Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
FT07 @ Assembly St Just
Artists’ Forum, St Just, Cornwall, 29th Feb - 3rd of March 2008
A group of 8 London based, emerging artists with the aid of funding from Artquest London are holding a four-day forum session at Assembly residency space, St Just Cornwall. Our forum group decided to use this funding to explore the different aspects of the London art scene in relation to other National Art Centres, with the aim of not being so London-centric in our approach.
This particular session is being hosted by Assembly, a residency space in St Just, set up by Abigail Reynolds and Andy Harper, who currently straddle the Cornish/London art worlds by dividing their practices between the two locations. The decision to mobilize their practices, the relevance of doing so, and their decision to create a residency space available for other artists to do the same, will inform the discussions we have throughout the 4 day residency. Ultimately, the aim for the artists in residence is that discussion should stimulate a creative process. The format is going to be two discussions, exploring broadly the theme of a London / Cornwall divide from two different angles.
1. Practice, in terms of mobilizing and relocating practice; the practicalities and logistics for any artist attempting to do so. Relevant as so many opportunities available to artists seem to be formatted as residencies, involving a temporary upheaval and relocation. In addition to this we will take a wider look at the contemporary relevance and implications of doing so.
2. Infrastructure, an exploration of the creative infrastructures in Cornwall and their roles in bridging this divide. How it affects the remit of the organisations and the work that they carry out. How successful they are as platforms and support networks for local artists and their role in ensuring that the criticality of work being made is kept in context.
Friday, February 8, 2008
In fact, in its defence, the private galleries have had a lot of influence in recent years because of a lack of credible alternatives. For example there has been little significant art-writing in Cornwall, and even institutions like the artist societies have, in the recent past, seemed to conspire against the emergence of new art, dominated as they have been by older artists seeking to maintain their influence. Even artist-led organisations have struggled to gain enough momentum to make much of a difference, partly because the audience for genuinely challenging work has been so small. There are signs, however, that this is changing.
Cornish art is at a cross-roads. No longer able to rely on past glories, it has made the move away from the relative certainties of modernism into the uncertain world of ‘post-modern’ art tentatively and reluctantly, and has yet to fully assert its own identity and direction. Making good and interesting art is difficult and needs support from the right kind of infra-structure. Because of this, there are probably only a handful of artists living and working down here who are currently good enough to 'compete' on a national or international stage. That’s the bad news. The good news is that, on the evidence of this show and others, there are a lot more who have the potential to do so.