Category: residencies

Velo Café Renaissance

Velo Café Renaissance was a short residency undertaken by Wideyed members Lucy Carolan and Richard Glynn, 17th – 24th October as part of the 2015 edition of lille3000, a 4 month long cultural bonanza that has been happening periodically in and around Lille since the city was selected as a European Capital of Culture in 2004.

 

For Velo Café Renaissance our host organisation in Lille was l’Entorse, an association that (in partnership with East Street Arts in Leeds and Vooruit in Ghent) is producing projects linking arts and sports, and they based our residency in Herlies, a large-ish rural village roughly 20km from Lille (but still falling within the Lille Métropole area) in the Nord Pas de Calais region of France.

 

Herlies is home to about 2000 inhabitants (mixture of established farmers and incoming city commuters) and a few small business – 2 cafés, 2 chip shops, a pharmacy, a butcher, a bakery, a Belgian beer specialist trading out of a single domestic garage, and (weirdly) a car sales showroom – with a school, a large care home for the elderly, plus the most amazing sports facilities (including a short course swimming pool) considering the small size of the population. Our home for the week was a startlingly horse-themed gîte on a farm a 20 minute walk away from the village centre. The area is palpably close to the Flemish-Belgian border – we’ve already mentioned the chips and beers, but there’s also a similar low, red brick architecture, cows grazing at the bottoms of gardens, broad landscape with big skies.

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Based on a previous work by us called Park – a contemporary reworking of the Victorian mutascope (better known as What The Butler Saw machines) – made with prints plus recycled bike parts, East Street Arts and l’Entorse had invited us to develop further bicycle-based photographic mechanisms in response to Herlies, and our first task on arrival was to find the necessary materials: in the neighbouring village of Marquillies there’s a fantastic place called Ressourcerie des Weppes, a recycling plant that has a symbiotic relationship with the local tip next door to it, and which was full of all kinds of rescued ‘treasure’ – from the knackered old bicycles we needed for our work, to… a pair of gold teeth, grisly discovery in the drawer of an abandoned bedside table.

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As our work required a lot of welding and grinding we needed an open but sheltered space with electricity, and the covered area in the village school playground Herlies Mairie arranged for us to use was perfect.

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In addition to doing our own residency work we also managed to fit in two afternoon workshops, one with a small group of Herlies OAPs from the village care home, the other with 30 kids aged 6-11 who helped us make a stop-frame photo animation and also had a go at creating their own hand drawn flipbooks.

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For the residency, l’Entorse paired us with Le Tourne Bride, one of the two Herlies cafés, and we shared the space with funky bicycle themed furniture (e.g. seats made with tensioned inner tubes – literally sitting somewhere between art and design) commissioned by Kraft, another Lille-based curatorial association. For our end of residency presentation on the evening of 24th October we projected video pieces produced in Herlies (one of ours plus the result of the kids workshop), and also presented two machines – a mutascope, and a zoetrope we somehow found the time to make.

In what was effectively 6 days (once you deduct workshop time), we actually did 2 weeks worth of work. It was so intense there was no time for the degree of engagement with place and people we would have preferred – no time even for reflection (or eating sometimes), and as such it felt more like a commission than a residency. There was no time to explore Lille or any of the other Renaissance lille3000 events and exhibitions either. But we came away with ideas for new works that we might not have had otherwise so it was definitely a worthwhile experience, and we would very much like to thank East Street Arts and l’Entorse for giving us that opportunity.

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London / Paris

Hello!!!

Well, its been a while….are you still there?!!

OK, to get you up to speed, here’s 2012 to date…

In Vino Veritas, Arthouse, Lewisham, April 25th-May 6th 2012

Well, in April, In Vino Veritas, our first collective show (of only our work) opened at Arthouse in London. The private view did not disappoint, with a healthy turnout, the subject of our show in attendance with his family and his wine, an impromptu music performance and a cake that got as much attention as our photographs. (it seems no-one outside the north-east has seen photos printed onto sugar paper!) You can see more about it here.

