Spike Island Associates are happy to announce that members Cliff Andrade, Jo Ball, Fiona Carruthers, Lauren Craig, Eleanor Duffin, Anna Haydock-Wilson, Ben Hartley, Carol Laidler, Kelly O’Brien and Annabel Pettigrew have been selected to participate in THE EXCHANGE.
THE EXCHANGE brings together artists from across the UK, pairing peers from different networks and opening up space for new creative conversations. Spike Island (Spike Island Associates), Eastside Projects (EOP), CAMP, G39 (WARP), The NewBridge Project and Turf Projects have each selected ten artists from their respective networks to take part in the project through an open call.
Participating artists become part of a self-directed creative exchange and workshop programme, paired with a peer outside of their network. As lockdowns ebb and flow and social interaction is restricted, this project aims to bridge the gap, creating new relationships and friendships between artists that wouldn’t otherwise be able to connect. This open-ended process has no limits or boundaries but is simply framed by the invitation to begin a discussion. There is no formal requirement to collaborate or generate an outcome and participants are able to communicate however they wish, at a frequency to suit the pairing.
Over the six months, a series of networking events and activities for THE EXCHANGE artists is being hosted online by the partner organisations, with the aim of supporting artists, building networks and making further connections. At the end of THE EXCHANGE, Eastside Projects will host an online event which will be a public opportunity to share experiences, stories and, if appropriate, outcomes.
Cliff Andrade’s work draws on personal and social histories, referencing migrant and particularly Portuguese diasporic experiences. He works within a diverse and dynamic range of media, taking in drawing, printmaking, photography, film and installation, with a rigorous commitment to research which allows him to weave many sources and references into his work. While his work is rooted in personal experiences, his practice reaches out touching broad and universal concerns such as a desire for belonging and connection to place. Cliff’s current main focus is in developing his interest in ‘walking as art practice’ through continued research and experimentation.
Jo Ball is an artist and gardener based in Bristol. Her studio practice explores ideas of fragility, repair and connection through making objects, installations, screenprints and artist’s books. Since 2016 she has worked on socially-engaged projects that aim to connect people to plants, places and each other. Currently she is Associate Artist with Grizedale Arts where she is developing the Valley Recipe Project, working with local communities to collect recipes, gardening knowledge and personal memories about food and growing.
Fiona Carruthers works in expanded fields of drawing to investigate the Posthuman predicament. She draws on experiences of living in rural and coastal Lincolnshire where the climate threat is personal and ever-present. Physical disability, post-traumatic growth, and outcomes of surviving local flooding also lie at the heart of her creative decision-making. Responses typically offer practical tactics for survival or propositions for a not-quite-familiar future.
Lauren Craig is a social media-shy, internet-curious, cultural futurist based in London. Her polymathic practice draws on her experiences as an artist and curator with a background in ethical, social and environmental entrepreneurship and reproductive justice. Her work as a full spectrum doula and celebrant expand on her interest in contemporary celebration and commemoration and desire to build event-based/long-lasting creative, collaborative and caring communities. Inspired by archives, lived experience and futurity, her practice transverses performance, installation, experimental art writing to moving image and photography. Recent screenings include CCA Goldsmiths (2020), Tate Britain (2019) and artist talks at Tate, British Art Network (2020). She is currently co-curating an exhibition of the work of Rita Keegan (South London Gallery, 2021).
Eleanor Duffin is an Irish-born, Bristol-based visual artist. Her works are predominately sculptural objects that include text, film and audio works. Recurring concerns within Eleanor’s practice are the affects of geology on a sense of place/belonging, slippages between languages, the action of translation in the process of making, and the creation of fictional co-workers.
Anna Haydock-Wilson develops, facilitates and produces arts activities and events within diverse communities in order to bring people together, explore social and environmental realities, enjoy creative processes and help to amplify under represented voices. Most of her projects and commissions are collaborative and across varied media, having experimented with sculpture, multi-media installation and performance at art school, film and video at media school, and community co-creation in many London boroughs and in Bristol where she is now based.
Ben Hartley is a Bristol-based artist who graduated from the UWE Bristol in 2019. Ben’s practice harnesses his perpetual state of eco-anxiety to develop a sustainable method of artmaking. Mainly this includes producing sculptural assemblages from ecologically indigestible waste materials foraged from explorations of urban environments, and intercepting them in their journey into the ground. Informed by science and speculative fiction, Ben’s work questions the place of art in an ecologically unstable future.
Carol Laidler’s practice combines site-specific installation with writing, performance, sound and photography to examine memory and perception, human existence alongside the more-than-human. Her work highlights the conflicting narratives that emerge within the history of a place or time. It weaves together words, both from and with others to challenge notions of the single narrative. She is interested in the slippage this creates, thinking of it as a method of coincidental incidents.
Kelly O’Brien works mostly through sculpture to consider themes of precarity, resilience, repair and hope. She is interested in the fragile and precious nature of our world, highlighting the importance of our actions and responsibility for repair in our hands. Over the last year, Kelly has used materials from her wildflower meadow to create small works highlighting her interest in Britain’s grassland and meadow regeneration, learning about their role in carbon capture and climate change. Kelly’s current practice is centered on a four-season residency, working alongside conservation staff and scientists to understand the importance of this diverse habitat. She received an MA Fine Art (Distinction) from Bath Spa University in 2019.
Annabel Pettigrew is an artist whose practice is research and pilgrimage based. Using alternative spiritual theories, ritual arrangements, and Jungian archetypes, Annabel divines pathways in her practice to create new working methodologies. She explores the narratives surrounding the physical presence of an object, being or site in the material world – and its alchemical transformation in an emotional or metaphysical context. Her bodies of work evolve over long periods of time, relying on a process of synchronicity to inform the next steps. Working across a variety of media, conversation and collaboration is at the core of the development and understanding of practice. Annabel works in both a solo capacity, currently focusing on themes around Grief; and as part of collaborative duo OxArt alongside partner Rob MacPherson, who she began working with in 2012 through a collective interest in mythology, folklore and the collaborative making process.