This is my first chance to post since handing in my online ACE application. After many discussions with artists and producers as part of my Re:view bursary I decided to apply for Grants for the Arts, Research and Development with a long-term view of applying again to make my event happen. The Re:view go sees really helped me shape the idea of my project from a starting point of an individual performance to simply scaling it up, into opening it out to other artists to take part in. This thinking evolved after being invited to the CG Associates, C Pages an artist’s exchange between Birmingham and Manchester artists at Federation House (http://www.castlefieldgallery.co.uk/event/c-pages-open-studio/). I was invited to see the artists work and briefly introduce my curatorial practice. From this it really inspired me to not only think about my project as creating an opportunity for myself but also for others. There comes a time when you have to stop complaining about frustrations with the performance scene and do something about it. If the right platforms aren’t out there for your work, create your own.
I have discussed my project needs with artist/curator Anna Puhakka based in Helsinki a past collaborator as part of the artist collective BaseNorth (http://www.wooloo.org/basenorth). These Skype conversations have been extremely valuable in identifying new artists to work with and contemporary art spaces to go and see in Finland. Anna has kindly helped make these initial introductions to performance peers in Tampere to start email discussions about our practices. She also brought to my attention that parent’s with babies get free bus rides around Tampere. Little bits of information like this I would not be able to find out myself, which has contributed to my support in kind towards my ACE budget. I was introduced to the producers, The Future by Lowri Evans and Catherine Shaw. My meeting with Lisa Mattocks came at a crucial time when I was about to throw in the towel. Lisa completely got my passion for wanting to create intervention work and something new on the streets of Manchester (http://www.the-future.co.uk).
Even the Re:view discussions I thought didn’t go well actually helped the most in making me realise what I really want to do. The concept has changed and become more ambitious. This has been a difficult process as it’s hard to think big when you work on your own. I recently joined PANDA the performing arts network and they have really encouraged me to be more ambitious (http://www.panda-arts.org.uk). Receiving the Re:view bursary from a-n has encouraged me to persist with my project. During my online ACE application I spoke to advisors many times on the phone with various queries and they were really helpful. I had a very supportive conversation with a fellow artist/curator who kindly had a read through of my application. Getting people to look at what you’ve done is so important to challenge your ideas and clarify simply what you really want to do. Overall the best bit of advice I got was to have a vision for your end game even if you are applying for research and development. Anyway fingers crossed…For now I am an unofficial researcher and plan to re-launch a new blog with my new r&d concept.
Now this is handed in I can get on planning my last Re:view meetings in Coventry.