Dominique White. Ruttier for the Absent (2019). Installation view as part of the Curva Blu Residency in Favignana, Italy. Photo: Ilaria Orsini. Courtesy of VEDA Firenze, INCURVA and the artist.
The current state of suspension where production has stalled and arts institutions around the world have been forced to close has brought into focus something that never shuts down: the power and importance of imagination.
Selected artists living and working in the UK will be funded by Artangel and the Freelands Foundation over the next six months to have some dedicated ‘thinking time’. Each artist will receive an award of £5,000 as well as mentoring and support from Artangel. The artists, aged in their 20s, 30s and 40s, work across the mediums of performance, poetry, choreography, music, video and installation.
In addition to the support of the Freelands Foundation, Thinking Time has been made possible through the generosity of artists and patrons, including the Artists for Artangel Fund, created in 2018 through the sale of works by 37 artists with whom Artangel has worked over the past 25 years, and by a group of private patrons the Guardian Angels .
Artangel worked with a wide network of artists, curators and producers across the UK to identify selected artists to be supported through the Thinking Time initiative.
The following artists have been invited to participate:
Abbas Zahedi, Abi Palmer, Andrew Pierre Hart, Beatrice Dillon, Belinda Zhawi, Carl Gent, Cécile B Evans, Dominique White, Fabienne Hess, Himali Singh Soin, Jamie Crewe, Jay Bernard, Jos Bitelli, Libita Sibungu, Lucinda Chua, Maeve Brennan, Oona Doherty, Paul Maheke and Rosalie Schweiker.
Michael Morris and James Lingwood, Co-Directors of Artangel, said:
“New opportunities for artists are few and far between right now, especially for those towards the beginning of their careers. These 20 artists will be part of whatever our future holds. We’re excited to enable them to think ahead in the present.”
Abbas Zahedi is a London based artist known for his interdisciplinary blend of social practice, performance, installation, moving-image, institution-building, and writing. His practice emerged out of working with migrant and marginalised communities in the UK to explore the concept of neo-diaspora, and the ways in which personal and collective histories interweave. His recent exhibitions and performances have taken place at South London Gallery, UK; Belmacz, London; Spike Island, Bristol; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Lethaby Gallery, London; clearview.ltd, London; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Wolverhampton Art Gallery, UK; and 57th Venice Biennale, Italy.
Abi Palmer is an artist and writer who explores the relationship between linguistic and physical communication. Her key work includes Crip Casino – an interactive gambling arcade parodying the wellness industry and institutionalised spaces;shown at Tate Modern, Somerset House and Wellcome Collection (2018-20); and Sanatorium – a fragmented memoir that jumps between a luxury thermal pool and a blue inflatable bathtub (Penned in the Margins, 2020). In 2016 Palmer won a Saboteur Award for her multisensory poetry installation Alchemy.
Andrew Pierre Hart is a London-based artist whose practice is inter-disciplinary and focussed on painting. His work explores the symbiotic relationship between sound and painting. Andrew’s practice is an ongoing rhythmic research and play of improvised and spontaneous generative processes, through various mediums including sound, video, performance, found object and image, language, photography and installation. Andrews current work explored themes of spatiality, visualisation , synchronisation, and re-interpretations of DJ technology through painting, sound and installation.
He also shares a curatorial practice where he organises events that socially engage artists and viewers.
Beatrice Dillon is a London-based electronic musician and artist. Her musical work encompasses a nuanced exploration of polyrhythmic drum programming, spatial sound, and interests in process-based systems of logic across both visual and sonic mediums. She studied Fine Art in London, before working on jazz and experimental music programmes for BBC Radio.
Her solo album ‘Workaround’ fusing computer music, acoustic and bass music was recently released on PAN in 2020 with previous releases on Boomkat Editions, Hessle Audio and Trilogy Tapes. She was a recipient of both the Wysing Arts Centre and Somerset House Studios artist residencies as well as a resident DJ on NTS Radio from 2014-2020. Dillon has collaborated with a wide range of visual artists and musicians, most recently with Tabla virtuoso, Kuljit Bhamra. Recent sound installation and live performances include Lisson Gallery, wwwX Tokyo, Strelka Institute Moscow, MUTEK Buenos Aires and Christian Marclay’s Assembly at Somerset House.
