Level Head                              Martin Hamblen                      Whitstable Biennale 2016


  • Level Head      – a ten day project performing the phrase level headed through balancing a 6ft spirit level on my head      at various locations in Whitstable.
  • I will perform Level      Head daily; inserted into audience’s everyday routine to be      encountered casually, ‘as and when’…
  • And be at site-specific destinations, decided      through mutual curatorial suggestion, at set times of the day (to be advertised      appropriately).
  • Level Head      is a durational performance adaptable to a variety of indoor and outdoor      spaces (weather permitting).
  • Level Head      is low-tech, self-sufficient, socially engaged (I’m happy to talk to an      audience about contemporary art whilst performing contemporary art) and      conceptually motivated (as part of my practise I perform phrases, do the      saying).
  • Level Head      is a subtle spectacle on a micromental scale.
  • The £1000 budget would cover travel, the fees and      daily living allowance of performing five hours a day (one hour on, one      hour off, alternating between 8am and 9am starts) for ten consecutive days[1].
  • I have recently completed a three hundred and      thirty hour performance of the phrase ‘a penny for your thoughts’. Sitting      on a pavement wearing a suit, my ‘stage’ framed by a hazard taped      hula-hoop, the gesture of giving juxtaposes a stereotypical street      exchange with a saying rarely seen, only said, creating an anomaly which      questions expectations, sparks curiosity and incites collaboration.
  • My recent exhibitions include Feel Me[2]      (2015) at The Birley, Preston and Literacy      (2014) at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester.      In 2014 I performed Level Head in      Manchester, at Hazard, balancing a 6ft spirit level on my head for five      hours and in 2013 I performed 29,028[3]      walking “two steps forward, one step back” for sixty eight hours up and      down The Harris Flights; a      temporary installation of stairs leading from a public square to the first      floor of The Harris Museum and Art gallery in Preston, organised by In      Certain Places.
  • Performing Level      Head for fifty hours at Whitstable Biennale 2016 would be an ambitious      new work.

[1] Would it be possible to rent a spare room/floor from someone you know?

[2] http://www.corridor8.co.uk/online/review-feel-me-the-birley-preston/

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNyibU4DYnM


Thank you for applying to Whitstable Biennale’s 2016 Open Call. 

I am writing to say that your application wasn’t chosen. We had well over 300 applications, and it has been difficult whittling the numbers down to select just one project.

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LeftCoast – Blackpool and Wyre*

Lead organisation: Blackpool Coastal Housing Grant: £3,000,000 (original) + £1,000,000 (new funds)

LeftCoast aims to engage and excite audiences in Blackpool and Wyre, bringing world class arts to people living on the Fylde Coast. The project also aims to develop the skills of local artists and organisations, as well as improving the area’s arts infrastructure.

  • 25,000 audience members attended 60 events and 45 workshops
  • Two new art spaces were created
  • SpareParts, a new outdoor art festival, was created in Fleetwood (in partnership with Fleetwood Festival of Transport)

LeftCoast’s ambition with their new funds is to creatively develop the unique cultural DNA of Blackpool and Wyre – to create a place where it is possible to be yourself, to experiment and produce amazing new work. They’ve identified five areas of focus: strengthening the community’s involvement in decision-making; taking the lead in the cultural vision of organisations across the region; creating partnerships to develop the arts and culture offer in the area; commissioning world-class activities; and ensuring all of this is sustainable.

“I never thought I’d see that in Fleetwood” – Audience member at SpareParts Festival

– See more at: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/apply-funding/funding-programmes/creative-people-and-places-fund/projects-rounds-1-and-2/#sthash.kHHoTzil.dpuf