Not everyone’s aware that 2021 has been designated the year of Wales in Germany! https://www.wales.com/wales-in-germany-2021 with a series of events planned to take place in both countries.
Having moved back to Wales in 2019 I am keen for my new home town of Abergavenny to be part of this celebration. It’s not the ideal time during a pandemic to be thinking of such a thing! However in the spirit of friendship and post-Brexit collaboration I’m in the early stages of curating a cultural project between Abergavenny and it’s twin Östringen in Germany.
My high level plan is to curate an exhibition of contemporary art (painting, photography, mixed media & sculpture) by professional artists based in Abergavenny to be shown in Östringen in the Autumn/Winter 2021, and for the exhibition to return and be shown in Abergavenny in the spring 2022.
Watch this space..
‘I wander’ is the result of nine short walks made from my home in Abergavenny, Wales during the COVID-19 lockdown. The initial idea was to make a series of random walks that complied with the allowed one hour restricted exercise; to walk for thirty minutes: take a picture on a Fuji instant film camera then return home, recording the route on the Ordnance Survey mapping App.
I am not alone making work during lockdown, many others were/are trying to make sense of the ‘unprecedented’ times including the Stroud based group Walking the Land, who invited me to join their Sacred Space: two metre distancing project: 21 artists in lockdown respond to “social distancing” in their various ways. Using collage, they consider what they cherish around them, what they really miss, and how their experience during the pandemic might become a call for positive change.
After making a few walks I began to think about how I might make a piece of work using the photographs and mapping data I would accumulate. Using a grid to show all the photographs and maps seemed like a logical idea, and translated nicely into nine walks. But because I ended up taking more than one picture per walk I decided to make different pieces of work to show online and in a gallery setting.
The ‘I wander’ animation/slideshow is a moving collage that documents each walk, it shows the body of work as a whole. The ‘I wander’ grid of nine scanned and annotated instant film prints above is the first work made from individual elements intended for printing and exhibition.
For the past year myself and four other artist from BV studios in Bristol have been collaborating with artists from the city of Hannover in Germany. Inspired by the spirit of twinning the five of us enjoyed spending time and exhibiting with five German artists in Hannover last summer. Here’s a summary of the aims of the project written last year: http://davemd.co.uk/bristol-artist-exchange-program-baep-hannover/
Following a successful exhibition at the Turba Gallery in Hannover in July 2018 all ten artists come together again for a show at Centrespace Gallery, Bristol during March 2019. The work I will be showing is explored in this blog post: http://davemd.co.uk/responding-to-lyme-disease/ These works have no direct bearing on the relationship between Bristol and Hannover, more so to the concept behind the exhibition. This work is about the seen and unseen, where what you do see often hides a very different reality.
Artists: Marlene Bart, Sven-Julien Kanclerski, Catherine Knight, Robert Luzar, David Morgan-Davies, Ruth Piper, Jean D Sikiaridis, Alec Stevens, Conrad Veit, Rui Zhang.
8 – 17 March (Preview Friday eve)
6 Leonard Lane
Bristol BS1 1EA
The flyer I designed for the exhibition collages an image from Hannover with one from Bristol, both shot in woodlands in the respective cities. These seemingly ‘Wild’ places in each city have been landscaped and adapted for our leisure time. The images not only highlight the similarities between both cities and cultures rather than their differences but also emphasise that boundaries between wild and man-made, real and unreal are often blurred: Anderswo ist hier : Elsewhere is here
Elsewhere is here : Anderswo ist hier is the first exhibition to come out of the artist exchange between artists from Hannover and Bristol; the background to which I’ve written about here. Whilst aiming to challenge the assumption that engagements with others needn’t grow evermore distant, the project aims for a playful yet critical reflection on current times. In response to the cultural and artistic exchange around place, proximity, self and other 10 artists from the two cities present new work at the Turba Gallery in Linden, Hannover.
Alec Stevens (Sculpter) – https://www.alecstevens.co.uk
Catherine Knight (Painter) – http://www.catherineknight.com
Robert Luzar (Site-specific performance) – http://www.robertluzar.com
Ruth Piper (Painter/Curator) – http://ruthpiper.com
David Morgan-Davies (lens-based) – http://davemd.co.uk
Based at the Turba Gallery in the Linden district of Hannover
Conrad Veit(Film/Video installation)
Jean Sikiaridis (Performance / installation)
Marlene Bart (Print-Graphic scientific illustration)
Sven-Julien Kanclerski (Physical structures/installation)
Rui Zhang (Painter)
I’m currently working with a group of artists from BV studios (Alec Stevens, Catherine Knight, Robert Luzar and Ruth Piper) on an exciting artist exchange project with a group of artists from Hanover in Germany. The exchange marks the legacy of the 70th anniversary of the twinning between the cities of Bristol and Hannover. It was initiated by Alix Hughes, Bristol’s International Twinnings Officer and is supported by Bristol Hannover Council
The exchange will be the first of its kind during the 70 years of twinning between the two cities. In the current political climate we feel that now, more than ever, we need to celebrate the spirit of reconciliation; the links between the two cities and build connections for the future. During the course of 2018/19 the Bristol artists will make a trip to Hanover with the artists from Hanover making a reciprocal trip to Bristol. All artists involved will make new work to be exhibited at an exhibition in each city at the end of their respect visits.
