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New Geographies and the East Contemporary Visual Arts Network (ECVAN) are delighted to announce the artists selected to create ten major site-responsive visual arts commissions across the East of England.

The East Contemporary Visual Arts Network (ECVAN) has launched New Geographies, a three-year partnership between nine arts organisations in the East of England, many local Outreach partners and three Dutch partners; Casco: Office for Art, Design & Theory, De Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten and the curatorial group ‘If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want to be Part of Your Revolution’.

Throughout Summer of 2017, we asked people to nominate overlooked or unexpected places in the region that they find meaningful and interesting to them. By asking ‘what is a forgotten place that you think is important to highlight?’. We want more people to share their stories, building upon an active discussion with the potential to connect us to each other and to re-imagine our idea of ‘place’.

With over 270 public nominations of overlooked places, we have created a new map of the East of England made by those who live here.

In response to these nominations, ECVAN have commissioned artists – from the UK and internationally – to highlight some of those places with new site-specific work. This combination of local knowledge and world-class art seeks to create a new vision of the East of England as a place to encounter excellent art in unexpected places. Each of our Dutch partners have provided advice and support throughout the selection process, ensuring we take a fresh and innovative approach to the array of commissions that can be created.

Each artwork will be different but all the projects will be united by one thing: their inspiration taken from the people and places where they’re located. New Geographies will create a new democratised map for our region whilst experiencing high-quality international art in unexpected locations. For everyone.

Follow #Newgeog for social media updates on the project.

Design & Art Direction: Sarah Boris & Frederic Tacer; Development: Twelve

EVENTS

Laura Wilson

Deepening | Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

opening 18th January 2020

Artist Laura Wilson has created a new film work exploring the hidden landscape of Must Farm, near Peterborough. Located on the edge of a working quarry, this exceptionally well-preserved Bronze Age settlement is often referred to as the UK’s Pompeii. The site has been excavated by Cambridge Archaeological Unit, revealing many important discoveries about how people lived and worked.

Wilson’s work will be presented in Norwich Castle’s Boudica Gallery. The exhibition will include twelve Bronze Age vessels that have been excavated from the Must Farm site on loan from the Cambridge Archaeological Unit.

 

David Blandy

The World After Game Session | Focal Point Gallery     

23rd January 2020 | 17:00 – 20:00

Join us for a free exhibition introduction followed by a game session of table-top role playing game ‘The World After’ with David Blandy. No experience necessary.

As well as presenting an exhibition and film at Focal Point Gallery, Blandy saw the potential in table-top roleplay games for generating a space to reimagine interpersonal relations in a time when divisions in society have become so marked and opposing positions so ossified. In the game, Canvey Island has become the site of an entire alternate world, a ‘World After’ our current conception of humanity. Blandy imagines Canvey as the setting for a narrative of renewal and rebirth, of collaboration towards a world of harmony in diversity, both in nature and with each other.

Blandy has worked closely with gaming communities in Essex to create this future world, devising creatures based on local wildlife and myth, and imagining societies that have evolved separately in vast underground Havens. Together they have used the format of the roleplaying game to create a collective story that imagines new ways of living together. ‘The World After’ table-top roleplay gaming rulebook, designed collaboratively with members of the Essex gaming community, is now available for sale from Focal Point Gallery.

 

Studio Morison

MOTHER-SHIP | Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire

29th February 2020 | 14.00 -16.00

Launching the programme for MOTHER… with a new performance work by the artists presenting a mythic reading of MOTHER… as transformational vessel.

This event coincides with the opening of Helen Cammock’s opening at Wysing Arts Centre and transport will be provided between Cambridge Station, Wicken Fen, Wysing Arts Centre and back to Cambridge Station.

 

Studio Morison

MOTHER-EARTH | Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire

28th March 2020

Tackles the idea of the wild and the re-wilding of the fen, with guest speakers, sounds and hospitality.

 

Studio Morison

MOTHER-LOVE | Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire

25th April 2020

Explores mental health and the disconnect between modern life and the natural world through a jarring mixture of performance, singing and technology.

 

Laura Wilson

DEEPENING | Peterborough Museum & Art Gallery

25th April 2020 | 14.00 -16.00

This film screening will be introduced by Laura Wilson and followed by an in-conversation event. Spaces are limited so please contact venue to book a space.
museum@vivacity.org

 

Laura Wilson

DEEPENING | Lynn Museum

16th May 2020 | 17.00 -19.00

This film screening will be introduced by Laura Wilson and followed by an in-conversation event. Spaces are limited so please contact venue to book a space.

lynn.museum@norfolk.gov.uk

 

Studio Morison

23rd May 2020 | Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire

MOTHER-LAND

Connects us back to the place we are from – our families, our communities and the landscapes we occupy – through readings and music.

