Located in Chapel Ash in Wolverhampton, Asylum Art Gallery was founded in 2014. They are passionate about nurturing art within the community. They provide a space to showcase work, develop new ideas and engage artists in exploration. We speak to Director Hannah Taylor about the gallery and studios, as well as current opportunities.
You are currently offering West Midlands-based artists an exciting residency opportunity which will explore the spaces of Wolverhampton – the Discursive Spaces Residency Programme. Why should artists apply?
This is a paid opportunity for five West Midlands-based artists to engage with local spaces, Wolverhampton City Council and community to develop work that offers a poignant contribution to the commentary around how these structures facilitate growth or restriction. The publication we will produce as a result of the residency will remain a tangible artefact to continue these discussions and hopefully promote cross-city, cross-institutional and cross-sector collaborations. Redefining our perspective of ‘community’ and our common ownership and responsibility of space in this political climate is crucial to regenerating through culture.
You’ve just celebrated your first anniversary at your studios. How can artists get involved with/be a part of Asylum?
In terms of the ‘Asylum Art Gallery and Studios’, anyone is welcome to be apart of our collective. We run exhibitions at the gallery regularly and host open studio days, events, workshops and art crits that the public are welcome to attend. You can also join us and use our facilities such as the library, computers, hot-desking facilities, photo studio – work in a creative space that promotes collaboration and supportive discussion.
Everyone is welcome to contact us and see how we can support their ideas through mentoring, portfolio development or connecting with relevant collaborators. We want to be an open space where all creatives feel confident to express and develop. You can contact us through the website and find relevant forms for submitting exhibition proposals.
You can arrange an appointment with us or join our mailing list through: firstname.lastname@example.org
What do you have planned for the future?
Our plan is to develop an educational program that supports the development of high quality contemporary art practice but within a vocational setting, and with a special awareness of facilitating hidden disabilities such as chronic health and mental health issues. Asylum Art Gallery was initially set up by Corin Salter after being diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome as a safe space or a place of refuge for anyone to express and create. We believe that there is a gap that needs bridging between education and professional practice, and unfortunately there is still an institutional bias in relation to disclosure and exclusion.
The Discursive Spaces Residency Programme offers a paid residency for five West Midlands based artists at any stage of their artistic development to produce a solo show in response to community engagement and research of ‘Heterotopias’. Each successful artist will undertake a one month residency at Asylum Art Gallery & Studios, where their research will inform a solo exhibition. The process, research and outcomes will also be presented as an academic publication – in collaboration with a writer in residence – that encapsulates all five artist’s journeys.
The residency encourages artists who may not have been born in the area, such as international students, asylum seekers, refugees or migrants and BAME communities, to engage in critical discussions about non spaces and transient spaces such as public space, and how it is used or unused in the City of Wolverhampton.
Deadline: Friday 1 November 2019.