Saturday, 5 April 2014

...esse amor, d'б sei que eu nгo quero mais nada

...and with just a vaguely aquatic theme Your blogger is bogged down with work this weekend, so short and sharp this time. A really interesting series of events about the development of a Visual Matrix from UCLAN are described below. I‘m going to go to the Leeds event. Sounds superb and much needed in these times of blinkered reductivism. A commission too from Alder Hey Children’s Health Park too.

Thanks to all of you who’ve shown an interest in attending the Vic McEwan event in June and I’m shortly going to announced details of our Informal Arts and Health Research Network's first meeting with none other than Mike White. This will be in May and I’ll give the dates next week.

I had the most excellent time at OWN NOW: Arts and Dementia Symposium organised by the as-ever brilliant Pioneer Projects in Skipton last week. I gave a presentation to an over-subscribed audience (standing room only) based on my own family experience and thoughts over the last few years. You can here my presentation by clicking on the image below. Thanks Anne, Philippa, Ali (from Pioneer Projects) and Becki (from Events Northern). It was a treat to be amongst passionate, articulate and hugely creative people. Oh and I thought Clare Craig was superb!

Public Art Now: Thinking Beyond Measure
A day workshop introducing a ground-breaking new approach to research and evaluation in the arts. Building an evidence base is fundamental to making the case for the arts; finding arts sensitive methods to gather and analyse data has become one of the primary challenges for the arts sector. How often have you felt something was missing from the stories revealed by social science based approaches? Researchers from the University of Central Lancashire, working with arts producers Situations, have been developing an innovative new group based method - the Visual Matrix - to move beyond overt measures of impact and unlock the deeper story of an artwork’s effects on the imagination. This could then be used alongside quantitative approaches to form richer, more complex evaluations. The North Devon town of Ilfracombe was host to Alex Hartley’s Nowhereisland in the summer of 2012 and, shortly afterwards, the 66 foot high bronze statue Verity by Damien Hirst was loaned to the town where it now towers over the harbour front. In 2013 the Visual Matrix method, which is framed by images of the artworks and depends on visualisation and association, was used alongside a conventional focus group to explore the town’s on-going relation to these large-scale, high profile public art projects. The Visual Matrix revealed a rich depth and diversity of response, which did not emerge through conventional methods. Join this workshop to hear what happened, how the Visual Matrix works and the value it has for Situations as an organisation. You will also take part in a Visual Matrix, learning how to organise you own session and how it might be applied to your projects. Click on image of Verity below for more details.

Art for Alder Hey in the Park
Introduction and Background 
The new Alder Hey Children’s Health Park is a unique concept in which the 100 year old hospital will be replaced by a new 270 bed hospital designed and built by ‘Acorn’ and a new public health park created on the old hospital site. The new hospital will be a welcoming healing environment in which the art helps enhance and improve the patient experience and enables a personalised delivery of healthcare’ for children and young people. A lead artist, Lucy Casson, was appointed by the children and young people’s design group to work with the interior designers to enhance wayfinding, and she has developed the ‘sense’ of the hospital linked to the environmental / nature interest of the Health Park inspired by the young people. This commission is informed by Alder Hey’s commitment to artistic practice and artist collaborations that will support children, their families, staff and visitors:

A Children and Young People’s Design Group helps inspire the artistic vision, and is consulted on designs. Throughout the next 18 months, there will be a series of other art commissions developed throughout the new building.

The Commission 
The children and young people and the clinical staff who use the existing Hydrotherapy Pool are keen to commission art for the new Aquatic Therapy Pool. “Art for Alder Hey in the Park” is seeking an artist (or artists’ group) who will work with the consultation group of children and young people, and agreed hydrotherapy staff, as part of the process to commission the art. 

The Aquatic Therapy Pool is used for movement therapy for all ages of children and young people, so the artistic narrative and imagery needs to include elements that the staff can draw the attention of the young people to and the young people can focus on, and physically move or point or stretch towards. The imagery needs to address the interests of all ages including young children. 

In line with the environmental ethos of the art programme, and the briefing set by the Aquatic Therapy Pool Consultation Group, we would like the art to be imaginative and reflect the natural aquatic world, ‘bringing the outside inside’. It could include relaxing sound created for the environment. There is a suggestion that any decorated tiles in the water might have a ‘push button’ so that they will trigger sound. Consider the opportunity for one of the young people to develop a special composition working with a musician or sound artist (There is a regular programme of live music within the hospital and we also employ a part time Music Therapist). Address the walls (including doors) and ceiling – and one young person suggested projecting moving images of sea birds across the walls and ceiling.

The Pool
The Aquatic Therapy pool is in the Outpatients area of the new hospital and is essentially underground. Daylight comes into the pool via a large roof light over the pool itself.  
The pool slopes from 900mm-1200mm depth and is lined with a glazed ceramic mosaic. The water will be level with the edge of the pool, so any integrated tile decoration will be viewed or felt through the water. The pool is 6500 x 4200.Artists may propose tiling decoration at the upper levels of the water edge. 

With regard to sound there is an integrated speaker and sound system operated from the Therapy Office.

This commission is an open competition. 

The Aquatic Therapy Pool Consultation Group will appoint the artist from portfolios and interview. The artist will liaise with this group through out the commission to inform and develop the work – much of the liaison will be email.

At this stage we require a digital portfolio & c.v. of relevant work and a short outline/letter explaining how you would like to approach this commission. 

Budget: £15,000    To be submitted by 9am Monday 28th April.  

The proposals will be discussed with the Aquatic Therapy Pool Consultation Group in the following week and artists contacted after that. The Aquatic Therapy Pool Consultation Group consists of staff members and patients who use the current hydrotherapy pool.

Please submit your portfolio (compressed - please do not exceed 12 megabytes) & outline by email to: Lesley Greene, Art Consultant Art in Alder Hey in the Park 
Tel: 01452770018 
Tel: 07760258160

Women Make Music Grant Scheme 
The Performing Right Society (PRS) has announced that its Women Make Music grant scheme is now open for applications. Through the programme, financial support of up to £5000 is available to women musicians; and new music in any genre is welcome, from classical, jazz and experimental, to urban, electronica and pop. Through the scheme support is available to individuals and organizations / groups; including solo performers; solo songwriters or composers; promoters or event producers; bands/ensembles/orchestras; local authorities and schools; etc.

The next application deadline is the 28th April 2014. Read more at: 

...and finally, a little greenish piece of poetry by John Clare titled, Summer Moods

I love at eventide to walk alone
Down narrow lanes o’erhung with dewy thorn
Where, from the long grass underneath, the snail
Jet black creeps out and sprouts his timid horn.
I love to muse o’er meadows newly mown
Where withering grass perfumes the sultry air,
Where bees search round with sad and weary drone
In vain for flowers that bloomed but newly there,
While in the juicy corn the hidden quail
Cries ‘wet my foot’ and hid as thoughts unborn
The fairylike and seldom-seen land rail
Utters ‘craik craik’ like voices underground,
Right glad to meet the evenings dewy veil
And see the light fade into glooms around.

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