World Event Young Artists.
With 1000 artists gracing their presence in Nottingham, there was certainly a buzz through out the city.
A buzz that differed from the student occupants.
A buzz that differed from the local persona.
A buzz of music.
A buzz of art.
A buzz of culture.
It’s not like Nottingham is lack luster in the arts scene, nor the music scene but this influx of young artists from around the world brought to nottingham a new hive of activity.
With over thirty venues taking part in this event you could spend every hour of the 9 day festival clutching the brightly stripped program and still not see the half of it.
From music to food.
From art to performance.
From literature to dance.
It’s not as though there was time to kill.
And even if there was, chances are you could pop to Market Square to be reimmersed in the cultural excitement.
Chances are you cannot pick one piece, one performance, one ‘thing’ as a highlight but instead bring out the cringe worthy cliché, of “it was the experience”. Cringe worthy it may be but true it may be also.
A Swede, a Parisian and an Englishman. A start of a joke. Nope. Throw in a mattress and a cave and what have you got?
All be it some of the art may not be seen as art, and instead a mere joke. But this ‘fooling around’ has brought about some great new connections, not just between Europe but between the world.
Networking some would say.
Networking or socializing.
Officially launching on Saturday the 8th, WEYA was kick started with outstanding performances from the likes of Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Sulk Station, Flavio Renegado, and Giles Peterson.
In a way you could say music stole the limelight, with Johnson and Flavio being joined with the likes of Van Did and Moseek there was not a time when “one more” was not chanted at the end of a gig.
But then encoring a painting or sculpture may seem relatively odd, even in the art world.
However, there were times in which I wished to. And times at which I didn’t. But that is the case with all art festivals. With nearing 1000 artists, there is going to be a range, from the good, the bad, and the ugly.
From the good stood many but with a few to name be begin with Alexander Pain. Housed in the Primary, Pain’s sculptures played with the environment taking materials of familiarity to the audience and through altering and positioning the materials almost become questionable.
A great show along side Frank Kent.
Different media, similar concepts.
The audience’s perception toyed with. Kent’s paintings are best example as they become the viewers perceptive of the building. With the canvas carefully positioned the basic shapes and the simple color palette become the buildings exterior.
With the similar notion of the environment Katie Aggett of BackLit Gallery was sculptures to be admired. Aggett brought to the space up right wooden beams, four beams with a sense of history. Scuffed edges, peeling paint, a general rotting feel. But these beams were caressingly hugged by these pristine plywood shapes. Rectangles and triangles carefully cut to slot around and balance against the individual rafters.
Initially I was attracted to the contrast of the materials, and of course the minimal disposition that Trent in particular seems to be known for. The same material, but of very different appearance, as though of parallel nature, opposite ends of the spectrum. But with the delicate positioning Aggett makes the two portray this sense of belonging, this sense of needing. With talking to the artist she explains to me the piece a sense of city scape, bringing together and representing changing scapes and forming a map or a score, very different from her BA Hons in Painting.
With Malt Cross known for it’s small space I was interested in seeing how WEYA would use it, with two invigilators in the room there felt too much human presence. But there was one piece I wished to tolerate the atmosphere for. A tacky shirt, a shirt of which only a tourist would buy, a shirt of which only an American tourist would wear. A sky blue shirt with Nelson’s column printed proudly on the right. The shirt hanging, some what gracefully, from a coat hanger hooked upon a freestanding silver peg. But that is not all. The sky blue shirt was scattered with dropping of a pigeon. A closer glance, and a quick sniff. The real droppings of a pigeon. And resting upon the freestanding hook, the culprit, or so the artist wanted to portray. A taxidermy pigeon. A nice, comical play on British history and culture.
There is one scene for me that will stick in my mind. For it’s shear comic value, for it’s representation of an individual and the naivety the director and producer hand when talking about it. A scene, a still from a film in Screen 22. The Greatest Guilt by Martín Proaño M. and Tomás Cortés Rosselot. A concrete bridge spanning across a valley and this faint tinny noise every second or so. A small figure beautifully positioned dead centre of screen, the bridge performing symmetry in the surroundings. With a gentle zoom, the high visibility jacket is revealed along with the hard hat. And the tinny noise, it is explained. The figure continuously swinging a pick axe and a concrete floor. Creating a pleasant rhythm. And with this prolonged shot comes more enjoyment. The figures effortful motions become so minuscule when surrounded by the vast valley, and it reminds me of an individuals influence; how sometimes no matter the size of the action it cannot instantly make a great change.
From BackLit to Malt Cross, WEYA did not just take over the independently run art venues and the local bars across Nottingham, but with them the castle, the caves, the universities, the churches, an old bus depot, and the student halls. I do believe Nottingham played a lovely host to the 2012 World Event Young Artist, and I know that many here are grateful not only to the artists for providing the city with their professions but also the staff of WEYA for setting up such a spectacular event. I live in hope for the 2016 Cultural Olympiad, who knows what the Swede, the Parisian and the Englishman will do next.