School of Music & Fine Art launches new series of Visiting Artist Talks with Benedict Drew

TIFF Kaput Exhibition at QUAD Jul 15 credit Charlotte Jopling-51

The School of Music and Fine Art, part of the University of Kent’s Medway campus,  is proud to announce the new series of Visiting Artist Talks, which are FREE to attend but booking is required. Please email mfareception@kent.ac.uk to reserve your place.The venue is the stunning restored Church in the Chatham Historic Dockyard.

Artists, writers, filmmakers, curators and performers, each speaker renowned in their own field, will pose distinct and searching questions to address the urgent concerns of our age. Guests will provide a detailed presentation of their work, sharing their experiences of navigating the complex multifaceted art world.

Launching the programme at 6.15pm on Tuesday November 10th is international Kent-based artist Benedict Drew, who works across video, sculpture, music and their associated technologies. Born in 1977, he graduated from Slade School of Fine Art in 2011 and was a LUX Associate Artist (2011/12). Drew’s often chaotic environments and installations feature screens, cables and small-scale anthropomorphised sculptures made from lo-fi materials such as tin foil and, occasionally, mud. Intended as a response to our ‘over-saturated digital realm’. Drew’s installations are attempts to ‘articulate the horror of the modern world.’

The artist says: ‘I make videos and music and exhibitions and picture and sculptures. I am interested in the potential of these combinations to create an ecstatic and sometimes abject alternative universe.’ A review from the current British Art Show observes: http://afternoondust.co.uk/blog/british-art-show-8#.VilIkxCrRR0

Benedict Drew’s “Sequencer” is all about stuff: sticky, splodgy, gooey stuff, material through and through. His film presented across multiple screens is full of rough, ready landscapes of dirt and rock juxtaposed with paint erupting like volcanoes or oil burps. It’s also full of holes: holes that gape like ears, squish and stretch like mouths, or wobble like the cones of the speakers scattered prominently in front of the screens, spewing out squelchy psychedelic goop. Yep, it’s all about stuff, and that stuff is sound: gleefully trashing the painstaking refinement and posed ephemerality of much of contemporary sound art, Drew gives us an earful of messy, splurging sonic substance that injects the silent, airtight contemporary landscape with a gelatinous, technologically-mediated roar. The horror of the Real — the material encounter with a thingy world beyond the control of language — becomes the bass pulse you can feel.

Represented by Matts Gallery, London, Drew’s recent solo exhibitions include: Heads May Roll, Matt’s Gallery, London; The Persuaders, Adelaide Festival, SASA Gallery Adelaide, Australia; Zero Hour Petrified, Ilam Campus Gallery, School of Fine Arts University of Canterbury, New Zealand (all 2014); The Onesie Cycle, Rhubarba, Edinburgh; Now Thing, Whitstable Biennale; This Is Feedback, Outpost, Norwich; Gliss, Cell Project Space; and The Persuaders, Circa Site / AV Festival, Newcastle (2013).

Links: http://www.benedictdrew.com/ and information on Drew’s work which attempts to tackle the anxiety and neurosis generated from the condition of dyslexia can be found here: http://events.arts.ac.uk/event/2014/12/18/Benedict-Drew-Dyslexic-Shanty/)

PHOTO CREDIT: Charlotte Jopling, TIFF KAPUT Exhibition at QUAD July 2015

Artist Goshka Macuga’s Letter travels from Chatham Historic Dockyard to Canterbury

The Letter leaving Chatham Historic Dockyard: Photo Stacey Cooper

Despite the heavy rain, at 2.15pm on Friday 18th September, led by Adam Chodzko, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, School of Music and Fine Art at University of Kent, seven BA and MA Fine Art students and BA Event & Experience Design students left the Medway campus at Chatham Historic Dockyard to walk an enormous textile postal envelope (over 10m long) bearing the address of the Jarman Building, University of Kent. The group, dressed as Polish postal workers, delivered it to visual artist (and previous Turner Prize nominee) Goshka Macuga at the Kantorbury Symposium on the University of Kent’s Canterbury Campus at Keynes College at 6pm.

