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All of the centre's efforts support research into a rich and growing yet under-discussed aspect of arts practice: writing and publishing by artists, within or around the artwork they produce.

Conceived in 2015, developed in 2016 and officially launched in 2017, the AWP's initial aim was to consolidate a specific range of internationally excellent practice-led research produced and taught from within the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, as re-affirmed by the REF 2014 results.

Once consolidated, the AWP's further aim was to open up the research centre as a framework for supporting dialogues with (i) an interdisciplinary range of different researchers and research methods from across the University of Leeds and (ii) partners in the public and private gallery, publishing, library, archive and museum sectors.

These dialogues pay special attention to the extensive yet under-used archives of written and publications-based material by artists held in key national and international collections.

From these partnerships further sub-foci have developed, particularly with regard to education and outreach possibilities in the field, collections development plans and policies, access to archives and the need for multi-lingual translations.