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AFFA 2021 Visual Arts Finalists Announced!

Ayo AkingbadeSonya Dyer, Tanoa Sasraku and Rosa-Johan Uddoh have been selected from a long list of nominated artists as finalists for the £10,000 Arts Foundation Futures Award in Visual Arts 2021, supported by The David Collins Foundation! The award celebrates emerging artists based on both their work to date, and their demonstrated potential.

This recipient of the 2021 Fellowship will be announced at the Arts Foundation Futures Awards on the 27th Jan, 2021 at an online evening of celebration from 7pm. The three runners-up will receive £1,000 awards towards their practice.

The judges for this years award were Editor of Frieze magazine Andrew Durbin, Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid, and curator and writer Fatoş Üstek, who said:

“The pool of nominations provided a real insight to the contemporary practices of emerging artists in the UK today. We unanimously agreed on shortlisting four exciting artists for the awards. From documentary film making to installations, their practices span a wide breadth of interest, including voices that are charged by social concerns, personal narratives, historic alliances and humour. We hereby celebrate all of the artists for their ingenuity.”

The four artists selected this year are all women who engage with Black experiences and perspectives. Ayo Akingbade’s video interrogations of life in the shifting landscape of London oscillate between document and performance to enact lived experiences, while Tanoa Sasraku’s highly referential works examine the intersections of her identity as a young, mixed-race, gay woman raised in Plymouth, and the endeavors to draw these senses of self together as one in 21st century England. Rosa-Johan Uddoh uses humor to explore our obsessions with places, objects and celebrities, and their influence on our formations of self, while Sonya Dyer projects Black women of science and legend into a fictitious future in which she questions whose image it will be built in.

We are delighted to be including these four artists in our list of finalists, that include previous winners of our Visual Arts Awards Jamila Johnson-Small, Hannah Starkey, Thompson & Craighead, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Simon Fujiwara.

The £10,000 Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2021 in Choral Composition, Materials Innovation, Environmental Writing and Theatre-Makers will be announced over the coming weeks.

Image above by Rosa-Johan Uddoh. Still from ‘Performing Whiteness 3 (Private Life Drama)’. Photo ELC & Rosa-Johan Uddoh

AF Fellow Wayne McGregor’s Company performing at Design Museum’s Electronic exhibition

Join Company Wayne McGregor (one of our 1994 Fellows!) for a performance and talk at the @DesignMuseum in response to Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers!⁠

Immerse yourself, from wherever you are, in an evening of dance and electronic music at the museum.⁠

Follow dancers from Company Wayne McGregor through Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers as they perform bespoke choreography inside the exhibition in response to the soundscape. The event includes a talk by Wayne McGregor and friends.⁠

THURSDAY 10 DECEMBER, 19.00⁠

Online only event, book via @DesignMuseum’s website⁠

Adult £10, Members FREE

AF Fellow Onyeka Igwe screening with BFI’s London Film Festival online

Arts Foundation 2020 Fellow Onyeka Igwe is showing her new short film No Archive Can Restore You with the BFI London Film Festival online! Watch her work any time from 7th – 18th October on the BFI player here.

No Archive Can Restore You⁠

An imagining of lost films from the Nigerian Film Unit archive, with distinctive soundscapes, juxtaposed with images of the abandoned interior and exteriors of the building that housed it.⁠

Runtime: 6 minutes⁠

Directed by⁠
Onyeka Igwe⁠
Produced by⁠
Omowunmi Ogundipe, Mason Leaver-Yap

AF Fellow Paul Clark has launched a free online Master Class in Music Writing!

#AFFellow Paul Clark has launched a free online master class in music writing, Ear Opener!

Designed for music students, teachers and independent music makers, Ear Opener uses simple, accessible explanations of the tools people who write music use everyday, with practical tips that composers of any level can put straight into practice.

Get insights and advice from artists including legendary producer Brian Eno, composer & saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi, Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien, film and TV composer Isobel Waller-Bridge and many more.

Find out more on their website!

AF 2020 Fellow Bethany Williams launches new collaborative collection and video

All Our Children is a capsule collection by designer and AF Fellow Bethany Williams, made in collaboration with The Magpie Project.

Video and images by Ruth Ossai.

Poem by Eno Mfon.

Text from Vogue.

A flag with the words All Our Children is flying from the roof of Somerset House. Made by Bethany Williams, it’s a publicly visible statement about the work she does with the Magpie Project, a London charity that cares for immigrant women and children to whom the state refuses access to benefits or health care. “They repeatedly hear from councils that ‘these are not our children to look after, they are not our responsibility,’” says Williams. “We’re like, No! These are the most vulnerable people in society. So we wanted to reclaim that phrase and raise a flag above London to say these are all our children.”

Yesterday, she’d filled a gallery in the grand arts institution to exhibit photographs of families: mothers, babies, and teenagers wearing the latest installment of her partnership with Magpie. “During lockdown, my artist and illustrator friend Melissa Kitty Jaram sent the mothers and children a project, asking if they’d like to draw each other. Then she made their pictures into little prints, which we’ve used in this collection,” explains Williams.

