Tag Archives: meet-the-artist

Museums at Nightclub opportunity: expression of interest form

A few months ago we introduced the idea of Museums at Nightclub: an artist-led, touring event series taking place in Autumn / Winter 2015, produced by a consortium of venues in conjunction with Culture24, taking place in areas with low engagement in the arts. It will feature artists who specialise in participatory arts events, and who have worked on the Connect10 project in previous years.

We are developing a proposal to submit to Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Programme before Christmas, involving a partnership with venues. Could you be one of them?

Download the three page information pack to find out more about what will be involved.

We want to work with 16 venues from all over the country over the two year lifetime of the project, eight in the first year and again eight in year two. We want to submit the application with at least eight venues firmly committed to the project and at least eight more aiming for year two.

Venues from anywhere in England may express an interest but preference will be given to those identified by the Taking Part Survey (2008 – 2010) as being in the 118 local authority areas in the country with the lowest level of engagement in the arts.

We will read all the expression of interest forms submitted and contact everybody before inclusion in the final application. Inclusion in the application is not to be taken as a commitment by Culture24 to include your venue in the project.

The first stage of the project after receiving a positive decision would be to hold detailed discussions with the artists and interested venues. At this stage there are many aspects of the event that may lead us to need to prioritise one venue over another; diarising simultaneous events, artist schedules, facilities, technical considerations, progress of audience development planning and much more besides.

Want to get involved? Your next steps:

1) Download the Museums at Nightclub 3 page info pack and list of local authority areas of low arts engagement. You can still apply if your local authority isn’t listed here,

2) Discuss the opportunity with your team. Becoming part of the new Museums at Nightclub touring network will involve a lot of time and development work ahead of the events in autumn / winter 2015: do you have the capacity for this?

3) Phone Nick on 01273 623279 or Rosie on 01273 623336 for a discussion about how this opportunity would work for your organisation.

4) Want to apply? Download the list of application form questions, and start preparing your answers.

N.B. Please take a look at the list of questions from the expression of interest form first, to prepare your answers before filling in the form. The form is two pages long, involves a certain amount of detail about your target audiences, and must be completed in one sitting – you can’t save it and come back to it.  

5) Ready to submit your expression of interest? Please fill in this form by Friday 29 November.

Please get in touch with Nick or Rosie if you have any questions relating to this project, or if you can’t download the documents – we’re happy to email them to you.

Guest post: Ella Lewis-Collins on a night of drama at the Jerwood Gallery

Our latest guest post comes from Ella Lewis-Collins, and looks at how a change of plans meant the Jerwood Gallery had to rethink their Museums at Night event idea … and what they’ll be offering visitors instead.

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Last year, the Jerwood Gallery won the Chapman Brothers in the Connect10 competition for an event during the Museums at Night festival. Our evening with the Chapmans consisted of a party with a giant game of consequences.

Adults drawing on a large piece of paper on the ground

Jake Chapman leading Exquisite Corpse drawing session at the Jerwood Gallery (c) Pete Jones

Participants made hideous, amusing and often obscene ‘exquisite corpses’ on 6 foot pieces of paper, passing them around to strangers to complete, with Jake Chapman jumping in and helping people add weird and wonderful details to their creations.

A group of people in an art gallery looking at a large drawing

Visitors looking at an Exquisite Corpse artwork with Jake Chapman (c) Pete Jones

This was so much fun that we decided we had to go for another artist in the competition this year. We picked the photographer Spencer Tunick with the hope of bringing him to Hastings for a mass participation nude shoot on Hastings fishing beach.

Our campaign to win Spencer was one that got lots of support – the wonderful people of Hastings and beyond got behind the ‘Vote Jerwood, Vote Hastings’ campaign and we even had a flash mob strip completely naked on Hastings beach to help promote the vote, which made international news!

Nude flashmob on Hastings Beach, image courtesy Ciaran McCrickard / Connors

Nude flashmob on Hastings Beach, image courtesy Ciaran McCrickard / Connors

Despite almost doubling the number of votes that we got last year, it sadly wasn’t to be and George House Gallery, Folkestone won Spencer. After we found out that we hadn’t won Spencer, we didn’t want the opportunity of doing something for Museums at Night to pass us by. The tricky thing was working out to do instead.

