Public Art Needs Outsiders

Wednesday 7th October 2009, 11am – 5pm

ixia and Situations have developed a series of Seminars framed by a provocative response to the statement: “What Public Art Needs Now!”

Adam Sutherland giving a tour of Lawson Park.

One of the primary roles allocated to public art within regeneration projects and cultural tourism is its contribution to place-making. Whilst many commissioners have now begun to take a more long-term, ‘embedded’ approach to developing a curatorial programme in response to their immediate contexts, they recognize the value of outsiders to the development of an ongoing programme. This Seminar looks at the relationship between the local and the outsider and public art as the result of that encounter.

Grizedale Arts has adapted the residency model as a means of sustaining a practice-in-place, but has highlighted the need for artists/curators to research, engage with and contribute to an ongoing engagement with the specific context of Cumbria from an outsider’s perspective.

This Seminar will look at the development of public art projects employing and adapting residential models of commissioning by considering some of the following questions:
• How can public art commissioning employ the residency model as a means of sustaining local engagement and audience participation?
• What are the challenges and pitfalls of negotiating an unfamiliar context as a visiting artist?
• What are the benefits and the shortfalls of being a resident commissioner?
• Is a residency or sustained period of fieldwork/research always required?

Public Art Needs Outsiders is organised by IXIA and Situations