Art Forms

Information sessions | Imagining Natural Scotland

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

Imagining Natural Scotland, aiming to thoroughly think through the relationship between the arts and the natural environment, is holding a series of sessions which promise to be more interesting than the title suggests. Sessions are to encourage collaborations applying for the awards.

Each session will feature,

  • Detailed information on how to apply to the Imagining Natural Scotland fund.
  • A presentation, open discussion and Q&A on a particular aspect of Natural Scotland’s representation in the arts and popular culture; featuring guest speakers from both the environmental and creative sectors.
  • Time for networking and meeting potential collaborators.

For example Dundee feature presentations on cross-disciplinary collaboration from Tentsmuir Artist in Residence, Derek Robertson and Sophie Eastwood the Red Squirrel Project Officer for Fife Coast and Countryside Trust; Inverness will feature Professor Paul M Thompson and artist and composer, Mark Lyken, and curiously Oban will feature Professor Laurence Mee director of Scottish Marine Institute (SAMS) and the designer Daniel Mee.

Dumfries will feature artist, author and planner, Timothy Collins and Reader in the Institute of Geography, Emily Brady on why arts and humanities informed by science are uniquely situated to explore future imaginaries and potential virtues where nature is concerned.

From what we understand one of the key issues for the Imagining Natural Scotland team is that the visual arts (and applied arts?) are perceived to be very engaged with the environment compared to music, dance and poetry, though we’re certain that there are those that would dispute this perception.  The point is that visual and applied artists interested in this programme might want to partner up with other art forms.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.
It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.
Go to EcoArtScotland

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Mus’Art Cameroon seeks to twin with arts institution

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Since its creation in 1996 Musa Heritage Gallery (shortened Mus’Art), named in memory of Nso’ carvers Daniel Kanjo Musa and his elder son John Yuniwo Musa, has been active in propagating the Nso’ cultural heritage.

This cultural initiative by the Musa family opened her doors to the public on 18th December, 1996. Mus’Art Gallery has a collection of over 400 objects, most of which were created between 1970 and 2000. These varied and diverse objects range from Bamboo work to Wood Carvings, Basketry to Pottery. The museum continues to acquire contemporary Cameroonian arts and crafts while maintaining a major focus on the Western Grass-fields region.

Mus’Art Gallery was created in part as to preserve in response to the loss of these precious objects, so the Art of the past is not lost to the region. Its mission is to support the arts and crafts of the Western Grass-fields and to highlight the excellence and diversity of regional artists, past and present, so these may become known nationally and internationally.

The art of Nso’ traditional wood sculpturing is fast disappearing. Most Nso’ renown carvers have died. Youngsters are unwilling to learn the art. Mus’Art Gallery is interested in a rebirth of Nso’traditional wood sculpturing as well as other traditional art forms such as weaving, basketry, bamboo work, knitting of traditional caps and other gadgets with raffia leaves or straw. In fact the arts and crafts industry in Nso’ if revamped can create a lot of jobs for young boys and girls, contribute to economic growth and fight unemployment.

The Mus’Art Gallery in Kumbo, Cameroun, is seeking to twin with a museum, gallery or other arts institution abroad, in order to open the door to new ideas, collaboration and joint programmes that will allow both partners to evolve.

Interested museums or art-based organisations may contact Peter Musa, Mus’Art Director. Email: administration [at] musartgallery [dot] org

Phone: +237 7937 2652

Address: Bamfem Qtr, P.O Box 21, Kumbo, North West region, Cameroun.

For more information about the museum, please visit http://musartgallery.blogspot.fr/

 

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

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4X4 Dance Body And The Environment

4×4 is an eleven-day event on the theme of dance, body and the environment for dance or movement artists, choreographers and artists working in related art-forms.

“Somewhere in the midst of ‘sustainability’ lies an inspiring vision of transformation. As movement artists we will take our dance and choreographic practice into this territory, developing and deepening our sense of the self within the body, to inspire and engender a vital reconnection between humanity and the planet”.

Artists of any discipline and level of experience are welcome to participate in all or just part of the event.

The content and structure of the event will evolve, responding to the needs and interests of the guest artist and participants. The timetable will include taught workshops, performances, discussions, and study labs, with time and space for self-organised and spontaneous activities.

4×4 takes place at two distinctive locations:

The Findhorn Eco-village – a major international centre dedicated to personal and planetary transformation, with access to The Universal Hall Arts Centre theatre, dune-lands, gardens, woods and coastline.

