Curation & support for artists

We think it’s important that we make opportunities for other artists where we can, not least because if people hadn’t given us opportunities when we were a young company, we would never have had chance to develop as a company and probably wouldn’t still be here making work.

We might involve artists in a project, or commission some work from them, share our space, or give them some time and space to think, dream, experiment or develop an idea. Here’s some projects which we’ve devised partly in order to give time, space and/or showcasing opportunities to other artists. These sorts of projects are also about strengthening or developing the local arts scene, ecology or infrastructure in a place (mostly, though not always, Coventry).

Nest Residencies

A Nest Residency is time, space and conversation with other artists, and is designed to allow you to think, experiment and take a punt on one of those ‘What if…?’ ideas. You can read more about Nest Residencies, eligibility and how to apply for one here.

FarGo Space Programme

SPACE was a programme, curated by Talking Birds, where artists occupied an empty industrial unit on the FarGo Village site (when it was just a light industrial estate on Far Gosford Street, Coventry) for one month to do/make/perform their work and then invite the public to experience it.

“The residency programme at FarGo gave us an opportunity to be totally immersed in our exploration into our theme. Unlike our past projects, we were completely isolated from the public until the closing event. The experience was challenging at times as we found that those interactions with the public helped to give us inspiration and motivation. The total isolation, however, pushed us further in challenging our ideas and what we truly wanted to explore. We were able to achieve and undertake a form of practical philosophy. It helped that we had a van to stay in inside to fully experience and be inspired by the space. FarGo Art Space is an excellent space filled with potential. I am happy that we were able to feel the potential and express it in our own way.” [Chie Hosaka & Anna Mawby were resident in October 2011]

August 2010: James Bourne

September 2010: Lily Hayward-Smith

October 2010: Call The Shots

November 2010: Talking Birds

February 2011: New Macho

March 2011: Nadia Wazera

April 2011: Hamfisted

May 2011: Black Spot

June 2011: Gabrielle Rucinski

July 2011: Charlie Levine/TROVE

August 2011: Highly Sprung Youth Company

Septmber 2011: Cormac Faulkner

October 2011: Anna Mawby & Chie Hosaka

November 2011: Ludic Rooms

December 2011: Heart of the Anchor

January 2012: Maiada Aboud

February 2012: Craig Clarke

March 2012: Jack Shuttleworth

March 2012 bonus track: The Primitives

“The opportunity came around at a time when I really wanted to create a new piece but didn’t have the space or time to make something on the scale of The Beacon Light Requiem. I hope it is a work that I can exhibit elsewhere because it is a piece that I am very proud of.”

Cormac Faulkner, artist and former FarGoSpace resident

The Virtual Fringe

The Virtual Fringe was a festival of non-existent events, programmed into unused, underused or unfulfilled buildings and spaces in Coventry. It was conceived as a way of entering into the debate about what makes a vibrant city – and what artists can do to be involved in the discussion and to help that to happen. So in a way it was a consultation project, but it was also very much about Talking Birds curating the artists and pairing them up with real spaces to produce their virtual works.

You are the audience for the Virtual Fringe: We ask you to look through this online brochure and imagine your presence at this festival. We ask you to imagine the buzz on the street and to enjoy looking at your city with new eyes. We ask you to imagine your role in realising such a festival, given that Something, like Nothing, can happen anywhere.

From the (real) festival brochure

“It is a very creative and practical exercise in showing just how vibrant the city could be…How artists can influence the arts policy of their local council is a difficult question to resolve: Talking Birds’ independent but engaging approach could be something of a model.” [a-n magazine]”

Other Coventry <> Other Volgograd

[From exhibition introductory text] “This exhibition twins the work of contemporary artists working in Volgograd, Russia with artists working in Coventry, UK…and sets out to show the affinities we saw between the work of artists in both cities, by displaying their work side by side and asking the artists involved to reflect upon what impact their city has upon their work. The title of the exhibition reflects the way in which artists can make us look at the place where we live and work in a new light.”

The exhibition came about as a result of the connections Talking Birds made with artists in Volgograd as part of our Twin 60 project (the first of many projects with our twin city). We set up an artists exchange, and collected the Russian parts of the exhibition whilst in Volgograd, effectively pairing the work as we saw it with the work of artists known to us in Coventry. After its run in Coventry, the exhibition was shipped to Volgograd and re-exhibited there.

[For more Talking Birds Volgograd work, see Twin Song]

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