The Kantorbury Symposium took place on 18th and 19th September, with 23 UK and international speakers, performances and film screenings organised by the The European Theatre Research Network (ETRN) on the Canterbury campus, in which the life and work of Polish theatre director and visual artist Tadeusz Kantor is celebrated 100 years after his birth. The Letter refers to the famous happening by Tadeusz Kantor carried out in 1967, but also to the potential tensions occurring between art institutions and the society. At the heart of these tensions lies the censorship in Polish art after 1989, the period sometimes referred to as the cold war of artists against the society, and marked by attacks targeted at artworks, artists, curators, directors, and institutions, often committed on anti-Semitic grounds. To document those difficult times, Macuga decided to embrace within the show also the hate mail addressed to Zachęta and its then director, Anda Rottenberg. The Letter is a testament to those struggles, as well as to the ongoing transformation in the society, which has to confront its fears and prejudices in order to fully accept artistic freedom. This is how the performance looked when staged in Poland
http://artmuseum.pl/en/kolekcja/praca/macuga-goshka-the-letter

About Goshka Macuga

Interdisciplinary artist, born in 1967 in Warsaw, Goshka Macuga is now based in London. In 2008, she was among the four nominees for the prestigious Turner Prize, awarded each year to the most outstanding young British artist.  Her practice moves beyond the artist’s traditionally perceived role into a form of ‘cultural archaeology’. Despite incorporating traditional media, such as sculpture, drawing, painting, photography and film, she creates installations in which she also appropriates the work of other artists, archive materials, ready-mades, combining them with objects of her own making. Macuga appropriates the techniques and tactics used by curators of exhibitions or archivists (because of this, her art is often compared to that of Marcel Broodthaers). Macuga has been exhibiting internationally at major museum and galleries since 1999.  In 2016 she has a solo exhibition at the New Museum, New York.

About Tadeusz Kantor http://www.cricoteka.pl/en/main.php?d=tkantor&kat=33&id=13

My Mind is Free – new play about human trafficking touring Kent – October 2015

My Mind is Free image
My Mind is Free image
My Mind is Free

A new play touring Kent and South East venues in October 2015 performed by the Rah Rah theatre company, will let the audience experience a powerful theatrical interpretation of the degradations of human trafficking in an intimate community performance space.

Designed to raise awareness of the issue that is currently at the forefront of the news, My Mind is Free will disturb and provoke in equal measure. Funded by the Arts Council England, the Rah Rah Theatre Company has produced the play with Medway-based playwright Sam Hall to initiate discussion about the injustice of human trafficking within the UK.

There are an estimated 30 million slaves in the world, with approximately 13,000 in the UK. Modern day slavery victims include: women forced into prostitution, ‘imprisoned’ domestic staff, and workers in fields, factories, building sites and fishing boats. London based Rah Rah commissioned playwright Sam Hall to tell the stories of some of the people who have fallen into what can only be described as modern day slavery. Sam has done extensive research with anti-trafficking charities and a percentage of the proceeds from the tour will be donated to them.

Most of the shows will be followed by a post-show discussion with a representative from one of the anti-trafficking organisations, and the Rochester Lit Fest show will be followed by a Q and A with playwright Sam Hall.

As part of a tour of the South East, My Mind is Free comes to new cultural venue Margate House in Margate on 1 October, The Horsebridge Centre Whitstable on 2 October, Strood Gospel Mission Church on 5 October, and Rochester Literature Festival on 11 October. Click here for the full list of tour venues and booking.

Urban Expressions – New Street-based Arts Event – 27th-29th August 2015 – Chatham

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Urban Expression is an exciting new event aimed at celebrating different forms of streetbased arts, activity and creativity in locations around Chatham. A variety of activities will be happening in different locations around Chatham High Street, including: MC’ing, busking, parkour, dance, spoken word, street-art, eco-crafts, skateboarding and skating on the 27th and 28th August from 1-5pm.

Activities are aimed at young people aged 12 years plus – but are not exclusive to young people.

In preparation we will be running workshops over the next few weeks, keep an eye on our Facebook Page for more information.

Like and share the Facebook page to get updates on workshops and activities on the lead up to the event: https://www.facebook.com/urbanexressionsmedway


As part of Urban Expressions, The Urban Playground Team are bringing their parkour / dance performance STEAM: bOing! to Sun Pier, Chatham on the 27thand 28th August from 1-5pm.

As part of Urban Expressions, bOing! comes to Medway on Thu 27 & Fri 28 August this year, when the brilliant Urban Playground Team bring their energetic Performance-Parkour to Sun Pier, Chatham.

The Urban Playground Team will also be performing at bOing! (University of Kent) as part of the bOINg! weekend on 29 & 30 August.

