© Shiyi Li, 2020

© Shiyi Li, 2020

Thirteen Ways of Looking

2 October – 13 December 2020. The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry

Thirteen Ways of Looking brings together 13 artists and curators, presenting works which challenge dominant narratives, where art belongs, where it’s experienced and who is being addressed.

Works by six early career artists from the West Midlands and seven established artists and curators have been selected, highlighting diverse forms of experience, knowledge and understanding, and exploring different strategies of resistance that overlap and intersect in the physical spaces of the gallery and digitally online.

The show includes six new commissions by artists from the West Midlands alongside selected key art works made by members of the Blk Art Group, highlighting its important connections to Coventry, including the initial meeting of group members Eddie Chambers and Keith Piper in the city 40 years ago.

The development of the exhibition has also included the facilitation of professional development and mentoring for the early career artists, to support and help them realise new work in uncertain times.

Participating artists and curators: Hira Butt, Eddie Chambers, Sonya Dyer, Andreana Fatta, Hyphen-Labs, Navi Kaur, Shama Khanna, Roshini Kempadoo, Shiyi Li, Farwa Moledina, Keith Piper, Donald Rodney and Matías Serra Delmar.

Thirteen Ways of Looking has been curated by Dr Sylvia Theuri through a New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curatorial Residency in partnership with and hosted by Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, in association with Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art.

#13waysoflooking

 

Participating artists and curators:

© Hira Butt, 2020

Hira Butts work explores ideologies of gender and cultural dominance, exploring the place of Pakistani women within marital and domestic spaces. Through personal experience and conversations with a number of married Pakistani women, the artist seeks to critique both the wedding day,  and the life promised that often does not materialise.

© Farwa Moledina, 2020.

Farwa Moledina works with pattern and textile, addressing issues surrounding feminism, faith, Muslim women and women of colour. She is interested in using pattern and textiles to challenge Western narratives and create pieces celebrating Muslim women, focusing on depicting iconic moments from the 21st century.

Andreana Fatta, Μια Aτελείωτη Συνομιλία (An Endless Conversation) 2020. Video still.

Andreana Fattas research-based practice is informed by Cypriot cultural displacement which she activates through archives; expressing colonisation, war, lost histories and identities. For this work, she will digitise photographs, home videos, letters and literature addressing Cyprus and its complex colonial history.

© Shiyi Li, 2020

Shiyi Lis work encompasses collaborative performances including contemporary jazz music, multi-screen animation projections, digital media and a live art performance. The work tells the story of a Chinese woman having recently migrated to a Western country, exploring the awakenings brought to her through her experience of entering a new space and location.

© Navi Kaur, 2020.

Navi Kaur focuses on the migrant experience, specifically around journeys, environment, storytelling and documentary. She explores the lives of her paternal grandparents encompassing their Sikh faith and daily regimes, working predominantly through the processes of digital photography, film and installation.

© Matías Serra-Delmar, 2020.

Matías Serra-Delmars work takes references from the raw materials found encircling construction sites in fast-growing cities across the world, to create both indoor and outdoor installations.  For this work the artist will create different site-specific installations in and around the Herbert Gallery. The idea behind this is to break up the exhibition space and decentre” the spectator from the usual way that the gallery space is utilised.

Keith Piper will be showing THIRTEEN DEAD 1981, created whilst he was a member of the BLK Art Group, in response to the New Cross Massacre – 1981 in which 13 young black people lost their lives in an apparent act of racist violence . Arrests were not made and there was a marked indifference by the white population, leading to protests from Black communities.

Donald Rodney (now deceased) will be represented by the work, Autoicon, a dynamic internet work and CD-ROM that simulates both the physical presence and elements of the creative personality of the artist Donald Rodney, who died from sickle-cell anaemia, o on loan from the artistsestate. He will also be represented by How the West Was Won on loan from the Tate. How the West was Won from 1982 was painted when Rodney was only 21 and a student at Nottingham Trent University.  It dates to a time when he was part of the BLK Art Group, group producing work that engaged directly with the socio-political issues of the time.

Roshini Kempadoo will be showing work from Virtual Exiles 1999-2000 This work explores the experiences of persons who have left their country of origin and who are now at homein another. Engaging with historical, family and contemporary photographs of Guyana. Kempadoo will also be showing Moove…[s]In solidarity new photographic prints created during the pandemic, addressing both the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement and protests.

Hyphen-Labs will be showing the VR piece NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism using VR to tell stories and centre the experiences of women of colour. Created partly as a response to Black Lives Matter in relation to the killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling In the US, the VR work shows Black women as neuroscientists using the domain of the beauty salon as a rebel underground network for a radically new shared system of communication.

