I'm Not Sitting at the Front

A lively presentation of artist projects and discussions on the subject of participatory visual arts practice.

Saturday 6th April 2013, 12pm – 6pm
14 – 16 Royal Arcade, St Mary Street, Cardiff CF10 1AE

The afternoon will be an opportunity to listen to and get involved in conversation and debate about key questions surrounding the commissioning and creation of participatory art projects. There will also be a chance to find out more about the projects and interventions by the artists who were commissioned by Elbow Room as part of Intercourse 2013.

Speakers and contributors:
Emma Gee, artist
Dr. Sophie Hope, artist, curator & writer.
Dr. Paul Hurley, artist and creative producer.
Gill Nichol, independent arts consultant.
Aldo Rinaldi, Bristol City Council Senior Public Art Officer and curator.

With artists Ania Bas, Freya Dooley, Tiff Oben and B.R.G. Collective.

A light lunch and refreshments are provided.

Cost £3.00
Payments should be made via www.elbowroom.org.uk. Please note that spaces are limited so early booking is advisable.

Please let us know if you have any access or dietary requirements.

This event has been generously funded by Arts Council Wales and Gwirvol, with support from Ffotogallery, g39, Morgan Quarter and Asdown Phillips.

Speaker and contributor biographies

Dr. Sophie Hope
Sophie Hope’s practice based research focuses on the relationships between art and society. She has worked as an independent curator (as one half of the curatorial partnership B+B), a writer and evaluator of public and socially engaged art and is a lecturer in arts management in the Media and Cultural Studies Department at Birkbeck, University of London. Sophie has developed a number of practical projects through which to research cultural policy, labour conditions and community art histories in the UK. These include a three-year participant-led investigation into socially engaged art ('Critical Friends' 2008-2011) and a large-scale community performance in a Dutch new town ('Het Reservaat' 2007). Her PhD (completed in 2011), entitled: 'Participating in the Wrong Way? Practice Based Research into Cultural Democracy and the Commissioning of Art to Effect Change' explored the limits and possibilities of criticality in the context of an artists' contract. Sophie is currently researching art and politics in the year 1984 and recently wrote her second radio play about a tribal uprising on the outskirts of Plymouth.


Dr. Paul Hurley
Since 2001, Paul Hurley has performed and exhibited in galleries, theatres, festivals and public spaces internationally. Whilst he is best known for his solo performance practice, his work has involved participatory projects and collaborations with other artists, including Kathe Izzo, Manuel Vason, Anushiye Yarnell, Uninvited Guests and Caleb Parkin. He is interested in action, ritual, queerness and humour. In 2010, Paul was awarded a PhD for his thesis ‘Reconfiguring the human: the becoming-other of performance’ from the University of Bristol, as part of an AHRC collaborative doctoral award with Arnolfini Gallery, where he was also an Associate Artist between 2008-2010. He has given talks, workshops, lectures and been published internationally, and has been involved with numerous artist-led projects. Paul currently lives and works in Leeds.


Gill Nicol
Gill Nicol trained as an artist and has over twenty-five years experience in the arts. She has worked for numerous organisations including engage (national association for gallery education), Ikon Gallery (Birmingham), mac (midlands arts centre, Birmingham), Tate Liverpool, Spike Print Studio and Arnolfini in Bristol. She spent four years with alias (artist-led initiatives advisory service), working as a consultant to artist groups based in the South West, and worked for nearly two years with ArtMatrix, offering professional development advice for over 200 creative people in Bristol and Wiltshire. In 2009, she spent eight months at Tate St Ives on a work-based Cultural Leadership programme working on audience development, and was Head of Interaction at Arnolfini until February 2011. Recent work has included: The Visitor Experience Programme, an Arts Council England funded programme looking at the quality of experience for the casual visitor to ten contemporary art galleries across the South West, West and East Midlands; Facilitator of ‘Come Along Do’ a discussion forum following art films at Chapter Art Centre; Artistic Assessor for Arts Council England and Training sessions in What is Contemporary Art & How to Engage Visitors at Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth and Falmouth Art Gallery.


Aldo Rinaldi
Aldo Rinaldi is a curator and commissioner based in Bristol. He is currently the Senior Public Art Officer for the City of Bristol where he oversees the ongoing strategic development of public art across the City, implementing Bristol City Council’s Public Art Policy, and delivering public art projects across the City, through strategic and collaborative working, with a range of public and private sector partners. Prior to working in Bristol he worked as a project manager, at a CBAT and Safle, public art commissioning agencies based in Cardiff, where he produced a number of projects with artists from the UK and abroad. He was Assistant Director of Laurent Delaye Gallery, London from 2002–2003 and has worked for over 12 years on a range of contemporary art projects in both galleries and the public realm. Recent Commissions include works with Tue Greenfort, Jaroslaw Flicinski, Simon and Tom Bloor, Sabine Horning, Martin Parr, Anna Barriball, Bryan and Laura Davies.

Emma Gee
Emma is researching a PhD at Leeds University into the directorial role within participatory and immersive practice. Emma’s current work focuses on structuring stages of engagement, refusal of presence and joss sticks. She is interested in fostering participation and agency. She has over 25 years’ experience, primarily within participatory and consultative performance, and is currently Guest Director at Mind the Gap Theatre Company.

Recent works by Emma include Perfume Garden, for No Strings, Leeds, March 2012, which was an invitation to participants to spend a lot of time doing relatively little; Finds & Binds, Vantage Art Prize, Leeds, March 2012, a collaboration with S.Gee, a found object work to provide a catalyst to take the attender from the position of audience to artist; and Number 11, Saltaire Arts Festival, May 2012, a collaboration with R.Ellis and B.Rothera; engaging community performers and attenders in a 7 hour durational event in a small terrace house.

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