Our working title for the project and both exhibitions is ‘Elsewhere is here : Anderswo is hier’, which will present a cultural and artistic exchange around place, proximity, self and other. The German “Anderswo is hier” and English “Elsewhere is here” act as loosely translated points of departure that respond to the European cultural legacy of Twinning – a programme encouraging certain cooperations and ongoing reconciliations between partner countries. This project focuses both on new and existing works (sculpture, performance, painting, photography and drawing) made in the artist’s home cities as well as work made during the artist exchange residencies. The works will engage with concepts and mediums such as landscape through photography and painting, space and identity using sculpture and installation, and events happening through performances and drawings made using internet streaming and video.
Watch this space..
Ystrad|Strata are very excited to be part of a cosmic mini-festival in Aberystwyth which will feature and celebrate aspects of future Wales. Visual artists, musicians, writers, performers and thinkers will gather for a day of imagining and creating future Wales.
With sci-fi and futurism becoming increasingly prominent in Welsh culture this event provides a timely opportunity to pull togerther the people working and making in the field together in one place. Amongst the artists taking part are the noted designer Hefin Jones whose Welsh Space Campaign and Cosmic Colliery projects have attracted world-wide attention. The headline band for the event is HMS Morris , bringing their cosmic pop-rock to the festival. The band were chosen as part of the BBC Wales Gorwelion scheme and have seen great success this year already playing to acclaim at Glastonbury and Festival No. 6. Supporting them will be the local electronic band, Roughion.
Arad Arad Goch Centre will be a space centre for the day with activities filling the building. As well as the music performances, there will be panel discussions on subjects such as literature, games, politics and art.
Canolfan Ofod Arad Goch Space Centre
Aberystwyth SY23 2NN
Sat 28th November 2015 (1pm-11:30pm)
Ticket sales and information on artists
My proposal for GLOW is one of ten projects shortlisted by the Bristol Festival of Ideas for the Temple Meads Gateway.
By wrapping a disused building in white and including a printed representation of the Bristol skyline, GLOW will provide daytime visitors with an intriguing and welcoming image. As dusk falls the building will be illuminated from within by a pulsating orange glow. This will evoke the sun setting in the West, and provide evening visitors with the transformed image of the backlit Bristol skyline.
Below is a short film showing a visualisation of how GLOW might look:
Just wrapping up my work on last December’s illuminate Longest Night, event, which kept me busy for the later part of 2010. Through illuminate I produce arts-based events that promote and reflect both the creativity and rich history of the area of South Bristol. By engaging all communities illuminates aim is to generate interest and regeneration in the area.
Through using shop windows and disused properties to show work by nationally renowned Bristol based artists, illuminate hope to achieve two outcomes; i) to break down the barrier of getting people into traditional art galleries and ii) to give Bristol artists the opportunity to show in their home town.
ʻThe Longest Nightʼ built on the successful format of the illuminate ʻSpring Forwardʼ event by expanding into a five-day festive event that transform the lower end of North St into a festive spectacle with a series of shop windows created by Green Ginger, Kathy Hinde, Nathan Hughes, Luke Jerram and Joe Magee, plus a gallery/exhibition space and external projections by Ulf Pederson.
The event is thought to have been a great success – a community celebration to brighten up the winter nights that despite the sub-zero conditions was enjoyed by all…
0k, so 2009 there’s a recession on with businesses folding left, right and centre. Just the right time to get into retail then? Well, that’s what I’ve done! For a few months I’ve been a partner in Retro Collectables, a shop in Bedminster, Bristol. We sell unique collectables from the 1950’s to the 1980’s and a range of retro inspired clothing & accessories, books, vinyl, artist made cards, prints and jewellery. I’m in the shop two days a week and every other Saturday, so it’s a bit of a shock to the system. For the most part it’s fun, especially buying the stock – particularly the vinyl and sourcing the artwork, but can get a bit boring sometimes when you don’t see a customer for hours! Still great oaks from little acorns grow, so it’s onwards and upwards…
Having been involved in organising the South Bank Arts Trail for five years, I have been looking for a ways to develop new community arts based events. The big difference being that I’d like to retain more creative control, be funded to do it and be able to pay artists to be involved. Jess Wright was in a similar situation, having run the South Bristol Business Awards for two years she was looking for a new challenge. We share the same aims but come from different backgrounds:art and business. Seven months ago Jess and I started working on a new project called illuminate. Illuminate aims to produce arts-based events that promote and reflect both the creativity and rich history of South Bristol. Key elements of illuminate projects will be the use of disused properties to show art/moving image work, to reflect the community and history they are set in and to involve key creative organisations in the city of Bristol.
illuminates long-term aim is to produce a festive Christmas event that would transform multiple disused shops on North/East St by using projected films/light/artists installations. We will be piloting the illuminate concept at the end of March with Spring Forward, an event partnered with the Knowle West Media Centre and Picture This:
The weekend of March 27 to 29 will see two empty shops – numbers 26 and 28 in Bedminster’s North Street – playing host to illuminate’s first event ‘Spring Forward’. Number 26 will feature a series of projected films made by Bristol based artists alongside an exhibition in the empty property (no.28) next door. The exhibition celebrates the past and present of Bedminster’s retail history.
For more information see the illuminate web site