Visual art exhibitions and events with a platform for critical writing
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By: Joe Stevens
Recognising the value of artists sharing knowledge and information with their peers, I will record conversations with artists and arts organisations. Putting the show out as a podcast. It will create a valuable new archive.
# 33 [24 February 2013]
My new series of 'Creative Conversations' shows has been picked up by Soundart Radio 102.5 FM. This is an independent radio station based in Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon. If you live in the area of its reception you can hear the show every Friday at 6pm.
It is great to be a part of Soundart Radio, as they, like these shows, is part of the movement towards the local and the global existing together. The radio station is very community focussed and welcomes everyone to make imaginative, innovative radio programmes.
It is great to think that people in Devon are listening to the experiences of local artists and art groups from West Dorset. That the issues that face us here can resonante with the people in the neighbouring county.
# 32 [20 February 2013]
My latest installement of recorded conversations between local artists has just gone live. On this show I talk to Olivia Nurrish, one of the founding members of artwey, who are an artist led group from Weymouth & Portland.
I see artwey as a very active arts group in the borough. In a town that is not known for its cultural bent. Weymouth & Portland has no public art spaces, only some spaces in a few galleries. There isn’t really any support from the council in anyway. Artwey have done around twelve shows this year. Their logo their name is really out there and people become more and more aware of them. They have built a very good relationship with the local press.
artwey become a CIC, A Community Interest Company, in 2009 and I was interested in why they had chosen to become a CIC rather than just be a constituted group. That this entailed extra work, specifically greater records and audited accounts, which also means the group needed extra income to fund these additional jobs. They had been greatly guided by Weymouth & Portland arts officer at the time. They have since discussed if it was a good idea on becoming a CIC. But looking back, though yes it is an extra burden, Olivia feels like it was a good idea to have become a CIC so early. That it helped them secure some funding, and helped them formalise the group structure, its aims and objectives. Artwey are now just about to revisit their constitution and their ethos.
You can hear the show here: http://creativedialog.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/cre...
# 31 [7 February 2013]
Mark Dunhill talking about the spaces that remain, & how stone from the island has gone all over the world.
Interesting talking to Mark about Portland, of how its this unique landscape and how its history is very dominate in its landscape and which makes it such a unique place. Also funny thinking of how its a mixture of international place, as its stone has been transported all over the world, and quite insular, especially in its near past history, when it could be quite inhospitable to strangers.
# 30 [5 February 2013]
My latest conversation with Mark Dunhill has gone live at http://creativedialog.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/cre...
Go there to hear my 30 min chat with Mark about his show Stone Appreciation #2. Mark is one half of the collaborative partnership Dunhill and O'Brien.
Mark has worked with Tamiko O’Brien since 1998 making exhibitions, installations and residencies. Combing art practice with busy schedule teaching. He is now Dean of Art at Central St Martins. Together (Dunhill and O’Brien) they have exhibited in galleries and project spaces in the UK, Ireland, Holland, Italy, Germany and Japan.
I found out that he had long connection with Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust (featured in last weeks episode), having a connection with the trust since its very early days. He had exhibited in Tout Quarry in 1984; this show was in a way the birth of the trust. Mark has continued his connect with the trust and had discussed with Hannah & Paul about his using the space to try something out. They were happy to collaborate and help install the work. Spending a couple of weeks to adapt to the space and the materials.
Again this is another example of how doing this project has opened up doors and allowed me to have these privilege conversations with artists. I really wish to thank all the artists who have given up their time freely to talk to me and been so open and accessible in their conversations.
More conversations here; http://creativedialog.wordpress.com
# 29 [2 February 2013]
Been preparing my next Creative Conversations with the artist Mark Dunhill during his exhibition ‘Stone Appreciation 2’ at the Drill Hall.
‘Stone Appreciation 2’ was the first exhibition I saw at the Drill Hall, and caught me by surprise. I was really taken with the show and brought a few friends back to see this show. The exhibition revolved around their investigations into Bowder stones and involved three videos, a collection of postcards and sculptural shapes that I initially thought was made from clay. It was wonderfully laid out, with one object leading you to the others. I liked their use of trestle tables for their sculptural objects, as it felt like the clay shapes were part of a separate workshop that had been going on. This I felt utilised the space and connected with the stone carving workshops that the Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust runs. I like this aspect of confusion that the work initially through up. Unsure of what bits were the exhibition and what weren’t. It was only after I spent some time that I realised it was all part of the one show.
I was impressed that an exhibition of this calibre was staged down here in West Dorset. How Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust manage to continue show work of this stature will be interesting to see.
# 28 [28 January 2013]
Episode 2 of my creative conversation sees me concluding my chat with Hannah Sofaer and Paul Crabtree from the Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust. On this show we talk about some of the fantastic exhibitions that went on at the Drill Hall over 2012.
The program - Stone Island Stone is Land - brought together art from many different disciplines and was part of Inspire mark London 2012.
We talk about the exhibitions they held, how they came about and their involvement in staging these exhibitions and putting this program together.
I was interested in the long term connections a few of the artists had with the trust. About this ongoing commitment. As artists like Mark Dunhill (whose conversation is the feature of my next show) and Jim Cooke associations with the trust stretches back many years, and whose involvement form part of the trusts ongoing dialog, which than helps inform their strategic decisions.
