Stuart Semple launches campaign to abolish ‘hostile design’ after local council retro-fits bars on benches to stop homeless sleepers The Dorset-born artist has launched hostiledesign.org after the image he took of a bench in Bournemouth town centre got over a million views in under 24 hours on Facebook. He is inviting people from around the world to send in their own photographs of such architecture.
Semple told the Art Newspaper: “The website will become a database or archive of these immoral designs. By naming and shaming the bodies who fund and install these things, we might actually shift some of these prejudicial ideas. Hopefully this campaign will enable everyone to highlight hostile design in their own towns and cities and put a stop to this brutal inhumane practice. Our towns and cities should be for everyone.”
Bournemouth Council claim they made the changes following complaints from shopkeepers and members of the public. They said: “As a council, we need to maintain a careful balance between our responsibility to the wider public to ensure that amenities are available to them, and our duty of care to vulnerable members of our community, including people rough sleeping.”
Jamie Fobert Architects to lead National Portrait Gallery’s £35.5m development The gallery’s biggest ever development since the building opened in 1896 will create around 20% more public and gallery space. This will enhance the site’s entrance, whilst also creating a state-of-the-art learning centre.
Building work is scheduled to start in 2020 and, for the first time, there will be a complete re-display of the gallery’s collection. 60% of the £35.5m fundraising target has already been met, including Heritage Lottery Fund support of £9.4m. The gallery aims to reach its target of £35.5m by March 2019 in order to complete the project by 2022.
Explaining the decision to work with Jamie Fobert, Dr Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said: “Following his much lauded work at Tate St Ives, and forthcoming projects such as Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, this is the perfect time to work with Jamie as we take the National Portrait Gallery into one of the most exciting chapters in its history.”
EVA International announces final list of artists The 38th edition of Ireland’s biennial will feature work by 56 artists and collectives. Unlike previous years it will have no title, with the festival taking as its starting point a painting by Irish artist Seán Keating called Night Candles are Burnt Out. The work presents an allegory of the Irish psyche as a result of the construction of Ardnacrusha, a hydroelectric dam, built in 1927 on the border of County Limerick. It explores how local lives were affected by a new era of technological progress.
The biennial will include new commissions by Malala Andrialavidrazana (Madagascar/France), Alexander Apostol (Venezuela/Spain), Sam Keogh (Ireland), and John Rainey (Northern Ireland), plus large-scale installations by John Gerrard (Ireland/Austria) and Sanja Iveković (Croatia).
Of EVA International’s exhibiting artists, 32% are from Ireland with a further 38 coming from 27 other countries including The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Yugoslavia, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Iran, and Egypt. Artists’ projects are selected through an open and invited call for proposals, and exhibitions take place in both gallery and non-gallery spaces. The 2018 edition will take place from 14 April to 8 July.
Backlash against Creative Scotland funding decisions as two board members resign Following its regular funding announcement for 2018-21 last week, board members Ruth Wishart and Maggie Kinloch have quit as board members of the arts funding body due to cuts to funding to several arts and theatre companies that work with people with disabilities.
Janice Parkers Projects, who work with disabled dancers, has lost £350,000 of their funding, whilst learning disabilities theatre company Lung Ha has lost £440,000. Birds of Paradise, the only disabled-led theatre company in Scotland who this year celebrate its 25th anniversary, has lost its previous £450,000.
Creative Scotland, which is also facing mounting pressure over its decision to drop Transmission Gallery from its regularly funded organisations, is to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the furore around the decisions and what it should do next.
In more positive news, Creative Scotland has awarded £800,000 to 22 projects through its Open Project Fund. The awards of between £1,147 and £120,000 have been given to artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries.
Glasgow-based David Dale Gallery has received funding to deliver its 2018-19 programme, which will include a collection of visual arts commissions, exhibitions and events. Talbot Rice Gallery has also received funding to deliver its programme of exhibitions in 2018-19. Visual artist Lorna Macintyre has received an award to support a period of professional development and the development of new works.
20 prototypes selected for CreativeXR support for virtual reality and augmented reality projects Arts Council England and Digital Catapult offer up to £20,000 to 20 successful applicants to develop their ‘immersive prototypes’. They will also attend workshops with industry leaders to help with concept development, plus be given access to Digital Catapult Immersive Labs in London, Brighton, North East Tees Valley and Belfast.
Meanwhile, Arts Council England has also announced the successful applicants in the latest round of Ambition for Excellence awards. Battersea Arts Centre will receive £360,000 and the Eden Project £350,000 from the programme, which is funded by the National Lottery.
Manchester Art Gallery removes John William Waterhouse work to ‘prompt conversation’ The painting, which features ‘pubescent, naked nymphs’, was taken down and replaced with a notice explaining the gallery hopes to “prompt conversations about how we display and interpret artworks in Manchester’s public collection”.
1. Stuart Semple, Bournemouth Bench
2. Detail of the Mosaic, Main Entrance landing, National Portrait Gallery. Photo: Born Digital. Copyright: National Portrait Gallery, London
3. Don’t Be Denied, exhibition by Rumana Sayed, Out of the Blue Drill