Limelight: Further Actions of Obesrvation and Navigation
- Publishing

Restoration of Dryburn Lime Kiln at Lowick in Northumberland.
- Working with Lowick Heritage Group and Tyne & Wear Heritage Forum to restore and provide public interpretation of the Dryburn Lime Kiln.

New National Park (NNP) proposed for the Scottish Borders.
- Exploration of the forming and transforming the landscapes of the NNP through the geological material limestone and its related industrial processes of extraction, distribution, enterprise and tourism.

Charles Danby & Rob Smith, Triangulation Flat Rock, 2013, c-print

Charles Danby & Rob Smith, Triangulation Kiln Wall, 2013, c-print

Charles Danby & Rob Smith, Visualisation for Dryburn Kiln, 2017


We have been working collaboratively since 2011. Our work explores site and land use in the transforming industrial landscape of the UK. We are invested in materials and materilaity and use video, photography, performance and digital technologies alongside curatorial and archival approaches. We work with networked sites including, quarries, forests, islands and canals, testing a fluid 'distributed' idea of site that extends through time and location, and exposing plural possibilities of new relationships between human/non-human and site/non-site. / contact:


2016 - Postcards From The Anthropocene: Unsettling the Geopolitics of Representation, Edinbrough University, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, 22-24 June 2017 [Conference]
2016 - Polyspace, Newbridge Projects, Newcastle [Group Exhibition]
2016 - Limelight, Cardiff Contemporary Commission, 22 October - 19 November) [Exhibition]
2016- Parallel Cipher, Northern Charter, Newcastle (29-31 January) [Exhibition]
2015 - In Barry Bonds I See The Future, IMT Gallery, London (5 June - 2 July) [Group Exhibition]
2014 - Return to Sender: An Installation at Berwick Museum and Art Gallery (13-30 October) [Group Exhibition]
2014 - Revisiting The Quarry: Excavation, Legacy, Return, hosted symposia at Yorkshire Sculpture Park,
speakers: Joy Sleeman, Luke Bennett, Onya McCausland, Charles Danby and Rob Smith, Mark Peter Wright, Rob Le Frenais (15 May) [Symposium]
2014 - Site Exploration, Phoenix, Leicester (10-28 February) [Group Exhibition]
2013 - The Quarry, IMT Gallery, London (3 May - 2 June) [Exhibition]
2012 - Oxted England, Two Queens, Leicester (4-21 July) [Exhibition]

Charles Daby & Rob Smith, Limelight Illumination, Llangattock Escarpment, Wales, 2016


2017-future, Lowick, Northumberland

The Drburn Limeworks Conservation Project explores heritage restoration as a point of new material accees to lime and its forming of the North East's landscape, through human and non-human agents, of argiculture, industry, geology, archeology, tourism, enterprise and social history.

Heritage Act! May 2017

Lowick Heritage Group
Tyne & Wear Heritage Forum

2012, Oxted England, Two Queens, Leicester

An exhibition of works produced in relation to the site(s) of Robert Smithson’s only significant earthwork to be made in England. Works included anaglyph film, photography and installation.

2013, The Quarry, IMT Gallery, London
York, Yorkshire, England. This is the quarry, our quarry, your quarry. An exhibition exploring the site of Robert Smithson’s artwork Chalk Mirror Displacement, produced in 1969 for the ICA, London, exhibition When Attitudes Become Form. In 2011 we entered an archive in search of the site of an artwork. In 2012 we travelled to York, Yorkshire, England and entered the quarry. Works included a rotating projected panorama, mirror screens, split chalk and anaglyph video.

2014, Revisiting the Quarry: Excavation, Legacy, Return, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
A symposium in conjunction with the exhibition UNCOMMON GROUND: LAND ART IN BRITAIN 1966-1979, organised in collaboration with the Arts Council Collection, Northumbria University and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. An exploration of the quarry through material, technological and social revision connected to changing land use and post-industrial / post-ecological occupation.

2016, Polyspace, Newbridge, Newcastle

A group exhibition where we presented Limelight, an illumination and performance event extended to the length of the 37 day exhibition. Across an installation the video frames of the illumination were played at an interval of 70451 milliseconds (each being visible just over every minute), projected from a chalk circle onto a whitewashed wall, appearing as intensive image flashes.

2016, Limelight, Cardiff Contemporary, Cardiff
An event and exhibition in which a lime kiln illuminated with limelight was broadcst from the Black Mounains, setting the timeframe for a live performance in Cardiff. Through the illumination and performed actions the two locations were entagled within the one event structure, distributing and multiplying material lime, weaving its geological, chemical, industrial and optical properties onto and through each of the sites. Limelight is an intense white light produced by heating quicklime (the product of the kiln) to a temperature in excess of 2000 degrees c.

2016, Parallel Cipher, Northern Charter, Newcastle

The presentation of a two screen video work in which we move through a forest in total darkness illuminating our way with camera flashes. The flashes imprint momentary images onto our retinas and simultaneously fix these in the video as single photographic frames. As the forest emerges in the video, with the sound of our continual movement, it becomes an eerie space connecting images to recollections of folklore, industrial process, tv and cinematic fictions, leisure, and romantic enchantment. When the work is presented light sensors react to the flashes in the videos triggering real-time flash units in the space. These live flashes replay our movements expanding the forest into the city. We have collaborated since 2011. Our work explores site and land use in the transforming industrial landscape of the UK, multi-dimensional aspects of time and space, and dynamics of human and nonhuman activity.

Longlisted. Aesthetica Art Prize 2017

Charles Danby & Rob Smith, Leaflet for The Dryburn Limeworks Conservation Project, 2017, A5

Charles Danby & Rob Smith, Lost Dinasour, 2013, c-print

Charles Danby & Rob Smith, Limelight, 2016, multi-site video broadcast performance [Cardiff Contemporary]

Charles Danby & Rob Smith, Parallel Cipher, 2016, Two screen video with flash units [Northern Charter]

Charles Danby studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and is a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University and member of NEUSCHLOSS, a group pursuing radical gestures in exhibition making that include Das Trauman at Baltic (2015) and The Place of Dead Rhoades (2015). He was editor of Tate Tanks Programme Notes (2012) for Tate, London. Recent curatorial projects include White Lies: Estelle Thomson at Oriel Sycharth (2015), Animated Environments at Siobhan Davies Studios (2011-12), Epilogues: It Started With A Car Crash at IMT Gallery (2011), and Grand National - Art From Britain at Vestfossen Kunstlaboritorium, Norway (2010).

Rob Smith studied at the Royal Academy Schools and is an artist and independent researcher. Alongside his individual research he is co-director, with artist Rebecca Birch, of Field Broadcast, a live broadcast platform that developed through their independent art practices. Recent Field Broadcast project partners include; LUX, Bournemouth University, Camden Arts Centre, Near Now at the Broadway Cinema,The National Trust, Office of Experiments, In Certain Places and Wysing Arts Centre. For more information visit HTTP://FIELDBROADCAST.ORG