Belinda Zhawi is a Zimbabwean born literary and sound artist based in London. Her work explores Afro-diasporic research & narratives, with a specialised focus on how the literary arts & education can be used as intersectional tools. She was the 2016/17 Institute of Contemporary Arts Associate Poet, the 2019 Serpentine Galleries’ Schools Artist in Residence & co-founder of, literary arts platform, BORN::FREE.
The artist experiments with sound as MA.MOYO and frequently collaborates with the growing South London jazz & beat-making scene. She’s been featured on various platforms including Boiler Room, BBC Sounds, Worldwide FM & performed across Europe. Belinda is the author of Small Inheritances (ignitionpress, 2018) and micro-pamphlet, South of South East (Bad Betty Press, 2019).
Carl Gent is from Bexhill-on-sea, UK. Their recent work has sought to re-historicise and re-fictionalise the life of Cynethryth (the eighth-century Queen of Mercia). In 2019 Carl collaborated with artist Linda Stupart to produce All Us Girls Have Been Dead for So Long, a feature-length musical commissioned by the ICA as a part of their live programme for I, I, I, I, I, I, I, Kathy Acker. The musical followed the narrative structure of the 1990s video game Ecco the Dolphin by featuring a host of other protagonists including Naomi Klein’s reportage of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Margaret Cavendish’s 1666 proto-SciFi novel The Blazing World, Westlife’s cover of Seasons in the Sun, and Kathy Acker herself.
They are currently working on a new publication expanding on their manufacture of absinthe that occurred at KELDER during 2017’s exhibition Multiplex, and a collaboration with singer and researcher Kelechi Anucha looking into the passage of English folk music into church song. This collaboration is occurring across a residency hosted by Wysing Arts Centre during 2020 and a series of interventions and performances at The Museum of English Rural Life in 2021. They will also be continuing their research into the life of Cynethryth during a research project based at Jupiter Woods in SE London throughout 2020. Carl also recently exhibited and performed at David Dale Gallery, Glasgow; ICA, London; De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-sea and for Transmissions, episode 2.
Cécile B Evans is an American-Belgian artist living and working in London. The artist’s work examines the value of emotion and its rebellion as it comes into contact with ideological, physical, and technological structures. They are currently working on a new performance commission for the MOVE festival at Centre Pompidou Paris (FR).
Recent selected solo exhibitions include 49 Nord 6 Est – Frac Lorraine (FR), Museum Abteiberg (DE), Tramway (UK), Chateau Shatto (US), Museo Madre (IT), mumok Vienna (AT), Castello di Rivoli (IT), Galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna (AT), Tate Liverpool (UK), Kunsthalle Aarhus (DK), M Museum Leuven (BE), De Hallen Haarlem (NL), and Serpentine Galleries (UK). Evans’ work has been included amongst others at Whitechapel Gallery (UK), Haus der Kunst (DE), Mito Art Tower (JP), Renaissance Society Chicago (US), the 7th International Moscow Biennale (RU), the 4th Ural Industrial Biennial (RU), Galerie Kamel Mennour (FR), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen (DK), the 9th Berlin Biennale (DE), the 20th Sydney Biennale (AUS), Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (ES), and Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (FR). Evans’ films have been screened in festivals such as the New York Film Festival and Rotterdam International. Public collections include The Museum of Modern Art, New York (US), The Rubell Family Collection, Miami (US), Whitney Museum of American Art (US), De Haallen (NL), Castello di Rivoli, Turin (IT), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen (DK), and FRAC Auvergne (FR).
Dominique White weaves together the theories of Black Subjectivity, Afro-pessimism and Afro-futurism with the nautical myths of Black Diaspora, into a term she defines as the Shipwreck(ed) – a reflexive verb and state of being. Her sculptures demonstrate how Black life could extend beyond its own subjective limits and act as beacons or vessels of an ignored civilisation defined as the Stateless – a realm in which the past, present and future have converged into a Black Future.
