Scratch the Surface Festival: BE Music ‘A Symphony of Bee and Man’
For the past six months, Mental Spaghetti has been working with Collective//Pod, of The Pod, Coventry, supporting the upcoming Mental Health Arts festival, Scratch the Surface: Dialogue.
The festival runs September 30th – October 10th, World Mental Health Day, and will present a varied and rolling programme of visual arts, performance, and participatory projects. Artists and full programme will be announced later in the month, but for now I’d like to announce BE Music, by internationally renowned artist Wolfgang Buttress (whose work you may have previously experienced at Kew Gardens).
A unique concert will be creating a buzz in Coventry to celebrate World Mental Health Day!
Internationally renowned artist Wolfgang Buttress and music ensemble BE are set to bring a performance with a difference to Coventry Cathedral – they will be accompanied by 50,000 bees. BE will perform their critically acclaimed album “ONE” featuring a live-streamed chorus of 50,000 bees from a hive within the Cathedral grounds.
An integral part of the performance will be hosted by a bespoke community choir engineered and choreographed by the Pod’s Collective//Pod, an artist collective derived by members with lived experience of mental ill health. The Pod is Coventry City Council’s award winning mental health resource and creative hub.
The event, being held on Saturday, October 7 at 7.30pm, is part of Collective//Pod’s annual mental health arts festival “Scratch the Surface – DIALOGUE” and is being supported by Coventry Cathedral.
BE was formed as a collaboration between Wolfgang Buttress, musicians Tony Foster, Kev Bales, Deirdre Bencsik, Camille Christel and scientist Dr Martin Bencsik, who is undertaking cutting-edge research using accelerometers embedded in beehives.
The accelerometers, devices which are sensitive to tiny vibrations, will be used to livestream the sounds from the bee hive into the Cathedral during the performance.
Visual projections, including images from the project and live footage from the hive, will also be screened, and specially-created candles scented with botanicals from the Cathedral and essential oils from the new bee hive will be used to create a multi-sensory atmosphere.
The bees are already within the grounds of the Cathedral in preparation for the event, and the hive will remain there as a lasting legacy.
“Coventry Cathedral is an amazing space with an incredible history, so it is an honour to be performing there. It will be a very moving and powerful performance, and using bees based in the grounds will give the audience a real sense that what is happening is live. We weren’t scheduled to perform this year, however when we were approached to be part of a concert celebrating World Mental Health Day it really resonated with us and it’s wonderful that we are able to contribute.”
– Wolfgang Buttress
The event is supporting Coventry’s bid to be the UK City of Culture 2021. The bid is being led by Coventry City of Culture Trust and, if successful, would bring social, cultural and economic benefits to the city.
Coventry is now on the shortlist along with four other cities, and will submit a final bid in September before the decision is announced in December.
The Very Reverend John Witcombe, Dean of Coventry Cathedral, added: “We look forward to welcoming BE and the choir for what will be a truly unique performance to celebrate World Mental Health Day. A performance featuring bees has never been staged at the Cathedral before, and demonstrates the diversity of the events that we hold. It’s also nice to have another 50,000 parishioners in the grounds, which will remain here permanently following the concert!”
“ONE” is the soundscape for Wolfgang Buttress’s multi award-winning sculpture The Hive, currently sited in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, which seeks to highlight the importance of the honey bee in the food chain and their plight as a species.
Since recording the album, BE has gone on to appear at festivals including Glastonbury, Bluedot Caught by the River and End of the Road and perform sell-out shows at Kew, Sonos Studios and St Mary’s Church, in Nottingham.
The critically acclaimed “ONE” was in the best album list of 2016 of The Guardian, Rough Trade and The Quietus.
More about BE can be found by visiting www.beeandman.com.
VISUAL ART EXHIBITION: ‘SURVIVORS STORIES’
To mark the 10th anniversary of our collective F.E.E.L. (Friends of East End Loonies), are hosting the LOONIES FEST, a major diverse event to celebrate the joint work and achievements of the past decade.
We would like to invite Artists to submit their works for the group exhibition ‘SURVIVORS STORIES’.
The call is open to artists with lived psychiatric hospital/psychosis experience, as we will be celebrating past and present Survivors, patients, ex-patients, service users (whatever people prefer to be called).
The show will run between 5th to 19th September 2017.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 15th August 2017 by 5pm
PLEASE SEND SUBMISSIONS TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
FURTHER ENQUIRIES TO: email@example.com
LOONIES FEST web page http://bit.ly/2sh1Bbk
Facebook event page http://bit.ly/2vgCeEC
Please note that this series of events has been organised by the Wellcome Library, and will take place in the Reading Room at the Wellcome Collection.
Art, Power and the Asylum: exploring the Adamson Collection
What is the value of art created in the asylum? Who does it belong to and how should it be used?
Join contributors from the fields of mental health, art, libraries and ethics for a series of intimate discussions exploring value, power and identity, and shape how the Adamson Collection is framed.
