The Factory Project: Recreational Grounds - FAD Magazine

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The Factory Project: Recreational Grounds

Opening this October in a 67,000 sqft industrial space The Factory Project promises to be one of the highlights of Frieze week. Over the coming weeks, FAD is talking to all ten curatorial teams taking part in the museum scale exhibition. Below we have Recreational Grounds

Install shot of Recreational Grounds I. artwork by Tim Ralston and Erris Huigens

Can you tell us about your curatorial practice?

Recreational Grounds began in a redundant ground floor car park at Wendover House on the Aylesbury Estate; a space that is a playground for intervention. Our project encourages ephemeral approaches to react to the restrictions of the brief: to create outdoor site-responsive work for the 48-hour duration of the exhibition. The nature of temporary artwork in a public space demands creative approaches to making and installing, and it is this challenge, along with the unique space, that inspires the project. Invitations to work with Recreational Grounds are inspired solely by a curiosity in each artists practice with the following introduction and criteria: Recreational Grounds is a reaction to the issues of limits and accessibility of the more typical exhibition spaces in London, with an aim to encourage experimentation and create a dialogue around the alternative presentation of artwork. The artwork must have no negative impact on the building. Everything installed must be removable and leave no permanent damage. The work must be installed in a day The work must be secure and safe enough to be left in a public space for 72 hours straight The artwork must respond to the site and display an ambitious approach to creating new site specific work

Can you tell us a bit about the exhibition you will be presenting at The Factory Project?

We are bringing our usual energy to the Factory Project. We have invited a selection of artists who will work alongside the intricacies of the site and have encouraged projects that will integrate within and respond to the architecture of the former Factory space. All of our projects encourage a resourceful response from the artists giving them the opportunity to challenge their practices working on a new scale. Many of the artists have identified themes around transformation through the production process, filtering of light and qualities of materials.

Which artists have you invited to take part in your section of The Factory Project and why have you chosen them?

Will Cruikshank
Juliette Mahieux Bartoli
Susan Jacobs
Tim Ralston
And three collaborations:
Anna Lytridou & Benjamin Deakin
Fiona Grady & Charley Peters
Amba Sayal-Bennett & Ralph Hunter-Menzies 

Louise-Ashcroft’s performance- n Recreational-Grounds V.Also showing artwork by-Gabriela-Pelczarska-and-Henrietta-Armstrong-

How do you feel about the hijack of the word curator by editors, stylists, DJs, z list celebs, a list celebs, tv personalities & influencers?

Haha, it has definitely inspired us to call ourselves organisers rather than curators. As an artist-led project we shy away from calling ourselves curators but sometimes it is the easiest way to describe the project. We enjoy bringing artists together and sharing the curatorial decisions between the group, the project is about the dialogue that occurs as everything comes together. We are really looking forward to the Factory Project and how this will expand across several curatorial approaches. It’s going to be epic.

The Factory Project takes place in a very large IRL exhibition space. How do you envision your exhibition to be presented?

This isn’t the place to present neatly framed paintings or works on paper, work that will appeal to the collectors on the other side of London, it is a chance to be bold and try new things. We like to be ambitious and the work will spill out to fill the space, we want to use the height, the architecture and the light that will spill in through the huge expanse of windows. The exhibition process is really important to us – we always encourage collaboration between the artists and curators. Rather than being didactic and selecting works for presentation from a studio our works tend to be built in situ, creating room for experimentation, playfulness and unexpected outcomes.

During COVID/ lockdown what have you been reading, watching, listening to?

It’s been a year of change and we’ve all been exploring different ideas. There are a few guilty pleasures we could name but we’d like to preserve our reputation! 

Have there been any positives for you from lockdown?

We stopped the programme during lockdown and had the chance to reflect on the previous editions. We created a catalogue that documented the project and featured each artist’s response to date. We also prepared for our first exhibition outside of the car park where we presented 16 artists in the hangar-like gallery space at Thameside. It was great to work with some of the previous artists and explore how the experience of Recreational Grounds had fed into their practice. We’re really proud of our legacy and hosting the exhibition after a hiatus felt even more meaningful.

2022 what do you have plans? & do you feel confident about the future?

As confident as anybody can be in the current situation! As the Aylesbury estate continues to be demolished the project will be homeless and we will be looking for a new location. We will take this opportunity to work with a few other projects, Thorp Stavri at The Factory Project and then later in 2022 PADA studios over in Lisbon.

The Factory Project is one of the largest curated events during London’s Frieze week and will be held at Thameside Industrial Estate, from 9 – 22 October 2021. Free Tickets

The Factory Project is an independent museum-scale exhibition that has been scheduled to take place during London’s Frieze week. It has been initiated to support emerging to mid-career artists and curators and is presented as a multi-disciplinary survey project. This exhibition plays host to 10 UK based independent curators and curatorial platforms; each producing their own exhibitions within the larger factory site and will be showcasing upwards of 80 artists.

The Factory Project takes place at the monumental Thameside Industrial Estate, a 6,284m2 warehouse and yard complex in North Woolwich, Newham – a short walk from London’s City Airport and nestled between the Tate & Lyle’s Sugar Refinery and the Thames Barrier – on Factory Road. It is produced by Thorp Stavri and is supported by Projekt and FAD Magazine.



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