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Plymouth Art Weekender to return to Britain’s Ocean City for 2018

June 30, 2018 Destination Europe No Comments Email Email

Plymouth Art Weekender, an ambitious three-day event that confidently celebrates the city, its people and the visual arts, will return to Britain’s Ocean City this year from 28-30 September.

Now in its 4th year, Plymouth Art Weekender is a city-wide celebration of art, showcasing talent from the city and beyond with a diverse range of events from exhibitions, performances, screenings and interventions to workshops, guided walks and parties!

Plymouth Art Weekender promotes Plymouth as an exciting contemporary art destination and, through its inclusive approach, offers a wide and diverse range of activity for all ages including a large array of events and exhibitions throughout the city by artists working in Plymouth and further afield.

Visual Arts Plymouth, the organising group for the Art Weekender, has recently announced the three commissioned artists for the 2018 programme.

Plymouth-based artist Laura Denning has been selected for the Local Engagement Commission.  Laura, who wowed audiences with her independent project ‘Benthic Caress’ at last year’s Weekender, combines collaboration, curation and, field notes; resulting in film works, soundwalks and other forms of ‘experimental geography’, as well as installations that audiences can take part in. For the Local Engagement Commission, Laura will be working with a series of professional vocalists and she hopes to collaborate with Plymouth’s deaf community to create a sign language choir.

Devon-based collective Go Happen, which previously developed intriguing journeying works for the Fal River Festival, Inland Art Festival and Stockholm International Fringe Festival, will take on the Open Brief.  Go Happen develops expeditions and platforms for new stories.  These are participatory and research happenings, exploring adventure and human perception. In 2018, sailors will set off from Plymouth, Falmouth and Les Sables-d’Olonne, France to sail solo and without technology around the world celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Sunday Times Golden Globe race.  For their new commission, Go Happen will focus on the journey of Bernard Moitessier, who departed from Plymouth for the race 50 years before in 1968.

Cornwall-based Bridgette Ashton has been selected for The History Commission, which has been commissioned in partnership with The Box, an exciting new cultural and heritage centre on the site of the former Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Central Library and St Luke’s Church buildings, which is set to open in 2020 as the flagship building for Plymouth’s Mayflower 400 commemoration.

Bridgette is best known for her work with caves, follies and grottoes including the poetic and poignant ‘The Lost Cave Requiem’, a sculptural installation, sound piece and live brass band performance in 2015 which commemorated the demolished Banqueting Hall Cavern at Porth in Cornwall – a cave by the sea that had once hosted hundreds of visitors at candlelit performances.  Bridgette has a multifaceted practice encompassing sculpture, print, drawing, installation and publications and previously developed commissions for b-side Festival and Inland Art Festival. Her recent exhibition ‘Only The World Remains’ in South London featured a series of multi-disciplinary works reimagining histories, fragments and stories linked to Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.  For the Art Weekender, she will be working with The Box to develop new work inspired by the discovery of Plymouth’s Cattedown Caves and their connection to the destruction and further reconstruction of Plymouth.

This year the Plymouth Art Weekender coincides with the launch of The Atlantic Project, a new international festival of contemporary art, taking place in public contexts and outdoor locations across Plymouth, from 28 September – 21st October 2018.

Dom Jinks, Executive Director of Plymouth Culture said, The Plymouth Art Weekender is now an established part of the visual arts calendar in the South West and is now receiving national attention and interest.  Visual Arts Plymouth, which established the Weekender, is an independent sector-led network that has demonstrated innovation, enthusiasm and drive to develop the Weekender over the last few years.  Plymouth Art Weekender (now the largest event of its kind in the UK) works with significant numbers of artists across the city showing their work in a range of different venues and settings across the city. The inaugural Atlantic Project will complement the offer of the Plymouth Art Weekender and offer major artists responding to the city in the public realm, creating opportunities for audiences to access the work in non-gallery settings. Both of these projects demonstrate the growing visual arts scene in Plymouth with a spirit of “do it yourself” which is becoming synonymous with the city. Both these projects form part of the overarching Horizon Programme which included the critically acclaimed We The People multi-site exhibition in 2017.”

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