Practice, Place, PurposeProject Thu 28 Jun 2018
A one-day symposium explored the purpose and practice of place-based contemporary arts commissioning. Led by stewardship organisations National Trust, Forestry Commission England, Canal & River Trust and Churches Conservation Trust in partnership with Exeter University.
Traditionally presented in urban spaces and institutions, the contemporary arts experience has, for several years, been increasingly sited outside these traditional settings - in forests, waterways, churches, landscapes and heritage buildings. Through key commissioners such as the stewardship organisations listed above, and with the support of the Arts Councils of England and Wales, contemporary arts practice has been employed to create purposeful encounters, enrich experiences, tell new stories and ultimately seeks to contribute towards the health and wellbeing of the nation.
This symposium showcased and interrogated the ‘practice of place’ and its artistic and instrumental aims, through a series of provocations, respondents and debate. The morning sessions focussed on socially-engaged and participatory practices with a provocation and responses, and the afternoon sessions interrogated the concept of wellbeing through contemporary arts encounters through a provocation and respondents addressing this through the themes of practice, place and purpose.
A storytelling picnic lunch was served by artists Natasha Rosling and Vilma Loustarinen as a shared celebration of the local landscape.
The day was made possible with support from Arts Council England.
Keynote by Katherine Clarke, MUF Architecture/art with further contributions and provocations by Professor Andrew Newman, Prof of Cultural Gerontology at the University of Newcastle and Chrissie Tiller, a writer, thinker, teacher and advisor with an extensive history of working through collaborative and social practice.
Read a report on the day from Visual Arts South West here.