Eddie Chamberswork Deconstruction of the National Front, on loan from Tate, will be shown as part of the exhibition. Chambers was a founder member of the BLK Art Group in the early 1980s. Destruction of the National Front is a direct response to the appropriation of a national flag by a racist nationalist ideology. In the work Chambers makes use of the disruptive connotations of collage and montage to undo the association of the nation with fascism.

Sonya Dyer will be showing Hailing Frequencies Open – focussing on ongoing videos with Black women scientists. Hailing Frequencies Open (HFO), her current body of work, intersects the Greek myth of Andromeda, the dubious legacy of HeLa cells and actor Nichelle Nicolspioneering work in diversifying the NASA astronaut pool in the 1970s as the starting point for an exploration of Black female subjectivities within narratives of the future. HFO combines social justice with speculation, fantasy with the political.

Shama Khanna is the creator of Flatness a long-running commissioning and sharing platform. A website that showcases the work of a range of artists, allowing artwork to be seen outside of the gallery space. Shama Khanna will write a critical research piece about the site, looking at the ways in which through deconstruction and disorder it challenges the way audiences predominantly view and experience art within a white cube space.

An exhibition curated by Dr Sylvia Theuri.

A New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curatorial Residency in partnership with and hosted by Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, in association with Coventry Biennial.

 

Supported by

 

We are delighted to announce a brand new exhibition titled ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking’, running at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, 2 October – 13 December. A New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curatorial Residency in partnership with and hosted by Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, in association with Coventry Biennial. Curated by Dr Sylvia Theuri.

No Particular Order, 2020. Matías Serra Delmar. Mixed media on 11mm OSB board, timber supports, sand bags. Dimensions variable. Image courtesy: Amber Sparrey.

New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial alumnus Matías Serra Delmar is currently exhibiting his work No Particular Order in the windows of University of Worcester’s Art House building. It is a University of Worcester exhibition, presented by New Art West Midlands in association with curator Sylvia Theuri, currently New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curator in Residence.

The Art House is University of Worcester’s flexible creative hub in the city centre. Hosting fine art and illustration courses, it provides an open studio, workshop and exhibition space. Located on Castle Street, it was originally built in 1939 as a car showroom for Lord Austin of Austin Motors. It underwent major redevelopment in 2018 to become an additional campus for the University of Worcester. The large showroom windows at the front of the building host exhibitions of work, engaging a wider public and providing a cultural offer to the city.

No Particular Order, 2020. (detail) Matías Serra Delmar. Image courtesy: Amber Sparrey.

First shown in 2019, No Particular Order makes use of the raw materials found encircling construction sites in fast-growing cities across the world. As a Spanish artist raised in Argentina and now based in the UK, Matías is interested in the universal aesthetic of the hoarding and its common purpose to obstruct the view of a landscape in transition.

This artwork includes a nod to Buenos Aires, the artist’s home for some years, where a consequence of the socio-economic crisis meant that unfinished buildings would often remain hidden for decades, behind hoardings that prevailed as the dominant image of the cityscape. Frequently intended as a surface upon which to project the promising future that lies beyond, for Matías the hoarding tends to become the site for a more honest representation of the place in which it stands; a site that is made local, relevant and responsive by those who inhabit the city.

This exhibition is the third in the current series, following a collaborative drawing commission led by artist curator Cedar Lewisohn and Nathaniel Pitt, and most recently an installation by artist Chris Olton. The show forms part of a programme of exhibitions building profile and support for the space. We feltMatías’ work would sit well in the space, relevant to the ever-developing cityscape and the public realm as a key site of cultural experience.

No Particular Order can be seen in the windows of The Art House building until 26 April 2020.

New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial alumnus Matías Serra Delmar is currently exhibiting his work No Particular Order in the windows of University of Worcester’s Art House building. It is a University of Worcester exhibition, presented by New Art West Midlands in association with curator Sylvia Theuri, currently New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curator in Residence.

Installation view (detail), Andreana Fatta, Ξεριζωμένη Γενιά / An Uprooted Generation, Copper pipes, Greek orthodox candle wax, archived objects and publication at St. Mary's Guildhall, Coventry, Exhibition as part of New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial 2019. Photograph by Marcin Sz.

We are delighted to announce that the New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial artists selected for the Engine Room professional development programme and the forthcoming autumn 2020 exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum are: Hira Butt, Andreana Fatta, Navi Kaur, Shiyi Li, Farwa Moledina and Matías Serra Delmar.