Dundreggan, Glen Moriston, Scottish Highlands – a 10,000 acre estate, owned and run by the charity, Trees For Life, who work to help restore the Caledonian Forest.

www.treesforlife.org.uk/dundreggan

The rural and community settings offered by both locations, shared meals and relaxed social spaces will combine to offer a unique and stimulating environment in which to study, practice and engage with other artists.

To enable and encourage as many artists to participate as possible, the price for unfunded independent artists is equivalent to accommodation + food + £15 per day! Please enquire for the price of funded or supported places. Scottish artists may be able to apply to Creative Scotland’s Professional Development fund.

Please contact us for further information about the event, up to date pricing, guest artists, accommodation and travel options.

via 4X4 Dance Body And The Environment.

4X4 Dance Body And The Environment

This post comes to you from Cultura21

18th – 29th April 2010

With Guest Artists: Jennifer Monson, Simon Whitehead and Angus Balbernie

4×4 is an eleven-day event on the theme of dance, body and the environment for dance or movement artists, choreographers and artists working in related art-forms.

“Somewhere in the midst of ‘sustainability’ lies an inspiring vision of transformation. As movement artists we will take our dance and choreographic practice into this territory, developing and deepening our sense of the self within the body, to inspire and engender a vital reconnection between humanity and the planet”.

More information on the website of bodysurf scotland

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)

– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)

– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)

– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

Slouching Towards Yucca Mountain

This post comes to you from EcoArtScotland

So you want to make radical work about radiation waste, for example, and whilst you write grant applications, you also want to build interest around the work, and avoid reliance on ‘committees’ effectively giving you permission to make the work by waiting for a grant to be approved.  You are an artist first and fund-raising is a task, not an occupation.

Yucca Mountain Glow, Eve Andrée Laramée, Digital Print Archival Ink/Paper

Slouching Towards Yucca Mountain, a video installation by Eve Andrée Laramée – United States Artists – Great art forms here.

This is the second really interesting project which a US-based artist has brought to my attention through the crowd-source fund-raising mechanism of UnitedStatesArtists (the other one was Suzanne Lacy’s The Performing Archive).  These are projects where the support is in the form of publicity, and sometimes match-funding.  (UnitedStatesArtists also offer Fellowships to selected artists.)  I suspect that to benefit from this site you still have to apply and in this case the money comes from your own list of contacts.

The UnitedStatesArtists web site says a few of interesting things,

All donations simultaneously support artists’ projects and the nonprofit mission of USA. The site is built on a joint fundraising model: 81% of every dollar pledged goes directly to the artist’s project, and 19% supports USA’s programs for artists and the site’s administration.

But it also says,

United States Artists has created a structure to identify America’s finest artists and to grant money to them in an efficient manner. Thanks to the generosity of its founders, USA’s operating expenses are fully funded for the next five years. This means 100% of donor contributions are directed to the artists we support.

It also says,

Our horizon line is not three, five, or 25 years, but rather 100 years and beyond. We are building a program that is privately funded, prestigious, and permanently endowed.

And it says,

Historically, public support for the arts and artists is unstable and unreliable; therefore USA will accept only private contributions.

And it doesn’t say,

by ‘private’ they mean individuals and corporations (so it is clear that Ford is a major contributor, but the other corporations are not clear.  Corporations should be explicit and some ethical limitations should be set).

Eve’s project is excellent and you really ought to support it: even $25 makes a difference.

No fund-raising is without hard work.  This is another approach to the problem.  It does make it more personal rather than remote and bureaucratic.  I do want this project to happen, and I did want Suzanne Lacy’s to happen, so I did contribute.  Art may belong to a ‘gift’ culture, but where does the gift come from?

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge ResearchGray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

Go to EcoArtScotland

Arts, Culture and Creative Economy: The Greatest Sacrifice Arts Workers Make for the Arts

An excerpt from a post on Gary Steuer’s blog:

With all the financial challenges arts workers are facing these days – struggling to balance the budgets of their organizations, or dealing with salary and benefit cuts on compensation that was modest to begin with – it is easy to view the sacrifices people make to work in this field as being entirely financial.

Not to minimize the financial sacrifices – they ARE significant – but I would argue they are probably no more significant than a wide array of professions where people choose to devote themselves to the pursuit of “making the world a better place”. This includes early childhood workers, teachers, social workers, the whole world of NGOsworking in challenged communities, both domestically and abroad. And the sacrifices all these workers make are also not just financial. We all work long hours, and often under trying and unglamorous circumstances (though to outsiders arts work can seem glamorous).

