Harminder Judge, Untitled (falling fire) 2020. Courtesy of Jhaveri Contemporary.

We are again offering artists and curators living in the West Midlands region the opportunity to receive an online studio visit or one-to-one session from an artist or curator. This is an opportunity to discuss your work and to seek valuable feedback and practical advice on either artistic or curatorial practice.

We are delighted to announce that the studio visitors for 2020 will be:

Adelaide Bannerman
Harminder Judge
Permindar Kaur
Ryan Hughes
Melanie Pocock
Ian Sergeant

 

Application information

If you would like to apply for a studio visit, please send a short application to info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk for the attention of Annabel Clarke.

You should send a maximum of three images of or links to relevant work, your CV and a summary of no more than 400 words outlining who you would like to meet and why, and how you feel it would help to support and develop your practice. Please send as a single PDF document.

We are committed to widening access to our opportunities. Audio or video recorded applications may be submitted via Vimeo, YouTube or similar by those facing barriers in applying in writing. For further information please email info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk

Applications will be shortlisted by the New Art West Midlands team and a final decision will be made by each studio visitor.

The deadline for applications is 12 noon, Monday 16 November 2020.

Please note: We recognise that not all artists or curators use or require studios. A physical studio space is not required. Meetings will take place on Zoom/Skype/MS Teams as preferred.

 

Studio visitor biographies:

Adelaide Bannerman (she/her) is a freelance curator in the visual arts sector, living and working in London. Bannerman currently works for International Curators Forum, Invisible Dust and commercial gallery Tiwani Contemporary. She initiated the research residency programme, Never Done in 2018, and is a trustee of Idle Women, Lancashire. Covering curation, project management, mentoring and consultation, Bannerman has been practising for 22 years, producing commissions, exhibitions and events. Institutions that she’s worked for include: Iniva (Institute of International Visual Art), Autograph ABP, Arts Council England, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Tate, Live Art Development Agency, South London Gallery, Platform London, and the 198 Gallery. More recently she has worked with the organisation PUBLICS in Helsinki, Finland and British Council Australia.

Harminder Judge (b. 1982 Rotherham, UK) is an artist whose practice spans object making, performance and installation. He received his BA in Fine Art from Northumbria University in 2005 and is currently enrolled in the Royal Academy Schools, London. Harminder’s work has engaged with many subjects but there is a continuous exploration of portals, be it spiritual, political, or personal. His performance work has weaved Indian folklore and mysticism with bombastic western pop music and live colour field painting; collided occult inspired dreamscapes with hazy laser penetrated reverse baptisms; and transported field recordings made in his family’s Gurdwara in Punjab across the world, and replayed them through a speaker lodged in his throat. His most recent body of work engages a history of Indian abstract painting related to tantric ritual – borrowing techniques from Italian fresco and Indian reverse glass painting. Grounded in materiality, these ‘augmented plaster’ pieces are talismanic, transportative, negotiating image and object relations, the physical and metaphysical. Harminder won the 2011 Arts Foundation Fellowship Award in performance art and was recently included in Tomorrow:London at White Cube. He has shown work internationally at venues such as Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai; Halle 14 Zentrum für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig; and The Royal Academy of Arts, London. In 2020 he co-curated the group show ‘Our ashes make great fertilizer’ at Public Gallery, London.

Since the 1990s, Nottingham-born artist, Permindar Kaur, has created sculptural objects and installations that explore the territory of cultural identity, home and belonging. She does this by apparently innocent means, invoking childhood and domestic spaces. Little figures and animals fashioned in soft fleece resembling half-stuffed toys are the players in her game. However, these are far from sentimental trophies; the comfort of fabric is checked by the cold contours of copper and steel. Her toys are armed with claws, horns and beaks, belying their apparent vulnerability and giving them an air of comic menace. Others disappear against identically coloured or patterned backgrounds, an elaborate game of hide-and-seek perhaps, or a strategy of camouflage or self-negation? Adaption, mimicry and mirroring: strategies of integration and assimilation. In another group of works, doorways deliberately screened or blocked negate the idea of welcome or the homely”. From Neil Walker’s introduction to Hiding Out exhibition at Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham Lakeside Arts, Nottingham. Kaur has exhibited internationally; major solo exhibitions include Hiding Out, Djanogly Art Gallery, Nottingham Lakeside Arts (2014); Untitled, Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery, Berwick (1999); Comfort of Little Places, Aspex, Portsmouth (1998) and Cold Comfort, Ikon Gallery, Bimingham, Mead Gallery, Coventry (1996). Major group exhibitions include A Vision of Utopia, Spirella Building, Letchworth (2014), What’s Going On? Usher Gallery, Lincoln (2013); Spoilt Rotten: Young Curators, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, Wales (2005); At Home with Art, Tate, London and touring (2000); Hot Air, Granship, Shizouka Arts Centre, Japan (1999); Pictura Britannica, Art from Britain, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (1997); British Art Show 4, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff (1995).

Ryan Hughes is an artist/curator interested in collaboration and what was briefly called the post-internet. He founded and is Artistic Director of Coventry Biennial, an artist-led, social, political and critical platform for contemporary art. The third Coventry Biennial, called HYPER-POSSIBLE, takes place in 2021 as a part of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.

Melanie Pocock is Curator at Ikon Gallery. Together with Ikon’s Director Jonathan Watkins, she is responsible for the gallery’s artistic programme, including exhibitions, commissions and publications. Prior to joining Ikon in January, she was Assistant Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2014 – 19), where she organised more than sixty exhibitions with local, regional and international artists. As a writer, she has contributed to international media and publications including Art-Agenda, ArtAsiaPacific, Art Monthly, Frieze, Kaleidoscope, LEAP, Ocula, The Financial Times, divan | Journal of Accounts, Journal of Curatorial Studies and Third Text. A member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), she holds an MA (Distinction) in Curating Contemporary Art (Royal College of Art, 2012).

