Alternative Selection processes
I must mention the selection process for this scheme, as it was quite unique. We were 11 artists, a group of venue curators/gallery managers, a publisher and the Shape of things team. I can’t remember the name of the method used but basically the venues presented themselves one by one, followed by the artists. I went last and was extremely nervous by the time my turn came, having seen a whole range of amazing work…. Though I was also aware that my practice, which is intensely interdisciplinary and interactive had its own place as I am not someone with a long history of making, like many of the others who had mostly mastered one or two particular forms of applied arts. I guess I am coming firstly from a conceptual/metaphorical place and so hopefully this complimented the mix of practices presented.
After a break there were two rotating, round table, speed-dating type sessions, the first was 10 mins (?) on one general subject each, e.g. aims of the scheme, marketing, etc. We had badges with different colour codes, as did the tables to ensure everyone got to talk to everyone. The second one really w as like speed double –dating as one venue hosted each table and two artists met with them to discuss how a possible partnership with that particular venue might work. It was all incredible intense but very holistic and I did feel inspired and like I had had a chance to express everything I wanted to. But then I like to talk about my work and the issues related to this bursary are close to my heart….This process might not suit someone whose primary focus is on making and not also on the discourse surrounding their work.
It must have been hard to select from 11 artists to 8 and I don’t yet know who the other artists are as nothing has gone to press yet but would have loved to have listened in on the conversation after we left and the venues/organisers had a discussion together. I think we were all pretty exhausted and blown away and it understandably took a few weeks before a decision was made as there was the complex business of matching up artists with venues in a way which worked for everyone.
If you want to know which the other venues are you can go to ‘The Shape of Things’ website which gives full info on the scheme and those involved. It is a three-year scheme and myself and the other artist selected for Bristol – Rosa Nguyen- are the first to show (Feb–April 2010)