ICV10 - International Visual Arts Curator Visit 2010
In May 2010 saw a visit to Wales by a group of International Curators organised through Wales Arts International.
The group consisted of New York based Christain Viveros-Faune freelance curator/critic and previous director of Volta NY Art Fair; Tereza Arruda of TA Projects an independent curator working between Berlin and Brazil; Wato Tsereteli, artist/curator and archivist who is developing the Centre of Contemporary Art in Tbilisi Georgia; Michael Eddy, who works with Vitamin Creative Space/the shop (Guangzhou & Beijing, China); Sara Stehr, Assistant Curator of II\NKV Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, Germany and K Bear Koss, Director of IMOCA, an artist-led studio/gallery project based in Dublin, Ireland.
The purpose of the visit was to give curators working in different parts of the world an opportunity to meet contemporary artists based in Wales and sample the range of studios, galleries and artist-led initiatives that are part of the country’s rich visual arts culture. The research trip was focused around the re-opening of the Mostyn Art Gallery in Llandudno and in particular the exhibition, ‘We Have The Mirrors, We Have The Plans’ which features the work of 25 Wales based artists selected through nomination by curators from galleries across Wales.
Previous visits have focused on south and mid Wales with the 2010 visits starting in south Wales.
Wednesday 18th May 2010
The group took part in the Encounters Symposium an event resulting from a partnership between Artes Mundi, Visiting Arts and Wales Arts International.
Wales Arts International invited emerging curators from across Wales for this free event with included presentations from speakers including independent curator Viktor Misiano with the event chaired by Andrea Schlieker who has previously curated the British Art Show 6 and the Folkestone Triennial.
Thursday 19th May 2010
The following day the group visited g39’s Warp space to learn about their programme for supporting artist-led initiatives through professional development and learn more about the current situation in regards to artist run projects across Wales. Here they also looked at an overview of g39’s 10 year programme which has supported emerging artists and emerging curators, blending the possibility to engage with experimental practice within the framework of a professional exhibiting venue.
The group moved on to Ffotogallery’s second space located in the Morgan Arcade in the city centre. Here the group met Ffotogallery director David Drake and performance artist Kath Ashill who spoke about Welsh performance in relation to ’A Life Less Ordinary: Performance and Display in South African Art’ looking at the parallel’s in the presentation of work about articulating cultural, social and national identity.
David Drake talks to curators at Ffotogallery's alternative space in Morgan Arcade, Cardiff.
In the afternoon the group moved on to Chapter where they saw a collection of informal presentations by Paul Granjon, Neil McNally, Gordon Dalton, Jackie Chetteur, Sam Aldridge, Kate Ashill, Holly Davey and Tim Davies.
The artists and the curators discussed work into the early evening. Tactile Bosch opened its doors especially for an out of hours viewing of the painting show ‘Citizen’ and for viewing artists’ studios. Tactile Bosch being somewhere that offers affordable studios it was a chance to see an example of a studio collective and get a sense of the community of artists in Cardiff.
Friday 20th May 2010
Friday the focus of the visit shifted from south to north Wales and it was all aboard the WARP Express, a coach arranged for anyone in South Wales who wanted to attend the opening night of the Mostyn art gallery by g39. The trip stopped over at Oriel Davies in Newtown where director Amanda Farr gave a tour of the gallery. Arriving in Llandudno in good time, the group attended the Private View of the transformed Mostyn art gallery, meeting the artists and later sampling the unique Llandudno sea air.
Saturday 21st May 2010
On one of the hottest days of the year so far the group boarded a mini-bus to visit studios in North West Wales, first it was off to Llanrwst and artist/ performer Megan Broadmeadow who discussed her work which is influenced by local history, folk tales and theatre.
Next the group saw a private performance of the Bwyd Sonique (Karine Décorne and Simon Proffitt), in Nebo and spoke with Dominic Chennell of the Real Institute group.
Dominic Chennell talks to curators in Nebo Village Hall.
Travelling north through the breathtaking landscape of Snowdonia and lunch in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll-gogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch, the group travelled to the north west tip of Angelsey to meet the artist duo of Awst and Walther at their favourite place an ancient burial chamber on the coast near Rhosneigr.
Manon Awst and Benjamin Walther present their work.
Here they discussed their practice in relation to the site and its influence on their methodologies for making art. The group then visited Bedwyr Williams at his studio near Rhostryfan, before returning to Llandudno via the coastal road. In the evening the group met up with Martin Barlow director of Mostyn art gallery and explored Llandudno further.
Sunday 22nd May 2010
The final day of the curators visit saw them travel towards Wrexham but dropped into the CASC (Central Art Studios Cymru) in Llandudno to visit the studios through arrangement with the artist Wendy Coupling. Late morning the mini-bus arrived at the home of Simon Grennan who works collaboratively with the L.A. based artist Christopher Sperandio before meeting Jessica Lloyd-Jones at her studio in Rhewl, Llangollen.
Martin Barlow, Director of Mostyn with curators.
The day was completed with a return visit to the Mostyn art gallery to view the opening exhibition out of hours, the gallery empty. This was accompanied by a presentation by Martin Barlow on the development of the new exhibition spaces. After an evening of sad farewells, the following day, saw the group return to their respective parts of the globe weighed down with publications and their minds full of images from Wales.
Over the next few months, Wales Arts International will develop the relationships with the curators further. The international curators visits program allows new international creative partnerships to happen, initiating opportunities for artists and arts organisations to link with international galleries and exhibit overseas.
Artes Mundi: www.artesmundi.org
Tactile Bosch: www.tactilebosch.org
Oriel Davies: www.orieldavies.org
Real Institute: www.realinstitute.org