Corinne Perry, Wallflower #10

In December 2016 we offered artists and curators living in the West Midlands the opportunity to apply to receive a studio visit from an arts professional. Nine artists from across the region have been selected and will have the opportunity to discuss work and to seek feedback and practical advice on their practice.

Artists Keith Ashford and Elizabeth Turner, Chloe Ashley, Anna Katarzyna Domejko, Kurt Hickson, James Lomax, Bharti Parmar, Corrine Perry and Rafal Zar based in Shrewsbury, Lichfield, Halesowen, Smethwick, Worcester and Birmingham have been selected. The nine artists selected are variously interested to transform the ways they think about and show their work, explore working within new media, gather advice on collaborating with heritage and public groups, gain experience of the commercial sector and develop new curatorial research.

These artists will be visited in the coming months by arts professionals working both inside the region, nationally and internationally: Jonathan Horrocks, Kim McAleese, Neus Miró, Nathaniel Pitt, Kim Savage and Deborah Smith.

Studio Visitors:

Jonathan Horrocks
Associate Director, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London
Jonathan Horrocks is Associate Director at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London. He is responsible for overseeing the exhibition programme at the gallery, having had the privilege of working closely with many international artists including Daniel Arsham, Mary Kelly and Tania Kovats. He is also in charge of organising the gallery’s participation in international art fairs such as Art Basel, Art Basel Hong Kong and Frieze New York. Horrocks completed his MA in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art under the tutelage of Professor Mignon Nixon, specialising in the study of post-war feminist art. Using a psychoanalytic framework, his thesis explored the casting techniques of Eva Hesse, Alina Szapocznikow and Rachel Whiteread. He received a BA in History of Art from the University of Warwick. In 2014, Horrocks edited and contributed to the monograph of Turner Prize nominee Nathan Coley (Hatje Cantz; 2014). Prior to working at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, Horrocks worked at Haunch of Venison, London; Mead Gallery, Warwick and The British Museum, London.

Kim McAleese
Programme Director, Grand Union, Birmingham and independent curator, Belfast
Kim McAleese is a curator based in Birmingham, UK. She is currently working as Programme Director of Grand Union, a gallery space and artists’ studios in the city. She is co-founder of Household, a collective of five curators who organise projects that encourage people to re-negotiate how they view and interact with art in city spaces. Previously, she was co-director of Catalyst Arts from 2009–2011, a curatorial consultant at the Belfast Festival at Queen’s in 2012 and Curator for 14-18NOW Northern Ireland, a public artwork commission by Bob & Roberta Smith. She is co-founder of domestic visual arts space, Satis House. She has just completed Curatorlab at Konstfack, a masters programme for professionals in Stockholm. Previous to this she was the first recipient of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Career Enhancement Scheme for Curatorial Practice, and was one of the participants in the first European Independent Curators International Curatorial Intensive in 2013.

Neus Miró
Art Curator, Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Neus Miró curator of Art at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. She hold a first degree in History of Art (Universitat de Barcelona), a MA in Curating Contemporary Art (Royal College of Art, London) and is currently undertaking a PhD at Central Saint Martins (University of Arts London). Prior to her position at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, she worked as freelance curator based in Barcelona and on projects with institutions across Spain. She has had the privilege to work with artists such as Tacita Dean, Stan Douglas, Pipilotti Rist, Ben Rivers, Peter Kubelka, Lis Rhodes, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, and Jane & Louise Wilson among many others.

Nathaniel Pitt
Director, Division of Labour
Nathaniel Pitt was born in 1975 in Wordsley, Black Country. He trained as an artist at Falmouth School of Art in 1997 and gained his MFA from Wolverhampton University 2009 before becoming a fellow at De Appel in Amsterdam, curating in the gallery field. Pitt is currently the director of Division of Labour. Recent curatorial projects have included artists Robert Barry, Victor Burgin, Brian O’Doherty and Carey Young. Curated exhibitions include Plane Materials, at Brighton Photography Biennale; Dymaxion Playground, a public art project by Gavin Wade; Est 1690, a newspaper/art commission with Hendrik Schrat; ARTIST ROOMS: Joseph Beuys and a performance programme with Mikhail Karikis. He has developed an international profile for his gallery, with past presentations in the last Venice Biennale, Brussels, Rotterdam, New York, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Vienna, Dallas and Vilnius.