We go onto to talk about the next stage of the trust. Where Hannah feels it is all coming together at the right time at the right place.
Finishing up with Hannah talking about the rewarding aspect she has found in her connection with local people, with the quarryman who have worked the landscape.
# 27 [23 January 2013]
Just editing a new edition of my creative conversations and have remembered one of the reasons I love doing this project is not just the luxury of having these exclusive 1-1 conversations, but in that they are recorded I can go back and re-listen. I can stop, rewind and hear again something that was said. This I find is a great luxury.
The other rewarding aspect, which isn't really captured in the show so much, is the rambling conversation where I struggle to articulate my thoughts. How the conversations can go off in strange directions, depending on what people are telling me. I am tending to edit out these rambling aspects, trying to make them coherent to some extant. In a way I suppose I'm trying to imitate a professional radio show, but at the same time I'm not as I wish to give people the space to discuss things in a slow, relaxing conversation. Rather than editing a number of people together into one show and selecting the best sound bites to use.
Putting a recorder between you and and another is a great creative exercise , that I heartily recommend.
# 26 [18 January 2013]
It has taken me awhile to find time to edit the conversations I have been recording. But I have finally finished editing and putting online the first in my new series of creative conversations!
I start this new series by talking to Hannah Sofaer and Paul Crabtree at Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust (PQST). They have established a great centre on Portland, a place for discovery & learning that brings together people from different backgrounds through the exchange of skills & knowledge.
Before you hear Hannah & Paul speaking I introduce this new series. It last for approx 7min and you can skip this part and jump straight to hearing Paul and Hannah. I just felt it was important to establish why I had started these conversations. You won’t hear me so much on the shows following this.
Hannah & Paul give us an idea of the trust and its early days from Tout Quarry Sculpture Park to renovating the Drill Hall. According to wikipedia there is estimated to be over 70 different sculptures within the quarry. Hannah mentions some of the artists like Phillip King, Antony Gormley, Richard Wilson, Shelagh Wakely, Keir Smith, along with lesser known artists.
PQST are a fascinating organisation with strong links to the communities that live around them. They have working relationships with scientists, with artists and within the education sector.
They talk about how they have developed, about how the have researched the spaces made from quarrying the landscape and what might happen to these spaces afterwards. & how the Drill hall is an amazing resource that will provide them an opportunity to showcase not just artist work but also those from scientists, geologists and from the local community.
To listen to this show and read more about Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust
# 25 [12 January 2013]
Preparing for a new series of my Creative Conversations. A follow up on my podcasts I put out last year, where I undertook a number of recorded conversations with local artists and arts organisations on their views on how the Olympics and the cultural Olympiad might affect their practice.
I have some great conversations recorded and ready for me to edit together. My aim is to put out a weekly, 30min show. Some of the conversations have been recorded over the summer of 2012, recorded in Weymouth and Portland during the Olympics and Paralympics. Some of the conversations I have had since the Olympics have left town. My aim is to put out 10 shows and I hope you come back weekly to listen to the shows being streamed from this site, or that you subscribe to my podcast.
The conversations I have lined up so far;
- Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust;
- Mark Dunhill
- Paul Soulellis
- Rikki Sorbie
- Jim Cooke
- DIVA contemporary
(they won’t necessary be played in this order)
Before talking to them I start the show by trying to explain myself a bit; talking about where these shows started from, of how last year I was interested in the coming Olympics to the town and about the large sum of money that would be around to pay for the cultural Olympiad. I was intrigued to hear how local artists might see this; how might it effect their practice; what legacy did they envisage it might leave.
I was surprised at how many other people found these shows at all interesting, as I’d primarily made them for myself and didn’t think many people would want to listen to thirty minutes of artists talking about themselves, but people did! I found them immensely rewarding to do and personally forged many new connections, and was always glad to hear that other people did as well.
I’d always intended to go back and do these shows again, to try and talk to the people and organisations I recorded shows with previously, along with having new conversations with some of my new contacts. This I have now, finally, getting around to doing!
Watch this space to hear the shows - http://creativedialog.wordpress.com
# 24 [18 November 2012]
After my conversations with local artists and with arts officers and a couple of arts organisations, I am again looking at following up with a new series of my Creative Conversations.
The Olympics have left town now and everything settles back to normal in Weymouth & Portland. With visual arts again left to Bridport Arts Centre and a scattering of cafe galleries in the area.
It is now a year since I did my initial interviews and I’m thinking it is about time for me to get back out on the road and do another collection. I will be looking at re-interviewing the original interviewees, see if they are still around and still practicing as an artist. I will also be hunting out any new artistic ventures. There was a lot going on in the area over the Olympic and Paralympic period and I will be chasing up on a few of those leads.
If you live in West Dorset and would like join me for a recorded conversation, or know of someone or organisation I should be talking to, please get in touch.
See this post for the previous Creative Conversations I had.
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I am an artist who works with photography, video, sound and animation. I get my inspiration from the public space. I’m interested in how people relate to each other, and I see public space as an unconscious choreography. The public space is also a picture of how society changes.