Jacob Cartwright and Nick Jordan at Experience Barnsley Museum and Discovery Centre


Project Info


  • Jacob Cartwright
  • Nick Jordan

Art Forms

  • Installation


  • Experience Barnsley Museum
  • Arts&Heritage
  • Arts Council England Museum Resilience Fund

Project Outline

Strata is part of the Meeting Point programme.

Using the archive collection of Experience Barnsley as a starting point, Jacob Cartwright and Nick Jordan made a two-screen film installation, Strata, and related artworks. They explored the rich seams of social, cultural, industrial and natural histories underpinning the region’s former coal-mining landscape and communities.

In the context of post-industrial capitalism, and the effects of extensive environmental and social change, the film captures the ways in which former collieries have been transformed, framing both the similarities and differences resulting from structural, ideological and cultural change. Strata makes connections between the industrial, communal and ecological genealogy of the region, contextualised with wider, international locations and communities that are linked together through the European Route of Industrial Heritage.

The film combines original cinematography of landscapes and architectural features with voice-over interviews and archive film, forming an immersive or contemplative picture of collective memory, shared experience and international solidarity, at a time when Britain is afflicted by the politics of division, differentiation and nationalism. Traversing layers of social history and geological ecology, Strata explores the loss and erasure of former coal-mining sites, alongside the environmental transformation and cultural repurposing of these post-industrial locations, where particular flora and fauna species have colonised the landscape.


  • To use the collection and archive to explore the current social and political climate in Barnsley
  • To connect to the museum with the council chamber and democracy
  • To engage the comment in the collection and shaping a shared cultural identity


Arts&Heritage is supporting the ten museums participating in Meeting Point throughout the process, sharing knowledge of presenting contemporary art projects and commissions in non-traditional art spaces.

A networking event between the participating museums and 70 artists from across the UK took place at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and visits to artists’ studios were arranged. Museum teams also met with peers at other properties to learn how they successfully delivered contemporary art projects at their museums and heritage sites.

All museums developed their own Artist’s Brief. Following the networking event artists were invited to send in an expression of interest to museums that interested them.

Four artists were shortlisted by each museum to draw up a more detailed proposal and were paid £500 each.


  • The exhibition gained coverage in local press
  • Over 50 people attended workshops and courses related to the exhibition
  • 150 people attended the launch event; these people were mostly new to the venue
  • Over 1,200 people visited the exhibition
  • Staff feel that this has boosted their knowledge and ability to conduct outreach projects and were able to collaborate with the local YMCA to deliver workshops
  • As part of an outreach project with people in recovery, drop in sessions at Learning Lab have been arranged. This project asks people to respond to Strata to make their own art, poetry and a banner.
  • In addition, there was a performance out on Old Moor RSPB sanctuary as part of the literary programme Hear my Voice, funded by the TUC.

“A really wonderful and emotional project – so glad we journeyed over! Brilliant!” Exhibition Visitor

The Artist

Jacob Cartwright and Nick Jordan are artists based in Manchester. Collaborating since 2004, their work has been shown widely at international exhibitions and film festivals, including recently at Innsbruck International Biennale (Austria); National Maritime Museum (London); Whitstable Biennale (UK); FIDMarseille (France); 100 Years of DADA, ICA, (London); Musée du Quai Branly (Paris); Garage Center for Contemporary Culture (Moscow); Edinburgh International Film Festival (UK); Documenta Madrid (Spain); The New York Film Festival (USA); Rencontres Internationales (Berlin); Kassel Dokfest (Germany).

Artist residencies and commissions include Headlands Center for the Arts (San Francisco, USA); Book Works (UK); The National Trust (UK); Art Gene (UK); The Manchester Museum (UK).

Read more about Strata