Ian Richards Residency and Exhibition in Leipzig by Claire Farrell

When did the future switch from being a promise to being a threat?

Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters, 1999.

The bodies we inhabit are not impermeable; they do not come into the world packaged with assurances of forever. We accept that with time our body will degenerate and breakdown. We hope that this will happen at a remote point, as if our mortality is on the horizon, signposted somewhere just beyond our focus. We don’t have to look for signs.

In a doctor’s surgery is a poster for HIV/AIDS awareness; the patient is told: ‘Look behind you, this is you now’… This is what he became when he was informed of his bodies’ inhabitation by an incurable virus.

For the generations brought up with the discovery of HIV/AIDS, its symbolism was depicted by images of the deathbed, the tolling bell and the tomb. The emaciated body, the vials of blood, the shock that Oliviero Toscani used to sell you jumpers by Benetton. Strategies were engaged by artists that articulated ideas beyond these narrow parameters. General Idea’s AIDS (A Project for the Public Art Fund, Inc.),Derek Jarman’s Blue, Karen Finley’s Written in Sand and Felix Gonzales-Torres’ Untitled (Perfect Lovers) brought a humanity to picturing AIDS/HIV. Time brings transformation. Time has brought medical breakthroughs and better drugs. It has brought with it adherence to medication schedules that render the virus undetectable within the body, and life expectancy projected at near normality. The conversation we have about HIV/AIDS needs to refocus on life not death, challenge preconceptions and address nuances of language and symbols.

Throughout Ian Richards’ residency at HALLE 14 his work has been built around extensive research into the current life experiences of HIV+ people. The artist has elicited responses through conversations with populations in Leipzig, Birmingham and gathered research from worldwide participants. The work he has developed is now reinserted back into the public arena – the city of Leipzig through billboards, site-specific text, and distributed as postcards, hand-stamps and tote bags to form oblique poems. Acts of disclosure from HIV+ people on fallibility, infection and the future are placed site specifically by Richards, the work public yet opaque. This space between knowing and unknowing will open up other readings; in the work Unprogrammed | Programmed: Please take a seat in the waiting area (2015) the text sited at the bus stop will build its own relationship with the world from the HIV+ man who travels from it to his clinic. Here the link between diagnosis and daily life is underlined as a routine, a continuum.

In the video Undetectable | detectable: Don’t die of ignorance (2015) the image and soundtrack from the 1986 British public information campaign is removed, leaving subtitles to describe the psychological impact of the advert that heralded an apocalyptic monolith for AIDS. The resulting text is then projected onto an amended songsheet, in which the Irving Gordon classic Unforgettable takes on new form as Undetectable. This act of layering reveals the complexity and depth of the work, and articulates the shifting conditions of this subject.

Work made by Richard’s since his return to the UK has focused on the binary nature of diagnosis, in the work Unfold / fold: Lucky Dip (2015) you are invited to pick a folded card in a bowl, which when unfolded reveals itself to be either ‘lucky’ or ‘unlucky’. In the work Unmarked | marked (2015) the terms always, sometimes, never, no entry and needs discussion are picked at random to be stamped onto the hands of visitors. Terms that indicate sexual preferences and disclosures made by men on GPS enabled dating apps. In the context of Shout Festival in Birmingham the presence of these hand-stamps was actively commented on by a public who understood them; as the work moves into other territories the words will become more oblique, the viewer more curious as to the context they have been placed in.

For this iteration of the exchange at HALLE 14 Richard’s text works occupy public space in the city of Leipzig, the billboard work Unseeing | seeing: Describe It visualizes the appearance of the HIV virus from a variety of individual perspectives, imagining it at one point looking like either pacman, macramé or, just, like any of us. Across the city; and in particular in the AIDS Hilfe Remembrance Garden, plaques have been installed on public benches as the series of works Unknowing | knowing each vocalizing the moment of diagnosis with deadpan humour. These works indicate an incessant presence; one that is routinely unseen and uncommented on. A subject without discussion becomes a stigma for all of us.

Richards, a British artist born in 1974, takes a multidisciplinary approach linking art, natural science and social engagement. His work inhabits diverse forms including: graphics, installation and public art. For this residency he has explored site specific interventions in public space that articulate lived experience of HIV.