Williams indivisibly folds caring for people and the planet into her definition of sustainability in a way that’s as visually uplifting as it is exemplary. Moving along an installation of her clothes, she related how the making of the collaborative mother-and-child collection sprang out of the Mothers and Minis creative play sessions that the charity organizes. “These are made from white vintage bedding that we asked our sorters to find; these knits are patchworked together with crochet from reclaimed sweaters. The canvas jeans are made from bell tents; the corsets are made of fruit packaging waste by Rosie Evans. And oh,” she paused for breath, “the screen printing was done by a female printing company in Peckham.”

After everything was made, there was a socially distanced photo shoot by Ruth Ossai at the charity’s HQ, with mothers, infants, and Magpie Trust youth standing against fantasy backdrops. Helen Kirkham, the London trainer remaker, made children’s shoes from upcycled sneakers.

Twenty percent of Bethany Williams’s proceeds always goes to the charity. On hand to explain the impact of providing this happy moment of respite for her clients was Magpie’s founder, Jane Williams. “The very phrase homeless toddler should never have to be spoken,” she says. “In our one London borough of Newham, there are 2,000 children living with mothers who have no legal recourse to welfare. It is the same all over London: women living on the very edge, who will have been sex-trafficked, brought to London as domestic slaves or who have fled domestic violence. COVID-19 has made things worse for them, yes, but it’s far down the list of concerns for people coping with their levels of trauma.” In Newham the women are housed in decommissioned office tower blocks on industrial estates or roundabouts. “They’ll be living in one room with no insulation, sometimes with three children, who have nowhere to learn to crawl or walk. Mothers tell us about staying awake holding their children through nights to keep them safe from vermin. This is why we focus on the under-5s,” says Jane Williams. The only provision members of this destitute community receive from the British Home Office is 37 pounds a week. They’re not entitled to access to health services. “When our mothers give birth in a hospital, they are handed a 7,000 pound bill,” she adds.

Fashion’s relationship with humanitarian aid has been a long but typically distanced one. Bethany Williams’s softly spoken mission is to bring home the fact that there is also a desperate need to take direct action to alleviate the scandalous abuse of vulnerable people in our own cities. She acts more than she preaches, as a hands-on volunteer, but she also consciously uses the conversations she can have in fashion as a catalyst for opening eyes and raising funds. “Bethany isn’t about printing a slogan on a T-shirt,” Jane Williams testifies.

Her persuasive advocacy is making personal bonds with much more powerful people within the industry. This season she also has a collaboration with Adidas, using fabric the brand accumulates in its customer buyback scheme. A brilliant stroke of inspiration brought it right back to the theme of childhood. “We reached out to our network of suppliers and buyers and asked them what their hopes and dreams were for the children of the future, and also for photos of themselves as children. So we’ve made blousons that have their faces patchworked into them,” says Williams. Well, which of those buyers wouldn’t want to order those?

Her way of doing things—fashion as a nonprofit social enterprise, involving, respecting, and uplifting the life chances of women and children—rewires the whole process of what a clothing business is for. The self-searching refrain repeated by so many heads of fashion companies in the age of COVID-19 is: What is our purpose, how can we be more sustainable, how can we contribute to social justice in our communities? They could easily hire Bethany Williams to advise on that. Consultancy is part of her business model. In 2020 young people are in the position of being able to teach their elders, if only they have the sense and the humanity to listen.

AF Fellow Lynette Yiadom-Boakye opening solo exhibition at Tate Modern this November

LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE

FLY IN LEAGUE WITH THE NIGHT

18 NOVEMBER 2020 – 9 MAY 2021

The first major survey of one of the most important painters working today.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye is a British artist and writer acclaimed for her enigmatic portraits of fictitious people. This exhibition brings together around 80 works from 2003 to the present day in the most extensive survey of the artist’s career to date. Lynette is a fellow of the Arts Foundation winning the Arts Foundation Award for Painting back in 2006.

The figures in Yiadom-Boakye’s paintings are not real people – she creates them from found images and her own imagination. Both familiar and mysterious, they invite viewers to project their own int.erpretations, and raise important questions of identity and representation.

Often painted in spontaneous and instinctive bursts, her figures seem to exist outside of a specific time or place. Her paintings are coupled with poetic titles, such as Tie the Temptress to the Trojan 2016 and To Improvise a Mountain 2018. Writing is central to Yiadom-Boakye’s artistic practice, as she has explained: ‘I write about the things I can’t paint and paint the things I can’t write about.’

Yiadom-Boakye was awarded the prestigious Carnegie Prize in 2018 and was the 2012 recipient of the Pinchuk Foundation Future Generation Prize. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2013.

Exhibition organised by Tate Britain in collaboration with Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, and Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean

Find out more on the Tate website.

AF nominee Alan Warburton to open experimental exhibition at arbyte gallery

RGBFAQ

Alan Warburton

16 October – 19 December 2020

“We’ve gone through the looking glass and been turned inside out by computation, into a new post-photographic world of synthetic images.”

arebyte Gallery presents a new commission by UK based artist Alan Warburton. RGBFAQ comprises a research-led experiential exhibition in which the audience navigates a “black-box” set populated by gigantic geometric sculptures. Warburton’s ambitious new video essay will be
projection mapped onto this sculptural background, expanding the form of his popular video essays (Goodbye Uncanny Valley, Fairytales of Motion) into an immersive 3D space, with a soundtrack by Jacob Samuel.