STEAM

The Urban Playground Team are the original Performance-Parkour (2PK) company and are coming to Medway with an energetic dance-theatre piece unlike anything you’ve seen before.

In STEAM, The Urban Playground Team reimagine the life of a steam locomotive through scenes inspired by the silent movies of Buster Keaton, the gun fights of the old West and the rooftop stunts of James Bond.

Combining contemporary & urban dance with Parkour and physical theatre STEAM is brought to Medway by Gulbenkian as part of the bOing!2015 International Family Festival, Canterbury (29&30 Aug) and forms part of Urban Expressions in Chatham.

Performances will be at:

Thu 27 Aug – 1pm

Thu 27 Aug – 3.45pm
Fri 28 Aug – 1pm
Fri 28 Aug – 3.45pm

Recommended for all ages. Performance run-time: 20 mins.

Workshops and freeplay will take place between performances.

STEAM is presented in partnership with Medway Council.

NEW creative programme in the School of Music and Fine Art at Chatham Historic Dockyard

Photo by Peter Hatton. Work by J Childs – Burberry Architecture 15

An exciting new  practice based MA Event & Experience Design (subject to validation), will be offered at the School of Music and Fine Art from September 2016.  Situated in the heart of the thriving Medway creative hub, the School of Music and Fine Art offers a range of degrees, postgraduate programmes and PhDs that include Fine Art, Music, Music Technology, Sound and Image, and Event and Experience Design in the dynamic and inspiring environment of Chatham Historic Dockyard.

The new MA Event & Experience Design covers contemporary culture delivered through live and mediated events that  may include live streaming, interactive networks and traditional terrestrial broadcast. The experience may be interactive, participatory or immersive or combinations of any of these.

This programme is ideal for Art, Design, Digital Arts, Performance and Drama (and other related subjects) undergraduate students who wish to study in an interdisciplinary environment. It is also aimed at professionals in the industry who wish to study part time(over 2 years)  for personal and professional development.

Modules are assessed on coursework and practical project outcomes with supporting research portfolios. The dissertation is 8,000 words or 5,000 words plus a publicly-presented element.

To find out more, contact: mfaadmissions@kent.ac.uk  or visit  http://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/eventandexperiencedesign/index.html

Crowdfunding Chrysanthemums

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By Jane Ayres

Last year, I attempted my biggest challenge – launching my first ever crowdfunding campaign for a music and dance event in Kent. I’ve been excited by the idea of crowdfunding for a long time – ever since I attended a workshop by the fantastic Crista Cloutier. If your project is hard to categorise, or getting funding through the usual channels isn’t working, than crowdfunding is a way to approach your audience directly.

Like many enthusiastic fundraisers, I was seduced by success stories of other individuals and arts groups, and keen to try it myself. I can honestly say it is way harder than I imagined!

I went to a Fundraisers Bootcamp last month and it was perhaps reassuring in an odd way to learn that not everyone reaches their target and that it really is as tough as I am finding it. It’s been a steep learning curve – luckily I love learning! It took months to construct the crowdfunding page to get it right, and then we promptly ignored advice about how to do the video trailer. Instead, after several takes of unsuccessful talking heads, we opted to let the music – and dance – do the talking for us. Whether or not that worked is for you to decide.

I spent ages trying to create some unique, personalised and, frankly, lovely rewards for supporters – ranging from signed first pages of the new scores, to tickets for the concerts, to a chance to meet all the cast after the shows. All supporters will get credits in the special souvenir programme.

The bit of the process I find most difficult (and this is going to sound a bit strange) is asking people to give money. I quickly realised that I really don’t like doing this! The lovely folk at the Fundraising Bootcamp pointed out that people can only say No, and would I mind if I was asked to support a crowdfunding arts project? Of course not. But has that made it any easier? Not really. Why is it so tough to ask for help? I don’t know the answer to that.

But I do know I am passionate about the project I am fundraising for, and that all the rules of fundraising equally apply to crowdfunding. It isn’t a magic solution to raising money. However, it is a brilliant tool for communicating a fab project to a lot of people – with the hope that it will connect enough for people to want to share it with others.

So what are we doing it for? In a nutshell, the The Mirabai Project is a labour of love – a not for profit collective, with ambitious plans to stage innovative events that combine music, dance, design, film and new technology.