 

Installation view (detail), Andreana Fatta, Ξεριζωμένη Γενιά / An Uprooted Generation, Copper pipes, Greek orthodox candle wax, archived objects and publication at St. Mary’s Guildhall, Coventry, Exhibition as part of New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial 2019. Photograph by Marcin Sz.

 

The artists have been selected from this year’s cohort of exhibiting artists by Sylvia Theuri, Curator in Residence with New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum. The themes central to the forthcoming exhibition, curated by Sylvia, emphasise notions of ‘decentering’ – that is, removing from the ‘centre’ a focus on subject matter and art historical narratives that prioritise Western and male perspectives, as well as challenging the traditional presentation of artwork in gallery spaces.

The premise of the exhibition will be for the Herbert Art Gallery to be interrupted, appropriated and transformed (as Edward Soja notes in his 1996 text Thirdspace) by the artworks, subject matter and forms that the artists explore.

The artists have been selected because they decentre a predominant white male European focus that has been historically central to art exhibitions, through a centering of the narratives of minoritised voices, perspectives and experiences, and/or because they decentre – through deconstruction and disorder – the ways in which audiences predominantly view artwork within a white cube space.

Sylvia and the teams at New Art West Midlands, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and International Curators Forum look forward to working with the selected artists to profile and showcase this exciting art developing in the region.

 

 

 

We are delighted to announce the 6 New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial artists selected for the Engine Room professional development programme and the forthcoming autumn 2020 exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.

Georgia Tucker, Terra Firma, VR installation, 2019

Georgia Tucker, Terra Firma, VR installation, 2019

Terra Firma (2019) by Georgia Tucker combines a physical and VR installation which explores the environmental crisis through different spaces. The installation is a narrow room that houses an immersive and interactive VR environment portraying a speculative future of increasing consumerism. Terra Firma exemplifies the artist’s concerns of our impact upon the natural environment and the production of man-made materials, represented respectively by woodland and plastic.

Further interaction with the work comes through a QR code, providing a weblink and narrative. The narrative is set 50 years in the future, where Georgia transports the viewer to Earth’s last natural woodland. A plastic netting ‘viewing’ barrier has been used to prevent further damage to the woodland. However, it has adapted, and thrives within the trees as an organism. The viewer is now encased within a compartmental maze and a natural soundscape, and is able to explore the tunnels and never-ending plastic structures. Whilst VR exposes the viewer to vulnerability, removing their sight and sound, the building provides a place of protection.

Georgia is a graduate of Birmingham City University. Her work, on display at The Row, was selected  by International Curators Forum for New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial.

Georgia Tucker’s virtual reality installation Terra Firma was selected by International Curators Forum for New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial. Her work is on display at The Row.

Ameera Sadiq, Untitled, 2019, mixed media installation

Ameera Sadiq, Untitled, 2019, mixed media installation

Ameera Sadiq is interested in how our perceived reality, constructed from our sensory input, can transform the perception of our environment. Her current sculptural assemblages aim to convey a sense of disconnectedness from reality, bearing a resemblance to a virtual world or out of body experience. The work has an otherworldly appearance marked by the intensity of luminescent colour schemes, and metallic and plastic surfaces that evoke futuristic and technological environments. Her practice draws inspiration from sci-fi cinematography, exploring unsettling dystopian worlds, where futuristic realities fail, when dreams and desires become questionable.

Drawings and collages allow Ameera to build a library of ideas that inform the construction of her sculptural installations. She employs an experimental approach to rethink and utilise everyday objects and materials by violating their intended use and depicting them serving an alternate purpose. Ameera frequently uses mass produced objects and materials to explore their technological capabilities.

Ameera’s installation is on view at the Lanchester Gallery, Graham Sutherland Building, Coventry University as part of New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial. She is a graduate of Birmingham City University.

 

Ameera Sadiq’s installation at The Lanchester Gallery is the subject of our next New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial artist spotlight.

