Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nottingham Research Visit

Following up on the trip to Lille - I went on a bit of a tour of some of Nottingham's art highlights with my fanulous tourguides, Jackie Berridge and Ellie Harrison.
First I met up with artist Jackie Berridge at the Harrington Mills Studios
which she set up less than a year ago in an old lace factory.
Jackie Berridge next to one of her paintings.
Jackie's recent work focuses on the darker side of playground politics.
Next to Jackie's studio space is a wonderful in-between space where a large piece of machinery used to be.
Jackie explained that she hopes to use the space eventually for performance works - I imagined a giant bird-cage with 'Fevvers' from Angela Carter's 'Nights at the Circus' swinging about inside.
The building is absolutely fantastic - the best part for me was the staircase leading up to HMS - they are stone steps but they have a dip in the middle of each step, where millions of feet have negotiated their way, wearing away the stone over the years. HMS offers affordable studio space to 18 artists. As well as this one of the studio spaces is reserved for a year long residency for Derby graduates, and then there is 'Standing Room' - a gallery space which offers a two-month curatorial residency.
We then went over to the Reactor studios near to Nottingham Train station to meet up with artist Ellie Harrison, who gave us a tour of the studios.Reactor are a Nottingham and Manchester based collective who make memorable and challenging interventions and performances. Ellie Harrison's studio is in Reactor Towers.
Ellie showed us some of the projects she is working on at the moment - these include a fantastic project involving one pound coins and superglue and this wallchart - which is a research project Ellie is researching and compiling a history of philosophy - in order to create this database where the whole history can be viewed in one place - fantastic and very useful. After that we went to Rosie Lee's for a lovely cuppa tea - and then Jackie had to scoot off - and Ellie continued the tour of the sights and sounds of Nottingham - this included a whistlestop tour of the centre - the castle and the oldest pub in the world (possibly).
The stocks outside the oldest pub in the world (possibly).
The following morning Ellie and I went to the Moot studio and Gallery to see Moot member Candice Jacobs show.
Candice Jacobs Solo Show at Moot.
Last time I saw any of the Moot team (at 'Parallax View' - their members show at AirSpace Gallery) they were talking about the possibility of moving to a fantastic new building - but as often happens when working with Council's this has been severely held up - so rather than giving up or letting it hold up their programme Moot have in fact rejigged the space they already had in order to create more exhibiting spaces within the studios. This has allowed them to put on a series of one day exhibitions and artist's talks - as well as giving a chance to show what some of the Moot members are up to - something which has not happened before. The studios at Moot were obviously well-used, providing a relaxed and welcoming environment where experimental, and exciting emerging artist's practices can be seen first.

Big Thank you to Jackie and Ellie for showing some of the artist led initiatives in and around the Nottingham area.

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