Chrysanthemums is our first event – an intriguing semi-staged concert with string quartet, harp, sax and 3 female voices – and special guests Elena Velasco-Peña and Luis Rodriguez, dazzling Argentine Tango dancers. This is our first collaboration with the young Canterbury based Leon String Quartet. Established in 2010, they are dynamic and versatile, with a wide repertoire and commitment to new music and innovative collaborations. Joining them are award winning musicians that include harpist Ruby Aspinall, sopranos Elizabeth Fulleylove and Gabriela Di Laccio, and Kent saxophonist Richard Melkonian.

The first show includes two world premieres. Award-winning composer Barry Seaman’s haunting Torch Songs is written for harpist Ruby Aspinall, and is inspired by songs about love, loss and friendship. Singer/songwriter Mariam Al-Roubi will be performing All Things – songs inspired by her forthcoming album, arranged for string quartet and harp.

There will also be sensual and romantic music from composers that include Monteverdi, Puccini, Caplet, Philip Glass, and new arrangements of tangos by Piazzolla and Gardel.

Chrysanthemums will initially be performed as follows:

Friday 17th April 2015, 8pm at the Trinity Arts Centre, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Tuesday 21 April 2015, 7.30pm at the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury, Kent

If you want to be instrumental (pun intended) in both the creation and performance of beautiful music and know that your contribution and vision made it happen, please check our link.

http://www.sponsume.com/project/mirabai-project-presents-chrysanthemums

The crowdfunding campaign ends on 2nd February 2015 – so we now have less than a month to achieve our target of £2590 (eek!). To date we have 5 backers and have raised £425 towards commissioning new work, and I am so grateful to everyone who has supported us this far.

Any contribution would be welcomed. (See, I kind of asked!) But whether or not you can donate, I’d be truly grateful if you could share the link via social media and help to spread the word – and we sincerely hope you will come to the concerts!  Thank you!

Related posts:

https://creatabot.co.uk/2012/11/01/garrets-and-gatekeepers-by-jane-ayres/

https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/06/30/crista-cloutier-the-video-all-creatives-need-to-see/

https://creatabot.co.uk/2013/03/20/what-you-need-to-know-about-crowdfunding-by-crista-cloutier/

Links:

http://artsfundraising.org.uk/training/

http://www.fundraising.co.uk/

 Photo from Mirabai, Barry Seaman

Free creative workshops for young people in Swale

6 Ways To Wellbeing Swale Young people

Ideas Test has been out and about over the last few months promoting their Six Ways to Wellbeing Swale project.   They’re offering an exciting programme of workshops for young people 13-19 (25 SEN) in Swale aiming to improve their sense of wellbeing through film, dance, drama, writing and creative technology.  Working with some of the most exciting arts organisations in Kent and beyond, it’s a great range of opportunities – have a look at the list below for details.

A crowd-sourced ‘wellbeing poem’ has been launched with Dan Simpson, who’s one of the workshop leaders. Get involved on Twitter with #wellbeingpoem or email hello@dansimpsonpoet.co.uk. The result will be broadcast during a final performance at The Avenue Theatre in Sittingbourne on December 6, which will showcase what participants have done during this project.

  • Join Codasign to make an interactive phone cover which lights up when your phone rings or to create an interactive installation.
  • Explore elements of dance and develop your dance and physical theatre skills with The Jasmin Vardimon Company.
  • The Rochester LitFest offers you the chance to have fun with poetry and spoken word – writing and performing – and learn about digital storytelling using social media.
  • Want to write, direct, act or design a TV series? These fun, exciting and hands on sessions with Viola Films will give you the chance to learn some basic film making skills and create a new Six Part Webseries.
  • Your ideas performed from scratch – Wide Eyed Theatre will help you create a story of people, place and events that make you happy!

To find out more about each workshop, visit the Six Ways To Wellbeing page at www.ideastest.co.uk, email Cassy@creativepeopleplace.info or call 07713 865955.

The Six Ways to Wellbeing are:

  • Connect – with family, friends, colleagues, neighbours
  • Be active – walk, run, garden, dance
  • Take notice – be curious, reflect on experiences
  • Keep learning – try something new
  • Give – doing something for others
  • Grow your world – planet care for its sustainability

Find out more about the Six Ways to Wellbeing at www.liveitwell.co.uk

The project is jointly funded by Kent County Council, Artswork and Royal Opera House Bridge.

