Fringe: Art Party

Past Project 2013

Debates and discussions between artists from across the country during The Art Party in Scarborough.

Fringe: Art Party invited seven artists and makers from around the country to live together at the Chalet, a five-bedroom Victorian house behind the main Art Party venue. Informal debates and conversations were convened on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 November. The discussions and themes that emerged from the Fringe event will directly influence Artquest’s future public programmes.

Our friends at Crescent Arts, co-hosts and organisers of the Art Party, helped put us in touch with local artists in Scarborough.

Resident artists were:

Ellie Harrison is an artist based in Glasgow and Lecturer in Contemporary Art Practices at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.  She was shortlisted for the Converse/Dazed Emerging Artists Award in 2011, and in 2012 was artist-in-residence at Glasgow Women’s Library and co-host of the weekly radio programme the Ellie & Oliver Show. Her Early Warning Signs are currently on display in Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and London, at their four host venues and her Vending Machine is on show until 22 November at the Open Data Institute in London. Her work is held in the permanent display at the Wellcome Collection, London, and she delivered the final polemic at the Artquest For the love of it conference in May 2013. Ellie is also the founder and coordinator of the Bring Back British Rail campaign, agent for The Artists’ Bond and a member of the Scottish Artists Union and the University and College Union.

Patrick Lowry is an artist and lecturer based in Cornwall.  Initially graduating from the West Surrey College of Art and Design and then in 2003 completing an MA at University of Falmouth, he has spent over 25 years working in art education alongside developing his installation-based practice. Patrick has been involved in a range of initiatives for the promotion and support of contemporary art in Cornwall and in 2009 was one of three artists that set up Back Lane West; an artist-led project space in Redruth.

Jane Lowry is based in Cornwall. She graduated from the Surrey Institute, subsequently studying English Literature at Exeter and more recently completed an MA in the History of 20th Century Art and Design at Falmouth University. She is a director of Back Lane West artist-led project space in Redruth, Cornwall and has written for a-n and Visual Arts Southwest. She has a particular interest in art and politics.

Calum Crowther was born in Sheffield and attended the University of Derby where he studied Fine Art and defined himself as a photographer. Since graduating in 2012 he has exhibited in London and across the UK, as well as completing commissions for established galleries. He runs The Fresh Meat Gallery with Alexandra Cavaye, which specialises in pop up exhibitions.

Alexandra Cavaye was born in Milton Keynes and studied Fine Art at The University of Derby, graduating in 2011, and has developed an art practice in film and installation work. Alexandra draws inspiration from her personal experiences, exhibiting at a number of galleries and festivals. She has interned at Axisweb and now focuses on running The Fresh Meat Gallery with Calum Crowther.

David Gates, based in London, is a winner of the Jerwood Award for Contemporary Making in 2010 and the Wesley-Barrell prize in 2011. David’s practice draws together a multi-stranded approach to designing and making. He is a founder member of the artist-led collective, Intelligent Trouble, a trans-disciplinary project exploring the idea of the social production of work and his PhD research at Kings College London focuses on the communicative practices, narratives and discourses of craft practice. He was a part-time senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University from 2002-2011 supervising and delivering studio, workshop and theory aspects of furniture, product and craft courses.

Helen Carnac is a maker and curator who lives and works in London. Drawing, mark-making, the explicit connections between material, process and maker and an emphasis on deliberation and reflection are all central to her practice as a maker and thinker. Running an environmentally grounded practice, Helen develops projects using design methodologies that are rooted in an acute awareness of physical location, place and working practices, often working in interdisciplinary environments. She is currently working with various designers and artists on projects, including a DJ, textile artists and choreographers. Since 2007 she has run the project Making a Slow Revolution which aims to provide a forum for open discussion around the contribution of contemporary making and design to some of the philosophies presented within the Slow Movement. She is a member of the collaborative making project Intelligent Trouble, Artquest’s Advisory Group, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

The Art Party was held at The Spa, Scarborough, on Saturday 23rd November. It was a forum for debating the future of the arts in today’s climate of spending cuts and changes to the education system. The Art Party, which is not aligned to any political party, hopes to influence decision makers to listen and to think again.

The conference was covered extensively in national and local press, including on the BBC, Guardian and Telegraph.