For more information about Ian Richards please see www.ijcrichards.com

Text by Cathy Wade, July / Nov 2015


This article was first published on New Art WM - www.newartwm.org

Stuart Whipps LPAP Residency by Claire Farrell

During November artist Stuart Whipps has been making photographs of various components of the 1979 GT Mini, as well as continuing his research into historic paint colours at Longbridge.

For the photographs the artist set up a small tabletop studio to photograph the components on coloured backgrounds and parts of the engine on newspapers sourced from 1979. All of the newspapers contain political cartoons that are connected to British Leyland. The colours for the backgrounds come from the extensive research the artist has conducted to identify the historical paint colours produced at Longbridge. The research trips have included numerous seen visits to the Motor Heritage Museum at Gaydon. (With thanks to the Motor Heritage Museum)

For more information please visit www.lpap.co.uk

MANIFESTATIONS OF A FAR NEARNESS, Exhibition, 26th November 2015, Leipzig by Claire Farrell

MANIFESTATIONS OF A FAR NEARNESS Halle14 Leipzig Exhibition Opening 26th November 2015

As part of the 1000th year anniversary celebrations of the city of Leipzig, WERK are pleased to have worked in partnership with Glenn Howells Architects to support Halle14 (Leipzig) with their artist exchange project between the sister cities of Leipzig, Birmingham and Lyon. Selected artists from each city have inquisitively and provocatively examined the parallels, disparities and nuances of the three cities.

An exhibition at the Spinnerei galleries in Leipzig tilted ‘MANIFESTATIONS OF A FAR NEARNESS’ has been produced to conclude the project. The exhibition shows new works from the five artists involved in the project; Ian Richards, Sven Bergelt, Tom Castinel, Pale Male and Peggy Pehl. Their works deal with a range of subjects such as; urban renewal, life with HIV, the inventiveness concealed in everyday life and commonplace myths.

The show open on Thursday 26th November and runs till the 27th February 2016

For more details - www.halle14.org

Longbridge Light Festival 2016 Festival Producer Application Pack by Claire Farrell

Longbridge Light Festival Producer

January 2016 – January 2017
Freelance Full Time 1 year Contract (fixed fee) £30,000

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an ambitious, innovative and highly motivated individual to support the delivery of Longbridge Light Festival by WERK.

Celebrating the area’s unique past, present and future, Longbridge Light Festival (LLF) highlights a long-term contemporary art project by WERK embedded within one of the UK’s largest regeneration schemes. LLF 2016 builds upon the success of the inaugural festival in 2014, which attracted 5,500 people to experience new light based artwork created by 19 regional, national and internationally based artists, 34 collaborative festival fringe events and an international conference that explored best practice within the areas of art, architecture, urban design and regeneration. The Festival is presented in public space and multiple venues across Longbridge through valued partnership working.

The Festival Producer will play a central role in enabling WERK to realise the LLF 2016 vision and its extended ongoing programme of work, working collaboratively with the existing team, alongside key stakeholders and local partnerships which include schools, community groups and local businesses.

Application deadline: Midday 9th December 2015, this response should include the following via info@werk.org.uk

  • Expression of interest

  • CV with details of two referees

  • Example of work

  • Completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form (available in the application pack)

    Candidates are not required to have previous experience within the arts, as long as they can demonstrate they are qualified for the role.

    To apply for this role please email info@WERK.org.uk for the application pack.

  • British Art Show 8 launch by Claire Farrell

    The Kipper and the Corpse

    WERK are delighted for LPAP artist-in-residence Stuart Whipps and the Longbridge residents and ex factory workers who have been supporting the artist with the mini restoration project. The mini is featured as part of British Art Show 8 #BAS8 opening this week at Leeds Art Gallery.

    Stuart Whipps is restoring the mini as part of his LPAP (Longbridge Public Art Project) long term residency. There are a number of mini restoration open days taking place please visit www.lpap.co.uk for more information.

    WERK are delighted to work in partnership with the British Art Show 8 and looking forward to seeing Longbridge mini tour over the next 15 months!

    Images courtesy of the artist: Stuart Whipps & Keith Woodfield (ex Longbridge car factory worker) working on the mini in The Cabin, Longbridge.

