Tag Archives: meet-the-artist

One week in to the Connect10 competition – how’s it going?

A maypole shaped like a human surrounded by taxidermy birds

Carnevale (c) Polly Morgan. Polly is just one of the 10 intrepid artists who you can vote to send to venues across the UK for Museums at Night in Culture24's Connect10 competition

After a frantically busy fortnight, with non-stop phone calls and emails flying back and forth, we opened the public vote on the Connect10 competition last week.

We’re blown away by the response: the 28 venues competing to win our 10 artists, which are located as far afield as Guernsey and Thurso, have appealed to their fans so successfully that in only 7 days, well over 10,000 votes have been cast.

I’ll pause to let that sink in.

10,000 votes.

In one week.

This is amazing.

There are some votes with early frontrunners, and others where the competing venues are currently neck and neck – but the voting is open until Monday 5th March, so  there’s still everything to play for…

Cast your Connect10 vote here on Culture24!

One more reminder: if you’re planning a Museums at Night event, register it by 5pm tomorrow (Thursday 16th February) for the chance to be featured in BBC History Magazine’s printed Guide to Museums at Night!

Questions? Problems? Want to discuss your plans? Call me on 01273 623336 or email rosie@culture24.org.uk.

Connect10 competition closes at 5pm today!

UPDATE 22 January 2013: The Connect10 competition is back this year – find out more!


It’s been a crazy busy couple of weeks – Nick, interns Beth and Rosie G and myself have been speaking to lots of museums, galleries and heritage sites about our Connect10 competition, and we’re blown away by the creative event ideas we’ve received.

If you’ve been considering entering the competition – bear in mind, you could win a top artist and £500 towards your Museums at Night event on May 18, 19 or 20 – you have until 5pm today to submit your event pitch through this simple form!

Meet the ten intrepid artists you could win:

a photo of Claire Barclay

Claire Barclay, futuristic Scottish sculptor whose carefully balanced installations have been exhibited in Tate Britain and Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery.

a photo of Sam Bompass and Harry Parr (Image and Illustration Credit Carl Palmer and Emma Rios)

Bompas & Parr, the Jellymongers, create spectacular culinary experiences ranging from architectural jellies to lakes of cocktails.

a photograph of Ryan Gander

Ryan Gander, provocative installation artist whose Artangel commission in a Hoxton warehouse provided clues for visitors to solve a mystery.

a photograph of John Mcgregor

Jon McGregor, award-winning novelist and short story writer, author of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things and Even The Dogs.

a photo of Polly Morgan

Polly Morgan, contemporary taxidermist whose poignant installations have been collected by Kate Moss.

a black and white portrait photograph of Terry O'Neill

Terry O’Neill, fashion and rock photographer renowned for iconic images of Hollywood stars and bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

a photograph of Martin Parr at Butlins in 1998 Courtesy Martin Parr

Martin Parr, Magnum documentary photographer whose pictures tell stories of leisure, consumption and communication.

a photo of Simon Roberts ® Francesco Niccolai

Simon Roberts, landscape and documentary photographer who spent a year crossing Russia and was Official Artist of the 2010 General Election.

a photo of Bob and Roberta Smith at an event at the Barbican Courtesy Bob and Roberta Smith

Bob & Roberta Smith, sign-painter, activist and installation artist who uses text on recycled signs and floorboards.

a photo of Susan Stockwell smiling in front of one of her artworks. Courtesy INIVA

Susan Stockwell, creator of beguiling installations, drawings and films commenting on globalisation and colonisation, often using recycled materials.

Ready to enter the competition? Here’s the form to complete by 5pm today http://bit.ly/wECRYB – best of luck!

Can I take part in Museums at Night?

It’s great to see so much interest in Connect10, our new competition to win an artist-led Museums at Night event at your venue, together with a share of funding. (Didn’t get the message? Sign up for our mailing list here and you’ll be the first to get news about partnerships, funding and promotional opportunities!)

a photo of two children eating melting icecreams by the seaside

England. New Brighton. From 'The Last Resort'. 1983-1985. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos.

In answer to a good question we’ve been asked: no, you don’t need to be from an accredited museum in order to take part in Connect10 or Museums at Night.

Connect10 is open to any non-commercial, public-facing cultural or heritage venue in the UK: this doesn’t just mean museums or galleries! Our database also includes libraries, archives, heritage sites, architecture centres, science centres, planetariums and environment centres.

