1 BLOG, 2 ARTISTS AND A WORLD OF IDEAS
Hasn’t time flown?
I can’t believe it was a whole year since 1000 artists (including me) were basking in the Nottingham sunshine.
Although it seems like yesterday, lots of exciting things have happened in the last year for everyone, (I would be interested to hear from any attendee’s for possible posts on this very blog?). For Alana and myself it has been especially busy.
Since leaving Nottingham and returning to ‘normal’ life, we have seen each other regularly and have started a blog together – as you well know if you happen to be reading this! We began a helpful dialogue about both our practices as and when we need, its so healthy to talk about work in a crit situation; I miss that aspect of Art School.
I felt WEYA brought back that Art School vibe where lots of interesting and ambitious artists being altogether in one place makes for a happy and energetic ambiance. Nottingham was alive with the sound, taste, look and feel of a lively European city. Visual art, music, gastronomy, literature, performance and dance filled the air, enticing passers-by to look further, deeper and dragged them into buildings they might have never explored before. I found it very useful to explore and visit all the galleries, spaces and back streets Nottingham had to offer. As a site-specific installation artist it is imperative to visit said spaces before making proposals or starting conversations with gallerists. I knew of all the larger/council-run galleries and a handful of artist-lead spaces, but I never imagined Nottingham had so much to offer a creative. Bravo!
How I wish we could do it all over again. I regret not having the time or energy (we were EXTREMELY busy indulging in the arts) to talk to more people and possibly start other friendships/collaborations.
Looking back at the past year in reflection always makes me nostalgic. I would never have suspected what was round the corner for me. On returning to Manchester from WEYA I learned that I had been awarded a commission and exhibition from Cornerhouse. I made a new video installation work as part of FOUR, which was curated and developed by Cornerhouse’s Young Curators team and selected from over 600 international applications.
Shortly after my Cornerhouse exhibition I was awarded Arts Council England Grants for the arts funding. I was delighted to receive money for the research and development of a new body of work: funding my practice for whole year. I have changed the way I work as a result, going from working on a commission/exhibition only basis to having a fluid studio-based practice. In May I set myself a challenge to produce a drawing a day, this in turn has helped free my block and allow me to interpret these works-on-paper into sculptural light-works or installations. I will be showing this brand new work at Piccadilly Place, Manchester in my solo presentation ‘On Brown & Violet Grounds‘ (25 September – 2 October) where I will also be exhibiting drawings for the first time next to large-scale sculpture. Further works on paper will be exhibited within my studio as part of this year’s Rogue Open Studios.
I was then invited to make a new site-specific work for this year’s Barnaby Festival, Macclesfield in June. I took over an empty shop unit in the Grosvenor Shopping Centre to create a sensory installation using transparent object to create my largest site-specific installation to date. I positioned found objects on top of red, yellow and blue light boxes all placed within a Perspex museum-like cases, transforming everyday things into new sculptural forms. Finally in October I will be showing new work in Bury Light Night. Watch this space for more information!
During World Event Young Artists Alana installed her solo exhibition at Oriel Davies in Newtown, Wales. Alana was excited to exhibit in Oriel Davies’ testbed space (for new and experimental work) because it is so wonderfully small. She had been looking for a confined space like this for quite a while because she wanted to be able to create a completely immersive experience for the viewer without having to build false walls. Crafts Magazine wrote of the exhibition:
“Part textile installation, part conceptual art, Tyson’s work transforms the gallery into a silent, richly lined, enclosed world. She’s inspired by secret, inner spaces and for this show, called Interior, Tyson uses swathes of elaborately pleated fabric which references the linings of coffins or chocolate boxes. The results are faintly disturbing and… can also be seen as a more sinister padded cell.”
Alana was recently awarded an a-n Magazine re:View Bursary to assist her in pursuing new work. For this she has enlisted the help of Mark Devereux as a mentor and critical aid. (more information about Mark Devereux Projects will follow in a future blog post). In May Alana received an Arts Council of Wales Research and Development Grant to facilitate her ongoing practice. This funded period will result in the making of ambitious new works, pushing Alana’s abilities and allowing her time to question the nature of her work in a wholly positive way.
In June Alana exhibited work in a two-person show at bocs, Caernarfon, North Wales. ‘Spatial Threads’ examined the physical and the philosophical void and ubiquity of the gallery. Alana showcased her sensual sculptural fabric pieces, these manipulated materials formally stem from the repetition of simple motions or marks until complex surfaces are created. The pieces isolate a seductive sculptural language that seeks to rest between something 3-dimensional, yet is simultaneously flat almost painterly. Constructed of hand-sewn lining fabric, these artworks are reminiscent of coffin lining, chocolate boxes, and visceral entrails of the body. The pieces give import to that which is normally hidden away, both literally as in the above references and as a metaphor for the “soul”.
We have written a series of blogs about our experience at World Event Young Artists, take a look:
6 Months after World Event Young Artists
Liverpool Biennial v. World Event Young Artists
Liz’s Week at WEYA… 1 After
Alana’s Week at WEYA
By Liz West