    The Kipper and the Corpse by Stuart Whipps is a Longbridge Public Art Project (LPAP) commissioned by WERK. Generously supported by The William A. Cadbury Charitable Trust, it is exhibited as part of British Art Show 8. 

    Future Worn Out New One > Review by Anneka French art critic, writer and curator by Claire Farrell

    Sven Bergelt: Future Worn Out New One
    NEST 321 Bradford Street, B5 6ET Birmingham
    Review by Anneka French

    Birmingham has something of a reputation for the destruction of its architectural heritage. From the sites of former Victorian, Edwardian and Brutalist buildings are increasingly springing new constructions that offer an improved and more glamorous vision for the city. Until, that is, these new constructions begin to tire too.

    Leipzig-based artist Sven Bergelt has been in residence in Birmingham for three months as part of the international Exchange@2015.le project, organised in conjunction with public art organisation WERK. His base has been, perhaps surprisingly, Birmingham’s Glenn Howells Architects. The firm is also the site of his exhibition ‘Future Worn Out New One’, the result of a sifting through of some of the layers of history, politics and planning that cover the city.

    Take, for instance, Bergelt’s large installation ‘Behind, the Paradise’, a large black-painted hoarding that stands ominously in the foyer of Glenn Howells Architects. Hoardings can be found on almost every street in Birmingham, temporarily obscuring both the demolition and construction of public spaces and private enterprises. This displaced hoarding has a physical and political presence. Turning its corner, however, reveals it has only two sides. In the open space a taxidermy crow is theatrically framed. Perched atop broken concrete aggregate posts sourced from the city’s former Longbridge car plant site, the bird metaphorically picks through fragments of the city’s architectural past. Whose paradise is this? One clear reference is to Paradise Forum, a now hoarded shopping arcade beneath John Madin’s Birmingham Central Library of 1974. After its demolition, Paradise Forum will become simply Paradise, a luxury commercial and retail area designed by Glenn Howells Architects.

    Madin’s library features too in a series of gentler works on paper by Bergelt. ‘Where is the Library’ is an index of its exterior architectural detailing made through surface-rubbing. In the preservation and archiving of fragments of the remaining building, Bergelt’s work takes a cyclical turn. Ninety-six of the artist’s ghost-like drawings are bound in a unique book which he hopes will form part of the new library’s collection.

    ‘Greetings from the Bulldozer’ pulls together aspects of the city’s wider heritage with historical German literature. In ‘The Rider on the White Horse’, a novella of 1888 by Theodor Storm, cats and children are buried within the construction of dykes for good luck. A line from Storm’s narrative is prominent within Bergelt’s installation. The remains of a mummified cat were similarly found within Birmingham’s nearby Curzon Street train station, built in 1838 and the proposed terminus for HS2. Through these parallel stories Bergelt aligns architectural creation with loss and with death. These strands run powerfully and starkly throughout each work.

    The final work of the exhibition is a replacement doormat for the foyer of Glenn Howells Architects upon which the exhibition’s title is stencilled. The work reminds us that, without care, many of the city’s buildings are ultimately as disposable as a doormat. The visual image of Birmingham is one of urgent and endless renewal. It is the perfect place to be an architect.

    Future Worn Out New One by Leipzig based artist Sven Bergelt was produced by WERK in partnership with Glenn Howells Architects, and sponsored by Argent and Zahoot.

    The exhibition is part of Exchange.le by HALLE14, an international residency exchange project between three sister cities Leipzig (HALLE14), Birmingham (WERK & Glenn Howells Architects) and Lyon (École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon.) to celebrate the one thousand year anniversary of the city of Leipzig.


    Sven Bergelt - FUTURE WORN OUT NEW ONE

    EXHIBITION Opening 17th September, 6 - 9pm
    NEST 321 Bradford Street, B5 6ET Birmingham (Glenn Howells Architects)
    ARTIST IN CONVERSATION with Sven Bergelt and Glenn Howells, Director of Glenn Howells Architects at 6:30pm

    Leipzig based artist Sven Bergelt has been in residence with Glenn Howells Architects and WERK for three months exploring the city of Birmingham. The artists work navigates Birmingham‘s past, present and future architectural styles as well as its pre-occupation with regenerating itself. Future Worn Out New One is a symbolic manifestation of the artists research and response to the city.

