Do we need to grow up?
Minna L Henriksson | Timothy Ivison & Julia Tcharfas
James Lomax | Agnieszka Polska | Joseph Shaw
A project exploring artist ecosystems; the models and systems by which we thrive or barely survive.
What are the rules, interactions and conditions that form and cultivate artist-led communities and workspaces? Do these delicate artist ecosystems have a lifespan, how long before we become the institution we react against – do we need to grow up?
The eruption of artist clusters and DIY culture is often counterbalanced with economic stability and redevelopment strategy; forming a complex set of relationships between the people who live in a place, artists, arts organisations and the cultural policy that determines how we produce and consume. Do we need to grow up? examines these connections and how particular ecologies evolve beyond a singular movement.
This project formed part of The NewBridge Project’s 5th birthday – it critically considered and celebrated the nature of artist-led communities and workspace.
Minna Henriksson (born 1976) currently lives in Helsinki. She has studied art in Brighton, Helsinki and Malmö, and worked in many Southeast European cities, as well as lived in Istanbul at a number of times since 2003. She is interested in both making visible and disturbing power and its manifestations through (her) art. She employs various methods in her investigative art, which often consist of text, drawing and photography. Her works have been relating to topics such as nationalism, racism, economy, rewriting or erasing the history of the left struggle, and politics in art scenes. Henriksson has participated in a number of significant exhibitions internationally, and she has had several solo exhibitions in Finland and abroad.
Timothy Ivison and Julia Tcharfas live and work. Recent projects include Systems Thinking from the Inside, Chisenhale Gallery; Render, Hilary Crisp Gallery; and Recent Work by Artists, Auto Italia, [Space] Gallery, and Can Felipa in Barcelona. Ivison and Tcharfas’s body of work is grounded in a sculptural practice and is driven by experimentation with object relations and historical references. They develop aesthetic and spatial language around their research interests, ranging from utopian social theory and architectural history, to urban nature experiments.
James Lomax is an artist living and working in London. His work is of an autobiographical nature, exploring ideas about making and specifically the role of the craftsman within society today. His work is site reactive – not specific and inspiration taken from a specific location is fundamental in both the project’s conceptual and material development.
James was artist in residence at the Lombard Method in Birmingham shortly after graduating from The Ruskin School of Art and this is where his interest in artist-led spaces first stemmed from. During this time his interest with the idea of the craftsman and perfection for perfection’s sake turned away from ideas of physical craftsmanship and turned instead to that of social craftsmanship.
The prospects an artist led space can offer within a community became a way of developing the concept of social craftsmanship into real terms and consequently became a central focus to his work.
Living and working in the saturated environment of London, it is the peripheral locations that offer the greatest draw for James, where artist-led opportunities can potentially offer a more valuable contribution. In 2014 James received funding through the Sky Academy Program allowing him the opportunity to work collaboratively with such spaces and engage with the social and physical geography of an area to create public focused outcomes.
Agnieszka Polska born in 1985 in Lublin, Poland; lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam; studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow and the Universitaet der Kunste Berlin. Her solo shows include: Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, Great Britain (2014), Pseudoword Hazards, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria (2013); How the Work is Done, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine (2012);Decades, Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus , Cottbus, Germany (2010); her group shows include: You Imagine What You Desire, 19. Bienale of Sydney, Australia (2014); Mom, Am I Barbarian?, 13. Istanbul Bienali, Turkey (2013); The Black Moon, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2013); Future Generation Art Prize, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kijev, Ukraine (2012); SOUNDWORKS, ICA, London, Great Britain (2012); Based in Berlin, KunstWerke Center for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2011); Early Years, KunstWerke Center for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2010). Currently Polska is the resident of Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam.
Agnieszka Polska, How the work is done (film still), 2011
Joseph Shaw is an artist based in Newcastle upon Tyne. His immersive installations tackle the forced obsolescence of technology post-2000, bring to light issues of trustworthiness and distrust of objects and individuals, and question notions of causation and effect (or actions and their reactions) with a permeating dark humour. Shaw’s work has been shown in exhibitions both in the UK and internationally and he is one of the founding members of the Roundabout collective based in Munich, Germany. Shaw graduated from Newcastle University in 2015 and has since become a member of NewBridge Studios.
Do we need to grow up? was kindly supported by Arts Council England.
Main image: Timothy Ivison & Julia Tcharfas, Metropotamia, 2011 (Hilary Crisp Gallery)