This post-photographic origin story bridges x-rays and z-buffers, radar and Pixar, video games and machine learning, concluding with insights into how synthetic data is changing the nature of vision forever. Informed by the latest development in machine learning and computer graphics, as well as Warburton’s ten years working in animation, RGBFAQ puts viewers inside software,
and inside software history.

“My process is like a comedian developing a set, but without the laughs,” says Warburton, who describes this spatial video essay as “a cross between a software tutorial and a ghost train ride that channels an episode of late 80s Tomorrow’s World”

RGBFAQ will be open from October 16 – December 19 2020 at arebyte Gallery.

This is a timed exhibition, running every 30 minutes from 1pm – 6pm, Tuesday – Saturday.

Visitors are advised to book here in advance.

AF Fellow Ali Smith publishes Summer, their fourth novel in four years

Summer
Ali Smith

The unmissable finale to Ali Smith’s dazzling literary tour de force: the Seasonal quartet concludes in 2020 with Summer

In the present, Sacha knows the world’s in trouble. Her brother Robert just is trouble. Their mother and father are having trouble. Meanwhile the world’s in meltdown – and the real meltdown hasn’t even started yet. In the past, a lovely summer. A different brother and sister know they’re living on borrowed time.

This is a story about people on the brink of change. They’re family, but they think they’re strangers. So: where does family begin? And what do people who think they’ve got nothing in common have in common?

Summer.

PRAISE FOR SEASONAL:

‘The novel of the year is obviously Autumn’ Observer on Autumn

‘Masterful… Winter is utterly original’ New York Times Book Review on Winter

‘Luminous, generous, hope-filled… A dazzling hymn to hope. Ali Smith is lighting us a path out of the nightmarish now’ Observer on Spring

‘Smith’s seasonal quartet of novels is a bold and brilliant experiment’ Independent

 

Summer can be purchased here.

AF Fellow Simon Fujiwara to exhibit at Berghain, Berlin

Arguably the world’s most famous techno club, Berghain in Berlin hasn’t rumbled with 130 beats per minute since March, silenced by the coronavirus pandemic.

Come September, it will start welcoming back guests — but to gawk at art, rather than party until sunrise.

Formerly a power station, Berghain will become an extended outpost for the Boros Collection, housed in what is locally known as “the bunker,” a hulking bomb shelter built during the Second World War, and for a few years in the Nineties, a techno club with terrible air circulation (and presumably no noise complaints).

The Boros Collection, which opened in 2008 and offers one of the most unique contemporary art experiences in town, turns out to have had a pandemic-ready concept, welcoming only 12 visitors at a time for guided tours spaced 30 minutes apart.

Reservations are made on a first-come, first-serve basis, and this will be applied to the Berghain project, making it finally possible for all to enter. (The nightclub has a notoriously difficult door policy.)

Organized by the nonprofit Boros Foundation, the exhibit will feature works by more than 80 Berlin-based artists spread across 3,500 square meters of space, encompassing the main club known as Berghain, the Panorama Bar, Säule and Halle.

Berghain houses many permanent artworks, including giant Wolfgang Tillmans photos that lord over the Panorama Bar, and the collaboration with Boros “aims to offer Berlin artists a public platform to establish a place for dialogue,” according to the partners, who trumpeted the importance of the city’s professional artists.

They note that more than 160,000 people work in the “cultural and creative sector” and have made Berlin one of Europe’s most dynamic capitals for music and art.

Titled “Studio Berlin,” the exhibition includes new works — all made under lockdown — by Olafur Eliasson, Alicja Kwade, Carsten Nicolai, Katja Novitskova, Simon Fujiwara and Keto Logua. A word-based piece by Rirkrit Tiravanija will be plastered across the top of the hulking building: “Morgen ist die frage,” it reads. (“Tomorrow is the question,” in English.)

Restricted to those over 16 years old, it opens to the public on Sept. 9. In line with the nightclub’s famous policy, photography is strictly prohibited.

Article via Yahoo.

AF Fellow Kwame Asafo-Adjei debuts performance made in lockdown on our Instagram

“Before Us was made in two days at the start of the Covid pandemic, responding to the moment with the resources available to us at the time. My work explores tension and release, living in London during Covid, #blacklivesmatter, and using dance to respond through the influence of krump.”

Watch the performance on our Instagram

Directed and Choreographed by Kwame Asafo-Adjei

Starring Ashely Goosey & Isaac Ouro-Gnao

Beatboxing by Hobbit

Produced and Edited by Victoria Shulungu

AF 2020 Fellow Onyeka Igwe writes on women’s bodies and archives for Feminist Review

Being Close to, With or Amongst, Onyeka Igwe

Feminist ReviewVolume 125, Issue 1, July 2020, Pages 44-53

“There is an oft-touted thought, which has perhaps fallen into adage for its authorlessness, that women carry archives in their bodies. It seems a romantic or old-fashioned thought—that bodies can be ‘a witness, testament and document’ and so are sites of history-making (Schneider, 2019). It is a thought that has been swept aside by an epistemological framework that has come to dominate how it is we know. And so, as a challenge to this, an ‘act of love against the foreclosures of reason’ (Singh, 2018, p. 29), I went looking for archival bodies.”