Betsy Bradley, Swing to Utsuroi, Acrylic on reclaimed canvas, found wood, hemp rope

Betsy Bradley, Swing to Utsuroi, Acrylic on reclaimed canvas, found wood, hemp rope

Betsy Bradley’s practice seeks to communicate an experience of the present moment, embodying a dialogue between thought and action. Paint acts as an extension of the artist’s body and mind, physically suspending impulsive gesture. Her meditative processes unify these elements of being; moments free from thought in which the paint takes on its own agency. Driven by discovery, Betsy deliberately evokes moments that lie on the cusp of becoming. Her use of found materials and improvised mark-making tools challenge the hierarchical connotations of traditional painting. Fluid interaction between loose canvas and found objects extends this gesture beyond mark making on to the painting as an object itself. Informed by their immediate surroundings, improvisational structures serve as both supports and sculptures in her practice that question conventional notions of painting display. Betsy relies on a reciprocal relationship with her environment; spontaneous responses to materials around her result in adaptable works that upend the expected functionality of object and artwork.

www.betsy-bradley.co.uk

Three of Betsy’s paintings are displayed at The Row. She is a recent graduate of Birmingham City University. New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial and Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art continues until 24 November 2019.

 

The painting-based practice of Betsy Bradley is the focus of today’s artist spotlight from New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial.

Farwa Moledina, Not Your Fantasy II, Birmingham School of Art, 2018

Farwa Moledina, Not Your Fantasy II, Birmingham School of Art, 2018

Not Your Fantasy is a series of textile prints by Farwa Moledina concerned with re-appropriating and reclaiming Orientalist imagery of Muslim women. The work aims to unveil the voyeuristic tradition of Western male painters, whilst inviting viewers to question the prevalence of Orientalist stereotypes.

The image features a Muslim woman clad in white on a white background. The lack of colour negates all exotic and erotic Orientalist stereotypes, the only colour being the fabric. It is embroidered with the words ‘Not Your Fantasy’ and patterned with fragments of Ingres’ painting ‘La Grande Odalisque’, criticised for its appropriation and sexualisation of Eastern Culture. Not Your Fantasy is challenging and clearly directed at 19th Century Orientalist painters who created scenes of harems from their imagination and were fascinated by the otherness of the Eastern woman. Here, the subject’s gaze is challenging, opposing the vapid expressions of women found in Orientalist paintings.

www.farwamoledina.com

Not Your Fantasy is exhibited at The Row. New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial and Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art continues until 24 November 2019.

 

Today’s artist spotlight is Birmingham City University graduate, artist Farwa Moledina, whose work can be found at The Row as part of New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art.

Laura Onions, Writing Otherwise (after Marion Richardson), Screen print and acrylic paint on canvas

Laura Onions, Writing Otherwise (after Marion Richardson), Screen print and acrylic paint on canvas

Printmaking, writing and archival research are approaches through which Laura Onions explores the impacts of learning in relation to gender and feminist pedagogies. This responds to the ways language reproduces patterns of meaning. What we read and write situates identities and positions us socially and politically.

Laura’s recent work is focused on female educators/learners who fostered a caring, holistic approach towards education. Archival research into Marion Richardson (1892 – 1946) an artist/educator who transformed the manner in which children learn to write through pattern making, resulted in the series Writing Otherwise in which writerly patterns and textual elements meet one another in functional paintings.

Laura is interested in the spaces we create for ourselves and others. Images of women reading are a reoccurring theme in painting – particularly historical paintings by male artists. The ongoing series The Look of Reading uses painterly printmaking techniques to push the images towards abstraction. The figure and surrounding scene begin to merge, obscuring and shadowing to subvert/invert the male gaze.

A graduate of Birmingham City University, Laura is exhibiting several works across The Row and Bell Green Library in Coventry. New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial and Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art continues until 24 November 2019.

Laura Onions is the focus of our artist spotlight today. Her work can be found as part of New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial at The Row and Bell Green Library in Coventry.

Hira Butt, Dhee Rani (Princess Daughter), Mixed media

Hira Butt, Dhee Rani (Princess Daughter), Mixed media

Hira Butt’s work revolves around the ideologies of gender and cultural dominance and her research on ‘Pak/Brit Mess’ – a self-defined term expressing a mixture of Pakistani and British culture – that has left empowering emotional and psychological effects on her personality.

Dhee Rani (Princess Daughter) is a series of bejewelled sculptures that reflect the complexities of domestic violence and contemporary slavery as a result of cultural transition. The series is a provocation to the commodification of life partners who are selected on the basis of property, exchange and domestic function rather than personality, aspiration or other human qualities. It reflects on expectations behind the selection and its potential fallout. The football, for instance, recognises globalised male dominance within the ‘beautiful game’ and incorporates feminised, domestic Pakistani decoration. The series is a confrontation of the pressures that enforced cultural differences or fictional differences can have on those that undergo tremendous cultural transition.

Dhee Rani (Princess Daughter) is exhibited at The Row. Hira is a graduate of Birmingham City University.

Artist Hira Butt is the subject of our artist spotlight today. Hira’s work was selected for New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial by International Curators Forum.