    ‘What is the visual character of the city of Birmingham? In the city centre there are diverse styles of architecture. They speak of the different periods of urban development in Birmingham. The city has been criticised in the past for the lack of a ”clear visual image“, but perhaps therein lies the „visual image“ of the city. It is a witness to the process of renewal in urban redevelopment and the urge for visual utopianism and futurism of urban planning since the mid­ 20th century.’ - Sven Bergelt

    The residency and exhibition is part of Exchange@2015.le project created by Leipzig based arts organisation HALLE 14 - Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst to celebrate the 1000 year birthday of the city of Leipzig.
    Exchange@2015.le is an artist exchange programme between three European sister cities of Leipzig HALLE14, Birmingham | WERK and Glenn Howells Architects, and Lyon | École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon.

    Future Worn Out New One by Sven Bergelt will be exhibited at Exchange@2015.le group exhibition at HALLE14 contemporary art space in Leipzig later this year. The group exhibition will include work by other artists participating within the exchange programme Tom Castinel (Lyon) and Ian Richards (Birmingham).

    Sven Bergelt Artist Residency, Exchange.ie by Claire Farrell


    Sven Bergelt in progress - just over a quarter way through 96 sheets of rubbings. John Madin's Birmingham Central Library

    The artist has been in residence with Glenn Howells Architects (GHA) for the past couple of months exploring Birmingham's timeline of architectural styles and urban planning.

    'What is the visual character of the city of Birmingham? In the city centre there are diverse styles of architecture. They speak of the different periods of urban development in Birmingham. Birmingham has been criticized in the past for the lack of a "clear visual image" of the city, but perhaps therein lies the "visual image" of the city. Because it is a witness to the process of renewal in urban redevelopment and the urge for visual utopianism and futurism of urban planning since the mid­ 20th century.'

    The work will culminate within an exhibition and artist talk in late September at GHA.

    Watch this space, more news to follow soon!

    The international residency is part of Exchange.ie.created by HALLE 14 - Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst. Exchange.ie in partnership with Birmingham (WERK and Glenn Howells Architects) and Lyon (École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon) is an artist exchange programme between three European cities. The project has been created by Halle14 to celebrate the 1000 year birthday of the city of Leipzig. Artists Tom Castinel (Lyon), Ian Richards (Birmingham) and Sven Bergelt (Leipzig) were selected by project partners in each city to take part in the exchange programme. The artists work developed within their international residency will culminate in a group exhibition at Halle14, Leipzig in November 2015.

    Star map research, Cathy Wade by Claire Farrell

    Cathy Wade is a long term artist-in-residence (since 2013) with Longbridge Public Art Project (LPAP). The artist has been exploring and developing multiple temporary and permanent artworks within the project that will unfold and be revealed over the next two years.

    Star map research - (c) Cathy Wade

    Images: research images and Philips’ Planisphere, ca. 1900

    Cathy Wade has been researching a map of the night sky that would have been present on the night that Lord Austin visited the old print works in Longbridge on the 4th of November 1905. From this research she is developing permanent work for Longbridge that celebrates how constellations of cause and effect are created by both nature and human actions.

    Latitude - Longitude
    Lat: 52° 23’ 42.2586"
    Long: -1° 59’ 5.9568"

    Herbert Austin undertook numerous exploratory rides around Birmingham in his Wolseley. On 4 November 1905, he found the derelict printing works owned by a financier, E A Olivieri. Friends came forward with financial help, and with additional invoice financing from Frank Kayser of Kayser, Ellison and Company, and William Harvey du Cros of the Dunlop Rubber Company enabled Austin to buy the site.

    For more information about Longbridge Public Art Project please visit www.lpap.co.uk

    Platform 3 - Juneau Projects by Claire Farrell

    Data Ritual (c) Juneau Projects

    WERK and Centro are delighted to announce that Juneau Projects have been selected to create work for the Platform 3 open call. The public artwork will be situated along the new Metro Birmingham city centre tram line in autumn 2015.

