Connecting people to nature through art at two multi-arts festivals in the UK.
SiteStay 2019 is a professional development opportunity for visual artists interested in collaborative responses to nature reserves. Three multidisciplinary artists and one artist-curator (that's me) will be in residence (6th - 10th May 2019) at Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve in Lowestoft. The outcome is a commissioned artwork that will be exhibited at First Light Festival in Lowestoft, and ArtWaves Festival in Bridlington (22nd - 23rd June 2019). Anyone is welcome to visit either festival to check out the work!
Where did the idea come from to invite artists on site to create work? Check out my last successful Kickstarter project, Sound Art Residency: Suffolk Soundcamp.
Here are some photos from last year's residency in May 2018...
The residency schedule includes; an introductory talk by Katy Runacres, Learning Officer at Carlton Marshes; guided walk around the site with a Suffolk Wildlife Trust volunteer; and the creation of the artwork in response to the reserve.
The new commission will be installed in two locations. The mixed media work will be exhibited for 24-hours in a beach hut at South Lowestoft Beach. Two free-standing television monitors will digitally present the outcome of the residency to the public. Two more monitors will also be installed at Bridlington Spa to show the same content as part of the ArtWaves 2019 Festival programme.
The final art form will be confirmed on the last day of the residency - 10th May 2019.
- To facilitate a professional group residency opportunity for early career artists based in the East of England.
- To exhibit a newly commissioned artwork at two coastal community arts festivals in the UK.
- To advocate for the creation of quality contemporary art at Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserves.
SiteStay 2019 addresses the perceived lack of combined artistic and ecological opportunities in my hometown experience of the Suffolk coast, despite there being 36 nature reserves in the county. I will build on the success of my pilot project, Sound Art Residency: Suffolk Soundcamp, by sharing the residency outcome of SiteStay 2019 with a wide audience.
Ideas for the project stemmed from research into the transparency of alternative curatorial models employed by contemporary art organisations. Deveron Projects in North East Scotland have no dedicated arts venue, instead the town is the venue: studio and gallery for multidisciplinary artists. I have applied an adaptation of their anthropological approach to organising a residency programme, where by the nature reserve is the studio.
Jenni Main is a contemporary landscape artist and her practice is research led, focussing on exploring the structure and patterns found in landscape surfaces and fragments. She works with isolated images removed from their context, and always avoids trying to faithfully represent a complete scene. She creates experimental hybrid prints and constructed drawings using the physical processes of printmaking as a way of representing three dimensional form in a two dimensional plane.
Kaitlin Ferguson's practice is a series of investigations into human encounters with extreme and unfamiliar natural landscapes. The methodologies and outcomes of her work are multidisciplinary and engage with the continuous dialogue we have with the environment, responding to direct personal experience of the scale and physicality of geological wonders, and a range of emotive secondary sources. Historical accounts of explorers who journeyed to Deception Island, an active volcano in the Antarctica Peninsula, through to Mount Everest, the highest point on earth, have proved a powerful stimulus for her. The translation of human experience of place, across time and media, highlights our enduring fascination with the formation of our planet, and a desire to explore our changing relationship to it.
Georgie Manly is a multidisciplinary artist presenting work across several platforms from the internet, galleries, participation projects, to public spaces. She combines visual material, sound, video, writing and performance to play out a variety of ideas that relate to concept of dual reality. She is interested in how we organise our relationship to our external physical world and play with the notion of how our experiential inner world makes sense of the nominal external world. Her work is an eclectic play between fiction and fact, feeling and thought, process and material. She is also interested in learning environments that encourage play and the cross pollination of ideas through activity and experimentation.
Genevieve Christie is the Director of First Light Festival C.I.C, a community interest, not for profit company set up in 2018 to produce First Light Festival and linked projects. She is also co-director of Flipside, an annual arts festival at Snape Maltings, Suffolk. In 2015 she managed Lowestoft’s first literature and sport based Cultural Education Partnership Project. For this particular project she managed funding from Arts Council England, Suffolk County Council and Lowestoft Rising with the support of The Festival Bridge. She has also managed artist residencies for her 'Brazilian Bandits' project which brought artist Ron King to Great Yarmouth for a residency in Skippings Gallery.
Lauren Frost has been the Director of ArtWaves Festival since 2016, an annual arts festival which takes place at Bridlington Spa. Alongside this role, she is the Freelance Events Manager of Mud Stress Coffee and Event Manager of Yorkshire Schools Dance Festival. Frost is keen to support young creatives working regionally and I know that we are both committed to sharing work in both Lowestoft and Bridlington.
Katy Runacres is the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Learning Officer at Carlton Marshes. This is her first year in post, but we have built a great working relationship since January 2019 when Suffolk Wildlife Trust confirmed their support for SiteStay 2019. Site visits and good communication with her give me confidence that with the support of Matt Gooche, who was my key contact for Gunton Warren, Runacres and I will work well together to achieve successful project outcomes.
SiteStay 2019 will help me develop collaboration skills because I have not worked with two of the selected artists before. Learning with new people in the intense residency environment will develop strong working relationships with artists who I can work with in the future. My career ambition is to travel to UK nature reserves to replicate this project model on a larger scale.
Working in the new context of Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve means I can access the visitor centre resources and the surrounding 151 hectares of meadows, wet grassland, reedbeds, marsh and woodland, which is six times larger than Gunton Warren Nature reserve, where my last project was based.
ArtWaves Festival will invite me to a Continuous Professional Development session with their 2019 programmed artists. Attending this event will introduce me to new creatives working across the UK, who I could potentially collaborate with in the future. Lauren Frost has also mentioned that there could be scope to tour the commission to Beverley Art Gallery post-festival.
Project partners have kindly offered support in kind to cover the cost of exhibition spaces at both festivals, access to Carlton Marshes to create the work, and some AV equipment. This is amazing, but we still need to raise funds to cover residency materials and travel expenses. Please dig deep and check out the rewards.
• Travel cost for 3 artists @ £50 per artist = £150.
• Residency materials to produce the artwork = £100.
Check out the latest reward!
Here are some previous examples from Jenni Main's Gifts and Landscape Object projects to give you an idea of the 5 photographic prints she'll produce for backers.
Another reward is drawings of the Carlton Marshes landscape which inspired me to do this project. I'll only produce 10 different drawings so grab one before they're gone!
Risks and challenges
They'll be a tight turnaround between receiving funds and starting the project, but I hope you can see that everything is in place to make this project a success!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)