Image: Shiyi Li, ‘Minister of Loneliness’, 2018

New Art West Midlands invites you to the launch of No Limits, the visual arts strategy for the West Midlands, devised following consultation events across the region.

The launch will be followed by a very special performance by artist Shiyi Li of her percussion and live collage work ‘Minister of Loneliness’.

No Limits
Friday 15 November 2019
6 — 8pm

The Studio
The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
Coventry
FREE
Register for the event here.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Additional support from Coventry Biennial, Birmingham City University, Coventry University, Hereford College of Arts, Staffordshire University, University of Wolverhampton, University of Worcester, International Curators Forum, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum and The New Art Gallery Walsall.

 

(Image: Shiyi Li, Minister of Loneliness, a collaborative performance involving chamber music, animation and live art performances made in conjunction with international percussionist Gloria Yehilevsky and originally performed by Aisling Reilly).

New Art West Midlands invites you to the launch of No Limits, the visual arts strategy for the West Midlands, devised following consultation events across the region.

The launch will be followed by a very special performance by artist Shiyi Li of her percussion and live collage work ‘Minister of Loneliness’.

Sarah Byrne, Margins of Margins, Overhead projector, prints on acetate and found material

Sarah Byrne, Margins of Margins, Overhead projector, prints on acetate and found material

Interested in memories, nostalgia, narratives and truth, Sarah Byrne’s work forms a reflection of experiences growing up in England as a British girl with an Asian mother. Using and re-using imagery from her mother’s old photo albums showing Sarah’s childhood trips to the Philippines, her practice forms a process of recalling, realising, and questioning the events, exchanges and associations which have contributed to what she describes as a separation in her two national identities.

The work questions what she remembers, versus what she thinks she does, and examines the extent to which memories may glitch, malfunction or overwrite. The imagery explores the extent to which visibility, fade, and blur relate to ethnographical trends of ‘Whiteness’, particularly the proclivity of Western idealisation within South-East Asia. Sarah relates this to her own muddled young memories of feeling tokenised by both sides.

Sarah is a graduate from University of Wolverhampton and has recently been awarded a residency at The New Art Gallery Walsall from February – April 2020.

Sarah’s work is exhibited at The Row as part of New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial. The exhibition continues across arts venues and heritage sites in Coventry until 24 November 2019.

 

 

 

Our next artist spotlight is Sarah Byrne, a graduate from University of Wolverhampton, who is showing at The Row as part of New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial. Her work forms a reflection of experiences growing up in England as a British girl with an Asian mother.

We are excited to announce the appointment of Sylvia Theuri as New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curator in Residence. Hosted by Culture Coventry at the city’s Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, the role will see Sylvia work with 6 artists from New Art West Midlands’ 2019 graduate cohort, across a year of bespoke professional development activity, leading up to an exhibition of new work by those artists at the Herbert Art Gallery in autumn 2020.

 

 

Sylvia’s post has been made possible through partnership with the Herbert Art Gallery and International Curators Forum, as part of a New Art West Midlands programme supporting new talent and perspectives funded by Arts Council England. The partnership with International Curators Forum brings access to international networks and contexts – part of a distinctive professional development package that aims to create pathways into future opportunities for Sylvia and for the artists involved.

 

Sylvia notes: “I am excited to have taken on the role of Curator in Residence and to be a part of shaping the developing arts and culture in the city of Coventry where I live and call home. It is of great importance that we foster the visibility of and engagement with the visual arts to new and varied audiences, by ensuring that visual art spaces are not seen as ‘uninhabitable spaces’ but rather as welcoming and comfortable”.

 

Talking about working with artists to support new work relating to Coventry, Sylvia says: “I am very much looking forward to working with a cohort of New Art West Midlands 2019 artists to help shape their professional development across the course of the next year towards a new exhibition in 2020”.

 

Craig Ashley, Director of New Art West Midlands, said: “We are delighted to announce Sylvia’s appointment and look forward to working with her over the next 12 months. She brings a distinctive approach and perspective, with ambitions to support and reflect the region’s very best talent.”

 

Notes for editors:

 

About Sylvia Theuri Dr Sylvia Theuri is an art educator, researcher and artist with comprehensive knowledge and experience in critical arts education theory and practice. Sylvia holds a PhD from the University of Salford, which focused on Black African students’ experiences of higher education art and design. Her research interests include diversity and inclusion issues in Art and Design education; Race, Identity and the African diaspora; Contemporary African Art and the Black Arts Movement. Recent publications include a book chapter; ‘Critical Race Theory and its Relationship to Art Education’ in Towards an Inclusive Arts Education.