No, I think the more significant – and unique – sacrifice arts workers make is that we lose the capacity for full, innocent and glorious enjoyment of the very art that our passion for drove us to make our life’s work in the first place.  What do I mean by this?  Think about your earliest experiences with the arts, your first encounter with Matisse, or Chuck Close; your first time in the audience for Sondheim, or Verdi; that time you first saw Baryshnikov on stage, or Judith Jamison. Remember that childlike joy – even if you were not a child – that total immersion in the art where the whole world disappeared and you were unaware of time, of the person chewing gum next to you? Now tell, me when was the last time you felt that?  Sure, you are still passionate about the art form or all art forms, you still go to museums, or opera, or theatre, but something has been lost. Admit it.

Read the full article here:  Arts, Culture and Creative Economy: The Greatest Sacrifice Arts Workers Make for the Arts.

The thing we shouldn’t be asking artists to do


Heart of Darkness by Cornelia Parker, 2004 from Earth: art of a changing world, London 2009

This is Climate Action on Cultural Hertitage week – it’s an initiative championed by Bridget McKenzie as a response to the growing number of individuals and organisations calling for a more clearly defined sense of purpose from the arts and heritage sector.  People like Al Tickell of Julie’s Bicycle ask: “Why do we expect moral leadership to come from corporations and science? Surely the meaningful nature of the arts in society puts it in a position to take a lead on climate action?”

There are two aspects to this. Firstly it’s about how we behave ourselves. Art fairs, say, have become an example of the muscularity of the art industry. As curators/critics Maja and Reuben Fowkes have asked,  is this world of global art jamborees a sustainable one? Gustav Metzger’s Reduce Art Flights was one of the artist’s passionate “appeals”, this time to the art world to reconsider how they had been seduced into transporting themselves and their works around the globe. Furtherfield.org’s We Won’t Fly For Art was equally explicit, asking artists to commit to opting out of the high profile career track that conflates your ability to command air tickets with success.

Industries can change the way they behave. Tickell’s work with the music business has already shown how a cultural industry can transform itself in terms of process.

But there’s also the role of art as a spoke in the wheel of culture. Science itself changes nothing. To become a transitional society requires more than policy. The real change must be cultural. So should climate be the subject matter of art?

Pause for thought: Do we want rock stars enjoining us to change our ways? Please God, no. See? If it doesn’t work for rock music, why should it work for other art forms?

In an article being published next week on the RSA Arts & Ecology website, Madeleine Bunting will be arguing strongly against the urge to push artists into an instrumental role in climate:

“The visual arts offer a myriad of powerful ways to think and feel more deeply about our age and our humanity, but it is almost impossible to trace the causal links of how that may feed through to political engagement or behaviour change,” she cautions.

It is time to accept that artists don’t simply  ”do” climate. Even the most obviously campaigning art is of little value if it is simply reducible to being about climate. They may be inspired to create by the facts of science and economics, as Metzger and Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett of Furtherfield were in those examples above, but if you asked them to make art about climate they’d almost certainly run a mile.

What was interesting about the RA exhibition Earth: art of a changing world was the way that made that explicit. Artists like Cornelia Parker and Keith Tyson were clear in saying their pieces that they weren’t necessarily conceived with climate in mind at all, (though both are passionate about the subject). The decision to include Parker’s Heart of Darkness as an a piece of work to make us ponder the destruction of our planet was a curatorial one.

There’s a kind of separation between church and state needed here; institutions shouldn’t just be looking to their carbon footprints, they should be looking to see how they can contextualise this cultural shift with what they show their audiences – whatever the artform. It is up to the curators, directors and art directors to take on this role. In this coming era, we urgently need events, exhibitions and festivals that make us feel more deeply about the change taking place around us – and we need them to find new audiences for those explorations too.

But what we shouldn’t be doing is asking artists to make art about climate.

Read Bridget McKenzie’s Framework for climate action in cultural and heritage organisations

Follow Climate Action on Cultural Hertitage #cach on twitter

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Respond! – or how we can make the most noise

Anyone who’s subscribed to the RSA Arts & Ecology site newsletter will have already had this info, but for those who are not, Arts & Ecology in conjunction with Bash Creations are initiating Respond! as a way of highlighting events thorughout the UK – across all art forms – that deal with ecological issues. By networking us all together the idea is we can create that bigger splash. To wit:

Respond! will celebrate and showcase the achievements and commitment of the arts in addressing environmental issues.  Our aim is to engage and inspire arts audiences through discussion and response to the events, exhibitions, talks, projects and activity happening in June.

Visit here to find out more.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology