In 2014, the New Art West Midlands prize winning artists were given, as part of their prize, the opportunity of a project or residency with an arts organisation.
Below we give an update form the artists and the curators involved.
The Artists — Host organisations
Graduate – Staffordshire University
Ali’s work is site-specific as she takes the foundation of existing buildings and reconfigures with a range of materials.
The period of Ali’s research has focused on the architecture of Digbeth and culminated in a series of site responsive interventions as part of Digbeth First Friday in June. Individual works were sited at Grand Union, Stryx, The Bond and A3, and accompanied by a hand crafted brochure. See Ali’s tumblr for details on her residency.
“During this residency she has explored the idea of pushing her practice into non-gallery spaces. Her research and findings have culminated in a temporary one night series of interventions throughout particular art venues of Digbeth First Friday. The aim of the interventions is to make viewers see the formations which surround them, for them to stop and look at the architecture and think about where they are.”
– Trevor Pitt, Curator
Graduate – Coventry University
Lucy is interested in the construction of class and her study of the Carte-de-visite portraits will enable her to see first hand constructions of Victorian class, status and taste.
The artist was hosted by the Library of Birmingham to create new work in response to Birmingham’s nationally and internationally significant photographic archive, held within the Library’s collections. The work will be exhibited at The Photographers’ Wall, the Library of Birmingham.
Lucy has researched and responded to the staged Victorian Carte-de-visite portraits taken in Birmingham studios held in the Library’s photographic archive. The portraits capture the middle class and celebrities of the day, becoming iconic collectibles depicting the taste, culture and trends of that era. Taking inspiration from these photographs, Lucy has created 4 photographic scenes based on real and fictional narrative of the middle class.
Graduate – University of Wolverhampton
Anna makes objects that have a direct relationship to the human body, sometimes incorporating materials associated with prosthetics or mobility aids.
Anna undertook a six-week residency at the mac over the summer. Anna was able to reflect on her work and the relationship with the artist Robert Therrien’s practice. The Artist Rooms exhibition at the mac encouraged Anna to consider the playfulness of movement that can be created and/or interrupted. Anna was also mentored by the curator Nöemi Lakmaier also in residence at mac.
The work was shown in the grounds of mac –
`It is important to also involve children when it comes to understanding and experiencing disability and disabled people.’
– Anna Smith.
Graduate Staffordshire University.
Sikander transforms mundane objects such as chairs, walls and plinths into poetic visual forms by challenging our perceptions of the usual functions associated with them.
Sikander has visited the Gallery twice now and has spent time with the Gallery’s technical team experimenting with ideas, materials and techniques in the workshop. He is currently working intensively in Pakistan where he remains in dialogue with the Gallery team. He will return for a meeting in November to finalise plans for his exhibition which will be on display on the 4th floor from 30 January – 19 April 2015 (preview on 29 January, all welcome).