Devising a new event idea

A few members of the team got together and we decided what we wanted was to create a gallery experience which allowed visitors to explore the gallery in a completely new way. We wanted it to have a distinctive evening atmosphere and we wanted people to remember ‘that time we went to the Jerwood Gallery’. Essentially something atmospheric, unique and creative. So then we thought of the Baron…

A man in a hat with his shadow silhouetted

Baron Gilvan (c) Kipperklock Photography

The Baron is a wonderful, slightly dark and magical character who we had the pleasure of working with when we celebrated the gallery’s first birthday in March last year. He transformed the gallery’s studio into ‘The Baron’s Art School’ for the weekend and took families on a magical journey – following the character of ‘Christina the Astonishing’ in a performance workshop incorporating painting, puppetry and animation. The event sold out and was hugely popular with both children and adults.

We approached the Baron’s creator, Chris Gilvan-Carwright, to see if he would like to work for us on a special commission for Museums at Night this year. We met with Chris and Isobel Smith of Grist to the Mill, a puppeteer who often collaborates with the Baron on his performance projects, at the gallery.

Tips on working with performance artists

It’s hugely important when planning these sort of performative events that those who are delivering the performance can get a sense of the space. This is not only for practical reasons but because so often the space and the art on the walls provides new inspiration.

Chris came up with the idea of running a Baron’s Art School in which participants journey into the paintings, transporting the audience into another world. This provides the audience with a completely new way of looking at and experiencing art in the gallery; the activities will also make them active participants rather than passive observers to the works on the walls.

A character with a funnel on his head performing with small objects

The Baron’s Art School (c) Kipperklock Photography

I really believe if you find the right performer, then the best thing to do is trust them with the development of the performance or the event. Whilst practicalities need to be considered by the venue, it’s usually best to allow the artists to work and get their creative juices flowing – the event will be all the better as a result.

Marketing the mysterious 

In terms of marketing the event, I wanted to convey a sense of excitement and anticipation. I did this through providing snippets of enticing information without giving too much away. There’s more excitement if there’s a bit of mystery!

I always try to listen to the words that the artist or performer uses to describe their work in order to help me develop the marketing copy. Sometimes even writing down verbatim (or recording – with their permission) what they say in planning meetings can be incredibly useful, as their passion and enthusiasm for what they do really comes across and helps to enthuse the audience too.

Images are also hugely important. People find it a lot easier to imagine themselves at an event if they have a visual sense of what it will be like. This can be tricky if a similar event hasn’t taken place before, however some sort of image conveying the atmosphere of the event is essential. Fortunately Chris had a number of great shots from previous events with the Baron, which we were able to use.

I think this year’s Museums at Night with the Baron will be a magical one. Our event – The Baron’s Art School presents Bringing Painting to Life – will take place on Friday 16 May. Tickets cost £15, and you can find out more about the event here: http://www.jerwoodgallery.org/whatson/events/79/the-barons-art-school

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A girl wearing a hatElla Lewis-Collins is the Communications and Marketing Manager at Jerwood Gallery. She joined the gallery in January 2012, prior to the gallery opening in March 2012. Before this Ella worked at FEI, an arts consultancy company. She has an MA in the Reception of the Classical World from UCL. You can follow Ella on Twitter @ellalc, and the Jerwood Gallery @jerwoodgallery.

 

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Thanks, Ella!

If you’d like to write a guest post or share a case study about any aspect of audience development, event planning or marketing in the arts and heritage sector, please email rosie@culture24.org.uk.

Bring Modern Toss or their Cistern Chapel exhibition to your Museums at Night event

This is a very unusual offer of an artist-led Museums at Night event and / or an exhibition for your venue’s toilets! Three venues can host the exhibition, and one can host the event.

This isn’t right for every organisation, but if you think this could be just the thing to attract a different audience to your venue, please contact Nick Stockman: nick@culture24.org.uk or 01273 623279.

