Sunderland University is leading SeaScapes Co/Lab, a three year public engagement programme that uses art and creativity to explore how we can better connect with our world and co-develop sustainable ways to care for our marine environment.

Collaborative and participatory art projects bring together artists and makers, researchers, SeaScapes project partners and communities living with our coastline. 

Together they are developing multi-sensory and creative ways to foster a deeper understanding of the role we play in shaping and protecting our natural, cultural and industrial marine heritage. 

Introducing Suzy O’Hara

Dr Suzy O’Hara is a curator and academic in the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries at the University of Sunderland. Her research examines the central role that art-making and curatorship play in addressing environmental and social challenges impacting society.

SeaScapes CoLab website

Check out our website for full information on all SeaScapes CoLab projects. Dive into a rich archive of podcasts, videos and artworks and find out more about our artists collaborations with coastal communities and community partners living with – and not just on the coast.


soundmirror is a participatory artwork by artist Rob Smith that listens to and reflects the soundscapes of coastal environments through the sites of First World War sound mirrors in the north east today.

Blue Futures Exhibition

Curated and commissioned by Dr. Suzy O’Hara, Blue Futures brings together three participatory projects, Be the Sea, Renewable Blue and Whitburn Resonance, that explore our evolving relationship with water and the North East coast. 

Renewable Blue

Renewable Blue makes connections between South Tyneside’s history of coal mining and pioneering engineers who are leading the renewable energy revolution by using our waterways and historic environment to power our local buildings.

Sea Change Lab

Sea Change Lab is a series of creative workshops run by three different artists: Dawn Felicia Knox, Tracy Thomas, and Jo Howell. Sea Change Lab explored questions around personal connection to the coast with young people from Horden through sessions focused on visualising and looking in different ways using lo-fi, sustainable photographic techniques.

Coastal Cuisine

Coastal Cuisine explores the cuisines of the international communities living in Sunderland and the positive impact that has on the local foodscape. A collaboration with Foodscapes, led by Newcastle University.

Queer Shores and Seas

Queer Shores and Seas is a collaboration between artist Lizzie Lovejoy, Curious Arts and Living History North East, who are leading the SeaScapes project Shores and Sounds – Discover.

Be the Sea

BE THE SEA is a collaboration between Louise Mackenzie, SeaScapes Co/Lab Artist-in-Residence, Hayley Jenkins, composer and lecturer at Sunderland University and Dorinda Kealoha, Intertidal Interactive Officer at Durham Wildlife Trust.

Whitburn Resonance

Whitburn Resonance is a collaboration between sound artist Shelly Knotts, SeaScapes Co/Lab Artist-in-Residence, Caroline Mitchell, Prof of Radio and Participation at Sunderland University and Robin Daniels, from Tees Archaeology, who are leading the SeaScapes Project – Changing Coastline

Blast Beach: Digging Deeper

Blast Beach: Digging Deeper is a collaboration between East Durham Artist Network, Adelle Hulsmeier, Senior Lecturer for Performing Arts and Screen Performance
at Sunderland University and Prof Dave Roberts, Durham University, who is leading the SeaScapes project, Reading the Rocks.

Blue Wave

Blue Wave is a collaboration between Constance Humphries, SeaScapes Co/Lab Artist-in-Residence, Naomi Austin, lecturer at Sunderland University and Sarah Campbel BlueScapes Office at the National Trust.