Archive for December, 2010

Last Thursday I attended the second meeting organised by the Conseil Générale du Pas-de-Calais who are looking for partners to develop for an application to the Interreg IVa 2 Seas programme in July 2011. There are several  partners around the table at the moment from France, the UK and perhaps West Flanders exploring the common cultural heritage of these regions. I’m particularly excited by the potential of working with Barbara Forest, the Director of the Musée des beaux arts, Calais whose exhibitions are always a fascinating mix of contemporary work presented alongside the permanent collection in a fabulous purpose built museum of the 60s. Lots of work ahead to get an application together, thankfully we’re not lead partner.

Calais, although not very attractive, it has some great restaurants. The coast line, known as the Côte d’Opale, is amazing, I recommend it for a short break or a perfect stop off if you’re travelling through France.

I managed to get back home before all the snow, Eurotunnel is so convenient and efficient, well so far it has been. Next visit to Lille is Jan 6 so who knows if Eurostar will be running.

Cars loading in to Eurotunnel

Boarding Eurotunnel







Car in eurotunnel train

In a car, in a train, in a tunnel, under the sea!


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framed pictures in school corridor

Me, Myself and I exhibition, Patcham High School, Dec 2010

At Fabrica we find it frustrating that more schools aren’t able to or don’t want to bring groups of primary or secondary students to the gallery. We have particularly good contact with the heads of art Vikki Drew at Patcham High School  and Giuseppe Iozzi at Longhill High School in Brighton and Hove so we’ve been exploring new ways for us to work together.

This started with a research visit to our partner L’H du Siège in Valenciennes,  northern France in November 2009 to look at how they worked with different schools and colleges. At Patcham they’ve just launched their own students’ gallery with work selected by a group of students from across all year groups called The Art Council. The group visited our Martin Parr exhibition House of Vernacular in November and worked with artist-facilitator Jane Fordham to explore selecting and curating work. This group is continuing to work with Jane throughout the spring incorporating workshops linked to our next exhibition The Forty Part Motet by Janet Cardiff.  The students are fortunate to have Emer Gillespie, Visual Art Developer to support and encourage them with their own dedicated art space Room A3 where they can meet and make work at lunchtimes and after school.

2 school children sticking photos to wall

Workshop at Fabrica with Longhill students, Dec 2010

Artist facilitator David Parfitt has been working with Longhill as part of a Creative Partnerships project installing over 200 frames in the corridors of the school. We’ve now started looking at how Giuseppe’s students can select work for these frames and to develop the idea of a gallery space run by and for the students. David brought two groups along to House of Vernacular and he’ll continue using the exhibitions at Fabrica as a source during 2011.

Both artists will be starting blogs to document the process and we’re planning to hold an event during The Forty Part Motet exhibition in April-May to share our experience with other schools, artists and projects interested in curating.

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Yesterday, I had to turn around and go back to Brighton. Jonathan Parsons from Aspex got to St Pancras station on time,  while I was struggling to get to London. After delays and announcements that all Eurostar trains were experiencing technical problems we decided not to take the risk of getting stranded who knows where. Very disappointing for everyone not to be taking part in la malterie’s conference. I will post the outcomes of the conference at a later date.

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