We returned from London, then, hitting the ground running we took part in International Arts Residency, Nomadic Village 2012. It just so happened that the residency was on our doorstep……..but hey, international artists have to live somewhere! With borrowed accommodation, a caravan with swanky awning for Richard and Lucy, and a 1968 VW camper for me……we enjoyed the only sunny week of the year, tested out Richards ‘office in a van’ complete with standard lamp,  collaborated with NPIA, a forensic training centre resulting in 20 kids and a journalist dressing up as CSI’s and combing the site for evidence of travel, and made new work entitled Foreign Bodies.

Students searching for evidence of travel at Nomadic Village under the watchful eye of NPIA instructor, Phil Grieveson. Some evidence collected was used in our Foreign Bodies installation.

You can read more here. Foreign Bodies was then reconfigured, using forensic evidence bags into a touring format, and joined our Captain Klaus on a tour through Europe back to Austria.

Meanwhile…..elsewhere in May……our 2011 work for Collectives Encounter was invited to stroll over to Poland for FOTOFESTIWAL 2012 in LODZ. The multimedia piece created as part of Re:Mapping The Flaneur was shown at The Collective Space alongside Sputnik Photos, NOOR, TerraProject and Verso, the latter two collectives coincidentally contributed to our original Flanerie.

So, catching up now……..and there’s still time to see this……Richard’s Lost Waltz , an outdoor installation curated by Wideyed and Human Endeavour is showing at the Brighton Photo Fringe and has been extended until 27th November.

Richard Glynn's Lost Waltz at The North Lawn, St Peters Church for Brighton Photo Fringe

Finally, and more on this in a bit. In Vino Veritas is heading to Paris! ……..very soon….

 

Aller-retour

So we all got back from France about three weeks ago, took some time for a breather, and then last Sunday met up again to debrief, start going through the images we’d brought back, and begin planning our next moves.

This was the second year in a row we were artists-in-residence at Château du Perron, and taking back with us some kind of exhibition, so we could show people the work we did the year before, seemed a good idea, but why a newsprint exhibition? As well as wanting to try out Newspaper Club, we figured we needed something that was relatively quick and inexpensive to produce, easy to transport, and that could be hung almost anywhere without much fuss, so newsprint seemed to fit the bill. The fact that the exhibition also worked well as a publication was a bonus.

We had a lot of fun with it too (and these are just a few of the pictures we took of it, there are more on Facebook and Flickr). The exhibition it was originally intended for was hung in front of giant wine barrels in a different part of the same working barn we exhibited in last year. Richard played with it outside, pegging it out on the château’s washing line. I photographed Richard with it on the terrasse of a café in the neighbouring town of Richelieu. And we offered a copy as a prize in the château tombola – the lady flicking through it in the picture below was the winner.

As I wrote previous post, we had just ten copies printed. Two were used for the exhibition. One was a tombola prize. We sold three, gave two as gifts, and left one as a promo with the gallerist we met with when we went to Paris. So we only have one left… About a week ago we showed it to someone whose judgement we trust, and they gave us some very positive feedback, so we’re now seriously considering reprinting and making the copies available to buy – we need to fundraise for our exhibition in London somehow, might selling newspapers help?

The problem is that Wideyed doesn’t have the funds to finance another print run of any size. The only way we can afford to re-edition the newspaper is to take pre-orders. We’re not sure how to successfully go about doing that… but while we’re mulling it over the newspaper is available to view online at www.newspaperclub.com/wideyed

Our exhibition, ‘In Vino Veritas’, will run from 25th April – 5th May 2012 at Art House in London, with a preview event on 27th April (times TBC). We’ve got six months to prepare and we’ve got lots of ideas about what kind of exhibition it could be, so we’ll be talking about it more here as things progress.

Meanwhile, if anyone has any thoughts or advice about selling newspapers, or would just like to buy one even, please let us know!

Cheers, Lucy

France redux

Well, here we go again – like this time last year, Wideyed are heading back to France.

It won’t be exactly the same as last year though. This time we’re taking some newspapers. Loosely inspired by Rob Hornstra’s ‘On the Other Side of the Mountains‘, with some of our 2010 images we’ve put together a newspaper that we hope will also work as a newsprint exhibition.