Dominique’s research reaches back to the sound of Detroit’s techno scene, where she continues to reference Afrofuturist narratives (situated in space and underwater) depicted by Aux 88 (Tom Tom and Keith Tucker), DJ Stingray (Sherard Ingram) and Drexciya (Gerald Donald and James Stinson). Her research also extends beyond the tangible, with a curiosity for both the destruction and mythicism that hurricanes in the Caribbean leave in their eternally transformative wake in the sea. Her visual vocabulary extends from nautical motifs such as destroyed sails, damaged hand-woven nets, mutilated anchors and soluble nautical buoys to volatile materials such as palm fronds, raffia, and kaolin clay. She utilises this forceful unification as a means of forcefully dissociating the motifs from their original function and redefining them as bodies charged with retaliation and resilience. These works, or bodies, delicately balance the states of preservation, decay, and destruction whilst emanating the sense that an event has/will/will never take place at any time. Recent presentations include: Fugitive of the State(less) [solo] at VEDA Firenze (2019), Art-O-Rama [solo] (2019), Abandon(ed) Vessel [solo] at KevinSpace (2019), Boundary + Gesture at Wysing Arts Centre (2019), and Paris Internationale [duo] (2019). Dominique also was the artist-in-residence at Sagrada Mercancía (Chile) in February and March 2020, and was scheduled to be in residency at Triangle France – Astérides (France) from April to late July 2020.
Fabienne Hess is a London-based Swiss artist. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2012 and has since shown her work, among other places, at Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh; Art Night, Serpentine Galleries, French Riviera, London; MK Gallery, Milton Keynes; Baltic, Newcastle and Dakar Biennale.
Fabienne has also published an artist book with Common Editions and has received commissions from LUX artists’ moving image, the University of Edinburgh and the BBC.
Himali Singh Soin works across text, performance, and moving image. She utilises metaphors from the natural environment to construct speculative cosmologies that reveal non-linear entanglements between human and non-human life. Her poetic methodology explores the myriad ways of knowing, from scientific to intuitional, indigenous, and alchemical processes. Outer space is often used as a place from which to navigate alien distances and earthly intimacy, rewiring ideas of nativism, nationality, nihilism, and cultural flight.
The artist’s inspirations include the ancient Stoics and contemporary literature, travel diaries, and ancient diagrams. By manipulating semiotic flows, she creates conditions for the observation of microstructures of social and geo-poetic time. In the face of extinction, her work insists on resurgence.
Jamie Crewe is a beautiful bronze figure with a polished cocotte’s head who grew up in the Peak District and is now settled in Glasgow. They graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2009 with a BA in Contemporary Fine Art, and later from Glasgow School of Art in 2015 with a Master of Fine Art. They have presented several solo exhibitions: ‘Solidarity & Love’, Humber Street Gallery, Hull (2020); ‘Love & Solidarity’, Grand Union, Birmingham (2020); ‘Pastoral Drama’, Tramway, Glasgow (2018); ‘Female Executioner’, Gasworks, London (2017); and ‘But what was most awful was a girl who was singing’, Transmission, Glasgow (2016). Their work has also been presented as part of ‘I, I, I, I, I, I, I Kathy Acker’ at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; as part of the ‘KW Production Series’ at Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin; as part of the Glasgow International 2018 Director’s Programme in the group show ‘Cellular World’ at GoMA, Glasgow; and as part of the ‘Artists’ Moving Image Festival 2016’ at Tramway, Glasgow.
In 2019 the artist was awarded the tenth Margaret Tait Award with the resulting commissioned work ‘Ashley’ premiering at Glasgow Film Festival in March 2020.
Jay Bernard (FRSL FRSA) is a writer from London. Their work is interdisciplinary, critical, queer, and rooted in the archive. They won the 2018 Ted Hughes Award for Surge: Side A, a cross-disciplinary exploration of the New Cross Fire in 1981.
Jay’s short film Something Said has screened in the UK and internationally, including Aesthetica and Leeds International Film Festival (where it won best experimental and best queer short respectively), Sheffield DocFest and CinemAfrica. Jay is a programmer at BFI Flare, an archivist at Mayday Rooms and resident artist at Raven Row. Their first collection, Surge, is out with Chatto and Windus in 2019.
