Tanya Raabe-Webber – Workshop Reflections

As lead artist on Venture Arts OutsiderXchanges studio project my initial first thoughts were about finding inclusive ways of connecting with the artists as practitioners in their own right. To explore their themes and artistic practices with them that is driven by learning disability art and cultural identity. This has proven to be a natural road to follow. All of the artists, as you can see from the blog posts so far, are developing their own ideas, exploring materials and developing there own unique techniques. This seems to have grown very quickly and organically in a very short time.

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Our staring point was about exploring our identities as people, as artists and the relationship we had with the new space. Everyone soon claimed their space in the studio and set about making and thinking about their own art.

The studio really does feel like a hub of artistic thought and ideas beginning to flow, artist centered and artist led. Our studio practice is very much like embedded in the culture and practice of a supported studio. We have James Pollitt from Venture Arts, an art tutor who has a great foundation and background knowledge into the artists past work, working practices and communication. James directly facilitates the artists in their arts practices as and when they need it. Glen is our photographer, blogger and has been named Grip the Runner Man in case we need a hand in the studio and I have Jackie Cooley who is my personal artist assistant and she supports me to access my working arts practices when collaborating with the other artists.

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As the artists are now working on their own individual ideas I am able to begin to stand back and reflect on how I might develop collaborations between the artists, myself and the non disabled artists that will be joining us later this year.

With each artist I’m very interested in exploring verbal and non-verbal collaborative processes to develop new work of my own that explores learning disability art aesthetic, cultural identity and inclusive practice.

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I have just begun to do this with Horace. With Horace I’ve began to explore our shared experiences of childhood memories of school and childhood. Horace recalls experiences he’s had in an almost per formative way, taking on the physicality and characterisations of the people he speaks about, asking questions that he already has the answers to, whilst expecting you to know the correct answer. His recollections have an almost docudrama feel to them. When Horace is interviewing you it’s like you are the first to have been asked these questions. Making you, the interviewee, and feel very important. For me Horace’s stories are extremely lucid, totally reflective of a disability cultural identity and very real and for me our collaboration will inform a series of paintings about illustrating these types of memories whilst in the studio. We worked together on some pictorial ideas for this, which we filmed.

And this was just for starters so I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Tanya Raabe-Webber Lead Artist

Don’t forget you can join the artists on their journey by applying to be a collaborator on the project. 

We are looking for 4 interested artist to join our Manchester based artists over a five month period and in return they will be given a free artists space for the duration of the workshops and we are also looking for one artist to collaborate with a learning disabled artist based at Baltic 39.

More details can be found here: OutsiderXchangeS Collaboration.

OutsiderXchangeS Artists Workshop 4

The OutsiderXchangeS project is already a month old. During the past month our five artists  – Barry, Sarah, David, Horace and Lesley – have been hugely focused on developing their own individual art form and skills.

  • Barry has taken his narrative story style and begun to pass this onto acetate
  • Horace has begun to experiment with video and storytelling
  • Sarah is developing the designs – inspired by Bronte country –  for a piece of clothing
  • Lesley is exploring his illustrations and how to turn them into animations
  • and David has taken his fascination of the sky to another level utilising different media and abstract painting.

The OutsiderXchangeS artists will now take a short break for the festive period but will return on the 5th January to continue their artistic explorations.

Don’t forget you can join the artists on their journey by applying to be a collaborator on the project.

We are looking for 4 interested artist to join our Manchester based artists over a five month period and in return they will be given a free artists space for the duration of the workshops and we are also looking for one artist to collaborate with a learning disabled artist based at Baltic 39.

More details can be found here: OutsiderXchangeS Collaboration.

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OutsiderXchangeS Artist Workshop 3

Workshop 3 of OutsiderXchanges
Barry is writing into the shapes he draws (, street lights and houses) to create new layouts.
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Lesley is creating some layered 3d drawings by drawing each bit separately then cutting them out and composing them.
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Horace is working on his interview technique by filming himself chatting with people about their school days.
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Sarah is working on experiments and designs for a textile sculpture.
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David is using his photos of skies as a starting point for some abstract and fantastical multimedia landscapes.
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Want to join our artists? Want to be involved in a collaborative process? Want to be involved in a ground breaking project? An artist based in Manchester and Newcastle areas and want a free art studio space for 5 months? Find out how you can be involved by visiting: Artist Submission.

The deadline is 8th January.

OutsiderXchangeS Artist Workshop 2

The second week of the OutsiderXchangeS project and our artists: Lesley, Sarah, Barry, David and Horace continued to experiment with their artistic explorations which included the local community, superheroes, space exploration, Bronte country and stories.

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Horace experimenting with paper cutting.

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David exploring with pastels and space.

 

 

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Sarah experimenting with pencil and Bronte country.

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Lesley exploring pencil and pen drawing using superheroes and figurines as inspiration. 

 

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Barry exploring text art and a story about working with old Coronation Street stars and a trip to Wales.

Want to join our artists? Want to be involved in a collaborative process? Want to be involved in a ground breaking project? An artist based in Manchester and Newcastle areas and want a free art studio space for 5 months? Find out how you can be involved by visiting: Artist Submission.

The deadline is 8th January.

ARTIST CALLOUT: OUTSIDERXCHANGES MANCHESTER / NEWCASTLE GATESHEAD

Venture Arts are seeking expressions of interest from visual artists who would like to be considered to engage with the OutsiderXchangeS project.

OutsiderXchangeS is an exciting, experimental, collaborative visual arts project that will bring together learning disabled and non-learning disabled artists to develop shared ideas and new contemporary work.