MODERN TOSS – THE CISTERN CHAPEL – CHAMBER WORKS

For the first time ever satirical artists Modern Toss (Jon Link and Mick Bunnage) will take their prints on a gallery-tour outside of London to celebrate a decade of their work. This exhibition can be hung at a venue without the other elements of the evening.

The exhibition will reflect the manner in which these works have been displayed in people’s homes up and down the country and will primarily focus on the special relationship between the work, and the room which they traditionally inhabit.

The Cistern Chapel will feature a bespoke selection of classic Modern Toss pieces displayed in the public toilets of three arts or heritage venues, allowing the viewer the opportunity to experience the work in a space appropriate context, whilst hopefully leaving enough elbow room for a pee, if you need one.

To celebrate a decade of their ground-breaking satirical artwork Modern Toss present for one night only:

The Modern Toss Late Night Activity Centre 

Modern Toss has created an event made up of five different elements, including the Cistern Chapel Chamber Works show.

1) The F***YEUX 2 Tapestry – A live drawing event

people creating a large drawing

Modern Toss and gallery visitors creating the first F***YEUX Tapestry (c) Modern Toss

Join Jon and Mick as they try to break their previous world record for the longest single panel cartoon with the F-word in it. This multi-participant drawing event will take place on during Museums at Night 2014; just turn up, we’ll supply the pen. Afterwards see your work immortalised in the commemorative online scrolling tapestry, and in book form.

2) The Living Cartoon

A man in a stage set

Visitor posing a a Living Cartoon (c) Modern Toss

The living cartoon is a unique opportunity to experience what it feels like to be a character in a Modern Toss cartoon.

3) The Modern Toss Portrait Booth

a reworked photo booth

Enter the Portrait Booth (c) Modern Toss

Get your portrait drawn by either Jon or Mick as you sit in their specially constructed Portrait Booth.

4) The Periodic Table Of Swearing

Come and witness the amazing Interactive Periodic Table of Swearing: press a button and it swears back at you. Get a right earful off this state-of-the-art technological miracle.

A desk with lots of buttons

The Periodic Table of Swearing (c) Modern Toss

Interested? Your next step:

Download this information as a 2 page PDF to discuss with your team.

This won’t be appropriate for every arts or heritage organisation, but if you think Modern Toss’s offer of an exhibition in your toilets, or an exclusive pop-up Museums at Night event could be just the thing to attract a different audience to your venue, please contact Nick Stockman on nick@culture24.org.uk or 01273 623279.

1 week extension: Apply for Connect10 artist Spencer Tunick by Friday 29 November

We’re nothing if not flexible at Museums at Night HQ, and in the run-up to the Connect10 competition we’ve had some really interesting conversations with organisations who are interested in applying for photographer Spencer Tunick but need more time to do location scouting and plan their bid.

So, we’ve extended the deadline to apply for Spencer Tunick to be your Connect10 artist until 11am on Friday 29 November.

To apply to host Spencer Tunick, simply fill in this form.

Spencer Tunick

Spencer Tunick stages scenes in which the battle of nature against culture is played out against various backdrops, from civic center to desert sandstorm, man and woman are returned to a preindustrial, pre-everything state of existence.  Tunick has traveled the globe to create these still and video images of multiple nude figures in public settings. Organizing groups from a handful of participants to tens of thousands, all volunteers, is often logistically daunting; the subsequent images transcend ordinary categories and meld sculpture and performance in a new genre.

A group of nude bodies lying in an urban landscape

Installation (c) Spencer Tunick

Given the constant threat of arrest (which has happened several times in his career) Spencer has not undertaken a group installation on the streets of New York in over ten years. In order to make his work without the threat of incarceration, the artist decide to take his work abroad – his most notable installations have been commissioned by Art Basel, Switzerland (1999), Institut Cultura, Barcelona (2003), XXV Biennial de Sao Paulo, Brazil (2002), The Saatchi Gallery in London (2003), MOCA Cleveland (2004) and Vienna Kunsthalle (2008).

Spencer Tunick’s Connect10 event idea:

Given the fact that Spencer’s large scale nude installations generally require big budgets and an enormous time investment, this Museums at Night event will involve a more intimate look at his practice. Spencer’s work with ‘scopes’ (individual miniature viewfinders, like the ones he’s is holding in his self-portrait photograph) allows him a more private way of portraying his nude subjects.