Jos Bitelli works collaboratively and collectively across film, TV, and publishing as an artist, producer, and live-director.
Recent projects include ‘Patricide: The End of a 60 Year-Old-Mistake,’ a zine that looks at the continued dismantling of the NHS which was published in 2018 alongside a National Portfolio commission at Nottingham Contemporary. Jos is also a co-founding member of the artist collective East London Cable (ELC) which aims to make the TV it wants to see in the world.
Libita Sibungu lives and works in Bristol, UK. Her ongoing body of work ‘Quantum Ghost’ has toured in its first iteration as a solo exhibition and major new commission at both Gasworks and Spike Island, UK (2019), supported by the Freelands Foundation and Arts Council England. Comprising large scale photograms and a multi-channel audio installation, the work speaks to Sibungu’s British-Namibian heritage.
The artist’s recent works have been presented at; Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich and Somerset House, London, (2019); Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art, London; Whitstable Biennale; Eastside Projects, Birmingham (all UK) and Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2018); South London Gallery; Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Diaspora Pavilion – 57th Venice Biennale (2017). Sibungu is also a recent recipient of the; Creative Development Grant, Arts Council England (2019-2020), and the Triangle Network Fellowship, Bagfactory, Johannesburg (2018).
Lucinda Chua was born in the UK and has English, Malaysian, and ancestral Chinese roots. Starting from the early age of three, she learned piano and cello by ear under the Suzuki method, which aims to create an environment for learning music that parallels the linguistic process of acquiring a native language. With an interest in storytelling and visual narrative, Lucinda studied photography at Nottingham Trent University, where she continued to write, produce and perform music.
The artist debuted her solo release “Antidotes 1” in 2019, flexing seamlessly between introspective pop songs and other-worldly soundscapes. Bringing this material to life in a one-woman cello show, she has performed at festivals, music venues and art spaces in the UK and Europe, where she approaches the room and everyone in it as her instrument.
Maeve Brennan is an artist and filmmaker based in London. Her practice explores the political and historical resonance of material and place. Working primarily with moving image, as well as installation, sculpture, and printed matter, she develops long-term investigations led by personal encounters. Adopting a documentary approach, Maeve gains intimacy and proximity with her subjects; producing complex and layered accounts that disrupt dominant representations. With a particular focus on forms of expertise that encompass an associated physical practice – geologists, archaeologists, architects, mechanics, embroiderers – her works excavate the multiple narratives latent in material itself.
The artist graduated from Goldsmiths in 2012 and was a fellow at the Home Workspace Programme at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut (2013–14). Recent exhibitions include Chisenhale Gallery, London; Spike Island, Bristol; The Whitworth, University of Manchester; Mother’s Tankstation, Dublin; Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art in Turku, Finland; Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria and MOMENTA: Biennale de l’Image, Montreal. Her films have screened at International Film Festival Rotterdam; FILMADRID; Sheffield Doc Fest and Sonic Acts, Amsterdam. She received the Jerwood/FVU Award 2018 and is the Stanley Picker Art & Design Fellow (2019–21).
Oona Doherty is a Northern Irish artist who works in dance, performance, and film. She studied contemporary dance at the London School of Contemporary Dance, University of Ulster and Laban, where she holds bachelor and postgraduate degrees from. Oona has performed for companies such as T.R.A.S.H (N.L) Abbattoir Ferme (B.E) United Fall (I.E) Enda Walsh (I.E). She has collaborated in the performance and direction of videos for Rubber Bandits – Sonny, Divis – BBC 2, Girl Band- shoulder blades, Jamie XX – I don’t know and Welcome to a bright white Limbo Cara Holmes – Jury mention at Tribeca NYC.
