This summer as part of our festival artist development programmes we delivered The Collective Collaborations Project. We're bringing together 3 artist led organisations from across the UK in a peer-learning network focused on developing public-realm installations with the platform of two of our major festivals. The project strengthened contemporary collective practice in the UK by sharing best practice, increasing international opportunities and cementing relationships.
Our focus was on areas deemed to be physically at the periphery but ambitious in the scale and spaces they are enabling work to happen in. Led by Curated Place production manager Stephen C. Nuttall we created the opportunities for our resident artists to develop their skills, pursue professional careers and engage new audiences whilst supported by our production and events delivery network.
Stephen C. Nuttall is one of the core Curated Place team working as Production Manager and an illustrator focused on communication through his work. He is leading the Collaborative Collectives project as well as the delivery of several festival sites.
His practice crosses over numerous art forms from traditional illustration and drawing to education workshops and major festival production.
He has managed the operational and technical delivery of SPECTRA 2015-17, ENLIGHTEN Manchester 2014 & 2015, Kew Gardens' Easter Festivals; Dig the City sculptural public realm installations and numerous artist-initiated projects.
Fiona Soe Paing is an Aberdeenshire based artist, working in electronic music and voice, across solo performance, audio releases, installation and theatre collaborations, and film.
The critically acclaimed solo performanceand accompanying soundtrack album “Alien Lullabies” combining Fiona's music and live vocals with projected animation by collaborator Zennor Alexander, was selected by Creative Scotland for their curated “Made In Scotland” programme in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2015.
Other collaborations have included working with Brit Award winner Beth Orton in Brighter Sound, Manchester's Creative Director's series, with theatre company Dudendance for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016, and with film-maker Sara Stroud for Spectra Festival 2017.
Ann’s visual art practice is relative to numerous ‘typologies’- (mixed and multi media – lens based/sound/installation).
Implicitly inherent in her work is the idea of ‘place and space’; the ‘idea’ essentially refers to myths of implicitly gendered binary oppositions and the evidence of superiority and relegation within history. Recent work addresses states of ‘in-betweeness’ and ‘liminality’, relative to landscape and the architectural/ urban environment.
She presents works that weave together notions of loss and lament, by exploring the ambiguous and allusive qualities that manifest (physically and psychologically) in the intersection between space, place, mobility and memory.
Border’s, hinterlands, thresholds (architectural proximities and adjacencies) are a recurring theme, where the past, present and future are conflated, mediating on paradoxes between materiality and the evanescence – alluding to uncertainties and anxieties of our time – a temporal and ephemeral metamorphic.
With over 30 years of experience in his practice Crocker combines illustration, graphics, painting and sketchbooks to tell his stories about everyday life from a surrealist perspective.
His tagline of ‘Making The Mundane Memorable’ spills into his series of workshops which he delivers to a variety of groups including successful school projects and the award winning anti-art project ‘Dr Sketchy’.
As part of the progressive Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre team, he is responsible for in-house productions of live events including, the long running arts workshops and live music events including Adamski, Edward Tudor-Pole & Wreckless Eric.
Hannah Ayre is a participatory artist working with audiences where the boundaries between art, craft, performance & collaboration are blurred.
Works range from small craft items to large scale outdoor sculpture, installations, performance and events. Materials vary widely to suit each project, including ceramics, textiles, found materials, though the common thread to her work is collaboration. Work may be realised through collaboration with fellow artists, with the input of volunteers or through workshops with formal and informal learning groups.
Sean Payne is a Blackpool based artist and writer who explores the side roads of contemporary culture through the skeuomorphic and supposed redundant.
Utilising sources as eclectic as 1970’s quiz shows to Betamax video covers; Sean Payne seeks to find the cultural through line to our present condition. It could be argued that a Mozart opera has more relevance than the Crossroads theme in today's society.
Sean Payne's explorations go towards addressing this imbalance and laying bare the myth of high cultural value systems.
Gina Warburton is a curator, art historian, theorist and artist who is part of the creative team at Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre.