In order to be considered to take part in the competition your venue needs a listing in Culture24’s DDE system. You must also agree to update and refresh your venue and event records in our database. Apart from this, there are no restrictions on participation.

If you aren’t already on our database, simply fill in this form: https://culture24.wufoo.com/forms/join-our-network/

If your venue is on the Culture24 database, but you don’t have a username, you can get one here: https://culture24.wufoo.com/forms/new-dde-username/

If you’re already signed up to use our database, log in using the link below to get your listings, events and other resources on to Culture24 and our partner websites: http://update.culture24.org.uk/dashboard

Got a question we haven’t answered yet? Either leave us a comment, drop me an email at rosie@culture24.org.uk or give us a call on 01273 623336.

Connect10, a new project for Museums at Night 2012: information for venues

UPDATE 22 January 2013: The Connect10 competition is back with a new set of artists – find out more here!


So, this new Connect10 project. It’s part of Museums at Night – but what does it mean for you and your venue?

Connect10 is a new national competition for cultural venues to win an artist to appear at a meet-the-artist event during Museums at Night 2012. One of ten well-known contemporary artists could be on the way to your venue on the weekend of 18th – 20th May 2012.

Three people sketching in a museum

An artist-led Connect10 event could inspire your visitors for Museums at Night. Image courtesy Larna Pantrey-Mayer

How does it work?

You devise an event idea or theme that you think would demonstrate a strong connection between one of the artists taking part and your venue. If your idea is accepted you go through as one of the venues taking part in the competition – up to a maximum of 30. Each artist will end up with either two or three venues vying for them.

Once voting begins, your venue will need to use every communication method available to get as many people as possible to vote for your venue/event/artist combination. The one with the most votes wins!

The prize

Every one of the maximum 30 venues taking part in the competition will receive a bursary towards the running costs of a Museums at Night event. The venues which win will receive £500 towards the cost of holding their event. Even the venues that don’t win an artist will get £100 to put on an event: perhaps featuring a local artist or with a completely different theme.


Culture24 will confirm the artists taking part in the run-up to Christmas, with all ten confirmed by the New Year. During this period we will release more information to venues about how to take part, the terms and conditions, and resources to support you while you’re devising events.

We will accept event ideas in January through a simple online form. The competition will go live in early February. Voting will take place throughout February and close in early March leaving plenty of time for each venue to liaise with their artist about their Museums at Night event in May.

Why take part in this exciting new project?

Exciting artists

We’re not going to give away too much yet but we are leaving no stone unturned to bring you the most engaging contemporary artists to take part in Connect10. This is a unique opportunity to bring an inspiring artist to your town.

Audience development

The competition element provides a valuable opportunity for audience development and advocacy work in your local area, galvanising support and mobilising new fans to go online and vote for your venue to win.

This is your chance to really use Twitter, Facebook and all the other social networking mediums to work hard for your venue. Creating a genuine buzz around the event you are planning will make it more likely that you will win.

Cash support

Each venue will receive a bursary to put towards the event. Each artist will also be paid, and all their travel, accommodation and food expenses will be covered by Culture24.

A special event

An exciting contemporary artist with connections to your venue or your collections will create a special evening event exclusively for Museums at Night, at no cost to you. This is a chance to delight your Museums at Night audience with an ingenious new event you might not otherwise be able to offer.

Museums at Night

Museums at Night is an annual good news story: the only public-facing UK-wide campaign promoting the work of the arts and heritage sector. Whether or not you’ve run Museums at Night events in previous years, we warmly invite you to bid for a Connect10 artist, engage with Culture24 and benefit from the resources and publicity on offer as we shine a positive spotlight on the work of the sector.

By the time Museums at Night weekend comes around, you can guarantee an engaged audience who are keen to enjoy whatever event you put on.


You can expect full PR and marketing support from Culture24. Our independent PR agency will help you to get local coverage of your participation in the competition and of your Museums at Night event. Plus we will maximise any opportunity we get to profile the competition on national TV, radio, print and online.

As part of your bid, you’ll undertake to improve your venue’s entry in Culture24’s DDE database. This will ensure your venue and the programming and services you offer are easier to find online, attracting more visitors.

You’re interested – what do you do now?

Start a discussion within colleagues at your venue about the kind of event you could put on. Make sure the marketing and events people in your organisation all know about this exciting opportunity. Once you see an artist confirmed who you’d like to bring to your venue, start devising an event.