 

Read the full article

AF Fellow Bethany Williams launching capsule collection at Somerset House pop up show

19-20 September 2020, Seaman’s Hall, Somerset House

Marking London Fashion Week 2020, British fashion designer Bethany Williams launches a new fashion capsule collection, with this pop-up installation.

Be one of the first to see Bethany Williams‘ new collection in this pop-up installation, featuring items from the collection, a new film commission offering insight into the project and a replica of Bethany’s flag commission, also undertaken as part of All Our Children.

The project began with DIY workshops in April and May, inviting audiences to contribute to Bethany’s research process for the collection, which will now be on display here at Somerset House.

Bethany is celebrated for her innovative and inclusive practice in the fashion industry, placing both sustainability and social responsibility at its core. All Our Children forms an extension of her recent collaboration with the Magpie Project, a charity based in Newham providing safety and support for mothers and under-fives suffering in temporary or insecure accommodation. In All Our Children, Williams offers a platform for these vulnerable voices, highlighting the urgent need to transform society’s relationship with the planet, to better protect it for future generations.

Find out more here.

The Arts Foundation is celebrating five years of partnership with The David Collins Foundation!

This year we are celebrating five years of support from @thedavidcollinsfoundation!⁠

Scroll down to watch our video and hear how the The David Collins Foundation and our Fellows have benefitted from our partnership!

Following the untimely death of David Collins in 2013 from skin cancer, The David Collins Foundation was created to commemorate him, his work, his passion for the arts, and his love of beauty. The Foundation’s board of trustees comprises his friends and his colleagues.⁠

The David Collins Foundation seeks to support talented artists and designers at pivotal points in their careers across a diverse range of artistic mediums, allowing them to focus on their research and to develop their practice.⁠

Since 2017 The David Collins Foundation has partnered with The Arts Foundation. In 2017 Max Frommeld was awarded the Foundation’s inaugural prize under the category of Furniture Design.⁠

In 2018 at The Arts Foundation’s 25th anniversary awards, The David Collins Foundation awarded bursaries to glass artist Jochen Holz and choreographer Alexander Baczynski-Jenkins. In 2019, Will Harris won the Poetry award, and in 2020 Onyeka Igwe won the Experimental Short Film award, both sponsored by The David Collins Foundation.

AF Fellow Will Harris takes over our Instagram with poems from RENDANG

Arts Foundation Fellow Will Harris took over our Instagram to share poems from his debut poetry collection RENDANG (2020) available at @grantabooks, and nominated for @fowardprizes for poetry, for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection!

State Building: “This first poem ‘State Building’ came out of a mix of things: my mum’s Chinese Indonesian heritage, my dad’s work as an antiques dealer, a broader reflection on brokenness as a positive, my tenuous relationship with my grandma, the pressure to assimilate if you’re “other”, and how to resist that.”

Yellow: “I wanted to write a series of poems about the phenomenon of yellowface, where white actors mimic a person of East Asian heritage. I read about this Chinese American magician whose act was stolen by a Scottish magician William Ellsworth Robinson. Robinson committed to the bit so thoroughly that he ended up dying on stage with his secret pretty much intact. It got me thinking about orientalism and mimicry, and the ways in which they reinforce one another. I was also thinking about the figure of the twin or doppelganger in literature and horror. I’ve always had this low-key fear of twins, which probably speaks to some worry that I’m in no way unique, and also – culturally speaking – this idea that mimicry effaces what it copies.”

My Name is Dai: “I met a person called Dai one night in the pub and he shared this sad story with me. At the time I’d been working on a series of “encounter poems”, so it seemed natural to write about him. I was thinking about the legacy of British Romantic poetry – not the side that seems to celebrate the self, but those moments where the self is ruptured through contact with the other. The kind of moment that forces you to recognise your own power and complicity in power. And I was thinking about talking, the compulsion to talk, how you can talk and talk and fail to communicate anything. That’s what Coleridge’s figure of the “Ancient Mariner” means to me: someone who can’t stop talking, who’s locked inside their own narrative. So it was strange and sobering to meet this drunken mariner. It felt – in some ways – like a reminder about the risks of writing: don’t get trapped in the feedback loop of writerly self-justification; keep in mind the world beyond the poem.”

Glass Case: “This poem came about through walking around the @britishmuseum with a notepad, trying to see anew the terror and strangeness of the museum as an institution, with its horde of brutally displaced objects turned into lifeless “cultural artifacts”. I couldn’t believe the Enlightenment Gallery was still called that, and how shamelessly it still celebrates imperial power, showcasing a jumble of objects from Asia and Africa “acquired” in the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s plunder, artlessly – worse, soul-destroyingly – arranged. And it’s worth noting the prevalence of donors’ names plastering the walls of the British Museum, like BP and JP Morgan. Culture, as ever, is what money uses to whitewash its origins.”

The White Jumper: “These are extracts from a longer poem. I’ve discussed it before so I’ll try not to repeat myself! I had this dream in which I was in a kind of platform game, running through a woodland area, when I saw a white jumper on a ledge of grass that was too far away for me to reach. I was struck by the banality of the dream, but also by how vivid it was. It stayed with me. I started keeping a journal, recording things I’d read and places I’d been to, thinking back to this dream again and again. The poem became a reflection on how a dream can seep into a life, colouring it, and how a dream might be used as a source text for making new work. Weirdly I’ve been dreaming less vividly in lockdown.”

