*Link to the YouTube version of the campaign video*
My name is Emily Sparkes and I'm an artist living in Birmingham, England. Recently two of my paintings have been selected for Open Out, a queer arts festival in Tromsø, Norway.
I REALLY want to be able to show at this festival (which will also be my first international exhibition) but shipping art is expensive. Your money will go towards packaging and sending my (sizable) paintings the some 2,265 miles via door-to-door road courier (and back), which is the cheapest safest option. The festival has some funds available to sponsor my travel costs amounting to 1500 NOK (est. £136 / 190 USD), which will cover around half of my air-fare. If I manage to reach my Kickstarter goal - which would be SO WONDERFUL - I will put any extra funds towards my remaining travel costs meaning I also get to go!!
Open Out festival will run between 4-10th June 2018 and will consist of various exhibitions, performances, concerts as well as educational events such as lectures and workshops. The unifying theme for the festival is queerness, and will also include the perspectives of feminists, indigenous peoples, immigrants and refugees, as well as other social minorities. All events will be free and open to all, at different locations around the city. Their goal is 'to create a festival that is inclusive, diverse, [...] bringing Tromsø and the world together.’
The two paintings selected for the festival:
Tintorest is a restaging of Fragonard’s painting Aretino in the studio of Tintoretto (c. 1800) which is visible in the top right-hand corner of the work. The original image shows the literary critic and satirist Aretino after he had spoken badly of the painter Tintoretto. Tintoretto invited Aretino to his studio to sit for a portrait, during which, the painter suddenly pulled out a pistol (/ dagger) from his robe. The surprised Aretino, believing he was seeking revenge, cried out. Suitably intimidated, Aretino never again spoke badly of Tintoretto and they ultimately became friends (as you do). Here, the image is restaged to embody ideas of female solidarity and social networking. The painting features myself as the artist Tintoretto and queer feminist poet and writer Sophie Sparham in the place of Aretino.
FREAK (Minturnae) utilises Drouais’s painting Marius at Minturnae (1786). The original painting shows the Roman general Marius, seated, after he was defeated and taken prisoner at Minturnae (Italy). Gesturing to the soldier who has come to execute him, he says, "Would you dare kill Marius!?" The young soldier stepped back and, unable meet the general's piercing gaze, covered his face with his cloak. Afterwards the soldier fled, crying out, "I could never kill Marius!" This image has been restaged in my painting to discuss desire, intersectionality and queer kinship. Featured in the work is prominent black LGBTQ photographer Ajamu and Beijing-based queer artist Ya Tian wearing his favourite speedos.
I live and work in the UK, as a studio-holder at Rope Press, Birmingham. I am a part-time practice-led PhD student at the Royal College of Art, London which is kindly sponsored by the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation (Canada) and 'Open Out' is exactly the kind of major international exhibition that would help to secure my PhD funding for another year. I mostly completed these paintings during my MA in Queer Studies in Arts & Culture (distinction) at Birmingham School of Art.
See below some installation shots of previous UK exhibitions.
The paintings are almost life size, meaning that the viewer becomes part of the staging when standing in-front of them. This scale is chosen in the hope that it allows for ideas of inclusivity and equality to become apparent when encountering the work.
See the original painting here.
What you get: an Archival Inkjet (Giclée) print on matte (A2 / A5) 210gsm Fine Art paper, signed by me. Printed by Holodeck, Birmingham.
A5 postcards will be wrapped in plastic and sent in a hard-backed envelope.
A2 prints will be wrapped in tissue paper and sent in a cardboard tube.
I can pretty much paint / draw whatever you'd like provided that you supply a high resolution image.
The drawings will be graphite pencil on Heavyweight 200gsm Acid-free Cartridge Paper.
Paintings will be made using Winsor & Newton Artists Oil Colour on primed, 350gsm, 19mm depth, stretched Cotton Canvas.
Paintings and drawings are redeemable for up to a year, if needed.
Behind-the-scenes images of 'Tintorest' getting painted during my residency at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery:
I owe a HUGE debt of gratitude to Reece from Rope Press, Joseph at The Holodeck and my partner, Greg Basterfield for helping me launch this campaign - especially during my PhD exam prep - THANKS GUYS!!
Risks and challenges
Unless I decide to just stay in Tromsø and start a Röyksopp tribute band, I'm pretty sure I can fulfil all of the reward obligations people have signed up for in a timely manner. I'm going to try really hard to send all prints and postcards out to my campaign backers by the end of June, drawings and paintings may take longer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)