Look out on www.WeAreCulture24.org.uk and here on the blog for further resources to support your event plan. If you have any questions about the competition please get in touch with us: we’d love to hear from you!

Rosie Clarke: 01273 623336 or rosie@culture24.org.uk

Nick Stockman: 01273 623279 or nick@culture24.org.uk

Click here to download a printable PDF version of the Connect10 information for venues

Connect10 project outline: what’s the big idea?

UPDATE 22 January 2013: The Connect10 competition is back for 2013!


Last week we announced that Culture24 had secured funding for Museums at Night 2012, and that this would include a new project called Connect10. Find out more about our plans here!

Connect10 project outline 

Connect10 will connect contemporary artists, venues, and audiences in an entirely new way. Venues will compete to win one of ten well-known contemporary artists to take part in a ‘meet-the-artist’ evening event during Museums at Night 2012 (18-20 May). The competition is designed to require venues to reach out to their communities, galvanising them to vote to make the event happen.

When the competition goes live in February there will be a minimum of 20 and maximum of 30 venues vying for the ten artists in ten polls. Each venue designs an event specifically with one of the artists in mind and competes against a maximum of two other venues to ‘win’ that artist. Venues will then reach out to their communities using any channel at their disposal (email, Twitter, Facebook, websites and print media) to get as many votes as possible for their event.

Members of the public will be encouraged to go to http://www.culture24.org.uk/connect10 to vote for their favourite venue/event/artist combination. Venues receiving the most votes at the end of the competition period ‘win’ that artist for their Museums at Night event.

The prize

The prize for the venues is the artist and the prize money. Every one of the maximum 30 venues taking part in the competition will receive a bursary towards the running costs of a Museums at Night event. The venues that win will receive £500 towards the cost of holding their event. Even the venues that don’t win an artist will get £100 to put on an event, perhaps featuring a local artist instead, or with a completely different theme.

Each artist gets to embark on an exciting journey with the venue, devising a unique event, interacting with a special collection and connecting with a particularly engaged audience. As each event is likely to be small and intimate and demand for tickets high, those people who have voted will be entered into a ballot to win tickets to attend.


Culture24 will confirm the artists taking part in the run-up to Christmas, with all ten confirmed by the New Year. During this period we will release more information to venues about how to take part, the terms and conditions and resources to support you while you’re devising events.

We will accept event ideas in January through a simple online form and the competition will go live in early February. Voting will take place throughout February and close in early March, when the results will be announced. This should leave plenty of time for each venue to liaise with the artist about their event in May.

How are the project’s stakeholders engaged?

The three primary stakeholders in this project are the venues, the audiences and the artists. Culture24 will create an online environment hosted within our family of sites where the three primary stakeholders will be able to interact.

Each of the venues will have an area to promote their bid, which will include a venue image, an event description and a link to their chosen artist’s profile. Venues will encourage members of the public to go to a Connect10 platform and ‘love’ the artist they want to win. Venues will be able to keep tabs on the status of their poll through the real time poll widget.

Audiences will be able to vote for their favourite venue/event/artist combo. When this vote has been registered the voting widget will flip to a current poll status display and there will be an opportunity to share their voting decision through a range of social media channels.

Artists will have the opportunity to read and input into the venue’s event suggestions, veto any that they are not prepared to engage with and confirm they are happy with the two or three events which will go ahead to the competition. Artists will be represented by an image and short biography on the Culture24 site.

Culture24’s specific aims for the Connect10 project are:

– To raise the profile of participating venues and the campaign

– To increase the involvement of practising artists in the Museums at Night campaign. Museums at Night has been successful in breaking down silos between the museums and galleries sector and this project will combine both in a new and exciting way.

– To connect these venues with their networks and wider communities through advocacy exercises conducted mainly through social media. As venues reach out to the public to get as many votes for their artist event as possible, they will create ambassadors and learn about social media as a marketing tool

– To build capacity in participating venues, developing their confidence in planning and marketing successful events

– To produce 10 superb events, giving members of the public the opportunity to spend time with cutting-edge artists

– To create culture-loving ambassadors for local venues

– To reinforce the work Culture24 has already done in measuring the success of online engagement

For more information on the project, please contact Nick Stockman:

01273 623279 or nick@culture24.org.uk

For press enquiries and images, please contact Pandora George:

07729 469220 or pandora@bulletpr.co.uk

Click here to download a printable PDF version of the Connect10 project outline

Culture24 announces funding and new national competition for Museums at Night 2012

Culture24 is delighted to announce that Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will be funding Museums at Night 2012. The Arts Council will fund the core campaign and Connect10, a new initiative bringing contemporary artists into a range of venues across the UK. The HLF will fund new clusters of events in North Lincolnshire and North Norfolk.