 

About New Art West Midlands

New Art West Midlands is the contemporary visual arts network for the region. The network plays a leading role in bringing people together to support, promote and develop the region’s contemporary visual arts sector, both within the region and at a national level. We create defining opportunities for artists and arts professionals to develop their practices through a distinctive, critically-engaged programme, including the New Art West Midlands exhibition for recent graduates, and Engine, a region-wide professional development programme for artists and curators. New Art West Midlands is part of the national Contemporary Visual Arts Network. We are supported by Arts Council England and the lead partners are Birmingham City University and The New Art Gallery Walsall. Further support is provided by our partners Coventry University, Hereford College of Arts, University of Wolverhampton and University of Worcester, as well as Staffordshire University.

 

About Culture Coventry Culture Coventry is the trust that manages three of Coventry’s finest visitor attractions: Coventry Transport Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of British road transport, including the two fastest cars in the world; the award-winning Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, which celebrates the city’s culture, history and arts; and the Lunt Roman Fort, a fully excavated and partially reconstructed turf and timber fort, including the only gyrus in the Roman Empire. Between them, the attractions proudly tell stories of Coventry’s unique history to over 800,000 visitors per year from around the world.

 

About International Curators Forum International Curators Forum develops and offers professional development opportunities for artists and curators, which include curating exhibitions and events that address diasporic culture in a global context; connecting professionals around the world through organised international networking trips and residencies. Past projects include the 2016-2017 international knowledge-sharing platform ‘Curating the International Diaspora,’ and the 2016-2018 professional development programmes ‘Diaspora Pavilion’ and ‘Beyond the Frame.’

 

 

 

Sylvia Theuri appointed as New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curator in Residence at Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery.

Farwa Moledina, ‘Interwoven’, 2018, Ways of Belonging, Ort Gallery at Midlands Art Centre

We are excited to announce the New Art West Midlands 2019 artists, selected by International Curators Forum:

Betsy Bradley, Hira Butt, Sarah Byrne, Gemma Costin, Anna Katarzyna Domejko, Andreana Fatta, Matt Gale, Amy Guo, Ewan Johnston, Navi Kaur, Shiyi Li, Mengxia Liu, Farwa Moledina, Tayyibah Mota, Laura Onions, Ameera Sadiq, Matías Serra Delmar, Rosie Piercy, Georgia Tucker and Lily Wales.

Farwa Moledina, ‘Interwoven’, 2018, Ways of Belonging, Ort Gallery at Midlands Art Centre 

  • New Art West Midlands returns for 2019 with a new cohort of 20 artists, recent graduates from the region’s art schools and creative Higher Education courses.
  • In collaboration with Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art, a new exhibition model introduces artists in arts venues and historic sites across Coventry.
  • Selected by International Curators Forum, a new programme supports creative practice development for the region’s brightest new talent.
  • New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art runs 4 October – 24 November 2019

This autumn New Art West Midlands returns with a new model, working in collaboration with Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art to introduce an exciting group of artists across the city.  From traditional arts venues to unexpected spaces and public places, the exhibition aims to reach new audiences and show the value of creativity as Coventry moves closer to its tenure as UK City of Culture in 2021.

Selected by International Curators Forum, the artists are recent graduates from the West Midlands’ art schools and creative Higher Education programmes. The region has a rich offer and heritage when it comes to art education; New Art West Midlands is a partnership with the leading institutions to celebrate the talented individuals emerging from undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes.

Applications were received from over one hundred artists, representing recent graduates from Birmingham City University, Coventry University, University of Wolverhampton, University of Worcester, Staffordshire University and Hereford College of Arts.

The selection panel included a delegation from International Curators Forum, including Adelaide Bannerman, Cindy Sissokho and Jessica Taylor alongside Ryan Hughes, the founder and director of Coventry Biennial. International Curators Forum’s highly acclaimed Diaspora Pavilion featured as part of the Venice Biennale in 2017, and has informed the direction of New Art West Midlands 2019 as a professional development programme.

In addition to participation in Coventry Biennial, a smaller cohort from these 20 artists will be selected to work with an appointed curator on a yearlong professional development programme. This intensive period will support practice-based skills toward the development of new work for a further curated exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery (Culture Coventry) in autumn 2020. Speaking about the selection and quality of submissions, Jessica Taylor commented: “International Curators Forum is thrilled to be partnering with New Art West Midlands, Coventry Biennial and Herbert Art Gallery on this important opportunity to support a cohort of recently-graduated emerging artists and a curator from the West Midlands.