Ian Sergeant was the Cinema Producer for Midlands Arts Centre (2016-18) and Arts Producer for The Drum Arts Centre (2013-15). He has also worked for Arts Council England (2006-08), Birmingham City Council, Arts Team (2008-09) and New Art Exchange (2009-11).  In a freelance capacity, he has been contracted as an Arts Producer for the Canal & River Trust, as part of Hinterlands (2017-18), and Arts Consultant with the Birmingham Food Council. Education Ian has an MA in Contemporary Curatorial Practice from the School of Art, Birmingham City University. He is currently a Midlands 3 Cities AHRC funded PhD researcher at Birmingham City University. His practice-based research is focused on the Visual Representations and Cultural (Re) Constructions of Black British Masculinities in 21st Century Birmingham. In his capacity as a freelance curator, recent exhibitions include, Reimaging Donald Rodney at Vivid Projects (2016). The exhibition explored the digital embodiment and rich legacy of the late Black British artist Donald Rodney. Forthcoming curated exhibitions include Donald Rodney at the Celine Gallery, Glasgow, and Cut & Mix: Representations of Black British Masculine Identities, at New Art Exchange, Nottingham. He is a member of New Art West Midlands Executive Advisory Group and Film Hub Midlands Advisory Group. He is a director of performing and visual arts organisation Kalaboration, Vivid Projects a non-profit company supporting media arts practice, and Ort Gallery an artist led exhibition space based in the community of Balsall Heath, Birmingham.  

 

We are again offering artists and curators living in the West Midlands region the opportunity to receive an online studio visit or one-to-one session from an artist or curator. This is an opportunity to discuss your work and to seek valuable feedback and practical advice on either artistic or curatorial practice.

Melanie Pocock

We speak with Melanie Pocock, the newly appointed curator at Birmingham’s Ikon gallery, to find out more about her background, research interests and plans for the future.

Melanie Pocock


What attracted you to your role at Ikon?

Ikon provides the kind of environment that artists and curators crave: a beautiful, signature architecture, where it’s possible to take risks and create vision. I was also attracted to Ikon’s size. It’s large enough to create ambitious exhibitions, yet small enough to feel their effects on artists and audiences.

I knew Ikon from my time working at Modern Art Oxford during my MA in Curating Contemporary Art. When Ikon advertised the role, the gallery was presenting The Aerodrome, an exhibition dedicated to the memory of Michael Stanley, who was curator of Ikon from 2002 to 2004 and Director of Modern Art Oxford when I was there. While not a deciding factor in my application, the exhibition did feel like a calling card! Michael’s desire to work side-by-side with artists greatly influenced me and is an approach which Ikon’s programme directly reflects.

The role came at a time when I was looking for a new challenge in an institution closer to home (I’m originally from London). I felt that the internationalism of Ikon’s programme, fostered over many years by current Director Jonathan Watkins, would enable me to contribute my on-the-ground experience in Asia.

What are you most looking forward to about working at the gallery?

In addition to Ikon’s scale and focus, I’d say the opportunity to work with a highly skilled, multi-disciplinary team. In the three months I’ve been here, I’ve been amazed by the expertise and achievements of Ikon’s staff, from the Facilities team’s development of the ‘Ikon lights’ (the gallery’s bespoke lighting system) to the Learning team’s incredible work on artist residencies and offsite programmes.

Since last week, and because of the confinement measures owing to Covid-19, myself and the Ikon team have all been working from home. It’s a big change, but one which I’m embracing—in the interim, at least! We’re already starting to use digital platforms and communication tools more effectively. The Facilities team has been incredible, helping us to get set up for remote working in an incredibly short amount of time.

Ikon exterior

 

What do you hope to achieve in the role?

Bringing artists to Ikon whose work has not yet achieved adequate recognition from the global art ‘system’, or which remains less visible due to issues of language or access, is a priority. I’m interested in consolidating strands of Ikon’s current programme—the role and meaning of painting today, as evidenced in John Walker’s recent exhibition, as well as contemporary artists’ relationship to Indigenous practices. Creating exhibitions and projects which embed artists’ ideas within the socio-cultural and material fabric of Birmingham is also something that I’d like to work towards.

What has excited you so far about Birmingham and/or the West Midlands region?

The history of art schools in the region—the Birmingham and Wolverhampton schools of art, established in 1843 and 1853 respectively, for example—is one that I find fascinating, especially having come from the Institute of Contemporary Arts in Singapore, which is affiliated with an art school (Lasalle College of the Arts). The aim of art schools in the West Midlands to foster artistic approaches to craft and design is vividly reflected in the region’s art history. It’s also a strong current in the work of younger artists, who are reviving this history through their employment of craft techniques like glassblowing and welding.

Can you tell us something about your upcoming projects at the gallery? What can audiences look forward to?

Yes—I certainly can! One project is a group exhibition, which will survey Ikon’s programme in the 1990s. Focusing on Elizabeth Ann Macgregor’s tenure as Director, it will include photography, painting, installation and video by over 40 artists whose work was presented at the gallery during this time. Apart from major works by renowned artists—Mark Wallinger, Adrian Piper and Yinka Shonibare, to name a few—the exhibition will reflect many of the decade’s critical debates on race and class politics. I’m also working on an exhibition by Krištof Kintera, a Czech artist who is known for his macabre sculptures and installations critiquing hypercapitalist systems and societies. It will be his first major solo exhibition in the UK and will occupy both floors of Ikon’s galleries.

www.ikon-gallery.org

We speak with Melanie Pocock, the newly appointed curator at Birmingham’s Ikon gallery, to find out more about her background, research interests and plans for the future.