A man dressed in yellow holding flourescent plastic objects on key chains

The artist holding plastic scopes (c) Spencer Tunick

Just as Andy Warhol used to Polaroid cameras to capture his subjects in intimate small spontaneous portraits, Spencer intends to achieve the same thing. The act of carrying around a private portrait that can only be viewed through a small lens is reminiscent of the way we all use our iPhones to take 21st century Polaroids.

The essence of Spencer’s event will be about the nature of people’s interactions with intimate images and how that has evolved and changed (but stayed intrinsically the same) since the Victorian era ‘What The Butler Saw’ peepshows, through to the heyday of the key-chain viewer in the 50s and 60s to the present day iPhone and Instagram generation.

‘Tunick is a fourth-generation photographer. His great-grandfather owned the first Kodak photo finishing plant in downtown New York. His grandfather was a photographer for the United Nations Council on Foreign Relations, photographing heads of state, like President John F. Kennedy and Fidel Castro. And his father photographed guests at hotels in the Catskills in the 1960s and ’70s, selling them back their photos in key-chain viewers.’ (From USA Today)

The key-chain viewer or scope will be the hardware in which the photos taken during this unique event will be delivered. Using real film and the E-6 process to develop the images Spencer wants to explore photographic heritage, the nature of collaboration and the contrast between a fast-moving shoot and the more time-consuming production process.

Using this technique, Spencer is proposing a mass performative portrait shoot, either somewhere in Greater London, or at a coastal venue with access to a beach, within 2 hours drive of London. The exact location will only be made available to participants.

This is not a group work, but a series of quickly taken individual portraits. Spencer is looking for 100-250 volunteers to participate in this unique piece of performance art (an even split of men and women) – the application process will be explored with the winning venue. Once all subjects have been photographed, each image will be inserted into its own individual keychain scope and given to each participant as a gift during a special artist-led event at the venue later that evening.

Location scouting

Because Spencer is based in the US and therefore unable to scout locations himself, this process itself will form the basis of the venues’ proposals. We invite London venues and coastal venues in Suffolk, Essex, Kent, Hampshire and East or West Sussex to suggest a location for this work.

Locations need to be: within 200 metres of the venue, visually interesting, preferably off the beaten track, preferably outside, probably quirky, possibly not and perhaps where there’s little or no regular traffic.

Each venue may submit a maximum of 4 proposed locations – one good quality JPG photograph of the location and a brief description (25 words each max.) required.

This shoot will take place during the day before the evening event. Later that evening Spencer would like to host a special event at the winning venue for all the participants although other non-participants could also attend. It’s during this event that the finished artworks will be presented to each participant. The aim of the evening is for each person to walk away with a genuine Spencer Tunick artwork in their hands. But will they want their own image in the viewfinder or that of a nude stranger? Just one question this event can explore. It would also be interesting to find a way of displaying the complete collection of images taken earlier that day so participants get a sense of the project as a whole. The detail of this finale event is also open to proposals.

Spencer is available to venues situated in the Greater London area or on the coast (with access to the beach) within a two-hour drive from London. The shoot would take place on the day of Thursday or Friday and the evening event on Friday or Saturday.

Up to £1,000 of the venue’s £2,000 prize money is earmarked to pay for the scope viewfinders that Spencer will use for the event.

To apply to host Spencer Tunick, simply fill in this form.

Connect10 artists to speak at Museums at Night briefings

We are delighted to announce that in addition to the expert speakers joining the Museums at Night team for our jaunt round the country in late September spreading the good word about Museums at Night and Connect10, we’ll also be joined by three of the artists who took part in the 2013 festival: Richard Wentworth, Julian Wild and Julia Vogl.

Richard Wentworth at Whitworth Art Gallery for Museums at Night 2013 (c) David Oates

Richard Wentworth at Whitworth Art Gallery for Museums at Night 2013 (c) David Oates

On Monday 23 September we will be joined at the Jewish Museum in London by Richard Wentworth CBE, sculptor and academic who worked with Manchester’s Museum, Art Gallery and the Whitworth Gallery on a joint project to curate visitors’ collected objects for Museums at Night 2013.

