My commission for Arts Derbyshire, in support of their Cultural Prescribing project with the counties Social Prescribing Link Workers, has developed into a fascinating project. Filled with wise and caring people who despite their best efforts have a pandemic, zoom and a rising work load to help them on their way. Our work together supports them like group creative supervision while also producing outcomes, such as a zine of Joyful Interruptions, for use with clients. Currently we are working on a Manifesto that gathers their wisdoms, bringing into one space the true extent of their work. Which interestingly mirrors artist approaches and processes – namely exploration, digression, emergent thinking and responsive feel.
I am happy to have been commissioned as Lead Artist by the Peterborough Cultural Strategy Group (CSG) and Metal. Within that commission I will be supporting 4 other artists develop new works. As such we wish to commission four artists, from Peterborough (and surrounding villages) to:
• Work alongside lead artist
• Lead conversations about culture with your existing networks – providing insights on identified themes to help the CSG with their future thinking.
• Create artworks that catalyse or reflect on these conversations – for sharing and use on the new CSG website www.PeterboroughCulturalStrategy.org.uk
• Creatively capture/record the ideas people share – giving voice to people who have not been involved in CSG consultations to date or those that perhaps don’t see themselves as ‘cultured’.
This opportunity is open to artists from any artform or discipline (visual artists, illustrators,photographers, writers, poets, film makers, musicians etc) with the final outcome presented digitally.
We are seeking artists interested in using inclusive and collaborative approaches. For example, your conversations may inform a piece of work based on what you hear and learn. Or you might work collaboratively with people, talking and listening as you go, that results in a co-designed artwork that captures ideas.
We are keen to hear from artists from diverse backgrounds (ethnicity, disability, class, sexuality etc) and younger people who don’t think that the mainstream cultural offer is relevant to them or their interests and stories aren’t represented.
Mark Richards and Kate Genever
Title: The Land of the Free
The Notice Board believes that art is not just useful as a way of coping but as a place to speak our truths. However, some of these truths have been and often still are controlled by historians, curators, politicians, leaving us with normative narratives and prohibitive policies that reflect the so called ‘mainstream’ and their values. But The Notice Board was, in part, imagined as a challenge to them and this. It’s a place where people and ideas previously excluded, marginalised or overlooked are given voice. The Notice Board opens a window onto a world that has always existed – a world we’ve been led to believe wasn’t there or true. One that’s been written out and supressed, sometimes glimpsed, but mostly kept at the edges or in the shadows. But Mark and Kate’s work tells of this free land – an open, fluid and accepting place which The Notice Board is proud to pull back the curtain on and celebrate.
Mark and Kate said: It started last summer between lockdown 1 and 2. We decided to send postcards to one another. But not any postcards- rather ones that featured portraits or figures and that we had adapted. We decided to use collage, giving ourselves permission to play without worry and to make without expectation. Collage allows you to work quickly, be inventive and invite in chance. Ideas bubble up – it lets your brain wander and gives your subconscious room to reveal the things that matter and as a direct response to the imagery already presented.
When we started we didn’t know where we’d end up or what might emerge. But given everything – our lives, histories, experiences – we maybe could have guessed. Working on postcards featuring historic artworks, our adaptions have invariably challenged the traditional narratives of figurative representation and art history.
Identity, Gaze, Shame, Muse, Androgyny, Commonality, Queer, Drag, Transgression, Fluidity, Defiance, Resistance, Joy, Love, Duality, Disclosure, Conversation, History, Masks, Disguises, Performance, Power, Seeing, Seen, Equality, Now, Forever, Us – seem important words as we invite you into the conversation to see what you see.
I’m very happy to have been invited to share the Cultural Prescriptions work I’ve been delivering for Arts Derbyshire and Derbyshire County Council at this years CHWA conference. There’s more info about the commission here along with images of work to date. At the conference I alongside two of the Social Prescribing Link Workers this work has engaged will be discussing ‘Joyful Interruptions’ – a zine we’ve co-created to support clients and peers.
The CHWA national conference will be held online across 3 days, 21-23 April 2021. Its core theme of care includes caring for each other, caring for the environment and caring economies. They plan to be delving into conversations about the big topics that have been amplified by Covid-19, including practitioner support and grappling with the sector’s role in challenging health inequalities, reflecting on how we can work more collaboratively and more intersectionally to address the multiple emergencies we face; a global health pandemic, the climate and ecological emergency, and rising inequality.
Title: Land of the Free
The Notice Board is very happy to be sharing these print and flag works by Ralph McGaul. His exhibition features two sets of work – changed half way through. Ralph, like The Notice Board, believes in feeling, making and letting the work do the talking. So when invited to write something to accompany his work his said:
Leave the phone, don the overalls, step into the painting shed and sail off to the land of the free…..
Ralph’s work includes painting and printmaking, mosaics, collages and woodwork. His approach to making art is intuitive and visceral with the goal of producing something that is immediate and visually engaging, without the need for wordy explanations. Adopting various different media helps him maintain interest and inventiveness which is key to the work’s vitality.
New year new invitation – the response will see me working in collaboration with teachers and students to consider what culture is for them. I will then develop a series of prints, versions of which will be showcased across the city and gifted to the young people involved.
SA Artists for Climate Action. Based: Kaurna Country, South Australia
The Notice Board is a piece of activism both practically and conceptually. Forming around the ideas of reciprocity and mutual aid, which are mirrored in this month’s work by an artist collective from Australia. SA Artists for Climate Action each have their own artistic careers and trajectories, but act together in response to the inaction shown by leaders who refuse to embrace renewable energy and put the care of our ecologies foremost. One of their actions is #climatebadges, which aims to bypass the seeming inability to communicate with leaders bent on economic growth and instead offer encouragement to those fighting for our planet to keep going in the knowledge they have continued support. It’s an interesting approach that The Notice Board is proud to platform while also reinforcing ‘positive reinforcement’ as a change agent.
SA Artists for Climate Action say:
This is a call to action.
As artists we declare a climate emergency. Let’s act as individuals together into the future. It has been shown that contacting our leaders, our decision makers, in a targeted way, directly, personally, and individually, is the most effective strategy to create and continue change. This project is about encouraging those that are part of this change.
We invite you to make a climate badge that addresses your climate emergency concerns. Send this to your politician/leader/local member/decision maker/researcher/board member/influential person of choice with an explanatory note (there’s a template at #climatebadges). Do this to propel their good work further, to give encouragement to keep going, or to spur someone into action who can do more.
Work individually or gather your friends, run a badge-making session in your home, studio or your place of work, take this project wherever you can. Share this call to action far and wide. Your art voice is valuable.
Post your badge and note to your leader of choice. Share your badge and note on Instagram using #climatebadges and tag your selected badge recipient where possible. Follow this hashtag to see other contributions. And thank you for taking action. Collective action has power.
SincerelySA Artists for Climate Action
The Notice Board is now part of the Social Art Library. Led by Axis this is a great resourch of projects and artists The Notice Board’s entry can be found HERE:
A participant of Cultural Prescriptions used their £10 challenge [sent to buy materials to support their work and this Action Research] on a scratch card. The card formed part of a ‘care’ package sent to me. An idea that builds on the original packs sent to initiate the project. This version came with plastercine, my favourite crisps, a picture of a pit pony and other goodies. As I scratched the card during our most recent session, we collectively held our breathe in a beautiful poignant moment. Sadly we weren’t lottery winners, but instead we could see the impact of care, creative approaches and connection as powerful tools. Obvious maybe but not always visible and that’s why this research is relevant and timely for the Social Prescribers and their clients too.