Blogging about some of the things happening at Wysing, or influencing what happens at Wysing.

Archive: January 2015

Reading WB  31 January 2015

Who will go drive with Fergus now,
And pierce the deep wood’s woven shade,
And dance upon the level shore?
Young man, lift up your russet brow,
And lift your tender eyelids, maid,
And brood on hopes and fear no more.

And no more turn aside and brood
Upon love’s bitter mystery;
For Fergus rules the brazen cars,
And rules the shadows of the wood,
And the white breast of the dim sea
And all dishevelled wandering stars.

Tags: wbyeats | 


The Arts Foundation  31 January 2015

I’m occasionally asked to nominate artists for awards and was recently asked to nominate an artist for The Art Foundation’s awards for their Art in the Elements category. I hadn’t heard of these awards – actually, they call them Fellowships - before but after some research found that they had been set up by Arts Council twenty years ago when an anonymous donor gave them £1,000,000. ACE couldn’t accept the money but set up the foundation instead, investing the donation and distributing money to artists ever since. The best thing about these fellowships is that they actively seek out art-forms that sit outside any market forces. This year the fellowships included Choral Conducting and Spoken Word, alongside Art in the Elements for which I nominated London Fieldworks (Jo Joelson and Bruce Gilchrist) who made the final shortlist. London Fieldworks are interested in how ‘ecology’ encompasses the natural world in complex relationship to society and technology, website is here. I worked with them recently when they facilitated Gustav Metzger’s residency at Wysing because one of the things they also do is support other artists. I was sorry that they didn’t win the £10,000 prize. That went to Alex Hartley who I last saw sitting on platform on the side of a hotel in Folkstone, at a dizzying height. The fellowships announcement event was great fun, a really celebratory atmosphere and some fascinating people to see and talk to. The fellowships were announced by Jeanette Winterston who made a passionate speech about the role of art in society. Everyone in the room adored her! Here’s a photo of Jo and Bruce and the other nominated artists Amy Sharrocks and Paul Chaney receiving their £1,000 runner up cheques.

Tags: londonfieldworks |  theartsfoundation | 


Ectopia  25 January 2015

One of the most compelling live performances I've seen in a while - the brilliant Ectopia at Power Lunches on Friday. Found this video from a while ago on their website. Thanks to Alice Theobald for organising a great night of subterranean music. 

Tags: spacetime15 | 


Residencies  17 January 2015

So, Lotte and I have spent the past two weeks looking at hundreds of 2015 residency applications every single day, in my case including evenings and weekends. It has been fascinating to read them all and the many ways that people have approached the subject of The Multiverse. Because we group people in residencies, we've been looking at shared interests and themes alongside what stages people are at and what they want to do next. The last bit of selecting is always the most difficult. We're at that stage now but it will probably take another week to finalise things. I got into London on Thursday though to catch The Granchester Pottery show at Jerwood Artspace. TGP are Giles Round and Phil Root who met at Wysing in 2011; Giles was doing a residency under the theme 'Wrong Answers' alongside Cally Spooner, Laure Prouvost and Rob Filby, and Phil was doing a nine month residency in our live/work studio, where artist Rachel Maclean is working from at the moment in fact. She came to the pv as well. It's so amazing that Giles and Phil are still working together on this project, and now Cally is also collaborating with them and has a new text work in the show, which includes all the artists who have been involved with TGP attributed for the first time. It's a really stunning exhibition and definitly worth a look. Took a quick photo - that chair was sat beside my desk for about a year.

Tags: thegrantchesterpottery |  callyspooner | 


Networks  17 January 2015

I haven't had much time to sit down and write a blog entry, as since I returned to work after the holidays I've either been out and about or buried deep in residency applications. One of the events I went to this week was a reception at the House of Commons, to launch a new publication on the Plus Tate network which Wysing is a part of. The network of 18 arts organisations across the UK plus Tate Liverpool and St Ives has been a very good thing for Wysing. It has been fantastic to have a network of Directors to share thoughts and worries with and Plus Tate has been vital in enabling Wysing to participate in some amazing programmes, not least the Circuit programme for young people. So the event was celebrating that, and sharing some of the data around collective audience figures, turnover, staffing and our contributions to local economies. Since the event I have been thinking how there might be a danger in coming years, as funding is further squeezed, that the only way to demonstrate success is through data around the numbers; in particular a growth visitors and income. That really could lead to some very compromised and formulaic programming and in doing so could effect the distinctiveness that currently exists across the visual arts in UK. Networks like Plus Tate can of course help to profile and value different approaches at a very high level - the Culture Secretary was at this event - but it is something we really have to be aware of. Anyway, it was an enjoyable event and great to be inside the beautiful Palace of Westminster. 

Tags: untagged