A man speaks to a large crowd in an art gallery

Richard Wentworth welcomes visitors to the Whitworth Art Gallery for Museums at Night 2013 (c) David Oates

Richard has played a leading role in New British Sculpture since the end of the 1970s. His playful approach to using everyday and found objects reinterprets them and breaks conventional systems of classification. His Museums at Night event in Manchester invited visitors to think about curatorial and classification issues within the context of their own possessions. The event also featured an entertaining coach journey between the museum and the gallery accompanied by costumed interpreters. We are honoured to have Richard along on what is sure to be a fascinating session.

Book your place at the free London briefing session here: http://museumsnightlondon.eventbrite.co.uk/

On Thursday 26 September, Birmingham University’s Winterbourne House site welcomes artist and sculptor Julian Wild.

A man and two children make a large sculpture out of white pipes

Julian Wild and young visitors collaborating on the Making the Connection sculpture for Museums at Night (c) Enginuity

Julian lit up Ironbridge Gorge’s Enginuity venue during Museums at Night when he brought half a kilometre of plumbing pipe for visitors to play with!

Julian had spent hours painting the pipes with light sensitive paint so that once the visitors’ skeletal-like abstract construction was completed and the lights turned off the piece glowed, a bluish hue bringing to mind a ghostly shipwreck. We look forward to hearing more about Julian’s long nights in the shed with a paintbrush!

Book your place at the free Birmingham briefing session here: http://museumsnightbirmingham.eventbrite.co.uk/

The last leg of our autumn odyssey reaches Bradford’s National Media Museum on Friday 27 September where we will be joined by Anglo-American ‘social sculptor’ Julia Vogl.

A flyer containing instructions for participating in an art event

Instructions for Julia Vogl’s participatory social sculpture (c) Nick Stockman

For Museums at Night 2013, Julia worked with visitors to the Discovery Museum in Newcastle to collect 2,500 empty plastic bottles. On the night visitors were asked to choose a piece of coloured paper matching the regional location they most identify with and pop it in one of the bottles. The bottles were then strung together to create a structure resembling a giant jellyfish hoisted around the central chandelier of the venue’s Great Hall.

Julia is dedicated, articulate and entertaining so the visitors to the northern session are in for a treat!

Book your place at the free Bradford briefing session here: http://museumsatnightbradford.eventbrite.co.uk/

We’re confident that everyone coming along to the briefings will get something new and interesting out of them, so if you haven’t already, sign up to book your free place now – we look forward to meeting you!

Those booking links once more:

London briefing session, Monday 23 September http://museumsnightlondon.eventbrite.co.uk/

Birmingham briefing session, Thursday 26 September http://museumsnightbirmingham.eventbrite.co.uk/

Bradford briefing session, Friday 27 September http://museumsatnightbradford.eventbrite.co.uk/

The Connect10 competition returns: win an artist and funding towards your Museums at Night event

The Connect10 logo

We’re delighted to announce that the Connect10 competition is back for Museums at Night 2013: your museum or gallery could win one of ten top contemporary artists and a financial subsidy for your Museums at Night event!

In 2013 there will be a share of £35,000 available to pay for venues to work with artists to devise outstanding events.

Any cultural or heritage venue in the country can submit an event idea, forty will be shortlisted to go through to the public vote, and all shortlisted venues that don’t win an artist will be supported, through small grants, to go ahead with a Museums at Night event.

The ten artists taking part are:

