Case Study
  • Categories: Nurturing ideas and people

Claire Doherty


Total Breakthrough Fund support: £320,000

Claire was awarded Breakthrough Fund support in 2009 when she was directing the Situations programme as Senior Research Fellow at the University of the West of England in Bristol. Claire founded Situations in 2002 as an art commissioning agency which operated from within a research context internationally. In 2011, Claire decided to use her Breakthrough grant to transfer Situations out of UWE to become an independent charitable arts organisation, with the grant providing funding for a core team and programme of new projects from November 2012. Situations opens up the potential for artists to make extraordinary ideas happen in unusual and unexpected places, inspiring audiences and participants to explore new horizons through temporary interventions, long-term public art programmes in areas of development and curated festivals and events. This growing portfolio of projects feeds an on-going public programme of events, discussions, publications and debates called Public Art Now, which seeks to improve the conditions for, and skills to produce, new forms of public art nationally and internationally. Claire’s Breakthrough Fund support concluded in 2015.

Current projects include artist Theaster Gates’ first major UK project; the public art programme for the city of Oslo (Slow Space) including a 100-year work by the artist Katie Paterson; a new public artwork to commemorate the sealing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede and Torbay’s first major biennial cultural event. Claire’s Breakthrough Fund support concludes in winter 2014.

Alex Hartley’s Nowhereisland 2012. (Image: Max McLure)