This project has been developed by The Burton Art Gallery & Museum, with thanks to Torridge District Council and The Friends of The Burton

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Bideford Black: The Next Generation Eight new art commissions for Burton Art Gallery

Eight contemporary artists are exploring a scarce local pigment, Bideford Black, to create new artworks examining science, industry and society. Selected by open call last autumn, the artists’ work will feature in a special exhibition at the Burton in October 2015 and become part of the gallery’s permanent collection.

Devon-based artist Tabatha Andrews works in a range of media including drawing and casting forms in paper.

Artist duo ATOI, based in Cornwall, are exploring the transformation of material from one form to another. The pair are experimenting with using Bideford Black in false diamonds and even as a surface for martial arts.

Artist Luce Choules explores physical and emotional geography through experimental fieldwork. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Luce is developing Seam, a choreographed exhibition for Bideford Black; The Next Generation.

Inspired by Bideford’s historic industries and their workers, and society’s pre-occupation with the natural, London-based artist Corinne Felgate will set up a temporary cottage industry at a North Devon location. Using only local natural materials, Felgate will create 100 small objects for applying ‘Bideford Black mascara’.

Prompted by Bideford Black, and using a shared sketchbook, artists Neville Gabie and Joan Gabie are holding a ‘dialogue of ideas’ with Cultural Geographer Ian Cook (University of Exeter). Together, the artists explore the physicality, social and geological significance of Bideford Black, creating an artist’s film and drawings.

Lanarkshire-based artist duo Littlewhitehead are interested in the environmental processes forming Bideford Black: what would the Carboniferous period have sounded like? Their developing commission is tightly under wraps, but may incorporate experimental sound recordings or Bideford Black discs resembling vinyl LP records.

Lizzie Ridout will set Bideford Black within a new taxonomy - or story - of the colour black. Incorporating her research into the subject, the Cornwall-based artist will create a printed publication, presented as a sculpture, pieces of which audience members may be able to take away.

The final artist, Sam Treadaway is working with Bristol botanists to create a scent inspired by Bideford Black. The scent will be interactively transmitted into the gallery space using a bubble-blowing machine developed by roboticists from the University of the West of England.

Film-maker Liberty Smith is documenting the Bideford Black: The New Generation project. As well as filming the eight artists and artist duos as they research and create their work, Liberty will film the landscape around Bideford and the North Devon coast. Smith’s film will be premiered as part of the project exhibition in October 2015.

Bideford Black: The Next Generation is a Burton Art Gallery project managed in association with Flow Contemporary Arts and Claire Gulliver. It is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

We are grateful for the support of the Friends of the Burton Art Gallery and Museum.

Bideford Black: The Next Generation
Opens 3 October 2015
Burton Art Gallery & Museum, Bideford, Devon, EX39 2QQ
T: 01237 471455
E: burtonartgallery@torridge.gov.uk 


Project managed by Flow Contemporary Arts in collaboration with Claire Gulliver

Luce Choules gives a talk at the Burton, one of the 8 new artist commissions for Bideford Black: Next Generation commissions

In October 2015 the Bideford Black Project opens at the Burton Art Gallery in Bideford. 8 new artist commissions and a brilliant film-maker will reveal their year long research, and it's going to be good.
One of the artists, Luce Choules, gave a talk at the museum last night, about another project of hers, Guide74.
Luce spends a lot of  time doing fieldwork and her presentation consisted of a series of photographic images accompanied by her reading her own writing, and that by others. All the photos, taken in Chamonix, drew the audience into the place, and allowed us to be there with her as she read. Not crossing the landscape, as Richard Long might do, but immersed in it. There. In contact with the place. Not capturing it, controlling it or using it to frame the artist.
Luce's performance was gentle, sensitive and most of all compelling. It was as if the landscape was sharing itself through  her images and choice  of texts. It was laid out for the audience to visually explore, from long shots of mountains, to micro imagery of lichens.
Luce is an intrepid traveller, she crosses glaciers, sleeps in huddles with others on icey precipices - not my idea of fun at all. But somehow, thinking  about the experience, I feel I was there, if only in empathy and imagination.
If you get a chance to see her performance, please do.
NOTE: this post was written by Carolyn Black of Flow Contemporary Arts and was first posted on her blog . Flow Contemporary Arts has been contracted to deliver the project in association with Claire Gulliver