Figure I