Wysing’s 2021 programme will take the theme of reception. This is intended as both a second part to last year’s broadcasting theme and a response to the challenging events of 2020. An understanding of reception as an act of welcoming, hosting and caring will shape our organisational priorities for the next year.

At a time of increased uncertainty and precarity, particularly for artists, we feel an obligation to use Wysing’s resources responsibly. We will increase the portion of our annual budget spent on artist fees and new commissions across onsite residencies, remote residencies, digital and learning programmes. We will be undertaking a review of artists’ pay across all our programmes. 

We are reviewing our use of open calls to consider approaches to programming that are less reliant on unpaid artist labour. Working with a network of advisors made up of Wysing alumni, we are making efforts to bring new voices into our programmes. Throughout the year, our team will host a large scale programme of free 1-2-1 sessions, aimed at supporting many of the artists who have not been able to access opportunities at Wysing and keeping in touch with the artists we already know. 

We are continuing to work with artists programmed as part of our broadcasting year, many of whom have had plans affected by Covid-19. Focusing on reception, the component of broadcasting that receives information, means an openness and sensitivity to the new and unknown, while also considering how Wysing and our programmes can be not only a platform or a tool for speaking, but also a tool for listening.

2021 Residencies

Leah Clements
Leah Clements will be in residence at Wysing Arts Centre in 2021 taking time and space to reflect on recent work, and developing projects on access, diving, cosmonauts, come-downs, and other moments of bliss followed by a return to Earth. 

Leah Clements is an artist based in London whose practice spans film, performance, writing, installation, and other media. Her work is concerned with the relationship between the psychological, emotional, and physical, often through personal accounts of unusual or hard-to-articulate experiences. Her work also focuses on sickness/cripness/disability in art, in critical and practical ways. 

Madam Data 
Madam Data will spend their residency researching and developing new work. 

Madam Data is a musician (composer) and sound scientist who explores machine and spirit interfaces. Their fantasies are about truly knowing what sacredness is, echolocating spaces infused with spirits, and begetting ghosts in the technology they create. In finding these things, they seek a liberatory practice that uses sound to return bodies to resonance. Madam Data works with synthesizers, handmade computer programs and circuits, field recordings and clarinets; they consider these objects to be interfaces with the Divine presence; they work with the sonics of stillness, space and brutal intensity.

Sonya Dyer
Sonya Dyer will continue to work on her long term project Hailing Frequencies Open, focusing on scripting speculative narratives and collaborating with animator Adam Sinclair on visualising Space travel. 

Sonya Dyer is an artist and writer from London, and is a Somerset House Studios Resident and most recently UK Associate Artist at the Delfina Foundation. She is a finalist for the Arts Foundation Futures Award 2021, and an alum of Whitney Museum of American Art: Independent Study Program. 

Dyer’s practice explores how subjectivities and alliances are formed across cultures and temporalities, creating possible futures. 

Hailing Frequencies Open (HFO), her current body of work, intersects the Greek myth of Andromeda, the dubious legacy of HeLa cells and actor Nichelle Nicols’ pioneering 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.

Deborah Findlater
Deborah Findlater will be using this time to develop her verbal and sonic practice, experimenting with building soundscapes. Currently their research for the residency surrounds oral storytelling, African astronomy, the sky’s role in providing us with guidance and this thematic prominence within Black music. 

Deborah Findlater is a visual, verbal and sonic artist from South London. Across film, video, installation, poetry and sound pieces, her work centres Blackness from a queer, decolonial and feminist perspective. They are drawn to such techniques as montage, layering, collage and using found, often lo-fi footage, both deconstructing narrative and piecing it together in a polyphonic way. 

Notable screen-based works include Blue Mountain (2014), Jezzy (2017) and Small Axes (2018), which have been shown at institutions such as ICA, London, Somerset House Studios and South London Gallery. Sonic performances have taken place at Archway Sound Symposium, July 2019 and Auto Italia, September 2019. November 2019 saw her debut solo exhibition Sacred Space at Cubitt Gallery. She is a member of London based QTIBPOC led sound system Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S.) and has an MA in Experimental Film from Kingston School of Art. 

Joanna Holland / [SYNTAX ERROR] 
Creative producer/curator Joanna Holland & [SYNTAX ERROR], a pseudonym used for her artist-self, will spend time researching narratives of [in]visible disability; looking to identify and better understand artistic practice which explores a more inclusive landscape. Resulting expansive dialogue, and disruption of unhelpful binary narratives, will ameliorate thinking on how the cultural sector/society can better represent and engage difference.

Building on Joanna’s background in feminist art histories, cultural inclusion, and biodiversity conservation, her practice investigates knowledge production and exchange. Often drawing on French Feminist Theorists Julia Kristeva and Hélène Cixous, she uses acts of multiplicity to create inclusive, semiotic landscapes; part real, part imagined, but informed by lived experience - including soundscapes and an award-winning V-R landscape. And then everything I knew was true was true [CYANOPSIA], an immersive installation exploring [in]visible disability, has been shortlisted for a 2021 ‘UNLIMITED Emerging Artist Commission’.

