Due to the pandemic, Laura was unfortunately unable to travel to Aarhus, Denmark to undertake the period of research supported by the bursary. However, we are pleased to be able to share an update on the opportunity:
You Are Another Me is an inclusive, socially engaged arts project which explores the experiences of women (and female identifying individuals) from a variety of backgrounds who have, for different reasons, migrated alone. Laura has developed this project with the support of the bursary award. She took an extended amount of time for research and development over the Summer to radically adjust her practice so that she can still co-author and co-create with participants in a meaningful way under the new remote circumstances brought on by Covid restrictions. This has been achieved by embracing platforms such as Zoom, Skype, email and WhatsApp. Working closely with the Aarhus Billedkunstcenter Project Manager, the artist has made connections with local organisations in Aarhus who support migrant women and has invited potential participants to take part in the project. Laura will still collaborate with participants through conversations, shared images and storytelling, but will now do so digitally rather than through in person workshops.
Laura was awarded the International Bursary 2020, to make work in collaboration with women in Aarhus, Denmark, to undertake a period of research supported by the bursary and to travel and meet with participants. Instead of being able to travel this year she has found creative solutions to continue working on her proposal remotely. As an artist who works almost exclusively with analogue techniques the digital shifts will significantly affect Laura’s output; instead of a series of analogue social documentary portraits, a multi-disciplinary approach has been adopted to create a series of digital portraits, allowing her to experiment with sound, moving image and photo montage animation.
Laura will be delivering an artists talk at Galleri Image and Aarhus Billedkunstcenter remotely in the new year.
An update on the International Bursary awarded to Laura Dicken earlier in the year. The bursary has been offered jointly by New Art West Midlands and GRAIN Projects and developed in partnership with Aarhus Billedkunstcenter / Aarhus Center for Visual Art (AaBKC) and Galleri Image.
Edgar Martins’ photobook shows prisoners fear of being forgotten – by not showing them
Tom Seymour covers a new photobook by Edgar Martins, including a series commission by Grain Projects focusing on HMP Birmingham – via Wallpaper Magazine
International Bursary Opportunity
New Art West Midlands and GRAIN Projects are jointly offering a bursary of £2000 to an artist based in the West Midlands region. The bursary is a significant international research opportunity to support professional development.
We are seeking applications from artists working with photography to undertake research in Aarhus, Denmark. This opportunity has been developed in partnership with Aarhus Billedkunstcenter / Aarhus Center for Visual Art (AaBKC) and Galleri Image, with a focus upon regional identity, international cooperation and exchange.
Lily Wales, Las Vagueness, 2018. Work made following a GRAIN and New Art West Midlands Engine bursary research visit to Nevada, USA.
Facilitated by our partners in Aarhus, the bursary of £2000 will enable the successful artist to work in the city and/or surrounding region between 9 and 15 March 2020. Accommodation is provided at Godsbanen, situated in central Aarhus and a key creative hub for the city.
Artists interested in submitting a proposal may want to consider:
– Relationships between the West Midlands and Central Jutland regions
– The status of Aarhus as a second city – like Birmingham – and conditions outside of a nation’s capital
– Peripheral communities or geographies within the urban or rural space
– Specific geographical, economic, political and cultural characteristics and concerns of communities in Denmark
The successful applicant will be expected to deliver an artist talk in Aarhus as part of AaBKC’s Social programme (a short introduction and discussion over breakfast for the art community). Additionally, you will need to prepare a brief evaluation report for the Grain and New Art West Midlands websites on your return.
The bursary is part of New Art West Midlands’ Engine programme led in conjunction with The New Art Gallery Walsall, and the GRAIN Projects Professional Development Programme.
Please apply via our online opportunities portal outlining how you would use the bursary and why this opportunity is crucial to your professional development. This should be accompanied by 3 images of recent work, your website details and your CV. Please include an indicative budget – accommodation is covered but your budget should include any fees, travel, subsistence and any other associated costs.
We are committed to widening access to our opportunities. Audio or video recorded applications may be submitted via Vimeo or YouTube by those facing barriers in applying. Financial support is available to support access costs relating to the application.
If you have any support requirements or would like to discuss this further, please do get in touch with: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0121 300 4309.
About New Art West Midlands
New Art West Midlands is the Contemporary Visual Arts Network for the region. Our purpose is to strengthen and develop the contemporary visual arts sector in the West Midlands, creating defining opportunities for West Midlands’ artists and curators, and working collectively to safeguard the future of artists and our sector.
