a-n Assembly will head to Dundee and Cardiff this autumn, with both day-long events featuring a mix of discussions, seminars, presentations and workshops.

Assembly Dundee takes place Friday 12 October 2018 and, with ‘Scotland’s first design museum’ V&A Dundee set to open this month, the focus will be ‘cultural outposts’ and the challenges and advantages these offer for sustained artist-led practice.

Dundee is a city in transition and one that is undergoing a period of intense cultural and architectural change as industrial buildings around the new V&A site are converted into luxury hotels or demolished to make way for high-end housing.

With much of the city’s cultural strategy currently focusing on Dundee’s population as its target audience, artists are calling for the city to also support grassroots artistic production, critique and dialogue as part of a healthy and sustainable community.

Programmed in collaboration with artist Joanna Helfer, Assembly Dundee will offer a platform to discuss the impact these changes are having on the local arts ecology, and present a range of responses by artists and organisations from areas around the UK that have undergone similar transformations.

Programme highlights include:

Assembly Dundee takes place Friday 12 October 2018 at Unit 6 Vision Building, 20 Greenmarket, Dundee, DD1 4QB. Tickets are free for a-n members and £5 for non-members. For more information and to book a place see a-n.co.uk/assembly/dundee

Taking place Thursday 8 November 2018, Assembly Cardiff will examine and evaluate the core principles of how to survive (or not) as a creative practitioner in contemporary Britain. The event has been programmed in collaboration with Thomas Goddard and will be hosted by The Sustainable Studio.

Cardiff is a fast-growing city with a thriving opera and theatre scene. Yet despite the success of major international art prize Artes Mundi, or galleries such as Chapter and g39, the visual arts sector is seeking revitalisation and fresh opportunities for the many artists and arts professionals in and around the city.

Assembly Cardiff will address how a city and its artists can grow this cultural landscape. It will bring together artists and cultural figures from Wales and beyond and offer opportunities to connect and showcase work. The programme will include:

  • A workshop session ‘Vi är bäst! (Hate the Sport!)’ led by artists Sophie Chapman and Kerri Jeffris exploring the idea of the egalitarian orchestra;
  • a series of ‘Artist’s Soap Box’ sessions with recent graduate group Rat Trap responding to the question ‘What is Art?’ and Radha Patel of Gentle/Radical Young People’s Film Club presenting her approach to ensuring that marginalised communities are able to access the arts;
  • ‘Proposition’ sessions led by Low Profile exploring how artists position themselves in a fluctuating arts ecology;
  • a participatory event ‘Inventory of Behaviours and friendships’ focused on the rituals, traits, habits and conditions that surround the production of art led by artists Jo Addison and Natasha Kidd;
  • a panel discussion chaired by a-n’s Julie Lomax with four provocations in response to the day’s findings.

Assembly Cardiff will also include a chance to take part in a tour of the Artes Mundi 8 shortlist exhibition with curator Karen MacKinnon. There will also be an evening preview of g39’s exhibition ‘Everything. All At Once. At The Same Time’, including a tour by the gallery’s creative director Anthony Shapland, and performances featuring spoken word, poetry and songs by Das Hund (Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowski) and special guest musicians.

Assembly Cardiff takes place Thursday 8 November 2018 at The Sustainable Studio, Unit 7, Curran Buildings, Curran Road, Cardiff, CF10 5NE. Tickets are free for a-n members and £5 for non-members. For more information and to book a place see a-n.co.uk/assembly/cardiff

1. Assembly Birmingham, June 2018. Photo: Marcin Marcin Sz www.marcinsz.com
2. Assembly Salford, May 2018. The Regeneration Game workshop by Helen Stratford. Photo: John Lynch

More on a-n.co.uk:

Assembly Salford: the possibility of longevity for artist-led organisations


Assembly Birmingham: from precarity of modern living to the power of righteous fury


Michael Dean, ‘Having you on’ installation view, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. Photo: Jonty Wilde; © 2018 Baltic and Jonty Wilde

A Q&A with… Michael Dean, sculptor