She has worked alongside Lynda Morris, Laura Koonika, Turner prize nominated Lubaina Himid, Simon Morris, Auke De Vries and played her part in elevating Bury's artistic reputation worldwide. Through a series of successful national and international funding bids, she is now in a position to put her unique mark on projects.
She has developed her artistic skills, and with her extensive knowledge of 20th Century history and current affairs she is now investigating these subjects through her individual style of satirical illustration.
Sara Stroud trained in Fine Art at Edinburgh College of Art and spent the early years of her practice engaged in traditional art forms.
It was while working in Sydney that she was introduced to film making and the diversity of the medium. The ability to recreate images through a lens using light and colour really inspired her work and she returned to London to undertake a post-graduate in Digital Imaging and Animation.
During this period Sara was commissioned twice by Channel 4 and produced motion graphics for broadcast. Residing in Scotland with her family Sara now teaches TV production part-time while also pursuing her own creative practice.
Wilkinson’s practice predominantly specialises in video, photography and writing. Though these mediums continuously overlap offering their own outlets of expression, Wilkinson does not view his artistry as one with a primary medium.
Creating bizarre sequences of scrabbled literature sourced from urban surroundings, poetry and overheard conversations; a key interest in Wilkinson's writing lies in the abstraction and juxtaposition of language, dialect and accents.
Previous visual works have stemmed from an interest in composition, fragmentation and surrealism.
The first leg of the project brought together the 9 artists for the first time to discuss the project, their practices and the concepts for the installations that we would be creating at the major light festivals.
'NOMAD' was the final concept that we created as a group. Taking the idea of a travelling, nomadic artwork that would take parts of the places that we had come from and were going to; an audio visual installation which would be projection focussed, site specific, which would have ever evolving content and involve new collaborators outside of the 9 of us from the the areas we were from.
We collaborated with many other artists, organisations, businesses and educational centres during the project, the key players are pictured above.
The Enlighten Bury Festival 2017 homed our first site specific installation. We had all created visuals that would be edited together to create a 5 minute film which would be accompanied by a soundtrack created by our audio artist Fiona Soe-Paing. This is where we collaborated within the group and brought other individuals into the fold to assist on the project (James Condon for animation, Calum McCready for video editing, Mark Jones for audio editing) and also larger groups such as Sara Stroud's collaboration with The MET Express Drama Group and Gina Warburton's work with The Adult Learning Centre.
In November 2017 we took the project to Abingdon Studios in Blackpool, where we held an artist and project talk at the Grundy Art Gallery and created a new site specific installation in the gallery space of the studio. The visuals and audio was updated with new material taken from the Bury leg and the the new site meant that Stephen C. Nuttall & Lee Crocker would be collaborating on a gallery installation that included images and text of the previous visits to Bury and Salford.
The final leg of the project took us to Aberdeen, Scotland where we created another site specific installation piece for NOMAD, delivered a collaboration life drawing event and gave artist talks at a conference for Spectra Festival of Light.
•European Collective Collaboration – including Hull (England), Aberdeen (Scotland), Reykjavik (Iceland), Stavanger (Norway) & Aarhus (Denmark).
•EU year of heritage and archives.
•NATUR - North Atlantic Tales: Untold Routes and Roots.
•The project is based on connecting artist collectives in the different countries through archives and heritage focused on the North Sea and the connections between each of the countries.
•Presenting work in each of the countries at various arts festivals and project exhibitions.
THE ARTISTS AND ARTS ORGANISATIONS...
1 – Artist Led Projects
Blackpool, Bury & Aberdeen collectives working together on projects that focus on specific artist and collective development within the group and approach other artist collectives to develop and extend the network of artists and regions in the UK.
Working as individual artists and groups of artists creating and presenting work with each other in each others regions.
Building on and creating new networks within the different collective regions through artists, organisations, education and businesses.
2 – Company Projects
Bury, Blackpool and Aberdeen arts organisations working together to strengthen the ties between the 3 regions and create new long term projects that benefit both the business side and artistic vision of the groups and the project.