About Grain Projects
GRAIN Projects is an arts organisation dedicated to commissioning, facilitating and delivering ambitious, engaging and high quality photography projects, commissions, events and exhibitions. We produce new work in collaboration with artists, photographers and communities and collaborate with major partners here and internationally to engage and work with new audiences and participants. GRAIN is led by GRAIN Projects CIC, a unique and collaborative arts organisation, supported by Arts Council England and Birmingham City University. www.grainphotographyhub.co.uk
About Galleri Image
Galleri Image is a non-profit exhibition space, which aims to promote high quality photo-based art by showing Danish and international photography and video art. Founded in 1977, the gallery is the longest running non-profit exhibition space for photographic art in Scandinavia, and for many years it was also the only photo gallery in Denmark. Over the past 40 years, Galleri Image has achieved an international reputation for its exhibitions and has contributed considerably to the recognition and understanding of photography as an important and independent medium in the world of visual art. Based in Aarhus, Denmark, and with free entry to all its shows, the gallery regularly hosts talks, discussions, seminars, workshops and guided exhibition tours. We actively seek to support young talents and frequently tour our exhibitions around the world. www.galleriimage.dk
About Aarhus Billedkunstcenter
Aarhus Center for Visual Art (Aarhus Billedkunstcenter, AaBKC) is an artist resource center serving visual artists in Denmark’s Central Jutland region. Based in Aarhus, Aarhus Center for Visual Art strengthens the local arts community by creating opportunities for networking and collaboration between artists and institutions, offering professional development services to artists, facilitating discourse and community outreach with public art events and hosting residencies for local and international artists and art professionals. http://aabkc.dk/page/about-aarhus-center-visual-art
New Art West Midlands and GRAIN Projects are jointly offering a bursary of £2000 to an artist working with photography based in the West Midlands region. The bursary is a significant international research opportunity to support professional development activity in Aarhus, Denmark. Deadline: Monday 20 January
Q&A with photographer Sam Ivin
We speak to photographer Sam Ivin about Settling: Exploring Human Migration, a new exhibition with individuals and communities of Stoke-on-Trent. The exhibition is now open at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.
Noor-al-ain Waheed, Maryam Waheed and Amara Waheed, Libya early 1987 by Sam Ivin
Can you tell us more about the origins of your project ‘Settling’ and your interest in working with migrants and asylum seekers?
The project began in 2017 when I was selected for a residency with Appetite, a local arts organisation in Stoke-on-Trent and GRAIN Projects, a Midlands organisation that commissions and curates photography. A local resident Val ‘Nicky’ Basnal had approached Appetite with an idea to create a collection of images focusing on the Sikh community in Stoke. This inspired Appetite and GRAIN to launch a national call-out for artists and photographers to create work on migration to Stoke, which would be shown at Appetite’s Big Feast Festival 2017.
When I applied for the opportunity I had finished my Lingering Ghosts work the year before, that project explored how long periods of waiting effected those applying for asylum in the UK. The work began after visiting a refugee centre in Cardiff in my second year at University. I was shocked to learn how long some people were waiting whilst seeking asylum in the UK, without the right to work or travel: 4 years, 7 years, 12 years. I’ve recently met someone who’s been waiting 18 years. The injustice of this is what got me interested in human migration and refugee rights.
The residency seemed like a very organic and fitting progression for Lingering Ghosts, from a more positive standpoint. The stories and images I came across were so fascinating and poignant I decided to expand the work with an Arts Council England grant in 2018.
Walerian Val Tyminski by Sam Ivin
How have you identified and worked with the individuals and communities in the development of the project? Has this been targeted or more organic?
Appetite were very helpful at linking me with community groups in the initial residency. There’s a group called the Burslem Jubilee Group for example, (who meet once a week to socialise with and assist asylum seekers and refugees) they’ve been great and really involved right from the beginning.
I contacted local groups and try to visit them as much as I can. Sometimes you may be at a community group and someone says they’re interested on the spot or knows someone who might be appropriate to contact. Other times people email you to say they’re willing to help. It’s targeted but I allow room for the organic individual meet-ups to happen too.
Can you tell me more about the works themselves? Hyacinth Stone, for instance, looks to be overlaid with painted marks?
The pieces are designed for exhibiting and are made up of two frames. One on the left is a manipulated portrait, on the right is a large square frame filled with each person’s own photographs, filled with their own images at different sizes. Reflecting on their story of migration and finding home in Stoke-on-Trent.
The 12 photographic portraits are manipulated using paint to emphasise a person’s story, situation or feelings. Hyacinth loves gardening for example, so I decided to create a wall of foliage that almost envelops her.
Hyacinth Stone by Sam Ivin
What can visitors expect from the exhibition?
A place to discover fascinating stories and photographs of human migration. There’s the series of 12 works, a projection, a wall of Polaroids and display cabinets with original photographs and test artwork. Visitors are also encouraged to share their own story of migration.
What are your ambitions and hopes for the project?
I hope that someone can read the stories, look at the pictures and understand more about why people make these journeys to live in foreign places. I believe it’s important to record these images and stories for future generations too. I’d also love to show the exhibition in other places around the UK.
We speak to photographer Sam Ivin about Settling: Exploring Human Migration, an exhibition at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in partnership with Appetite and Grain Projects.