Her Choreographies include Hope hunt & the ascension into Lazarus, 2016 (winning of the Dublin fringe best performer award, Edinburgh fringe total theatre award, Reconnaissance audience 1st place, judges 1st place); Hard to be Soft a Belfast prayer, 2017 (winner of the Best dance show of 2019 by the Guardian newspaper); and Lady Magma the birth of a cult, 2019. Meanwhile, her visual art exhibitions include ‘Death of the hunter Installation’, shown at the Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast, LOTHRINGER13 HALLE in Munich, ADC Gallery in Geneva and Centre Pompidou kanal in Brussels.
Paul Maheke is a London-based artist born in France. He completed an MA Art Practice from École nationale supérieure d’arts de Cergy (2011) and was an Associate of Open School East’s Programme of study, London/ Margate, UK (2015). With a focus on dance and through a varied and often collaborative body of work comprising performance, installation, sound and video, Paul considers the potential of the body as an archive in order to examine how memory and identity are formed and constituted.
Selected solo exhibitions include Levant, Ludlow 38, New York; OOLOI, Triangle France, Marseille; Diable Blanc, Galerie Sultana; A fire circle for a public hearing, Vleeshal, Middelburg (all in 2019) Dans L’éther, là ou l’eau, 6th Biennale de Rennes, Galerie Art et Essai, Rennes; Letter to a Barn Owl, Kevin Space, Vienna; A fire circle for a public hearing, Chisenhale Gallery, London (all 2018); Acqua Alta, Galerie Sultana, Paris; What Flows Through and Across, Assembly Point, London; In Me Everything is Already Flowing, Center, Berlin (all in 2017); and I Lost Track of the Swarm, South London Gallery (2016). Selected group exhibitions and performances include Sénsa (performance with Nkisi and Ariel Efraim Ashbel), Abrons Art Center, New York, Performa 19 and 58th Venice Biennale; Elements of Vogue, Museo Universitario del Chopo, Mexico City; Transcorporealities, Ludwig Museum, Cologne (2019); Le Fil d’Alerte, Fondation d’entreprise Ricard, Paris; Get Up, Stand Up Now, Somerset House, London; The Distance is Nowhere (performance with Sophie Mallett) ICA Miami (all 2019); Baltic Triennial XIII: Give Up the Ghost, Tallinn Art Hall; The Distance is Nowhere (performance with Sophie Mallett), Manifesta 12, Palermo; The Centre Cannot Hold Itself, Lafayette Anticipations, Paris (all 2018); Ten Days Six Nights, Tate Modern, London; and Diaspora Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale (all in 2017).
Rosalie Schweiker works across a wide range of media, including organising, print, education and social practice. If you are encountering the work, it’s likely that you’re not looking at it, but sitting on it, eating it, using it. Together with friends and colleagues Rosalie turned a gallery into a bra shop for DD+ sizes, co-organised a migrant-led activation day against the hostile environment, and tested participatory budgeting processes with a new housing development. She embraces the complexity of this way of working, pushing to challenge happy one-liner narratives and linear outcomes. This work needs conflict and compromise, it thrives on interdependence and solidarity.
In short, Rosalie is a mince, not a sausage artist. Every year she comes up with terms & conditions to help navigate the wrongness of the art worlds – this year’s t&c is NO and Sophie Chapman kindly tattooed it on my elbow. It’s been difficult to enforce it, but there are still a few months left. Les Reines Prochaines said: ‘Thinking alone is criminal’ and so I’m going to share this thinking time with all the amazing people around me, from Rabbits Road Press to Independendents United, AND publishing, Keep It Complex and Migrants In Culture. The artist is also a big fan of Company Drinks, Europa design studio, Idle Women, Joon Lynn Goh, Arawelo Eats, Sahra Hersi, Rose Nordin, Eva Weinmayr, Glengall Wharf Community Garden, Margherita Huntley, Mirjam Bayerdoerfer, Jean Joseph, Rachel Littlewood, Lisa Rahman, Sadie St.Hilaire, Kerri Jefferis, Amy Pennington, Tracky Crombie, Eleanor Vonne Brown, Sofia Niazi, Heiba Lamara, Sophie Mallett, Sarah Jury, Emma Edmondson, Aleesha Nandhra and all the other people I can’t name because of the word count. She thanks Sophie Le Roux for taking the distant digital body shots.