UWE artists celebrate Dutch exchange

Issue date: 17 November 2009

globalization, 2009 by Arantxa Echarte A group of artists from the University of the West of England, Bristol will be exhibiting work created with artists from Groningen, Holland as part of a year long exchange programme between the two groups.

The artists including UWE postgraduates and tutors are part of Vice Versa and have taken part in exchange visits, shared working practices and held collaborative shows in the host cities; Groningen, Holland in September 2009 and the forthcoming exhibitions and seminar this November in Bristol. The Dutch artists will be visiting UWE's Bower Ashton Campus in Bristol to present their work to undergraduate students on 19 and 20 November 2009.

The UWE artists are: Tamany Baker (UWE Photography tutor), Arantxa Echarte (Visiting Lecturer on MA by Project & PhD student), Penny Jones and Natasha MacVoy (both alumni of UWE's MA Fine Art), and Mel Shearsmith (MA student and Postgraduate Junior Fellow). The Dutch visitors are Marian Brugman, Ilona Hakvoort, Matthijs Hendriks, Tanja Isbarn, Merijn Vrij and Moniek Westerman, all linked to the Minerva University in Groningen.

The group exhibition in Bristol is a culmination of the year's work:

The VICE VERSA show will be held at Motorcade/ FlashParade, Philip Street, Bristol, BS3 4DR from Friday 20 November to Sunday 6 December between 12:00 and 18:00, with the preview on 19 November at 18.00.

The artists work with a range of media, strategies and tactics including photography, painting, performance, appropriation and installation. Some work responds to site, and is reflected through the use of recycled and manipulated local natural materials. Other work creates a sense of encounter and dissonance.

Tamany Baker, (UWE) explains, “We have had a fantastic year in which we have learned a great deal from this exchange. All the artists have benefited from working with each other both as individuals and in forging new collaborations. Working with artists from a different cultural background, has stimulated new work and lots of debate. We have been able to identify common areas, and explore our differences.”

Mel Shearsmith (UWE) explains “The Bristol artists all came to this project from various routes and all have links with UWE. Tanja Isbarn, one of the Dutch artists was a student at Bower Ashton and established this project out of a relationship with the city and the university.

“The year has been a roller coaster ride of negotiations: forming a group of Bristol based artists, making new work for the Groningen exhibition and visiting the Groningen artists. We learnt about their practice and the context for their work in Holland compared to our practices and approaches in Bristol. The exhibition at Motorcade/FlashParade and UWE's Creative Arts Gallery is the final event of this exchange. The visiting Dutch artists will also be making presentations to the students about their work and there will be an open seminar on 21 November which will explore how artists from various projects have explored notions of exchange.”

The VICE VERSA Public Seminar will take place on Saturday 21 November 2009, 10.30– 16.00 at Spike Island Associates Space, 133 Cumberland Road, Bristol, BS1 6UX.

Further information on the project and details on booking for events available at http://www.viceversaexchange.net

VICE VERSA is supported by several organisations including the Arts Council Southwest, Kunstraad Groningen, Alias Arts, Spike Island Associates, UWE and Land2.

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