|The Green Rook Mission
Green Rook is a small company with big ideas. At a time when the world gallops breathlessly on to unknown futures, and we find ourselves squeezed between mass media entertainment demands and alarmingly shrunken budgets, Green Rook still believes in the power of culture. The exciting legacy of centuries of rich and varied heritage, and the constant thrill and intrigue of world class arts, have an unquestionable place in our society. Together, arts and heritage pervade everything about who we are, what we will become and, perhaps most importantly, what is of real value to us.
Fancy words aside, what really matters is the actual doing of 'stuff'. And that's what we love: to see works of art being admired (or argued over...), or a fragment of history being saved to gobsmack future generations. From initial planning meetings, through all the paperwork and administration, to final implementation of any project, we always have that final goal in mind. It drives us on. Relentlessly. If you want us to work with you, please forgive the enthusiasm...
A face behind the feathers...
Green Rook is the creation of Dr Mike Pringle, a professional in the arts and heritage sectors for longer than feasibly possible. Mike started his career with an 'apprenticeship' for the American Museum in Bath, putting together educational exhibits, making unique picture frames and looking after American antiquities. Somehow, Mike next found himself designing and illustrating everything from children's non-fiction books (Usborne, Collins, BBC etc.) to record sleeves for all the biggest names in music (Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff etc.!), and for household brands such as Transformers, He-Man and Thomas the Tank Engine.
A degree in Archaeological Illustration and a PhD in the use of Virtual Reality and Human Computer Interface design for archaeology, took Mike firmly back into heritage and research into novel interfaces for complex information with the then Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, based in Swindon. From here, Mike developed his interest (and expertise) in improving user access to arts and heritage information, continuing his research with English Heritage, and as Director of the Visual Arts Data Service (part of the wider Arts and Humanities Data service). Mike became a familiar face on the conference circuit, delivering lectures both Nationally and Internationally, and working with/advising many of the major arts/heritage institutions across the UK (partners included, to name but a few, University of the Arts London (Chelsea, Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion etc.), National Portrait Gallery, National Fine Art Collection, Glasgow School of Art, University of the Creative Arts, Imperial War Museum, Craft Study Centre, the Design Centre, ARLIS, and a host of higher education research establishments). Following this, Mike turned his hand to trying to help the culture of his local town, taking on the role of Director of Swindon Cultural Partnership, and then merging with the local regeneration company to form Forward Swindon as Director of Cultural development.
Mike has recently written two books about the Great War (1914-1918) - the first, Great War Britain: Swindon, is a historical look at Swindon's role in the war (due out soon - see THE HISTORY PRESS); and the second, Five Chances, is a novel inspired by Wildred Owen's poem, The Chances, and is due out later this year.
On the PORTFOLIO page there are some examples of projects that demonstrate the wide and varied experience that Green Rook is built on. You may even get some ideas for yourself...