We’re excited to be working with Outside In and The Whitworth to deliver the North West Hub for Artist Development, which aims to create and expand opportunities for artists who face barriers to participation in the arts world.
As well as running Artist Support Days, Regional Artist Development Officer, Ellie Page, has been organising artist residences to take place at our studio, and we’re exciting to currently be working with Dara. Dara recently visited the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle and has written a blog about his thoughts on what he saw…
“Day trip to Newcastle on the train to visit BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art… While there I took in the solo exhibition of Mounira Al Solh, which was primarily textile-based, with themes of loss and immigration. I also visited the exhibitions of the three Vasseur Baltic Artists’ award nominees, of which I particularly enjoyed Laleh Khorramian’s. Her work comprised a mix of lightboxes and quilted and spray-painted banners made from reclaimed fabric, with a sci-fi feel.
It is always very inspiring to see the kind of large-scale textile work that I would like to make hanging in such a prestigious gallery. It is also interesting to see the different techniques that others have used that would never even occur to me, such as Khorramian’s use of spray paint, or the use of reclaimed materials, such as Al Solh’s piece which uses pieces of face masks and bubble wrap.
As well as giving me the opportunity to see a variety of amazing artwork, BALTIC also had a quiet sensory room I was able to relax in between exhibitions, as well as an outdoors viewing platform for watching and learning about Kittiwakes, a type of gull that usually only breeds along the coast, but has a breeding colony on the outside of the BALTIC building. It was a great time of year to watch them, as there were still plenty of birds on their nests, and the young Kittiwakes were still distinguishable by their extra black feathers.
As a venue, I feel that BALTIC goes miles further than any I’ve seen before, doing what so many others just pay lip service to. The cafe serves free hot drinks and openly welcomes you to eat your packed lunch there. The water bottle refill stations on every floor. The very large signs about zero tolerance of hate crime or bigotry. The gift shop where you can actually buy a book by a non-binary creative. The genuinely completely wheelchair accessible layout, fully functional lifts, no half measures or annoying freight lifts anywhere. At least some of the bathrooms were non gendered. The easy availability of a simple, easy to understand and follow paper floor plan, that doesn’t require a degree to follow or a smartphone to download.
In short, they made me feel welcome at every step. It was a long way to go to get there, but I’d absolutely go back.”
Visit baltic.art to find out more.
If you’re interested in an artist residency with Venture Arts email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07539 371 070.