Children in a tent in a museum at night

Children discovering a museum at night (c) Pal Hansen

Museums at Night is the annual after-hours celebration of arts and heritage which explodes into life over the weekend of Friday 18th – Sunday 20th May 2012.

Museums at Night events take place in hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites, which throw their doors open after hours, giving visitors the chance to discover their collections in a new light. Culture24 has coordinated the rapidly-growing campaign since 2009.

The popular festival aims to attract people who might not normally visit museums or galleries to discover the fantastic arts and heritage offer on their doorstep. In 2011, 352 venues staged 467 events in 169 different towns and cities across the UK. Over 100,000 visitors attended an event, while the campaign attracted media coverage worth over £1.1 million.

Hedley Swain, Director of Museums, Arts Council England said:

“The immense variety of venues involved in Museums at Night shows that there is a great willingness amongst cultural organisations to work together, and also the incredible culture we have access to in this country. This initiative extends this access and offers a unique opportunity for people to explore institutions in a new way – and we are thrilled to support it.”

 Download the full Museums at Night press release here

Arts Council England to fund Connect10

Connect10 pitches ten of Britain’s most exciting contemporary artists into a competition to see which venue can get enough votes to win them for a night!

Culture24, together with Love Art London, will source 10 contemporary artists to lead an exclusive event in any UK arts or heritage venue.

The full list of artists will be announced early in the New Year. The competition will be open to any publicly-funded UK cultural venue.

Venues will seek out connections with the work of the 10 artists, and pitch related event ideas to Culture24. When the competition goes live, venues will reach out to their local supporters asking them to vote to bring the artist to their town. For example, will A. N. Artist go to Warwick, Worcester or Worthing? This powerful advocacy and audience development opportunity will be fully supported by Culture24’s PR agency.

Each venue that wins an artist will receive £500 to support their event, while each runner-up venue will still receive £100 and event-planning support from Culture24 to enable them to run an alternative Museums at Night event. Everyone wins!

Jane Finnis, Culture24 CEO said:

“Culture24 is thrilled to be working with the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England again in delivering this flagship audience development campaign for arts and heritage. In 2012 Museums at Night will connect some of the country’s most exciting contemporary artists with museums, galleries and heritage sites in a way that’s never been tried before. We think the competitive element of Connect10 will give venues a playful way to reach out to their local communities, asking them to vote for and secure a visit from a top artist who has a connection to their specific collection or building.”

Heritage Lottery Fund to fund new event clusters in North Norfolk and North Lincolnshire

Every year clusters of venues in the same geographical areas work together to offer combined programmes of events. For Museums at Night 2012 the HLF is funding events in two areas of the country which will also help forge long-term partnerships between venues.

One project will support a cluster of 9 venues in three towns in North Norfolk: Cromer, Sheringham and Wells-next-the-Sea. They will stage 8 events inspired by Victorian history, including the restoration of a historic lifeboat. This cluster is also supported by the Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service.

Two children looking at a historic boat in a museum

Children discover a historic boat at The Mo, Sheringham Museum

The HLF will also be funding a group of 31 venues in North Lincolnshire, led by North Lincolnshire Council and centred on the city of Scunthorpe. This will support a cluster of heritage venues in towns and villages as they stage at least 27 events, ranging from blacksmithing by twilight to night-time tours of historic railways and airfields.

Both cluster projects include associated initiatives such as the creation of new historical guides and marketing materials, and the development and training of a large number of new volunteers, which will leave a long-term legacy of skills and resources in the local area.

Fiona Talbott, HLF’s Head of Museums, Libraries and Archives said:

“People are at the very heart of everything we do and these two projects will attract new audiences to visit and explore a whole range of heritage sites across the regions. By working together to host an amazing number of exciting events, these varied locations will pool their resources to give many more people the chance to explore their past and learn more about the history and stories of the places they call home.  What is equally valuable is that the benefits of our funding will have a lasting legacy way beyond the celebratory period as volunteers learn new skills they can use well into the future.”

