When Situations concluded its programme in 2018 after 15 years of reimagining arts in the public realm, we thought long and hard about what a good way to end might be. Situations was always a gathering of brilliant creative minds, and so of course the work continues through the people who shaped the programme – from the musicians, architects and performers who together built Theaster Gates’ Sanctum to the 23,000 Nowhereisland citizens, from the future writers contributing over the next 93 years to Katie Paterson’s 100-year Future Library to the future visitors to Mark Wallinger’s Writ in Water and Hew Locke’s The Jurors at Runnymede. We also wanted to use the resources we had left to spark the next generation of artists, producers and creative leaders.
We have made available all of our research, films and case studies here in a revamped website. Hosted by Watershed, this online resource will be available free to all for at least seven years. The archive of Situations including our records of the programme, commissions and research are now held at the Bristol Records Office and are publicly accessible by appointment.
And with our remaining funds, we are delighted to announce four awards to outstanding artists and producers who we believe show exceptional potential in the fields of site-specific performance, socially engaged practice, producing and community organising. These individuals were nominated by three of the artists that we worked at Situations – Alex Hartley, Heather Morison and Marc Rees. Our thanks to them for their inspiration and care in considering to whom to award these final funds.
We’re delighted to announce the Situations awardees are: Rachael Clerke, Dadirai Tsopo, Carol Reid and Jennifer Taylor.
Photo: Jennifer Taylor, Lupercalia, Live performance at The British School at Rome, 2018
Jennifer Taylor works with live performance, film and installation to explore ritualistic behaviour and systems of control. By merging notions of a mystical ancient past with sci-fi fantasies of an imagined distant future, she creates absurd narratives with ambiguous fictional realities. Jennifer has recently completed the Creative-Wales Fellowship at the British School at Rome and is now based in Cardiff with a Fellowship at g39, as part of the Freelands Artists Programme.
Carol Reid is the founder and one of the Director in Athac (Access to Heritage Art and Culture) in Birmingham which is a social enterprise providing supported access to art, heritage environmental and cultural opportunities to children, young people and adults with disabilities and their families. They also support families from disadvantaged backgrounds to access to cultural opportunities. Carol’s stated ambition is to raise the aspiration of those with life challenges to succeed whilst reducing or removing barriers to participation in the arts.
Rachael Clerke is Bristol-based artist working across many mediums. She makes artworks that sit somewhere on the edge of live art and community infrastructure; playful experiments about what real life might look like if we were less concerned with what real life ‘should’ look like. Rachael is currently developing Working Model, a modern-day city built by children, and Shared Ownership Businesses, a shared ownership business. She is co-founder of Modern Queers newsletter and is a proud member of Interval artist collective and community union ACORN.
Dadirai Tsopo is a Community Development Worker for the Welsh House Farm Big Local and also Project Manager for the Hard Times Require Furious Dancing Creative Civic Change.
The HTRFD CCC project brings together two Birmingham communities of Birchfield and Welsh House Farm. The Creative Civic Change (CCC) programme is funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the National Lottery Community Fund through the Local Trust. Within CCC, communities use arts and creativity to tackle challenges they face and so effect social change.
The CCC is modelled on the same core principles of the Big Local which not only challenge top down approaches of working in communities but firmly puts decision making in the hands of residents. She is passionate about this way of working as it challenges artists and arts organisations to find new ways of working when communities are put in the lead. In her role as the Project Manager of HTRFD Creative Civic Change, she also advocates for the promotion and funding of arts, creative and cultural activities at the grassroots level. She is particularly keen to enable minority groups such as migrant women, the elderly and families with special needs to access art, creative and cultural activities.
Photo: Vanley Burke