Illinois: “This one is harder to talk about, I guess because it’s a lyric poem. Like with a song, you could summarise the content but it would tell you almost nothing about it.”

 

AF Fellow Ahren Warner takes over our Instagram with The Sea is Spread and Cleaved and Furled

Hi everyone! I’m Ahren Warner – @ahren_warner – here for a #FellowsTakeover. I was lucky enough to receive support from the Arts Foundation in 2012, and I’ll be sharing some extracts from my recent, current and forthcoming work over the next week or so. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

See the full takeover with texts, videos, photographs, poetry and readings on our Insta feed...

 

New Arts Foundation Futures Award for Choral Composition to highlight the importance of UK choirs

With choirs across the UK under significant threat due to the Covid crisis, we are delighted to be providing a new 2021 Arts Foundation Futures Award for Choral Composition! Experts in the field are currently sending in their nominations, with shortlisters announced in the Autumn and the award winners announced in January 2021. The winning Fellow will be awarded £10,000, with all nominees awarded a further £1000.

AF Fellow Gregory Batsleer won his award for Choral Conducting in 2015 and holds hope for the future of choral music with the right support.

Choral music is one of the UK’s oldest and most treasured art forms. Choirs in all shapes and sizes form a crucial part of our wonderful cultural life, and in recent years being a member of a choir has become popular once again. Sadly the Covid crisis and question marks around the dangers of singing has plunged this art form into a perilous position. Choral musicians throughout the UK are collectively concerned for what comes next.

However, there remains a hope that we will navigate our way safely through this together, and that on the other side there will be great opportunity. In this moment we have a chance to press the refresh button and look at new and innovative ways of presenting and showcasing the glory of choral music. 

I am without doubt that it is the curation and composition of new works that will be at the center of this. It is my excited belief that we have an opportunity given to us to think outside the box and really create a musical voice for today – a voice that represents our current time, and one which can sit alongside some the most glorious works by composers of the last 500 years.

AF Fellow Joy Gregory takes over our Instagram with portraits of pioneering Black British women

AF Fellow Joy Gregory took over our Instagram to share her work Breaking Barriers, created and exhibited with the Black Cultural Archives. This work documents powerful and influential black women in the UK today, and Joy used her takeover to reflect on this in the light of the murder of George Floyd and the current tipping point in the black rights movement. #BlackLivesMatter.

“We look to leaders for inspiration, guidance and comfort. Portrayed as pillars of strength, the intricacies of their journeys as well as the various obstacles overcome by those in leadership roles are often glossed over. Stories of Leadership II: Breaking Barriers is a portrait commission by award-winning photographer Joy Gregory that aims to make visible the journeys of pioneering Black British women who have taken their rightful seat at the table.

Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, Dame Linda Dobbs DBE, Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE, and Dr Shirley Thompson OBE have shared their personal experience not only to showcase the excellence present in Britain’s Black communities but to show others what can be achieved.

As Black Cultural Archives is the home of Black British history we asked each woman to record an oral history interview. The captions underneath the portraits are direct quotes taken from these interviews.

Although each woman’s journey to leadership has been unique, they have all encountered similar barriers at formative points in their lives. Barriers which they had the courage, determination and self-belief to not only question but break down. Whatever individual skills and methods they employed to achieve this collectively they have agreed on one thing – If they can do it anyone can.”

AF 2020 Fellow Bethany Williams makes masks and gowns for the NHS

Our 2020 Fellow Bethany Williams is building on her socially responsible and environmentally sustainable design practice to fight Coronavirus by making masks and gowns for NHS staff.

“I hope that the kindness and redirection of resources isn’t just a temporary measure,’ she says. ‘I would really like to see these larger brands manifest permanent programmes and systems within their brand DNA as an ongoing business model” – Bethany in Grazia Magazine.

Read more here.

AF Fellow Michael Lloyd exhibiting at The Scottish Gallery online

The Scottish Gallery celebrates Michael Lloyd’s 70th birthday this June with a collection of new work; each a love letter to the flora and fauna that continues to inspire his work.

To accompany Michael Lloyd’s exhibition we have created a series of blogs, allowing you to explore each work in depth with imagery, film, music and words from Michael Lloyd himself.

View the exhibition here.

Meet the Artist – Michael Lloyd – Tuesday 9 June | 5pm (30 minutes) | click here to RSVP
Join us from the comfort of your own home as The Scottish Gallery chat to Michael Lloyd on Zoom about his exhibition Reflections

You can read The Scottish Gallery blog here and view the series of short films as they are released here.

 

Coronavirus Hardship Grants and Professional Resources

The current coronavirus pandemic is causing unprecedented disruption to the arts, and the most vulnerable workers are often the artists and creatives themselves. Resources are popping up everywhere, and we are curating a regularly updated list of the most useful resources and best advice that we can find, along with all the grants that we are aware of. Check in weekly for new content.