“We are excited that the Diaspora Pavilion model has influenced the development of this programme, which champions diversity and the professional development of emerging practitioners in the region. The connections made and exposure gained by the 20 selected artists as a result of their inclusion in this Biennial stands to be of great importance during this moment of transition in their careers, and we look forward to working closely with some of the artists as they continue on in the programme alongside a selected curator in 2020.”

Highlights include new large-scale installations, sculpture, photography, video, paintings, drawings and digital artworks, exploring themes of cultural identity, technologies and the environment among others. Sarah Byrne’s (University of Wolverhampton) work reflects on experiences growing up in England as British girl with an Asian mother. Her projections use imagery from her mother’s old photo albums of childhood trips to the Philippines to question the events and exchanges that have contributed to a separation in her two national identities.

“I am a renegade botanist” declares Gemma Costin (Hereford College of Arts). Her travelling seedpod is a repurposed caravan that used to be called home, now transformed into a space to interrogate ideas of nature and biophilia.

Amy Guo (Staffordshire University) investigates the relationship between human and digital technologies. Works consider the ways in which our social interactions with others are mediated through technology and the visibility of our digital selves.

Farwa Moledina’s (Birmingham City University) series of prints on paper and textile are concerned with re-appropriating and reclaiming Orientalist imagery of Muslim Women. In today’s postcolonial, globalised world, refugees, immigrants and persons of dual culture often find themselves caught between tradition, integration and redefinition of their complex identities.

Through film, photography and mixed media, Tayyibah Mota (Coventry University) considers the Hijab. Her work seeks to display the tradition within and opposition to this Muslim practice, whilst sharing personal experiences of some of the British Muslim women who wear them.

Rosie Piercy (University of Worcester) deals with the very current issue of tuition fees and the cost of education in Britain. Her sculpture ‘Forever in Debt’ consists of helium filled balloons highlighting the exact balance of her student loan as they slowly deflate.

Ryan Hughes, director of Coventry Biennial, commented: “We are really delighted by the work we have selected and are looking forward to bringing it to Coventry to share with audiences. The professional development focus of New Art West Midlands aligns strongly with our vision for a social and critically engaged biennial for the region. The unique and inclusive new model they have built will create deeply meaningful opportunities for these artists in the West Midlands and beyond.”

Now in its seventh year, the New Art West Midlands exhibition programme is established as an important aid in developing the careers of artists. With 200 artists involved since 2013, previous exhibitors have seen their work purchased for the national Arts Council Collection and have gone on to achieve solo exhibitions in respected galleries.

New Art West Midlands 2019

Various venues across Coventry, 4 October – 24 November 2019.

 www.newartwestmidlands.co.uk

 

 

Notes for editors:

The New Art West Midlands 2019 exhibition is supported by Arts Council England, Birmingham City University, Coventry University, University of Worcester, University of Wolverhampton, Hereford College of the Arts and Staffordshire University, developed in partnership with Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art, Culture Coventry and International Curators’ Forum.

 

Partners New Art West Midlands 2019:

About Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art:

Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art brings critically engaged, high quality contemporary visual art to the city and surrounding area. Celebrating and promoting contemporary art and artists, the festival is equally rooted in the city of Coventry, its history and its future. The first Biennial took place 6 – 22 October 2017 in venues across the city, the centre-piece being the sprawling CET Building, now under redevelopment. 2019 is the Biennial’s second iteration, with the third taking place in 2021 as part of Coventry’s UK City of Culture year.

About International Curators Forum: 

International Curators Forum develops and offers professional development opportunities for artists and curators, which include curating exhibitions and events that address diasporic culture in a global context; connecting professionals around the world through organised international networking trips and residencies. Past projects include the 2016-2017 international knowledge-sharing platform ‘Curating the International Diaspora,’ and the 2016-2018 professional development programmes ‘Diaspora Pavilion’ and ‘Beyond the Frame.’

About Culture Coventry:
Culture Coventry
is the trust that manages three of Coventry’s finest visitor attractions: Coventry Transport Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of British road transport, including the two fastest cars in the world; the award-winning Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, which celebrates the city’s culture, history and arts; and the Lunt Roman Fort, a fully excavated and partially reconstructed turf and timber fort, including the only gyrus in the Roman Empire. Between them, the attractions proudly tell stories of Coventry’s unique history to over 800,000 visitors per year from around the world.

