Immersion/Emergence: Contemporary art residency shortlist announced

Immersion/Emergence: Contemporary art residency shortlist announced

The finalists in an arts project created following the devastation of Storm Desmond in Carlisle have been announced.

The University of Cumbria Institute of the Arts and Carlisle City Council launched Immersion/Emergence, a new contemporary art residency,  supported by Arts Council England in January 2017.

A call for submissions generated 28 responses nationwide with 7 artists selected to develop their proposals further. Their work will be open to public view between 10.00am and 4.00pm from Monday 3 to Friday 7 April 2017 at the Old Fire Station in Carlisle.

Artists were invited to develop proposals in response to the urban and rural landscape of the city region after Storm Desmond, and features contributions from Karen Babayan (Cumbria); John Dummett (Fife), Karen Rann (Tyne and Wear), Peter Matthews (Leicestershire), Graham Patterson (Northumberland), Rory Laycock (Dumfries and Galloway) and Laura Harrison (Cumbria).

“Having visited Carlisle many times it was great to be back on a sunny day for the site visit, and to see the City doing what it does best: responding with resilience and creativity towards what now appears to be horrific repeat flooding events,” Karen Rann said.”The Old Fire Station is a great venue, lovely café, and what looks to be a really versatile studio space upstairs.  Walking along the river bank, it’s hard to re-envisage the scene at the height of the floods, the only tell-tale signs being the debris still caught in the branches of trees there.  These ‘natural’ signifiers echoed in the beautiful blue ribbons along Warwick Street.  Not so many skips along there now – thank goodness!  I’m looking forward to my B&B stay on the street; a community that knows all too well about ‘rising above’ catastrophe and so a great place to begin research on what could be a really valuable artist residency opportunity.”

The two successful artists will be selected early next month and both winners will receive a bursary to bring their proposals to fruition and be provided with access to office and exhibition space within the Old Fire Station. For a period of 20 days over a four-month period this will be a lab for their research, production and exposition.  The two artists will also have access to specialist resources at the University’s Brampton Road campus during the residency and will deliver a lecture and tutorials to students to stimulate and extend discourse across the project. In addition, each artist will host a public lecture/discussion event at the Old Fire Station.  The residency will culminate in the exhibition of new work, Immersion/Emergence Phase Two at The Old Fire Station from 30 October to 1 December 2017.

“As artists and educators, we are committed to our community and city and promote artistic practice as important and unique in exploring the world around us, with all its social, economic and environmental complexities,” Roddy Hunter Director of the Institute of the Arts at the University of Cumbria said. “We are delighted to work in partnership with Carlisle City Council and with Arts Council support to make a significant contribution toward placing the arts at the centre of the city’s renewal following Storm Desmond”.