I’ve been obsessing about newsprint since January 2009, so it’s about time we finally found a good reason (and the means) to use Newspaper Club. Our newspapers are 64 page monsters but there are only 10 copies – two are for our archive, two will be somehow hung as an exhibition at the château where we’ll be in residence again, and the other six? Not sure. We may just drop them in local cafés and sneaky photograph people looking at them. Or something.

Wideyed has also just invested in a projector that has a pretty decent throw. We think we might be able to use the façade of the château as a screen. When we mentioned this to François (our host), he instantly requested anything Wallace and Gromit, so we might be doing a bit of impromptu open air cinema too.

And who knows what else might happen?

Back early October!

Cheers, Lucy

Vigneresque attitude…

On Thursday 30th September, Wideyed arrived chez François Blanchard, organic winemaker, at Chateau du Perron in the Touraine region of France.

For Richard and me, this was our second trip to ‘Perron City’- our first was in 2005, when we took there ‘Growing Green’, an exhibition on organic horticulture in England by Richard. And, while we were there, made work about François’ unusual winemaking process that I exhibited some of my images from in Darlington the following year, for the opening of which François came over to do a wine tasting.

We didn’t mean to then leave the photos to rest for five years but, one thing and another, that’s what happened. 2010 really seemed like a good time to take them back though, especially as Richard’s images hadn’t been seen by anyone, in England or France. And, while we were at it, why not make it a Wideyed thing?


So there were all were, Louise, Richard and me, and we were there to hang an exhibition of mine and Richard’s vintage wine images, together with Louise’s ‘Shoot!’ series on hunting in County Durham. Not knowing where exactly around the chateau we were likely to exhibit, we just turned up with a variety of prints and improvised.



With much enthusiastic encouragement from François, we chose to hang our pictures on empty wine vats lining the corridor leading to and in the barn where the white wine was made this year, so basically our exhibition was in an interesting working space, and it was up until Sunday 17th October when the harvest ended.


As a crew from France3 turned up you can see for yourself just how much fun the whole thing was, all thanks to the ‘vigneresque attitude’ of François and his partner Karine. They started making organic wine around 2003, have always considered harvest time something to celebrate, and each year invite musicians and artists along to both muck in and do their thing. At the weekends people come from around France and also Belgium, Germany, Blighty of course… and even the New York restaurant where some of François’ wine is served (hello Claire!).

Anyway, over the fortnight we were there we made ourselves useful by helping to harvest and crush grapes, but the three of us also took a lot of photos. Although we’ve known each other for several years and, since founding Wideyed, have produced exhibitions together, we haven’t worked together as photographers before and thought the trip to France, at François’ invitation, artists-in-residence style, might be just the opportunity to give it a go. We should get our films back from the lab next week hopefully, and then we’ll have an editing session, see if we can shape something from the results?

From the left: Lucy, Richard, Claire, Hans, François, Louise, and Dabu, in front of the Chateau de Chambord.

All images © Louise Taylor 2010

Road trip!

Everyone at Wideyed has been really busy this summer. Louise has taken part in a few group exhibitions, I’ve tried to complete some personal work, Richard and me have done a couple of commissions together, all three of us bought secondhand Hasselblads… and I can’t remember what else now, but it’s just seemed to be non-stop.

And the pace is unlikely to relent any time soon because Wideyed is about to go on a road trip.

At the end of September we’re taking a Wideyed exhibition to France. The show will be in place from 2nd – 17th October, in (and possibly around) a château in the heart of the Touraine region – wine country! During that period the three of us will be in residence and producing new work that we hope to exhibit sometime next year (exact dates and venue/s in the pipeline).

Then on the way home we’ll catch a plane to Serbia, and meet Belgrade Raw. We’ve already begun chatting ideas with photographers Darko Stanimirović, Luka Knezevic-Strika, Nemanja Knezevic, Ramadan Kompjutor and Andrej Filev by email, but we’re really looking forward to meeting them in person.

And after that there’s… oh, actually, let’s just stick with the road trip for now yeah?

Cheers, Lucy