She is interested in how we live with each other, and on our planet, sustainably. Driven by the belief that interdisciplinary and participatory approaches give meaning to our world and enable richer experiences for everyone; she works collaboratively, co-producing with different communities, alongside artists, scientists, and academics. She has worked with/for CCI, CC&I, NESTA, Tate and others.

Honey Colony
The Honey Colony is a decentralised collaboration from Lafawndah and friends, originating from her mixtape series of the same name. Materialising as a live performance at the Southbank Centre in 2018, the Honey Colony is equal parts  celebration and provocation, upending the relationship between performer, producer and audience.

After a year of distance, the Honey Colony come together for a residency at Wysing Arts Centre to create new music for their future performances, continuing their explorations into concert experiences with a spirit of positive anarchy and public intimacy. This is an important moment to regroup, to collaborate, to heal together and to create; an opportunity to reconnect in fluid friendships and affinities, and amongst peers whose work is some of the most forward thinking body of music today. Joining the residency will be Lafawndah, Coby Sey, ElHeist, Valentina Magaletti, Crystallmess + guests.

Juliet Jacques
Juliet Jacques will work on a screenplay about British socialist politician Victor Grayson, known for a sensational by-election victory in Colne Valley in 1907 and for disappearing without explanation in 1920. Juliet Jacques is a writer and filmmaker based in London. She has published two books, most recently Trans: A Memoir (Verso, 2015) - her short story collection Variations will be out on Influx Press in June 2021. Her essays, criticism and journalism have appeared in many publications, from The London Review of Books to Tribune, and her short films have screened in galleries and festivalsworldwide. She hosts Suite (212) on Resonance 104.4fm - a radio programme that looks at the arts in their social, cultural, political and historical contexts. She teaches at the Royal College of Art, City Lit and elsewhere.

Shenece Oretha 
Over the course of her residency Oretha will utilise the time, space and recording facilities at Wysing to generate elements of her works. Taking cues from Black Avant Garde practices and literature she will experiment with live formats to compose components of her sound sculptures, installations and potential performances. Whilst also working alongside collaborators and hosting guests to sound out and examine the rhythm and possibilities of these words and works not just for voice and instrument, but also for life. 

Shenece Oretha is a London based multidisciplinary artist sounding out and visualising the voice and sound's mobilising potential. Through installation, performance, print, sculpture, sound, workshops and text she amplifies and celebrates listening and sound as an embodied and collective practice. Her work is attentive to not just the music, but the musicality of her experiences of Black oral traditions, ceremony, spiritual practice and literature together with the intimate emotional, physical, relational and communal resonance they generate.

Tammy Reynolds 
I am going to use the residency to: Rest/Play/Be with people who aren’t my housemates/Create a safe crip queer space for myself/Laugh until I fucking piss myself/Dance about/Sing loudly/Try not to be depressed/Lay in grass/Swim somewhere/Breathe non-city air/Wake up in the morning/Maybe make some art/Maybe not 

This is a post-COVID bio because everything has changed. For some reason artists speak about themselves in third person. Tammy Reynolds doesn’t like doing that, neither does her occasional alter-ego Midgitte Bardot. So they’re not going to. I explore performance art, live art and drag with the body of a dwarf and a mind of a very bored dwarf. I USED to sing, dance, scream, laugh, cry out my trauma on a stage. Now I do it in my bedroom, at my webcam. I explore how disabled bodies exist in the arts and interrogate the notion of humour and ridicule of the other. I witness the previous portrayal of bodies or minds like mine and I spit it back out with glitter and goo or the virtual equivalent.  These people have given me money because I asked them and they deemed me worthy: Live Art Development Agency, DaDaFest, Heart of Glass, Scottee and Friends Ltd, FACT, Artsadmin and maybe TWO or THREE more! 

2020 Residencies
2020 was an extraordinary year for everyone and like many other organisations we had to adapt our planned programme in response to the pandemic. Artists had the option of postponing residencies and opportunities, adapting projects, moving projects online and advance payment of fees and budgets. As a result, a number of 2020 residencies are ongoing:

Ruth Angel Edwards and collaborators Adam Gallagher, Chloée Maugile, Conrad Pack and Emily Pope

Adham Faramawy

Radio Wed MACBA: Albert Tarrats, Anna Irina and Antonio Gagliano

Sickness Affinity Group: Clay AD, Frances Breden, Fee Grabow, Hang Linton, Laura Lulika, Anisha Muller, Romily Alice Walden and Lauryn Youden

Hannah Wallis

West Java West Yorkshire Cooperative Movement (WJWY): George Clark, Ismal Muntaha and Bunga Saigian

You can explore the work of our 2020 artists in-residence here, read more about our plans and commitments here and find out more about our free reception 1-2-1 sessions here.

Our 2021 Advisory Group includes Camae Ayewa, Jade Montserrat, Louise Shelley and Dominique White.