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.

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Engine, the professional development programme for artists and curators in the West Midlands region, begins a new series of events focused on curatorial practice for 2020.

The Curators’ Network (formerly the Curatorial Research Group), developed in partnership with independent curator Lucy Lopez, aims to investigate contemporary curatorial practice and research, as well as championing its development in the region and bringing together art workers across the West Midlands and beyond.

Events will take place at a number of host organisations right across the region. Each will focus on a particular area of curatorial interest, examined through case study presentations, workshops and opportunities for networking. We aim to facilitate an informal and collaborative environment in which to critically discuss work and ideas. We are delighted to launch our programme with talks by curators Ian Sergeant and Sylvia Theuri.

 

Sylvia Theuri
2pm – 3.30pm
Friday 28 February
Coventry Transport Museum

Sylvia’s talk will explore strategies that can be employed to give space for a wider range of diverse voices in art exhibitions, with the aim of addressing inequalities and exclusions within the existing canon of art history.

Dr Sylvia Theuri is an educator, researcher, artist and curator 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. Sylvia is currently New Art West Midlands and International Curators Forum Curator in Residence hosted by Culture Coventry at the city’s Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.

Interventions in The Story of Art – an excerpt taken from my addition to the contents page of E. H. Gombrich’s The Story of Art highlighting the invisibility of Black artists within the history of art. Image by Sylvia Theuri.

 

 

Ian Sergeant
2pm – 3.30pm
Friday 20 March
The New Art Gallery Walsall

Visual Representations of Black British Masculinities is an illustrated talk about Ian’s PhD research. It will focus on the methodological approach of ‘cut and mix’, a theory coined by art historian and writer Kobena Mercer in describing the practices of members of the West Midlands Blk Art Group of the 1980s that included Keith Piper, Donald Rodney, Marlene Smith, Eddie Chambers and Claudette Johnson. These artists’ works are central to this research.

Ian will illustrate how adopting a ‘cut and mix’ approach to his practice-based research has enabled him to utilise a range of critical and analytical methods including socially engaged arts practice, auto-ethnography and curatorial praxis to interrogate notions of Black British masculine identities and representation.

Ian is a member of New Art West Midlands Executive 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 artist led exhibition space Ort Gallery.

 

Photo credit: Marcin Sz – Reimaging Donald Rodney, Vivid Projects, 2016. Curated by Ian Sergeant.

 

 

 

The Curators’ Network activities and events are free and open to anyone with an interest in contemporary curatorial practice.

We will be inviting a number of regional, national and international curators to join us for sessions throughout 2020. Further events within the programme will be announced shortly

For more information please email info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk or telephone 0121 300 4309.

The Curators’ Network launches a new season of activity with talks by Sylvia Theuri and Ian Sergeant in February and March.

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.

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.