The events will taking place in the Reading Room at Wellcome Collection and are drop-in events. First-come-first-seated – places are limited.
Naming the Unnamed
Tuesday 18th July, 15.00-16.00 (viewing of selected paintings, 14.00-15.00)
Should artists be named, or should they remain unnamed patients? Join Val Huet (BAAT), Michael Barham (Dramatherapist), Fiona Johnstone (Birkbeck) and Marie-France (ex- service user) to explore issues of sensitivity, identity and agency.
The ‘A’ Word
Thursday 20th July, 19.00-20.00 (viewing of selected paintings, 18.00-19.00)
Is work from the asylum art or medical record? What art history period does it fit into, if any? Join Beth Elliot (Bethlem Gallery), Marc Steene (Outside In) and Lamis Bayar (Dragon Café) to discuss how art from the asylum (and beyond) can be framed, and the value of terms such as Outsider Art and Art Brut.
Photography will be taking place during this event. Please speak to a member of staff for further information.
Read the Wellcome Library’s blog post about this event:
You can view the Adamson Collection online:
CALL OUT to fine artists/film makers, zine makers, mental health activists: Scratch the Surface Festival 2017
CALL OUT to fine artists/film makers, zine makers, mental health activists.
Is film making part of your creative practice?
*Collective//Pod are looking for submissions for ‘30seconds3minute30filmDIALOGUE‘, a ground-breaking FilmZine which will celebrate contemporary practice, capture the provocative and vanguard, and speak of the art of DIALOGUE.
Film submissions can be either 30 seconds or 3 minutes and need to be HD Resolution. Please see the technical specifications which are at the end of this call out. Work can be new or old as long as it fits the brief.
Descriptive words: Dialogue, Art Activism, Protest, Vanguard, Provocative.
A total of 30films will be selected by the panel which includes Scratch the Surface – DIALOGUE 2017 festival Ambassador British Contemporary Artist Stuart Semple and Collective//Pod. Selected films will be collated into a FilmZine by award winning film maker and associate of the Pod ‘Baileyface Productions‘.
30seconds3minute30film-DIALOGUE will be premiered at the END//BEGIN – DIALOGUE exhibition in City Arcadia Gallery on Monday October 9th 2017.
Closing date for submissions is 21st August 2017. Artists included in the film Zine will be credited in the festival program and associated publicity. Submissions need to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
30seconds3minute30filmDIALOGUE will be launched on Monday 9th October as part of Scratch the Surface- DIALOGUE festival.
*Collective//Pod is an artist collective, the members, the majority of whom have experienced severe and enduring mental ill health (bi-polar, schizophrenia, psychosis), forge relationships with local, national and international artists across creative platforms and genres.
Submissions to be sent digitally or video links from vimeo/youtube too.
HD Resolution: 1280×720 (720p, 16:9 aspect ratio) or 1920×1080 (1080p, 16×9 aspect ratio)
We cannot accept films that are not the filmmakers/artists original work, including music and audio. Submissions are free.
So how much DIALOGUE can fit into 30seconds? If you’re not applying yourself, please do share with fellow artists, activists and film makers.
Please follow the Scratch the Surface-DIALOGUE events page: DIALOGUE
The Jennifer Lauren Gallery is proud to present
Masao Obata: Drawing Happiness in Red
Launch event 21 June 2017, 6 – 8:30pm
Continues 21-25 June 2017
Dates: 21-25 June 2017
Pop-up Venue: 264 Globe Road, Bethnal Green, London, E2 0JD
Nearest tube station: Bethnal Green – Central Line
Opening times: Wednesday – Saturday 11am-6pm, Sunday 11am-4pm
“I am happiest when I am working and by working I mean drawing.”
Masao Obata (b.1943) only started drawing whilst in his residential care facility in Japan after the age of 60. Raised by his grandmother, Obata moved around many institutions before settling at Hyogo Prefecture for a longer period of time. His strong urge to create led him to source large cardboard pieces to draw on from the kitchens in his facility, as paper was not strong enough for him and he was concerned it would rip easily.
In the facility Obata could be found night after night continuously drawing often on both sides of the cardboard, completing one piece of work each night. He produced thousands of drawings before his passing in 2010, but many were disposed of by the facility that, in the beginning, had not recognised the artistic value of his work.
Often creating in red pencil, Obata stated that for him this was the colour of happiness and fulfillment. The major themes in Obata’s work include family and marriage, both of which eluded Obata during his lifetime. He did on occasions say that the works featuring a man, a woman and a child were himself and his parents, and that he missed them profusely.
Women were often depicted wearing earrings and necklaces, whilst men were known to be featured wearing ties. His drawings also featured a characteristic attention to detail when depicting genitalia in his representations of humans. Other themes included things he observed: vehicles, landscapes and plants.
This exhibition is the first by the Jennifer Lauren Gallery and the first solo exhibition for the late Masao Obata. Bringing together 15 works on cardboard, along with a film of Obata working, it is hoped that many will get to enjoy Obata’s playful works.