Contribute to a participatory artwork using water, ice, and colour

UH Arts + Culture have commissioned artist Abi Spendlove to create a unique participatory artwork for the Festival of Ideas. Join us to contribute to a growing painting, created using ice and ink, to explore and celebrate our relationship with the environment.  This interactive, live creative process invites everyone to add their input to an artwork that will be both beautiful, and emblematic of the incredible minds present at the Festival of Ideas.

Abi will create two large-scale paintings outdoors over the course of the Festival, inviting participants to contribute to the each of the works following a simple set of instructions. The work will grow and develop based on the number of participants, the impact of their bodily interaction with the placing of ice, and the ever-changing climate of the outdoor environment. This interactive artwork invites participants to connect with the present moment and notice the environment around them.

Come and make your mark, and watch the artwork evolve as the ice melts!

Artist creating artwork using blue inks and ice on white paper on the floorImage credit © Greta Zabulyte

About the artist:

Abi Spendlove (b. Portsmouth, UK, 1985) is a visual artist based in Luton, UK.  She studied Fine Art at Byam Shaw and Central Saint Martins in London before completing an MA in Fine Art at the University of Hertfordshire in 2018. Her work has been exhibited across UK and internationally.

Abi is currently the recipient of an Arts Council Grant to support the development of a new series of sculpture. Her practice involves using ice to create paintings on paper and fabric to explore ideas around climate and environmental degradation.


UH Arts + Culture are thrilled to be part of the University's first ever live Festival of Ideas –  an exciting showcase of innovation that’s sure to inspire you. Taking place on our College Lane Campus in Hatfield on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May 2024, the Festival is FREE and open to everyone.

How to book your sessions:

Step 1: Click HERE to browse the full line up of FREE sessions.

Step 2: Choose the sessions you'd like to attend and submit the form.

Step 3: Look out for your email confirmation and put the date(s) in your diary!


+ FREE parking at Angerland Park and Ride (AL10 8HS) with FREE shuttle bus to campus

+ Accessible parking for Blue Badge holders in car park B on the College Lane Campus (please see parking map)

Public Transport

+ FREE travel across our UNO bus network, register to attend the Festival in advance to receive your voucher

More information and full FAQ’s HERE. If you have further questions, please contact and the Festival of Ideas team will be happy to help.