 

Laura Wilson

DEEPENING | Wisbech & Fenland Museum

13th June 2020 | 14.00 -16.00

This film screening will be introduced by Laura Wilson and followed by an in-conversation event. Spaces are limited so please contact venue to book a space.

info@wisbechmuseum.org.uk

 

Laura Wilson

DEEPENING | Kettle’s Yard Cambridge

27th June 2020 | 14.00 -16.00

This film screening will be introduced by Laura Wilson and followed by an in-conversation event. Spaces are limited so please contact venue to book a space.

www.kettlesyard.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Past Events:

 

David Blandy

‘Canvey Wick Guided Walk’With David Blandy and Chris Fenwick | Canvey Wick

11 January 2020 – 12:00 – 15:00

Join us for a guided walk through Canvey Wick Nature Reserve with David Blandy and Chris Fenwick, manager of Canvey Island pub rock band Dr Feelgood.

The walk will begin at Canvey Wick Nature Reserve off Northwick Road and end at The Lobster Smack pub by the seawall at Holehaven Creek. Learn about the fascinating history of this site and Canvey Island, including Fenwick’s unique insight as the manager of one of Canvey’s most renowned cultural icons. The walk will conclude with a screening of David Blandy’s new film commission ‘The World After’ at The Lobster Smack, an old smugglers’ pub which features in Charles Dickens’ novel ‘Great Expectations’. Built to accommodate an oil-refinery in the 1970s, Canvey Wick is now recognised as one of the most biodiverse areas in the UK for rare invertebrate species and is managed by the RSPB. The post-industrial site is the main influence for David Blandy’s new film commission, exhibition and table-top roleplay game, ‘The World After’, currently on view at Focal Point Gallery until 26 January 2020 as part of New Geographies.

Born in 1953, the year of the Great Flood, Chris Fenwick has been the manager of Dr Feelgood for over 40 years.

Tickets are £3 each, to book yourself a place please see here.

 

David Blandy

‘Digital Workshop with David Blandy’ | Focal Point Gallery

11th January 2020 – 16:00 – 18:00

Join David Blandy for a digital photography and photoshop activity using the The World After gaming characters.

 

Marcus Coates 

Thursday 17th October – Royston Cambridgeshire

6pm at Royston Town Hall, Melbourn St, Royston SG8 7DA

Please join us for an evening introducing an exciting new artist project about Royston, its Cave and its communities by artist Marcus Coates, commisioned by Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge. Followed by wine and canapés from 7 – 7.30pm

RSVP to ellen@kettlesyard.cam.ac.uk

 

Ian Giles

Saturday 19th October – Kettles Yard

We Are Cambridge Family Day Event – 12.00 – 4.00pm

Join Kettle’s Yard for a fun interactive day, exploring what living in and around Cambridge means to you. Part of the University of Cambridge’s Festival of Ideas, drop-in anytime from 12–4pm to take part in a series of artist led workshops.

Upstairs in the Ian Giles Outhouse’ display, artist Rachel Pimm will lead a wildflower seed-bomb workshop inspired by the history and work of mathematician and scientist Alan Turing, former student and fellow at the University of Cambridge, whose conviction for homosexuality was recently pardoned.

FREE, drop in and have a go

 

Laura Wilson 

Saturday 19th October – Must Farm Quarry, Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire

Performance time: 1.00pm

Deep, Deepen, Deepening is an exciting new performance work by artist Laura Wilson exploring the hidden landscape of Must Farm at Whittlesey, near Peterborough. The performance will take place in the dramatic setting of Must Farm Quarry. This unique occasion will be followed next year by an exhibition of Wilson’s work at Norwich Castle (18 January-29 March 2020) that explores this fascinating site. The performance is free to attend.

Spaces for the performance are limited and booking is essential. Please telephone 01603 222594 or email Alicia.Grix@norfolk.gov.uk to book your space. Please let us know ASAP if you are unable to attend so we can reallocate your space.

Free transport is provided to and from Peterborough Station to the performance location. Journey time is approx. 15 minutes. Pick up time will be confirmed with booking confirmation. Please note that access to the performance is via scheduled transport from Peterborough station only.

The performance will be approx. 30 minutes in length. Please allow up to 2 hours for transport to and from the location; health and safety briefing, the short walk to the performance site and the performance itself. Please wear ankle-supporting footwear and weatherproof clothing. Hard hats and high-visibility jackets must be worn onsite and will be issued on arrival. Please note that the performance takes place on an uneven surface and there is a short, sloped walk to the performance location.

 

Stuart Whipps

Saturday 26th October – Gibberd Garden, Harlow, Essex

12.00 – 2.00pm – Marsh Lane, Harlow, Essex CM17 0NA

Necessary Amendments: Homes for the people – Film screening and conversations.