Kim Savage
Director, FOLD Gallery, London
Kim Savage was born in 1978 and between 1997 – 2000 studied at Bath Spa University College for a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Painting. From 2003 – 2009 Savage worked at Saatchi Gallery as Head of Exhibitions, including external projects such as USA Today at the Royal Academy and USA Today at the Hermitage St Petersburg). Since 2008 Savage has been Owner and Director of FOLD Gallery, London.

Deborah Smith
Independent Curator, London
Deborah Smith has worked as a curator for over 20 years, realising over 35 exhibitions/projects and having worked with over 100 artists from the UK and further afield. Through exploring different strategies for collaboration and the presentation of cultural practices Deborah continues to deliver exhibitions alongside large-scale commissions, residencies, conferences and publications, interwoven with programmes of education, engagement and interpretation. She has development projects in galleries and in the public realm with internationally respected organisations such as Hayward Touring, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Camden Arts Centre, Chapter, Contemporary Art Society and Arup. She is currently Curator, Arts Council Collection, National Partners Programmer at Birmingham Museums Trust and independently commissioning a new site specific artwork at the lake at Alexandra Palace & Park, London.

Applications were shortlisted by a panel including Deborah Robinson, Head of Exhibitions, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Zoe Lippett, Exhibitions and Artists’ Projects Curator, The New Art Gallery Walsall and Anneka French, Project Coordinator, New Art West Midlands.

In December we offered artists and curators living in the West Midlands the opportunity to apply to receive a studio visit from an arts professional. Nine artists from across the region have been selected.

James Lomax, Shepherd's warning, 2017. Digital C-type print from scanned 35mm negative, 30 x 40 cm

James Lomax, a Birmingham-based artist, studio holder at Studio Capri and recent recipient of a New Art West Midlands Engine Micro Bursary, visited the North East of England on a research trip last month. Here, he reports back on the exhibitions he visited and the meetings and conversations he had as part of this bespoke professional development opportunity.


James Lomax, Shepherd’s warning, 2017. Digital C-type print from scanned 35mm negative, 30 x 40 cm

I have recently been making a body of work based upon a specific town just North of Newcastle called Whitley Bay and wanted to make another trip to carry out further research. I especially wanted to establish connections in the area in order to show some of this work in the town later in the year. The work produced largely centres around stories my grandparents described living in Whitley Bay during the 1960s. Coupled with my own photography, research and biased memories, I have constructed sculptures and installations which involve multiple elements introduced to one another to evoke a landscape or create an unspecific sense of place. The works are assembled playfully, truths are elaborated upon and the relationships between objects are key.

The support from New Art West Midlands meant that I was able to do this and much more. I set up meetings with Newcastle-upon-Tyne-based artist collective, MILK, with whom I am planning on collaborating. Prior to the trip I knew two of the members but I had only spoken to the others over email so it was good to meet in person and be able to discuss the project easily as a group. MILK have just been in residence at WORKPLACE in Gateshead so I visited them at the gallery and saw the final iteration of three shows that they had developed, Like the green fig tree, which also includes work by Birmingham-based artist Joanne Masding.

Whilst I was in the North East I also organised to meet with a curator in the area for my own personal development as well as visit a number of galleries and shows, a particular highlight being Monica Bonvinci’s exhibition, her hand around the room, at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. I attended MILK’s closing exhibition event to celebrate the end of their residency at WORKPLACE and caught up with a number of people who I had met previously when I showed work at The NewBridge Project in Newcastle. Wheels are now firmly in motion with the project/collaboration in Whitley Bay and the chance to sit and meet with people in person has really helped this.

Conveniently, on my way I back from the visit I was also able to attend the opening of a group show which includes my work, Last Chance to Paradise, at COLLAR, in Manchester. It was great to meet with the curators of the space and with other artists in the show, helping to establish new networks and the potential for further future collaboration.

Artist James Lomax, recent recipient of a New Art West Midlands Engine Micro Bursary, visited the North East of England on a research trip last month.