AHA’s History


Each of AHA’s projects has been distinctively individual but they have characteristics in common:  a respect for locality that embraces and celebrates contrasting ways of experiencing that locality; a creative attention to areas which are more often either ignored or obscured by familiarity; a collaborative approach which recognises and maintains the value of each particular contribution within the richer diversity of the whole endeavour; the making of a tangible legacy that survives alongside the affect of projects on participants.” [David Whitfield, Devon County Arts Officer]

The three CDs recorded for Soundings [a recent arts project with older people] make very moving listening… [They] sensitively weave together the voices of young and old, responding to questions, revealing concerns, voicing hopes and fears, laughing and singing. They offer an intimate insight into aspects of the frailties and strengths of old age and reflect what was clearly an enriching and shared experience for all of those involved.”  [Dartmoor Magazine Arts Editor, Susanne Haines Dec 2010]

We need organisations like AHA pushing contemporary practice in rural areas…” Kath Davies FRSA, Principal Arts Officer, City of Plymouth



Since 1997 Aune Head Arts has blazed a trail in contemporary art-making with and alongside rural communities, re-defining a form of engaged arts practice that works with and alongside communities in rural places, led by an array of professional artists drawn from all corners of the UK.

We work with artists, farmers, health workers, environmentalists, educationalists, community leaders, young people, older people, dancers, fun lovers, movers and shakers, friends, acquaintances, shop workers, land workers, milkers, tailors, media geeks, bookish freaks, workers, players, dragon slayers, enquirers, talkers, listeners, lookers, makers, virtual sharers, mates, strangers, paper pushers, chaos makers, out of breathers, deeply doubters…pretty much anyone really.

We believe the arts are enriching for our health, our environment our society and our selves; that everyone is capable of creative expression, and that collaboration between contemporary artists and communities can provide work which is exciting, challenging, stimulating, and life-changing.

We support our work through funding from a wide variety of arts and non-arts funders, including Arts Council England and many of the UK’s leading foundations.  The Paul Hamlyn Foundation said that our Walk your Ears! schools project was “among the most interesting work we have supported, and The Baring Foundation noted, in awarding us support for our EVA project that ‘the Trustees were particularly please with the work you have done in the past with isolated older people, and felt that Aune Head Arts could make a strong contribution to the Foundation’s goals of supporting older people.”   In a recent assessment, Arts Council England said that AHA has “an ability to reach little-engaged and unengaged audiences through partnership working with a variety of non-arts organisations”.




Practice and Projects

We support a broad range of practice and recent projects have included:

Triparks six professional artist responding to residencies in three national parks (Exmoor, Dartmoor, and Northumberland).  This project resulted in a broad array of visual artwork which toured the UK.

soundings (on our main website at auneheadarts.org.uk) in which we commissioned sound artists to work with young people and isolated older people in three rural Devon communities.  We made a series of radio programmes which are available on the website and for sale.

Flittermice & Hoots (current, and our our main website) in which a number of artists lead walks into various wild places, sometimes at odd times of day and night (and occasionally all night!) encouraging creative encounters with extraordinary creatures.

Wordquest Devon (current) a multi-year project exploring and celebrating words for and about Devon.  We are working with numerous artists and writers, and have produced a printed map highlighting 51 celebrated authors and the places they have celebrated, and an online map doing the same with living writers.

EVA (current).  In which we will work with the Memory Café Network to work with older people with significant memory loss or dementia to create a series of talking ‘Life Story Boxes’.  From this group we will create ‘The Producers Group’ – a group of older people who will go on to make and broadcast a regular radio series (or two), as well as commissioning six older professional artists from Devon to make a programme of their own design and choosing.

Speakup! works with young people in Devon and Bolton to build their confidence by training them to listen, and to speak in public by making their own radio programmes.

tuningworlds is a music improvisation launching in December of 2011, and lasting for around two years.  We will commission seven composers from across the UK and well beyond to make a series of performances, and will encourage people all over the globe to make music in response.



Legal stuff   Aune Head Arts was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee, operating not for profit, in December 1997.  We are registered in England & Wales, Company No. 3478530. We are a Registered Charity, No. 1141626.



Aune Head Arts

Special Announcements

Aune Head Arts is now closed. This website is being maintained as an archive site only. We'd like to say a big big thank you to everyone who was part of our work since 1997.


please email richard AT richardpovall.net

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