Today was the first Art Lab of 2020! We had 3 presentations already booked otherwise we would’ve moved to the new format which is 2 presentations and then a kind of ‘marketplace’ informal/unstructured show and tell where anyone can bring work to display and chat about. We will be moving to this new format in February.
So the 3 presenters were great and really diverse.
Harry Fulleylove presented his new choreographed piece for feedback which was inspired by variations and process-based collaboration.
Mussarat (Mo) Rahman presented lots of examples of her community art practice working with refugees and asylum seekers in Bradford BIASIN.
She spoke passionately about activism, collective working and not giving up hope (in the dark times of lack of resources and funding).
Then Alun Kirby presented his 3 year portfolio since he decided to ‘give up’ his science career and work full time as an artist. He had accepted my invitation to present when I met him and saw his work at his preview at Dean Clough last year and I had really enjoyed his sculptural cyanotype work on show there. He has also worked on artist residencies with archives and collaborations with digital artists to produce a really interesting memory box project working with dementia patients so it was great to find out more about his practice.
The formal 15-20 minute presentation and Q&A format doesn’t work for everybody but I do think it has great value as a means to show a large amount of visuals with the artist talking and opportunity to open up into group dialogue at the end. It’s still only a snapshot of artists’ practices but the selected images and what they say about their work is a really direct way to hear the motivations, ideas and thought processes involved that gives a really good reflection of what they do in a relatively short space of time.