 

Arts Support

Arts Council’s £20,000,000 hardship fund

Arts Minds – Supporting mental health

BBC/Arts Council’s Culture In Quarantine fund for new works

The Craft Council’s Covid Resource App

a-n’s Information and Guidance

Arts Professional’s CovidCulture Resource Page

GRANTfinder’s Coronavirus resource page

 

Film and TV

BFI/Netflix Hardship Fund

Equity’s Guide

Film + TV Charity’s Resource Guide

 

Music

Association of Independent Music FAQ

Help Musicians’ Financial Hardship Fund

Musician’s Union Hardship Fund

Spotify’s Music Relief

Young Classical Artists Trust hardship fund

Theatre

Equity’s Guide

The Royal Theatrical Fund

 

Writers

Writer’s Guild Hardship Fund

Author’s Emergency Fund

 

Disabled Arts Workers

Disability Arts Online Commission Fund

Resources and information for disabled freelancers and artists compiled by Unlimited

 

Regional Support

Creative Cardiff’s resource and support page

Creative Scotland’s Advice and Support

Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund

Cheshire Community Foundation

City Bridge Trust, London

Community Foundation, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

Cornwall Community Foundation

Coventry City of Culture Fund

Cumbria Community Foundation

Foundation Derbyshire’s Coronavirus Fund

Devon Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund

Essex Community Foundation

Gloucestershire Community Foundation

Heart of England Community Foundation (Coventry and Warwickshire)

Kent Community Foundation

Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation

Milton Keynes Community Foundation

The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland

Quartet Community Foundation (Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire)

Steve Morgan Foundation (North Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Shropshire)

Community Foundation for Surrey

Two Ridings Community Foundation (York, North Yorkshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull)

Congratulations to AF Fellows Ella Frears and Will Harris, who have both been nominated for The Forward Poetry Prize

Huge congratulations to AF Fellows Ella Frears and Will Harris, who have both been nominated for The Forward Poetry Prize’s Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection!

Celebrating the year’s best new poetry, The Forward Prizes are amongst the leading awards for poetry in the UK and Ireland. Awarded across three categories – the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection and the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem – they recognise the work of new and aspiring poets alongside well-established names.
This year’s shortlists range far and wide – both geographically and culturally – featuring a hymn to the bodies of indigenous womxn, a lyrical exploration of an Indian childhood and a powerful reconstruction of the inner life of a sixteenth-century Spanish queen.

The winners will be announced on Sunday 25 October.

Read more.

AF Fellow Asif Kapadia joins BAME creatives in letter urging UK film industry to tackle racism

More than 5,000 names from across TV and film have called for the industry to “put its money and practices where its mouth is” to tackle systemic racism in an open letter.

The document has been signed by actors including Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michaela Coel, Noel Clarke, David Oyelowo, Meera Syal, Kéllé Bryan, Suranne Jones and Colin Firth as well as presenters Clara Amfo, Anita Rani, Dermot O’Leary, Nadiya Hussain and Reggie Yates and directors Asif Kapadia, Gurinder Chadha and Rapman.

Read more in The Huffington Post

Dear UK Film and TV Industry,

Having been inspired by the Black Film Collective who put together a powerful open letter to Hollywood last week on behalf of many brothers and sisters in the industry, we would like to send you something in collaboration with them, which we feel addresses our continuing issues with the UK industry.

This letter is from your colleagues in the UK – Black and Brown (inc. all Asians) independent producers, writers, directors and actors in alliance with many advocates for change. As one extended community, we require your active engagement to tackle structural and systemic racism in our industry, in the UK and around the world. While messages condemning racism and advocating for solidarity on social media may inspire hope, the UK Industry must put its money and practices where its mouth is. A direct line can be drawn from the stories and voices that are silenced and ignored, to the discrimination and biases that are pervasive in the entertainment industry and larger society. This moment in history presents an opportunity for you to be a positive partner for change.

Our aim is that this letter produces strategic commitments from you to reshape our industry into one whose words are supported by action. Toward that end:

1. Banish “Your Weak Excuses”

Banish “it’s too small” from your lexicon. It is insulting to our stories, our history, our impact on world culture, and our worth. Our stories are referred to as “too small” because they do not centre around white characters or a small subset of actors whom you deem valuable; they are not always written by the same white writers that you deem to be “safe”. Banish “we already have a diverse project on our slate”. There is room for more than one. You make countless projects with similar themes and storylines with white creatives. Banish “that feels risky”. We know we are introducing you to new unproven talent, but why is the same white man (who has made a string of flops after his one hit 10 years ago) still deemed less risky than a new Brown or Black writer with original and well written ideas. We know that many of our stories feel unfamiliar to you because they go against your preconceived notions of us and make you step outside your familiar world. But they are familiar to us. Hire us and together let us tell truthful, bold and imaginative stories from rich new perspectives. There are countless men and women in the streets right now, putting their lives, health, and livelihoods on the line, fighting for an end to systemic racism. There will be no end until financiers, distributors and the community of decision-makers cease this practice of marginalising our voices and our stories. If Black lives matter to you, our stories and the scale on which they are marketed and distributed must as well.

