Lie of the Land Symposium 2018

In Certain Places invite you to take part in Lie of the Land – a day of artworks, presentations and conversations about our relationship to the land. Drawing on research undertaken by artists in The Expanded City programme, the symposium will explore how our everyday lives are shaped by the ownership, management and development of land.

The symposium will take place at Bartle Hall, Preston. A bus will collect participants from Preston Railway Station, and return there following the event. The day will feature talks by Peter Hetherington, journalist and author of the book Whose Land is Our Land: The use and abuse of Britain’s forgotten acres, and Julia Heslop, a Newcastle-based artist whose self-build housing project, Protohome (2016), examined participatory alternatives to mainstream housing provision.

The event will include a bus tour to sites in and around Preston, where some of The Expanded City artists will present their research into issues of housing, cycling infrastructre and the changing landscape. We will also visit Notes from a Precarious Landscape, an exhibition hosted on a new housing development by Ian Nesbitt and Ruth Levene, which explores the city through the lens of the people who live and work there.


09.00: Bus pick up at Preston Railway Station

10.00: Welcome and presentation of The Expanded City research by In Certain Places

10.30: ‘Protohome’ talk by Julia Heslop

11.00: Break

11.15: ‘Whose Land is Our Land?’ talk by Peter Hetherington

11.45: Open discussion

12.15: Lunch

13.30: Coach tour, with visits to The Expanded City sites and Notes from a Precarious Landscape exhibition

16.00: Finish and return to Preston Railway Station


Peter Hetherington is a journalist and author, who writes regularly for Society Guardian on communities and regeneration. His book Whose land is our land?: The Use and Abuse of Britain’s Forgotten Acres, published in 2015 by Policy Press, argues that Britain, particularly England, needs an active land policy to protect against record land price increases that threaten food security and housing provision for Britain’s expanding population. He is the former Manchester-based northern editor of The Guardian, and a trustee and former chair of the Town and Country Planning Association.

Julia Heslop is an artist and writer. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Architecture at Newcastle University. The potentials for deep participation in (re)creating the urban realm, and in particular housing, are at the centre of her research and practice. Her practice often takes the form of large scale architectural installations in urban space and she often works in collaborative, slow ways with groups and communities. In so doing she uses her practice to ask important questions regarding land and property ownership, housing precarity, urban planning and local democracy.