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Venture Arts is working in partnership with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester and the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN) to deliver OutsiderXchanges.

Lead organisation Venture Arts are now seeking expressions of interest from visual artists who would like to be considered to engage with the OutsiderXchangeS project.

OutsiderXchangeS came about to develop the talents and profile of learning-disabled artists and also to investigate the potential to make new, interesting, challenging work through visual artist ideas exchange and real collaboration.

Venture Arts are looking for 5 artists to work alongside 5 learning disabled artists to develop ideas, share practice and, through collaboration, develop contemporary art. The partnership is particularly keen that this initiative creates an opportunity for both learning disabled and non-learning disabled artists to share an interactive workspace, for their own work and the potential for collaborations.

Acclaimed disability artist Tanya Raabe-Webber will work with all the artists involved focusing on assisting in the collaborative process with all artists, as well as developing her own work throughout the project. The intention of the project is that the work will be shown on a number of platforms so we are particularly interested in hearing from artists who use a range of media in their work.

All successful artists will receive £1000 artist bursary and given a free studio space for five months (February – July 2016) coming together for 1-2 day(s) per week to share their studio with a learning disabled artist involved in the project. The bursary is intended for artists to use in the production of their own work.

The project and art created will be showcased by Venture Arts, Castlefield Gallery and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, following the residencies in Autumn 2016.

WHAT VENTURE ARTS ARE LOOKING FOR:

The work will be made in Manchester and in Newcastle Gateshead so we are looking for 4 Manchester based artists and 1 Newcastle Gateshead based artist. Manchester based artists will work from a central studio location in Manchester and the Newcastle Gateshead based artist will be at BALTIC 39, Newcastle.

APPLICATION PROCESS
Please e-mail your expression of interest to amanda@venturearts.org

Deadline: 08 January 2016 Interviews: W.C. 18 January 2016

Please include the following in your expression of interest:

  • Brief outline stating your interest in being involved in this artist exchange.
  • Brief outline of initial ideas of how you would interpret and approach the project.
  • Examples of recent work/links to websites containing examples of previous work
  • Your CV

FURTHER INFORMATION
Contact Amanda Sutton for any further inquiries you have regarding the project or the application process.

E-mail amanda@venturearts.org

Tel: 0161 232 1223
Venture Arts
43 Old Birley Street
Manchester, M15 5RF

* In the interest of better communication, the partnership led by Venture Arts, with Castlefield Gallery and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead would like to further clarify the OutsiderXchangeS project.

The partnership planned this project to be a professional development opportunity for both learning disabled and non-learning disabled artists.

For learning disabled artists this is an opportunity to work alongside other artists, one or two days per week when they will use the shared studio as a drop in studio. Learning disabled artists will not be based there at other times. For other artists, this will be an opportunity to interact with learning disabled artists. The open call is intended to attract artists who want to learn from learning disabled artists and the exciting field of learning disability visual art practice.

The selected artists will have their own free studio space for 5 months, which will be adjacent to or adjoining the shared studio space. The studios will be at Baltic 39, Newcastle and project spaces run by Castlefield Gallery in Manchester. Artists will not be expected to lead or run workshops, or support learning disabled artists. That is the expertise and responsibility of Venture Arts. The idea is to create a platform for collaboration to take place between artists. We envisage that all artists involved in the project will be inspired by each others practice in creating work. The £1,000 bursary is to support artists in their own practice.

The partnership is led by Venture Arts, who has been working in visual arts with learning disabled people since 1985. Venture Arts is a small charitable organisation that works from Manchester with learning disabled artists.

Venture Arts has selected 5 learning disabled artists to work in the shared studio space, once or twice a week. They will be accompanied by lead project artist Tanya Raabe-Webber and experienced artist mentors. This project aims develop the work of talented learning disabled artists, through giving them the opportunity to work in a professional artist space alongside other artists. *

Venture Arts is charitable Community Benefit society (No. 28604R) working in visual arts with learning disabled people since 1985. Our vision is for learning disabled people to be valuable contributors to our culture as artists, workers, participants and audiences. Venture Arts is a visual arts organisation that develops the creative talents and career opportunities of learning disabled people. Web address: www.venturearts.org

Castlefield Gallery (CG) Founded in 1984, CG is one of Northern England’s most active and successful organisations/agencies for developing emerging contemporary artists and practice. Its ambitious curated exhibitions programme responds to national and international trends, promoting artists at key stages of their careers, including subsequent Turner Prize nominees/winners and exhibitors at international festivals. Central to CG’s activities is an artist development programme including the CG Associates members scheme and the recently launched New Art Spaces. CG’s vision is for the North to be where artists can develop work of international standing. Its mission is to nurture talent, explore cultural trends and deepen audience’s relationship to contemporary art. Web address: www.castlefieldgallery.co.uk

BALTIC is a major international centre for contemporary art situated on the south bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead, England and has welcomed over 6 million visitors since opening to the public in July 2002. BALTIC presents a distinctive and ambitious programme of exhibitions and events, and is a world leader in the presentation and commissioning of contemporary visual art. Housed in a landmark ex-industrial building, BALTIC consists of 2,600 square metres of art space, making it the UK’s largest dedicated contemporary art institution. Web address: www.balticmill.com | www.baltic39.com
The Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN) represents and supports a diverse and vibrant visual arts ecology, embracing a broad range of artistic and curatorial practice across the nine English regions. CVAN’s ultimate goal is to nurture contemporary visual artists and organisations in order to produce internationally regarded, critically engaged work that is valued by our society. Web address: www.cvan.org.uk

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