 Download the full Museums at Night press release here

For press enquiries or images, please contact Pandora George on 07729 469220 or pandora@bulletpr.co.uk

For project and partnership enquiries, please contact Nick Stockman on 01273 623279 or nick@culture24.org.uk

To discuss planning or marketing your Museums at Night events, please contact Rosie Clarke on 01273 623336 or rosie@culture24.org.uk

Guest post: Chris Pensa on the day Love Art London met Michael Landy

For the first time ever, Culture24 ran a joint Facebook competition to raise awareness about Museums at Night together with Love Art London. Chris Pensa describes the experience of the competition winners as they met artist Michael Landy.

LAL Logo


If you’ve ever found yourself wandering through the ordinarily bustling streets of London’s west end at 8:30am on a Saturday morning it’s a remarkable experience I highly recommend. No, I wasn’t wending my way home after a heavy night on the tiles rather en route to the National Portrait Gallery to meet one of my all time heroes, the artist Michael Landy. A key player in the YBA movement, Landy shot to fame in 2001 for Break Down, a performance installation in which he destroyed every single one of his worldly possessions, all 7,227 of them, from gas bills to the clothes on his back, even artworks given to him by his famous friends like Damien Hirst. Michael arrives bang on time wearing some oversized sunglasses to disguise his jet lag. He’s just returned from New York where his partner, the artist Gillian Wearing, was installing her new solo show entitled People. A running theme in the Landy/Wearing household given we’ve met at the NPG to talk about his Art World Portraits.

Michael & May

The 25 competition winners we invited to join us arrived punctually with mouths a frothing, not least about meeting Michael but also about having the entire NPG to themselves before the public flood in. At 9am the security guards opened the back door and we were huddled in. After a brief introduction the crowd got stuck straight in with questions. The first paw in the air wanted to know if Michael could remember what the first possession he acquired in his new ‘post Break Down’ life was. The artist confessed with a wry smile that within five minutes of the installation ending someone handed him a Paul Weller CD. So random you couldn’t make it up.

Considering Michael’s work usually requires an enormous investment of physical labour, could the twelve finely rendered pencil sketches in front of us be read as a spot of light relief? Nope. Michael told us these were part of a larger body of drawings of his friends and family executed back to back for over a year. Eight hours a day. Seven days a week. His obsessive, immersive practice is still there, the viewer just has to work a little harder to access it. Michael explained how in each portrait he started with the left eye. This almost superstitious routine reminded me of the England cricketer Jack Russell who would always put his left sock and shoe on before his right. If he didn’t all hell would break loose. Michael assured us he wasn’t a conspiracy theorist but “the left eye just felt like the right place to start.”

Given that he requires as much from his sitters as he gives of himself, Michael’s subjects become willing accomplices in his ritualistic creative self-flagellation. I ask him what the experience is like for them. “I work very closely to my subject’s face, sometimes only a foot away, sometimes people are uncomfortable at first, having someone starring at them so closely, but generally they acclimatise pretty quickly. Some people fidget, some listen to Radio 4, some drink a lot of tea. I remember one sitter was very particular about his tea, insisting the tea bag was not to be squeezed, ever.” I asked what characteristics make an ideal sitter. “I like people who surrender themselves to the cause and allow me to bully them into position. To get the best out of a sitter I really need to bully them.” It says a great deal about Michael that despite these openly pseudo-masochistic confessions every member of the audience was secretly desperate to volunteer. I mentioned I’d seen an interesting short film showing the artist at work sketching the Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark. I quipped that he’s practically straddling her. Michael laughs this suggestion off, insisting it’s all above board and integral in order for him to access the essence of his subject.

WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnTCZFyzkvY

And before we knew it, our time with Michael was coming to an end. With only a few minutes left we had time for one last question. A hand was raised and the following words were uttered, “Michael, where did you get your trousers?” The answer that came straight back was “Paul Smith.” And that seemed like a perfect place to end our time with the legendary Michael Landy. High fives were liberally distributed and the artist disappeared to pick up his dog, May, who’d been staying with his mum whilst he and Gillian were in New York. An hour in the company of greatness is a rare and beautiful thing.

Gillian Wearing

Michael Landy's sketch of his wife Gillian Wearing

To find out more about Love Art London and sign up to our membership programme, visit: http://www.loveartlondon.com/

Michael Landy’s Art World Portraits are on display at the National Portrait Gallery until 17 July.