2. Empower Black and Brown Independent Producers

Hiring Black and Brown writers and directors is of course of great importance, but rarely is this opportunity given to Black and Brown independent producers. Only 5% of the producers supported by the BFI in 2018/19 were producers of colour. This is especially troubling because producers often work with multiple writers and directors. Supporting one producer effectively supports many Black and Brown professionals above and below the line. Take a deeper look at the community of Black and Brown independent producers, working hand in hand with talented directors. Many have compelling slates of projects in need of willing partners. There hasn’t been a Black/Brown producer on Variety’s “10 Producers to Watch” list since 2017. We don’t mean to point the finger solely at Variety, because similar lists are printed in various trades. In addition, they all seek recommendations from agencies, management companies, and elite publicists. So this incredibly valuable publicity is often limited to advancing the careers of those who need publicity the least. Empower those that need it the most.

3. Expand Your Vision

Think outside the box when looking for new talent. There are numerous diversity schemes out there, which is a good start and we support them all. But we need more sustained endorsement. Empower those that come through those schemes. Let us look at making sure those graduates stay in the industry and are nurtured and promoted so that they become the decision makers and help create change. Until we are in positions of power nothing will really change.

4. Be More Demanding

Actors, managers and agents must become more demanding about the teams behind the camera. If there are no Black producers, no Brown DOPs, no diverse department heads, you must speak up and challenge. To agents, be proactive in asking on behalf of your clients. Look at your rosters too. Who do you represent? How diverse are they? Without your vocal support, we will continue to be largely shut out of this industry and it is not for lack of excellence. It is for lack of will on the part of producers, network executives and studio heads. It is that simple.

We challenge you to become willing partners in this crucial endeavour. If the full spectrum of our experiences are not produced, marketed and celebrated with some regularity then you are actively denying our humanity and our history. Our stories and experiences can no longer be limited to being backdrops for white narratives and protagonists. Until we are able to show our FULL joy, grief, fear, history, pride and all the other myriad of emotions and experiences, then you are simply upholding the status quo and enabling a society that keeps white people comfortable in their racism and Black and Brown people perpetually dehumanised. Until we are allowed to make mistakes and try again like many of our white counterparts, we will never succeed in the same way. You are a large part of the problem and it is time to be honest about it. For far too long, the images on our screens have projected lies and partial truths when it comes to our lives and history, minimising our perceived value and creating ripple effects throughout society.

This letter is in defence of all Black and Brown creative artists and the communities they come from. It is in defence of the millions of lives that have gone unrecorded. It is in defence of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Belly Mujinga, Trayvon Martin, Stephen Lawrence, Zahid Mubarek, Mark Duggan, Sarah Reed, the Black and Brown health professionals who have died from Covid-19, and so many other lives senselessly and tragically cut short.

Your messages in support of Black Lives Matter are a first step. But after decades of enabling racism in your ranks and beyond, it is time to do more. If Black lives really matter to you, our stories must as well. Please help us tell the whole truth. Black and Brown lives all over the world depend on it.

AF 2020 Fellow Esther McManus creates artist’s wiki with Chisenhale Studios

#ArtsFoundationFellow Esther McManus has been working with Chisenhale Studios to create a new Wiki for artists through their Into the Wild programme!

“At the start of our Into the Wild program our local artworlds felt like ladders, and we questioned how things could be different. Over the course of the program we’ve discussed both the importance of our local networks and the value of them being connected to each other – when local resources and knowledge is shared more broadly, we can all benefit.
With this in mind, we’re developing a wiki to highlight and value what we already have and to share this knowledge with others. We’d like to invite you to join us in building this site, and to make it your own – it’s not something for you to climb but something to be a part of.
The joy of wikis is that every reader can also be a contributor – you can add your own content and help build the site into a valuable resource for even more people. Don’t worry if you’ve never edited or contributed to online spaces before – start small and enjoy exploring!

First you’ll need to set up an account, and then log in to make edits and add content. When logged in, you’ll be able to switch between the two different ways of interacting with this site – reading and editing. Start by adding yourself to the ‘Networks’ page, which contains an atlas of workshops, facilities, art groups and artists in the UK. Under each region of the UK there’s a listing for artists, so you can connect with others living and working in your area. Take some time to describe who you want to connect with and what you’re able to share with others. You might be keen to share skills or facilities, or connect with local artists for crit groups, or anything else that could support your own practice and/or the practices of others.

From here, help to map the spaces and facilities that support emerging artists around the UK. Add any artist-run initiatives in your area, or your local copy shop or hardware store, telling us what makes them so valuable.

We’re keen to hear about your first impressions and experiences of the wiki, and will be hosting an online Q&A, find out more at mesh.miraheze.org!”

Congratulations to AFFA fellow Alice Birch for work on TV hit Normal People

AFFA 2014 fellow for playwriting, Alice Birch has received huge plaudits for her involvement writing the screenplay for TV drama ‘Normal People’ along with the author of this best selling novel, Sally Rooney.

When asked by BBC Media about what challenges she faced while involved in the project, Alice replied, ‘Structurally, making the book fit into 12 episodes that feel compelling and like their own little story, but also work across the whole, was obviously difficult because that’s not how Sally conceived it. The interiority of each character – that internal monologue / world is always difficult to translate to screen. Lots of missed communication or misunderstandings happen in the novel and that’s hard on screen without being expositional’.

A short interview with Alice Birch about the process of writing the screenplay can be found here.  Normal People is available for viewing on iplayer.

