Paradigms is an exhibition of work by emerging artists in Aberdeen and Plymouth, curated by Rachel Grant. Paradigms are systems of ideas, values and practice that constitute a way of viewing reality as such the artists’ works are wide ranging in character, explored through their everyday environments and include multi-media installation, sculpture and photography.
Paradigms can’t be talked about without speaking to the paradigm shift that has been two years. The Covid-19 pandemic has altered the world in unpresented and historic ways, the effects of which have been felt in the world in societies and territories the world over and created new conditions for artists and cultural workers. These continuing shifts are present in the artist’s work which have all been made over the past eighteen months. At times dealt with through concepts of isolation, healing and queer identity in the context of national lockdowns and a ‘new normal’. Through the exhibition others have had the opportunity to realise fully works that were previously adapted for online spaces, newly commissioned works from artists in Aberdeen reflects a tentative opening up as new bodies of work were made during an international residency. The exhibition includes artists; Molly Erin McCarthy, Rhys Morgan, Carly Seller, Phoebe McBride and Abby Beatrice Quick and a newly commissioned text from writer Tilly Craig.
The public programme will host a series of online talks from those involved in the exhibition. It also includes Where do we go from here? a series of conversational events produced by and for those working in the visual arts sector in Aberdeen. The events will be used as a space to gather around issues of diversity, support and politics within the arts ecology and invite contributions on the current conditions and future possibilities for those working in the visual arts sector of Aberdeen.
Saturday 9th October 4.30pm - Online talk
Free event but booking required at this link
Tuesday 26th October 6pm - online talk
Free but booking required at this link
Where do we go from here? is a series of four conversational events that invite contributions, questions and future possibilities for Aberdeen’s Arts Ecology from those working in the sector. In July of 2021 the British Art Show 9 [BAS9], the biggest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK arrived to Aberdeen Art Gallery. It was framed as a significant moment for the city and its creative and cultural sector. A significant moment certainly – but under what terms? For who? And for how long? The BAS9 will have no significance beyond the walls of the gallery unless the arts and cultural ecology make it so.
An arts ecology is the many interdependent networks of society and economy that shape the demand for the production of arts and cultural offerings. This includes relationships between the organisations, individual cultural workers, policy makers, as well as wider communities. It can be thought of as the ‘spaces’ in which visual art is produced and shown. It can also be thought of in relation to issues of power, responsibility, support and diversity for example. This constellation sometimes makes articulating and mapping these relationships and the real lived conditions they produce challenging as individuals.
The events use an approach of co-authorship to begin to generate knowledge on the existing conditions that inform Aberdeen’s visual arts sector; the opportunities and challenges. Whilst posing questions to ourselves and each other; What are our needs? What are the future possibilities? and where do we go from here? This focuses on non-hierarchical models of facilitation and is open to all those whose work contributes to the visual arts sector of Aberdeen, who are willing and able to contribute their time.
The programme will open up ways of contributing, for those unable to physically attend through using digital forms such as googledrive. The material generated will be documented and disseminated back into public via online platforms inviting this work to collectively continue beyond the programme itself.
This model reflects there is not one definitive answer to development, arts ecologies at their best are diverse, disagreeable and divergent and operate on multiple levels over time. The programme hopes to be a space to gather and continue the ground work for future possibilities.
In person events - free but booking required, at this link
Wednesday 6th 6-8.30pm
Tuesday 12th 2-4.30pm
Friday 22nd 6-8.30pm
Thursday 28th 2.00-4.30pm
Location: Look Again Project Space, Aberdeen 32 St Andrew Street Aberdeen AB25 1JA
Full details of the programme and ways of participating online can be found in the PDF below.
Fertile ground is the curatorial platform for Rachel Grant. A curator based in Aberdeen, in the North East of Scotland. This blog is kept up to date with selected project activity and research.