Stuart Whipps is producing a new film exploring the architectural and social histories of Post-War British new towns. Over the last year, Whipps has been visiting archives, talking to residents, photographing and filming in three locations: Harlow, Basildon and Hatfield. The film is an attempt to speak to and represent people who live somewhere ‘new’ which of course in most cases is now far from new. How do people feel about where they live? What have people who went before them had to say about it? The need to work with residents comes out of a shocking lack of material and information to be found in the extensive records of British new town developments.

Join us for this screening at Gibberd Garden the unique and beautiful home and gardens of Sir Frederick Gibberd, architect, town planner, landscape architect and art collector. In 1946 he was appointed master-planner for Harlow New Town and his original plan for the town is regarded by many as his greatest achievement.

To book a place please email gibberdgardennews@gmail.com

 

David Blandy

26th October – Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea

Opening – 6.00 – 8.00pm

Focal Point Gallery is pleased to present ‘The World After’, a newly commissioned work and exhibition by artist David Blandy. Comprised of a film, installation and game, ‘The World After’ is a fictional tale which imagines a world after the Anthropocene era, a time in which humanity’s activities had detrimental effect on earth’s climate and environment. In this future world, human influence on the planet has faded following a catastrophic man-made ecological crisis, with those who remain having to find new ways to survive and form kin.

Blandy’s project takes inspiration from the unique post-industrial setting of Canvey Wick on Canvey Island, Essex. Formerly the site of an oil refinery that was only partially built in the early 1970s and never operational due to the oil crisis of 1973, Canvey Wick has for the past forty years been reclaimed by nature. Managed by nature conversation charities RSPB and Buglife, it is one of the most biodiverse areas of the UK with nearly 2,000 invertebrate species recorded on this quiet corner of the Thames Estuary.

In the film, the voice-over reimagines the Wick as a future space where flora and fauna have grown to monstrous size, the site for a future fantasy narrative. It uses poetry, myth, immersive video and a symphonic score, played by the Southend Symphony Orchestra, to create a bucolic yet melancholic mediation on who we are, and who we could be. Filming the site over a year, Blandy returned every month to record the changes of the seasons. Using the technology emblematic of the Anthropocene era, the iPhone, the site was filmed in both macro and slow motion, revealing its rich yet hidden ecosystem. Through this magnification, minute scales of living communities are revealed as self-contained worlds, both sublime and horrifying in its detail.

Free to attend. The exhibition runs to 26th January 2020.

 

susan pui san lok

31st October | Walking with Witches 

2.00 – 4.00pm (meet at 1.45pm)

Walking Event, meet at Manningtree Library, High Street, Manningtree, CO11 1AD

Please book by Monday 28 October. Book Here

Join us on a group walk from Manningtree to Mistley to investigate the landscape of the 17th century Essex witch trials. Artist susan pui san lokand writer Caroline Millar will lead the walk, stopping at local sites reflecting the history and folklore of witchcraft and witch persecutions, and featuring excerpts from the artist’s sound piece Seven Sisters, along with an interview with Alison Rowlands (Professor of History, University of Essex)

The walk is approximately three miles over easy terrain including streets, fieldpaths and woodland, and will take an estimated two hours. Option to finish walk at the Red Lion pub in Manningtree.

The walk forms part of A COVEN A GROVE A STAND, a body of work by artist susan pui san lok commissioned by Firstsite as part of New Geographies. Please be aware that the event will be audio-recorded and photographed for a New Geographies podcast.

This event is open to everyone but may not be suitable for young children.

 

David Blandy

7th December 14:00 – 15:00 | Focal Point Gallery, Southend

Live Action Role Play with Seaxe and Sorcery

Join us for a live action role play (LARP) demonstration with members of Seaxe & Sorcery, a fantasy LARP group based in Essex which draws on history, mythology and fiction. Led by Gary Bates, co-author of ‘The World After’ table-top roleplay game with David Blandy.

LARP is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically act out their characters’ actions. The players pursue their characters’ goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world, while interacting with one another in character. The outcome of player actions may be mediated by game rules, or determined by consensus between players.

In this live demonstration, you will be guided through futuristic and fantasy scenarios where time travel and magic are commonplace. Drawing on experiences of ‘The World After’, you will learn about the key principles of LARP.

Seaxe and Sorcery is a semi-historic/fantasy LARP set in a mythical England’s past. It is based in Essex, family orientated and is a non-profit organisation. As a group, Seaxe & Sorcery has been around since 1986.

 

Ian Giles

14th December 8pm – late | Kings Wine Bar | Dick Van Dykes

Ian Giles & Open Ramble East presents DJ BLOUSE in a night celebrating Dick van Dykes. Dick van Dykes, later called Oxygen; was regarded as one of the best gay clubs in East Anglia. Join us on the dance floor as we party like it is Saturday night at Dick van Dykes.

 

 

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