  About New Art West Midlands:
New Art West Midlands is the contemporary visual arts network for the region. The network plays a leading role in bringing people together to support, promote and develop the region’s contemporary visual arts sector, both within the region and at a national level. They create defining opportunities for artists and arts professionals to develop their practices through a distinctive, critically-engaged programme, including the New Art West Midlands exhibition for recent graduates, and Engine, a region-wide professional development programme for artists and curators. New Art West Midlands is part of the national Contemporary Visual Arts Network. They are supported by Arts Council England and the lead partners are Birmingham City University and The New Art Gallery Walsall. Further support is provided by their partners Coventry University, Hereford College of Arts, University of Wolverhampton and University of Worcester, as well as Staffordshire University.

We are excited to announce the New Art West Midlands 2019 artists, selected by International Curators Forum:

Betsy Bradley, Hira Butt, Sarah Byrne, Gemma Costin, Anna Katarzyna Domejko, Andreana Fatta, Matt Gale, Amy Guo, Ewan Johnston, Navi Kaur, Shiyi Li, Mengxia Liu, Farwa Moledina, Tayyibah Mota, Laura Onions, Ameera Sadiq, Matías Serra Delmar, Rosie Piercy, Georgia Tucker and Lily Wales.

We are delighted to launch the open call for New Art West Midlands 2019 in partnership with Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art, Herbert Art Gallery and International Curators Forum (ICF).

Exhibition
New Art West Midlands 2019 is a new model curated exhibition that takes place at Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art, 4 October – 24 November, across a variety of sites in the city. Applications will be considered in relation to the unique context of the city and to the Biennial.

Coventry Biennial takes ‘The Twin’ as its theme this year. 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of Coventry’s twinning with Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad), Russia. As the world’s first formal international twinning, this is a significant moment which locates Coventry as an international, collaborative city. The Biennial will consider what twinning might mean within the context of contemporary artistic practice, explore the urgency of collaborative and participatory projects, and look at what happens when artists and others come together to make. The Biennial opens dialogues between artworks and place, presenting exhibitions in galleries, historical sites and the public realm in Coventry and its surrounding areas.

Following the enormous success of their Diaspora Pavilion during the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017, we are very pleased to announce that International Curators Forum will select a cohort of 20 emerging artists from diverse backgrounds to exhibit existing work at New Art West Midlands 2019 x Coventry Biennial.

Professional Development
In addition to participation in Coventry Biennial, a smaller cohort of diverse exhibiting artists will be selected to work in partnership with ICF and an appointed curator on a year-long professional development programme. This intensive period will support practice-based skills toward the development of new work for a further curated exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery (Culture Coventry), in autumn 2020.

Applications
Applications are welcomed from visual arts graduates from Birmingham City University, Coventry University, Hereford College of Arts, Staffordshire University, University of Wolverhampton and University of Worcester graduating at BA, MA or PhD level in 2017, 2018 or 2019.

Diversity and diversification are key priorities for New Art West Midlands and our partners. We particularly welcome applications from artists with culturally diverse heritage or who explore diversity in their practice, as well as artists who identify as disabled and/or LGBTQI. Previously unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to reapply.

Applications should be submitted via our online application portal.

Deadline: 5pm, Monday 17 June 2019.

 

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Information

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 Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art
Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art brings critically engaged, high quality contemporary visual art to the city and surrounding area. Celebrating and promoting contemporary art and artists, the festival is equally rooted in the city of Coventry, its history and its future. The first Biennial took place 6 – 22 October 2017 in venues across the city, the centre-piece being the sprawling CET Building, now under redevelopment. 2019 is the Biennial’s second iteration, with the third taking place in 2021 as part of Coventry’s UK City of Culture year.

 

About International Curators Forum (ICF)
ICF develops and offers professional development opportunities for artists and curators, which include curating exhibitions and events that address diasporic culture in a global context; connecting professionals around the world through organised international networking trips and residencies. Past projects include the 2016-2017 international knowledge-sharing platform ‘Curating the International Diaspora,’ and the 2016-2018 professional development programmes ‘Diaspora Pavilion’ and ‘Beyond the Frame.’

 

About Culture Coventry
Culture Coventry is the trust that manages three of Coventry’s finest visitor attractions: Coventry Transport Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of British road transport, including the two fastest cars in the world; the award-winning Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, which celebrates the city’s culture, history and arts; and the Lunt Roman Fort, a fully excavated and partially reconstructed turf and timber fort, including the only gyrus in the Roman Empire. Between them, the attractions proudly tell stories of Coventry’s unique history to over 800,000 visitors per year from around the world.

We are delighted to launch the open call for New Art West Midlands 2019 in partnership with Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art, Herbert Art Gallery and International Curators Forum (ICF).