CLAIRE DOHERTY, THE FOUNDING DIRECTOR OF SITUATIONS, WILL TAKE UP HER NEW POST IN AUGUST 2017 AFTER FIFTEEN YEARS LEADING THE PREEMINENT PUBLIC ART PRODUCING ORGANISATION

Claire Doherty set up Situations in 2002, which was for a decade part of the University of the West of England, and since 2012 has been an independent producing company. Over fifteen years, Doherty has grown Situations into an internationally renowned organisation known for ambitious projects which challenge conventional forms of public art, with a particular emphasis on unlocking opportunities for new audiences, participation and nurturing artistic talent.

Highlights have included include Theaster Gates’ acclaimed Sanctum, a 552-hour long non-stop programme of performance by 700 performers in the ruin of English Heritage’s Temple Church, Bristol; Alex Hartley’s Nowhereisland for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad; Michael Sailstorfer’s Folkestone Digs which sparked a gold-rush in the Kentish coastal town; Future Library, a 100-year long project for Oslo in Norway and One Day Sculpture, a programme of commissions across North and South islands of New Zealand and most recently, Verity Standen’s Refrain, an immersive choral work which marked the centenary of conscientious objection across Richmond Castle, North Yorkshire. Doherty’s final project will be The Tale across the South Devon landscape of Torbay in September 2017.

A vital part of Doherty’s work over the past decade has also been to improve the conditions for public art commissioning, authoring public art and creative strategies for the cities of Oslo, Melbourne and Plymouth, and editing publications such as From Studio to Situation (Black Dog, 2004) and Out of Time, Out of Place: Public Art Now which have become set texts for curators, artists, and cities across the world. Her new collection Where Strangers Meet: Arts and the Public Realm for the British Council will be published in summer 2017. In 2016, she was appointed MBE for her Services to the Arts in the South West.

Claire Doherty said: “Seeing the growth of Situations from an idea in the back of a notebook to a vibrant and dynamic organisation, which seeks to make a real difference, has been one of the greatest privileges of my life. The stories we have told and the encounters we have witnessed simply wouldn’t have happened without the extraordinary visions of the artists we’ve worked with, the sheer grit and determination of a dedicated producing team, the rocket fuel of our Board and the belief and support of our funders. I am excited for Situations as it enters its next chapter. The work it represents to unlock opportunity and new perspectives through arts that grow out of place is more vital than ever.”

John Kieffer, Chair of Situations’ Board of Trustees, said: “We are obviously very sad to be losing Claire but this is a fantastic opportunity for her and a great appointment for Arnolfini.  Under Claire’s leadership, Situations has set new standards for producing work in the public realm, and she will be taking with her the Board’s thanks and our very best wishes for the future. The Board will be considering the next chapter for Situations and making an announcement in the coming weeks.”

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