  • Jake and Dinos Chapman, irreverent Turner Prize nominees whose provocative sculptures were part of the infamous Young British Artist exhibitions Brilliant! and Sensation. They recently caused controversy by drawing on watercolours believed to have been painted by Hitler.
  • Martin Creedartist and musician who won the 2001 Turner Prize for Work No. 227: the lights going on and off.
  • Mat Collishawphotographer and video innovator known for his hard-hitting images of beauty and cruelty, who has created adult zoetropes, photographed himself trying to catch fairies, and used phosphorescent paint to convey the brief lives of Victorian street children.
  • Cullinan Richardsthe sculpture and filmmaking partnership of Charlotte Cullinan and Jeanine Richards, who work with fiction, personal histories and live performance.
  • Susan ForsythLondon-based sculptor who creates large geometric works such as Wiff-Waff, an enormous gilded ping-pong table inviting visitors to play and make up their own rules.
  • Random Internationaldigital artists and sculptors whose current astounding installation Rain Room at the Barbican invites visitors to walk through a ‘wet room’ yet not get wet!
  • Gavin Turkwho created the travelling art circus House of Fairy Tales which has delighted families in unusual places ranging from literary festivals to Camp Bestival.
  • Julia Vogl, creator of social sculpture, architectural interventions and colourful public engagement projects.
  • Richard WentworthBritish sculpture and installation artist, curator and (back in the day) Damien Hirst’s teacher.
  • Julian Wildsculptor and creator of the Making the Connection communal sculpture construction project.
A colourful group of people singing and dancing on an outdoor stage

Join the fun! Susan Forsyth’s Zusammen Choir at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Art, 2008 (c) Susan Forsyth

The money:

Winning venues receive a bursary of £2000 to support their event, enabling ambitious and creative event programming. The venues who come in second place will receive a £200 bursary towards their alternative Museums at Night events, while those who come third and fourth will receive £100 each, helping everyone to be part of the festival.

How to take part:

If you’re interested in entering the Connect10 competition, which always leads to a lot of publicity and which can be a terrific audience development vehicle, your next steps are:

1) Download our simple at-a-glance Connect10 essentials guide and the detailed Connect10 information pack for venues to read through and discuss with your team. You can also download the terms and conditions for participating venues to make sure you understand what’s expected if you take part.

2) The 10 participating artists have shared statements explaining their approach to Connect10, their inspiration and how they work. Take a look and decide which artist you’re interested in bringing to your venue, and what sort of event you’d like to stage with them.

3) Once you have buy-in from everyone in your organisation, it’s time to enter your event idea. There’s a simple form for you to submit your event ideas online here: this will close at 5pm on Thursday 31 January 2013.

When filling in the form, as well as your contact details and artist selection, we’ll be asking you to outline more about your event idea.

We recommend you write out your responses to this before you go to the submission form, as you can’t save your progress and return to it: if you don’t complete the form within one browser session you will need to start a new one.

Questions will include:

  • Your reason for choosing this particular artist, and the connections you see between their work and your venue, collections or location (maximum 100 words)
  • Details of the event: what will happen, the format it will take, how it will involve audience participation, whereabouts in your venue it will take place, and any other information you want to tell us (maximum 200 words)
  • The type of audience you’re aiming to attract with this event (maximum 100 words)
  • A very basic budget outline explaining what you will spend the £2000 prize money on (maximum 100 words) – don’t forget that the artist’s fee, travel and accommodation costs will already be covered, but you’ll need to budget for the artists’ materials.

The event submission form is here: https://culture24.wufoo.eu/forms/connect10-event-submission-form-2013/

If you’d like to discuss your plans with Nick or Rosie first, we’re only a phonecall away on 01273 623279 and 01273 623336.

Thanks – and the very best of luck!

The Connect10 competition is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Watch Polly Morgan’s Connect10 taxidermy demonstration at Victoria Gallery & Museum

The Connect10 competition, where museums and galleries could win a top contemporary artist for their Museums at Night event, was a great success in 2012. Venues tried lots of new event ideas, and attracted both new audiences and lapsed attenders.

One of the most unusual events was a live demonstration of taxidermy by Polly Morgan, held at Liverpool’s Victoria Gallery & Museum.

A black plastic telephone receiver filled with the heads of taxidermy birds

Receiver (c) Polly Morgan

The museum decided to give a group of student filmmakers the opportunity to record the taxidermy demonstration: their 4 minute highlights reel includes the artist talking about her inspiration and close-ups showing the incredibly detailed work.

Videos can be a great way of recording and sharing what happens at one-off events. Are there ways that your venue could capture the atmosphere at your events – perhaps by filming what’s happening, recording short interviews with the curators or artists involved, or asking simple vox pop questions to your visitors?

It’s worth considering this in advance, and finding out whether you can call on anyone local with the skills and equipment to help you out.