Spike Island is delighted to announce Heather Marks as the recipient of the 2024 Spike Island Digital Commission for South West-based Artists. Marks will produce a new digital commission that will be presented on Spike Island’s website in summer 2024.
Marks’s proposal, Fugitives in the Archive, is a poetic film that addresses the fugitivity of enslaved people in 18th-century Britain. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, British newspapers advertised the capture of eloped enslaved people; the film brings to life this little-known history and considers the implications of fugitivity on the archive and ideas of Britishness.
Heather Marks is a Nigerian-Scottish artist and writer whose work is guided by a commitment to amplifying underrepresented voices and marginalised histories. Marks has a background in writing for performance, creative production and hybrid storytelling.
As a creative producer, Marks has curated significant projects such as the hybrid arts festival Conversations with Baldwin, Words of Colour, Bristol (2023), and collaborated on innovative approaches to storytelling and how to engage with archives and collections in her work in publishing and heritage such as No Bindings, Museum of Colour (2022). She is the winner of the 2018 Golden Egg Award for her historical fiction novel, The Disobedients, and one of Acquisition International’s 2023 Influential Businesswomen of the Year.
WEST OF ENGLAND VISUAL ARTS ALLIANCE (WEVAA)
WEVAA is a consortium partnership of nine organisations co-led by Spike Island and Visual Arts South West including the Brunswick Club, Bath Spa School of Art, Bristol City Council, Creative Youth Network, Culture Weston, North Somerset Council and UWE Bristol. This alliance is delivering a 3-year programme of activity with the aim of supporting visual arts progression in the region, with the collective vision for the visual arts community in Bristol and the West of England to become more progressive, sustainable and inclusive by 2024. As part of this programme, and to support young people to develop their understanding and experience of the visual arts sector, this fellowship provides the opportunity for a group of young people to develop an Engagement commission with a nationally significant artist. The co-produced work will be shown in in Spike Island’s project space and the process of creating this work ensures the young artists receive mentoring as part of the process.