    Juneau Projects Commission for Platform 3 -

    For the Platform 3 cabinets we will be creating a new artwork looking at the very early history of the Birmingham area, taking influence from the stone age, bronze age and Anglo-Saxon period. The work will be interactive – a series of images on the platform cabinets will trigger animations on a phone or tablet when viewed through an augmented reality app.

    From earliest evidence of human activity in the stone age, through the bronze age and the Anglo Saxon era, objects were made by the people who inhabited the land that the city of Birmingham now occupies. We are interested in the human impulse to make things that improve our lives and surroundings, whether they are artworks or tools or a combination of both. The hand painted animations that appear via augmented reality on the platform cabinets will depict scenes of artefacts being made in the three time periods, from stone tools and bronze objects to Anglo-Saxon artefacts like those found in the Staffordshire Hoard.

    We feel that the relationship between the very earliest goods and artefacts, made during these three time periods have a relationship with Birmingham's industrial heritage and celebrate the ingenuity and creativity of the region, both in the past and today.

    Juneau Projects are Ben Sadler and Philip Duckworth. We have worked together since 2001and are based in Birmingham. Our work involves the use of a variety of media including painting, sculpture, music, animation and installation, often in collaborative and site specific ways. We have exhibited nationally and internationally with institutions such as PS1, New York; Eichigo-Tsumari Triennale, Japan; Tate Britain, London; and British Art Show 6.

    For more information about the artists please visit http://www.juneauprojects.co.uk/

    WERK and Centro would like to thank everyone for submitting proposals for Platform 3, it was a difficult decision for the panel and we hope to create more opportunities for artists in the future.

    WERK shortlisted five artists for the panel below:

    Geoff Inskip CEO, Centro
    Paul Griffiths Director, Centro
    James Aspinall Director, Centro
    Stuart Evans Metro Project Director, Centro
    Chris Haworth, Metro Project Manager
    Andrew Wayro, Planning & Regeneration Birmingham City Council
    Councillor Kath Hartley
    Councillor Roger Horton
    Susan Bridges Public Relations, Centro

    WERK would like to thank Ross Whatmore (Zahoot) for being part of and supporting the shortlisting process, and we are looking forward to working with Zahoot Design & Print again! http://www.zahoot.co.uk/

    Exchange.ie Artist-in-Residence Sven Bergelt by Claire Farrell

    Exchange.ie artist-in-residence Sven Bergelt

    Leipzig based artist Sven Bergelt has been in residence with Glenn Howells Architects for the past month as part of the Exchange.ie project created by Halle14, Leipzig. Exchange.ie in partnership with Birmingham (WERK and Glenn Howells Architects) and Lyon (École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon) is an artist exchange programme between three European cities. The project has been created by Halle14 in celebration of the 1000 year birthday of the city of Leipzig. Artists Tom Castinel (Lyon), Ian Richards (Birmingham) and Sven Bergelt (Leipzig) were selected by project partners in each city to take part in the exchange programme. The artists work developed within their international residency will culminate in a group exhibition at Halle14, Leipzig in 2015.

    Sven Bergelt has been exploring the physicality of Birmingham.

    Birmingham is not a medeival town or city, it evolved from a trading post as a central hub for industry and transport links. Birmingham is a progressive organic city that continues to evolve and regenerate. The history of Birmingham in England spans 1400 years of growth, during which time it has evolved from a small 7th century Anglo Saxon hamlet on the edge of the Forest of Arden at the fringe of early Mercia to become a major city through a combination of immigration, innovation and civic pride that helped to bring about major social and economic reforms and to create the Industrial Revolution, inspiring the growth of similar cities across the world.
    The last 200 years have seen Birmingham rise from market town into the fastest-growing city of the 19th century, spurred on by a combination of civic investment, scientific achievement, commercial innovation and economic growth. Below are the artists initial thoughts and response to the physical city -

    'What is the visual character of the city of Birmingham? In the city centre there are diverse styles of architecture. They speak of the different periods of urban development in Birmingham. Birmingham has been criticized in the past for the lack of a "clear visual image" of the city, but perhaps therein lies the "visual image" of the city. Because it is a witness to the process of renewal in urban redevelopment and the urge for visual utopianism and futurism of urban planning since the mid­ 20th century.'

    The artist has been collecting rubbings of a cross section of buildings to archive Birmingham's timeline of architectural styles.

