Rupi Dhillon, Jharu, 2019. Still from performance, duration : 9 mins

We are delighted to announce that 10 artists and curators have been selected for our 2019 round of Studio Visits, an initiative as part of our professional development programme run in collaboration with The New Art Gallery Walsall.

 

Rupi Dhillon, Jharu, 2019. Still from performance, duration : 9 mins

 

We are especially pleased that this is the first year independent curators have been selected to receive studio visits, that this is the first year artists have been selected as studio visitors and that we have been able to facilitate a number of open slot nominations from applicants. Each of these visits will take place in the coming weeks and we hope they will be particularly useful and fruitful conversations.

Artists Rupi Dhillon and Karen McLean will be visited by London-based artists Matthew Krishanu and Hew Locke respectively. Mixed media artist Leanne O’Connor will be visited by artist Mark Murphy and digital specialist Edie Jo Murray will be visited by artist and PhD candidate Sarah Walden. Birmingham-based curators Aly Grimes and Josephine Reichert will be visited by Irini Papadimitriou, Creative Director of FutureEverything and Ned McConnell, Curator at David Roberts Art Foundation respectively. Ned will also meet with artist Andrew Gillespie. Emalee Beddoes-Davis, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, will meet with artists Joyce Treasure and Bernadette Kerrigan, while Charlie Fellowes of Edel Assanti will visit Sarah Taylor Silverwood.

Applications were selected by a panel including Deborah Robinson and Hannah Anderson of The New Art Gallery Walsall and Anneka French, co-ordinator at New Art West Midlands, in conjunction with the relevant studio visitor.

We are delighted to announce that 10 artists and curators have been selected for our 2019 round of Studio Visits, an initiative as part of our professional development programme run in collaboration with The New Art Gallery Walsall.

Job Centre Junior, Amelia Beavis-Harrison. Photograph by Greg Millner

In autumn 2017 we offered artists and curators living in the West Midlands the opportunity to apply to receive a studio visit from an arts professional. Nine artists from across the region have been selected and will have the opportunity to discuss work and to seek feedback and practical advice on their practice.

Job Centre Junior, Amelia Beavis-Harrison. Photograph by Greg Millner

Artists Amelia Beavis-Harrison, Anna Katarzyna Domejko, Ian Giles, Andrew Gillespie, Kate Green, Kurt Hickson, James Lomax, Mark Murphy and Corinne Perry based have been selected from Warwickshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Birmingham. These nine ambitious artists were selected from a pool of strong applications thought sought to develop new connections and new conversations about their practice.

These artists will be visited in the coming months by arts professionals working both inside the region, nationally and internationally: Irene Aristizábal, Nottingham Contemporary; Lana Churchill, Bosse & Baum; Anne de Charmant, Meadow Arts; Seán Elder, Grand Union; Ryan Hughes, Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art / Office for Art, Design and Technology; Milika Muritu, Cell Project Space.

Applications were shortlisted by a panel including Deborah Robinson, Head of Exhibitions, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Zoe Lippett, Exhibitions and Artists’ Projects Curator, The New Art Gallery Walsall and Anneka French, Project Coordinator, New Art West Midlands.

The successful artists are announced for the most recent phase of our Engine studio visits.

France-Lise McGurn, Rabbit, 2017, installation view at Recent Activity

In July, I undertook a trip to Glasgow to meet young artists and connect with artist-run spaces. I currently have two strands to my practice, making work and organising exhibitions for others through Recent Activity, a curatorial project I run with Andrew Lacon. Earlier this year, we opened a project space, providing a fixed location to our previously itinerant activity. Visiting Glasgow, I hoped to meet artists with a similar balance and range to their practices.

France-Lise McGurn, Rabbit, 2017, installation view at Recent Activity

Michael White, an artist who also runs Gallery Celine was extremely insightful. Unfunded and independent, the gallery operates from a living room in shared flat. The energy and ambition of Gallery Celine is exhilarating and such an urgent attitude to staging exhibitions would hugely benefit the artistic Birmingham.

David Dale Gallery revealed a different model – a larger gallery space with connecting studios. It was useful to see how a space might develop. An outdoor courtyard had been activated as a site for showing work and making pizzas in a clay oven. This resourcefulness and fluidity was interesting to see and particularly relevant to my work with Recent Activity.

Matthew and Jessica from The Good Press were also very interesting to meet. Formed in 2011, The Good Press provides a platform for the production and sale of independent publications, as well as a site for exhibitions and projects. Their range of activities and open approach to collaboration is compelling and has inspired some new conversations about the possible direction of Recent Activity.

I visited France-Lise McGurn in her studio prior to her exhibition at Recent Activity. It was great to discuss her developing work and talk more broadly about the artistic landscape in Glasgow. Having returned to Glasgow after time in London and Berlin, it was useful to talk about her relationship with the city and the changing roles of galleries and artist-run spaces.

Steven Claydon’s exhibition at The Common Guild was a highlight of the trip; the collision of materials, imagery and forms was really exciting to see first hand. Claydon’s broad range of cultural references and the overall composition of his exhibition made a huge impact on me.

Andrew Gillespie
www.awgillespie.com

Andrew Gillespie reports from his research trip to Glasgow last summer, made possible via an Engine Micro Bursary.

Kira Freije, The Dark Away, 2017 at Recent Activity. Photo: Stuart Whipps.

Recent Activity is a curatorial collaborative project by Birmingham-based artists Andrew Gillespie and Andrew Lacon. They have recently opened a space on Floodgate Street in Digbeth. We found out what they have planned for the space.

You have worked on projects nomadically for some time. What prompted the move to open the Recent Activity project space?

We have operated an itinerant programme since 2015, activating spaces and audiences across Birmingham and beyond. Although exciting, we wanted a new challenge and to form a different dialogue with artists and the city. Our other projects still continue – we recently presented an iteration of Nomadic Vitrine with Alex Frost at The Royal Standard in Liverpool.

What is the ethos behind the space?

Our attitude to the space is very much the same as to our previous projects. We hope to bring new artists to Birmingham and provide for the display and discussion of context for contemporary. We have always tried to work with a sense of urgency and tried to utilise the inertia of each project to propel the next one.

Why now?

We had been working in a particular way, with certain parameters for over a year. We wanted some continuity, a fixed location with a new set of possibilities.

What do you hope the space will bring to the art ecology of the city?

We hope to contribute to the existing landscape, generating more activity and dialogues. We have both benefited hugely from Grand Union and Eastside Projects.

How does your curatorial work with Recent Activity feed into your individual artistic practices?

Recent Activity forms one strand of our practices. Each exhibition or project feels like new collaboration, exposing us to different artist’s practices and undoubtedly informing our own approaches.

What are your plans for the future of the project space?

Exhibitions and events will run throughout the year. In August, we are working with James Parkinson on another Nomadic Vitrine presentation, whilst France-Lise McGurn is making a new exhibition in the project space.

 

 

Recent Activity is a curatorial collaborative project by Birmingham-based artists Andrew Gillespie and Andrew Lacon. They have recently opened a space on Floodgate Street in Digbeth. We found out what they have planned for the space.