Plan 9

‘Generation games’ sought to explore the terms ‘emerging’ and ‘established’ and how artists from these two groups can benefit each other through the processes of dialogue and collaboration.

Young artists starting their careers were paired up with those who have already gained some level of success. These ‘established’ artists were asked to provide the ‘emerging’ artists with a brief or unrealised concept to create new work. The work reflected many different responses and approaches to the brief, from a sprawling, baffling installation by Dillan Marsh (working with Dunhill and O’Brien) to the quiet remnants of a performance piece by Emily Kraemer (with Tom Marshman as mentor). Working with David Mabb, Elin Thomas was challenged to “introduce a social and historical context” to her work. In reply Thomas created some beautifully crafted paintings that appropriate and reinterpret printed fabrics featuring the designs of William Morris (who has greatly influenced Mabb). Cleis Masterson chose to work with Phil Collins. However, Collins was unable to participate and so this rather one-sided approach led to Masterson taking an already existing interview with Collins, dissecting it and superimposing segments into an OK Magazine interview with Pamela Anderson. Whilst the idea has brilliant potential the stilted and at times nonsensical text was frustrating.

One pairing that seemed incongruous with the original remit was Martin Parr with Paul Seawright. Parr is undoubtedly one of the most established artists here but so too is Seawright. It transpires that he once studied under Parr and for his contribution Parr selected an early work by Seawright from his own collection.

This was an ambitious project with some fascinating outcomes; however, time restraints meant that some works were still in development and whilst the emphasis was focussed towards the processes involved in the artists’ exchanges it would have been far more satisfying to see more developed and resolved pieces.