    Mini Restoration Open Day, 1st August, 1-5pm, Longbridge Town Centre Car Park by Claire Farrell

    For Longbridge Public Art Project artist Stuart Whipps is restoring a 1275GT Mini that was made at the Longbridge motor works in 1979. He is working with former employees of the factory and photographing all parts of the car and the process. Come and meet the artist and hear more about this exciting project.

    Members of the public are welcome to visit when restoration work is takig place. Further public open days are scheduled for:

    Saturday 12th September
    Saturdy 17th October
    Saturday 21st November
    Saturday 12h December

    This is part of LPAP by WERK for more information please visit www.LPAP.co.uk

    Ian Richards, Exchange.ie Leipzig residency, Open Studio, 23rd July by Claire Farrell

    Ian Richards, Exchange.ie Leipzig residency, Open Studio, 23rd July

    To mark the culmination of the artists three month residency with HALLE14, Ian Richards will be hosting an 'Open Studio' at HALLE14, Leipzig. The 'Open Studio' will be an exhibition of the research and work the artist has produced during his time in Leipzig. The artist will also be unveiling a large scale text work which will be displayed on billboards in the city of Leipzig.

    'The work is informed by engaging with HIV + people in the twin cities of Leipzig and Birmingham. Participants responded to questions designed to extract their thoughts and feelings around their HIV + status. Reconstructed fragments from their responses read as oblique poems to human fallibility and opportunity. These personal odes become prompts for collective thought sharing through their public presentation. As billboards their meaning is further complicated, slipping into the space between knowing and unknowing; what are they advertising?' – Ian Richards

    The Exchange.ie project has been initiated by Halle14 in partnership with WERK and Glenn Howells Architects. Exchange.ie is an artist residency exchange project between sister cities Lyon, Leipzig and Birmingham as part of the celebrations for Leipzig's 1000 year anniversary.

    Patform3, Artist Open Call by Claire Farrell



    Part of the Midland Metro extension in Birmingham. Snow Hill – via Bull Street and Corporation Street to Stephenson Street, Birmingham 2015

    Centro, in partnership with WERK, are seeking expressions of interest from West Midlands based artists to create public artwork for three large cabinets situated near tram stops, in locations along the new Metro Birmingham City Centre Extension.

    In daily navigations of our streets and public spaces, we encounter an abundance of ‘Street furniture', with specific necessary functions - lampposts and signage, from public seating to utility boxes. We find ourselves moving through our cities subconsciously traversing an urban assault course.

    Centro believe that street furniture possesses great potential as a medium for art; Public platforms for creative expression; to disrupt our daily commutes and encourage excursive navigation of our routine journeys. Interrupting our autopilots by creating something unexpected that activates and challenges our streetscape.

    WERK are passionate about creating substantial and sustainable opportunities for artists to explore urbanism and interventions into public space that enhance our experience of the built environment.

    Platform3 is an exciting opportunity for an artist to have a voice within the City Centre extension and reconstruction of our public space.

    This opportunity is open to students, emerging and established West Midlands based artists. The brief is open; the work can be conceptual, site or city specific.

    Please contact info@werk.org.uk for the submission brief.

    Submission deadline 20th July 2015

    The selected artist will receive a £1,000 fee

    The Good Water Presents by Claire Farrell

    WERK were pleased to support The Good Water with their brilliant  'The Good Water Presents' night on Saturday 13th June.

    The night was a huge success with brilliant performances from - #FOXNEWSDISCO > TREVA > BIRMINGLAM > Andy Pell > The Monkey Club > 

    With special thanks to Green St Arts for hosting the event.

    See more photographs of the night here 

    See a film of the night by BIRMINGLAM here.