 

AF Fellow Ahren Warner publishes “The sea is spread and cleaved and furled”, an interdisciplinary book and film-work

The sea is spread and cleaved and furled is an interdisciplinary book and film-work by poet and visual artist Ahren Warner.

A sequence of lyric poems, a narrative, voice-over and compendium of notes-to-the-self, The sea is spread and cleaved and furled was written and filmed across thirteen countries, from the Greek Islands to South East Asia to the Black Sea, the Balkans and the Baltic. It is both a poem and a film about the veneer of dialogue, narcissism and pleasure, about contemporary economies of capital, human movement and desire, and the resistance of the sensible or affective world to language itself.

With an introductory text by Vahni Capildeo.

View a preview here.

The publication can be purchased from Prototype Publishing.

‘Ahren Warner has a claim to be the “poet’s poet” of his generation. Even in apparently domestic and personal guise, he’s a writer whose work conveys voluptuous but intelligent delight in language and technique.’ – Carol Rumens, The Guardian

‘The experience of Ahren Warner’s new book is part invitation and part secrecy. As I read it I felt I had wandered from a party and stumbled into something vulnerable, something human and real beyond the clinking of glasses and fake laughter. That I had gotten the chance to hide in a closet and listen to a conversation I needed to hear but couldn’t quite access on my own. There is a conversation between the text and the film, a conversation between the speaker and the other, and most importantly – a conversation between Mr. Warner and himself. What a strange joy to be invited in.’ – Matthew Dickman

‘Theatrical, toxic and oddly gorgeous… Warner moves from playful social observation, through reflections on memory and artifice, to a near-Baudelairean spleen, his games with language and ideas as serious in their investigations of the given world as any philosophy.’ – John Burnside

AF Fellow Alex Hartley publishes “The Clearing: A Report From the Future”, with Tom James, available online

“The Clearing was a vision of the future, built in the grounds of Compton Verney Art Gallery in Warwickshire, UK, from 2017 to 2020. We wanted to create a physical place where people could learn how to live in the collapsing world that’s coming our way. For the duration of 2017, The Clearing became part school, part shelter and part folly.

Late last year, we wrote and produced a report about the project. It aims to tell you what we did, why we did it, what worked and what didn’t. Most of all, the report aims to tell the reader how it felt to be at The Clearing, to stand outside our current world and peer into the next one.

Now, of course, we’re all outside the current world. So we wanted to make the report available to as many people as possible.

We’ve scanned it and put it online. There are two scans to choose from:
– There’s a low-res version to view or download here.
– And a deluxe, hi-res 280MB version here.

Massive thanks to Peter Cragg for his help in scanning it.

We’d recommend you download it, and view it two pages at a time (with cover page), for the full, technicolour experience.

We hope it’s a little helpful, or at least a little diverting, as the future happens around us. Take care, look after each other. It’s the beginning of a new age.

Alex Hartley and Tom James”

Arts Foundation Fellow Bethany Williams speaks with Somerset House for Earth Day

British fashion designer Bethany Williams joined Somerset House for a live stream Q&A on Earth Day to discuss her innovative and inclusive creative practice.

The conversation investigated Bethany Williams’ practice, which places both environmental justice and social responsibility at its core, led by Somerset House curator, Karishma Rafferty.

Alongside instructions for flag-making at home, the Q&A will offered exclusive insight into Williams’ All Our Children commission for Somerset House and her ongoing collaboration with the Magpie Project, a charity based in Newham providing safety and support for mothers and under-fives suffering in insecure accommodation.

Read more.

AFFA Fellows take over our Instagram from isolation!

#FellowsTakeover! We are delighted to have hosted several of our fellows in Instagram takeovers during lockdown!

So far choreographer Wilkie Branson has shown us around the making of TOM at Saddler’s Wells, artists Thomson & Craighead have talked us through their cancelled exhibitions, cartoonist Danny Noble has shared her creative process and latest publication, while artist and editor Joanna Walsh has shared submissions to her Zines in Dark Times project!

Find out more on our Instagram.

AF 2020 Fellow Klein releases new EP

Arts Foundation 2020 Klein has released her new EP “Summon”, now available on @Bandcamp!

“I think what I want the listeners to feel is that they actually know me […] I don’t necessarily make music to be played in the club. I make the kind of music to listen to at home, or when you’re driving. It’s a slow build.”

– Klein speaking to Gal-Dem Magazine

Find out more at Bandcamp.com!

AF 2003 Fellow Carol Morley is running a #FridayFilmClub to get you through lockdown!

Arts Foundation Fellow for 2003 Carol Morley is running a #FridayFilmClub during lockdown!

“It’s every Friday at 8pm, open to all, and there is an option for discussion on Twitter afterwards. Screenings so far include two films in the public domain: Ida Lupino’s impressive film noir The Bigamist (1953), where marriage is the crime, and Nina Paley’s gloriously trippy, uplifting animation Sita Sings the Blues (2008), which features historical parallels of marriage alongside fantastic 1930s musical interludes by Annette Hanshaw. Knowing that we were watching these films simultaneously, as a connected audience, certainly helped my mind from drifting too far to the dark side.” – Carol in The Guardian.

To get involved, look up Carol on Twitter and follow her direction!

Image from A Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Carol’s latest movie choice