6 Ways to Wellbeing Swale logos

Medway’s Creative Spaces

Medway is lucky enough to have multiple arts spaces that each have something unique to offer. If you would like to book a days tour (for a small donation to the Creatabot project) please contact Natasha on natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Nucleus Arts

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Nucleus Arts is the Award Winning flagship arts organisation founded by the Halpern Charitable Foundation. The Foundation was the brainchild of the late Hilary Halpern and it was his dream to promote the Arts in Medway and Kent. Nucleus Arts has become the cultural and creative heart of Kent & Medway over the past 12 years and focuses on affordability, accessibility and excellence in the Arts. They run multiple workshops, events and training programmes.

The main centre is at 272 High Street, Chatham, where the gallery, conference room and main artists studios are based. The artists open studios are held here every 1st Saturday of the month for all to attend for free.

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Nucleus Arts also have creative studio space in Military Road, Chatham, Rochester High Street (which also includes retail space) and Lower Stone Street, Maidstone. All spaces have a lovely cafe managed by Cafe Nucleus.

Nucleus Arts are working in collaboration with multiple local charities on their Arts Inclusive programme to make sure the arts can be accessible to all.

Sun Pier House

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This Community Interest Company was formed in 2012 to support and promote the best of Medway’s talent, providing a base for established and start-up businesses in the creative sector.

Within the building, there is a large exhibition gallery, tea room, events space, hire rooms, artist studios, open plan creative office space with hot desk facilities, all enjoying a glorious panoramic view of the River Medway.

Sun Pier House CIC actively promotes the businesses working within Medway’s creative community, encouraging them to grow and develop to their full potential. Sun Pier House is right next to Sun Pier, Medway Street, Chatham.

POP Creative Space

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POP is an abandoned shop turned into a Creative space in the heart of Chatham, Medway. The shop has been funded by EU and Recreate and hosts various free events and exhibitions throughout the year. POP is at 64 – 66 High Street, Chatham.

Unravel and Unwind

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Unravel and Unwind are working to develop a “country cottage” style craft drop in centre for crafters of all abilities, ages, background and culture where they can come and craft while they socialise-practice-teach-learn.

Their aim is to create a friendly open environment,”a crafting home from home” ) where local crafters & families can practice, learn, teach and sell their crafts. A place where skills can be shared and new ideas encouraging community engagement, increasing social well-being, removing isolation and possibly mentoring transitions into employment. They are based at Intra Arts, 337-341 High Street, Rochester.

Intra Arts

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INTRA is a Medway based arts venue, hosting creative events, classes, activities and studios, and offering one of the best collections in Kent of specialist arts equipment accessible to the general public – especially specialist printing equipment.

The not for profit company Intra Arts Ltd. was formed in 2014 when they took on the former Spemco building in Rochester High Street. This Art Deco fronted, Victorian building is much loved in the historic area of ‘Chatham Intra’. Their aim is to provide an arts programme, creative opportunities and education in a space that welcomes people of all ages, abilities and circumstances. They are based at 337-341 High Street, Rochester.

Transmit:Project – Are you the next big thing?

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Are you a musician/filmmaker/artist/photographer/organisation etc who would like more people to know about your work and what you do?

Perhaps you always wanted to know what musicians/filmmakers/artists/photographers etc live and work and create in Medway?

Would you like to transmit your art?  Would you like to project your talent?

Transmit:Project is a brand new project all about getting known.  Its all about providing a platform for upcoming and established artist and performers.  It’s all about having one place where people can go to find out more about the huge amount of talent that currently thrives in Medway.

This is going to be the place for local talent to be seen and heard.  This is going to be the place where audience inside and outside Medway will come to see what talent is around.  A while ago I wrote about some of the Medway scene with the popular Medway Visions articles.  I hope these will morph into transmit:project files as well as adding new ones all the time.

But it needs you.  Without talents to write about/broadcast then this project won’t get very far.  Make yourself heard.  Contact us.

Here’s how it works:

You send me a bio and some details about your work.

You send me a link to your work/send a cd etc.

With these things I can write about you.

You also send me a video file of you performing or a music video (musicians), interview/sequence of pictures of art (artists), sequence of photos (photographers) a short film (filmmaker).

With this I can post a clip of you/your work.  (If you can’t get a video file to me then contact me anyway and we can sort something out)

This will then be shown from the transmit:project broadcast channel:

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8NHTvq6pzCSPZVfrOzDmzg

In time this project might spread out, but, for now, it’s all about Medway.  And what better place to start.  Transmitting art.  Projecting talent.

The Moon The Eye

transmitproject@themoontheeye.com

www.themoontheeye.com/transmitproject

www.facebook.com/Transmit.Project