    Needs Discussion by Claire Farrell

    Ian Richards HALLE14 residency as part of exchange.ie project begins to manifest in public space, Leipzig (GER)

    HALLE14 exchange@2015.le city partners are:
    Kulturinitiative WERK & Glenn Howells Architects in Birmingham
    Ecole nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon
    Fugitif - volatile (Leipzig) & Prof. Joachim blank (Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst - HGB Leipzig)

    For more information about the artist www.heavyobject.com

    Light, Art, the Universe and Everything: Artichoke announces this year’s Lumiere conference theme by Claire Farrell

    Light, Art, the Universe and Everything: Artichoke announces this year’s Lumiere conference theme

    Tickets available now for a one-day international conference on Friday 13th November 2015 at Durham’s Lumiere festival

    Hosted by Artichoke in association with Durham County Council, Light, Art, the Universe and Everything will explore how light can change the world through science, the arts, spirituality and public space. The event will bring together international experts and pioneers working across medicine, culture, technology, the environment, religion, architecture and education and take place as part of the fourth edition of LUMIERE, the UK's largest outdoor light festival, which returns to Durham from 12th-15th November 2015.

    Speakers will include Sir Peter Bazalgette, chair of Arts Council England; Professor Carlos Frenk, Director of Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology; Deanna Van Buren, an activist artist and architect based in San Francisco; Munira Mirza, London’s Deputy Mayor for Education & Culture; and Richard Kirk, a medical pioneer whose company PolyPhotonix is developing a new light-based technology to treat eye disease. More speakers will be announced soon.

    Hear how their ideas are changing people’s lives: from revolutionising medicine using cutting-edge research and bringing light to communities without electricity, to transforming the places we live with amazing art installations and ground-breaking building design.

    The conference programme is inspired by UNESCO’s International Year of Light, which is championing the importance and potential of light throughout 2015.

    "This conference will be a rare opportunity to hear some of our most inspiring and respected thinkers, scientists, artists and administrators from across the globe consider the significance, meaning and possibilities of this magical phenomenon". – Helen Marriage, Artistic Director, Artichoke.

    Book now through Eventbrite or call Durham's Visitor Contact Centre on 03000 26 26 26.

    The Good Water Presents, 22 Green St, Birmingham, 13/06/15, 9pm-1am by Claire Farrell

    The Good Water Presents

    22 Green St, Birmingham, 13/06/2015 9pm-1am

    WERK are pleased to support 'The Good Water presents' an eclectic diy artist led event featuring #Foxnewsdisco, The Good Water + Special guests including late night vinyl rare groove selections from The Monkey Club DJs - Jodie Lamb, John Weston, Dave Le Modern and Dylan Gibbons. 

    Saturday 13th June 2015 @ 22 Green Street, Digbeth, B12 0NB. 

    Free Entry >> Donations are welcome and will go directly to the artists involved.

    Invite only with + 1's via The Good Water Event Page - please RSVP to enable final numbers and capacity. More details here.

    'You know when you go to a gig to a watch band, stand around in a big space waiting for some music, you watch a band, wait, watch another band, wait, hear the band you came to see and then go home >> this is nothing like that.' - The Good Water

    'thread by thread' new exhibition opens by Baptist Coelho by Claire Farrell

    Artist Baptist Coelho who was commissioned by WERK as part of 48Sheet in 2012, has a new exhibition open at the Ladakh Arts and Media Organisation in Leh, Jammu & Kashmir, India. Titled 'thread by thread' the exhbition has been curated by Monisha Ahmed and will run untill June 15th.

    'The exhibition title 'thread by thread', is taken from an essay by the Russian writer and philosopher Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910). The quote informs Baptist Coelho’s practice, which attempts to reveal and understand conflict and war through observations and conversations that have been woven into the fabric of the lives of people, whether directly or indirectly affected.

    Since 1984, India and Pakistan have been zealously guarding their territories on the Siachen Glacier. Beyond the complexities and politics of war, Coelho draws his inspiration from the soldiers posted in this icy terrain, who at 17,000 feet serve their three-month terms on one of the highest battlefields of the world. These works reveal their challenges and valour, but also the paradox of heroism, confronted by brutal cold and the perils of a high altitude on an uncertain terrain, more lives are lost due to the weather than fighting.

    Baptist’s fabric collages and assemblages, with their many disparate pieces assembled and sewn together, attest to the conceptual and psychological connotations associated with cutting, weaving, stitching, and mending. Textiles speak to us in many ways, but as narratives on life, they encapsulate experience and memory. While Baptist explores the textiles that protect the soldiers, he brings a new perspective to the understanding of what it means to live and fight on the Glacier.' - Monisha Ahmed, Curator

    Find out more about the exhibition and Baptist Coelho's work atwww.baptistcoelho.com