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.
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.
Siris Hill is a self-taught artist whose creative practice is centred around Renaissance and Baroque inspired figurative painting. His work explores the effects of mental illness and other psychological conditions of the mind on an individual. Focusing on the struggle of perception, he depicts the beauty of individuality, but the strongest message is the struggle of trying to live. Siris is a digital fine artist, replicating the textures and movement of oil and acrylic paint.
“I’m Siris Hill. I’m 27. I have suffered from anxiety and depression since my late teens, and, have become somewhat agoraphobic due to the anxiety, which makes it difficult to network with other people. I sometimes find it difficult to share my work. This is caused by past rejection, anxiety about approaching people, and not feeling good enough.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at birth. I practically lived in hospitals until the age of fifteen when I decided I was sick of them mistreating me. I stopped taking my medication, and have been physically healthy ever since, although I began getting anxiety attacks due to the trauma of my childhood.
I started painting 4 years ago, as a way to relax. Since then it has become a form of meditation for me. I am self-taught and my work portrays the raw feelings and emotions felt living with mental illnesses. It might be difficult for a person living without a mental illness to understand what it’s like for me – I often feel frustrated and isolated.
I love oil painting, but I’m unable to use it due to the fumes and certain materials triggering my anxiety. I taught myself to replicate techniques of Renaissance painters such as Rembrandt. Due to the advancements in technology I’m able to replicate traditional painting almost exactly, the only difference is drying times between layers.
I use a graphics tablet which tracks the movement of a pen that I hold to paint so my hand movements are then replicated on the screen. Other than that my process is almost exactly like Rembrandt’s, from what I’ve gathered through research at least. I build up a rough sketch to find a composition, fill in light and shadows, work in black and white to realise my forms and then glaze colours on top (although sometimes I work with colour straight away).
Painting is my way of expressing what I can’t talk about. My art may seem dark, but, I feel it reflects the reality other people like me live with day to day.”
To see more of Siris Hill’s work, please visit his website, www.sirishill.co.uk/, Instragram, and Facebook profiles. Siris recently exhibited with ten other artists living with mental ill health. Their self-curated show, Absence, can be viewed online, here.
Ana Pallares, born in Barcelona in 1993, is a self-taught artist, whose practice reflects on pain, death and other intangible realities which all too often occur with little reason.
Ana says, “I strive to find, and attach, new meanings to these realities, hoping to present them in a healthier, more manageable way – ultimately aiming to turn destructive feelings into constructive action.”
She also portrays characters that she is intellectually, emotionally or sexually attracted to. She has exhibited in Barcelona, Madrid and London, at The Hundred Years Gallery, The Brick Lane Gallery, Lacey Contemporary, Walton Fine Arts and the Illustrated Art Fair, 2016.
Ana’s first solo shows appeared in London last year, at The Hundred Years Gallery and Ziferblat. She has occasionally worked as an illustrator for digital culture magazines.
“TRAGICOMEDY” BY ANA PALLARES
In this online exhibition you will find a collection of works that Ana Pallares created between 2015 and 2016. The works were done using Posca markers and acrylic paints on paper or linen.
Universe with its galaxies.
Galaxies with their planets.
Planets with their countries.
Countries with their cities.
Cities with their humans.
Humans with their problems.
Problems with their causes.
Causes with their context.
Ana Pallares with all these stuff inside her head to she’s getting crazy because she has a universe on her mind.
See more from Ana at her Tumblr site, Instagram and Facebook profiles. If you would like to contact Ana, you can do so, here.
Images below from Ana Pallares solo show at The Hundred Years Gallery.
The Horsfall Micro Commissions 2017-18
Deadline Friday 5th May 2017
Applications are invited from artists and creative practitioners working in any art form for the 2017/18 Micro Commissions Programme with The Horsfall at 42nd Street.
The Micro Commission programme is a research and development opportunity for creative practitioners working across any art form. Designed to foster experimentation and innovation in creative practice within the realms of young people’s mental health and wellbeing, Micro Commissions enable practitioners to engage with an established mental health charity with its own creative programme and dedicated creative venue; The Horsfall.
We invite applications from creative practitioners from any discipline who wish to explore one of the following:
– The intersections of their practice with young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
– How the history of The Ancoats Art Museum or 87 Great Ancoats Street (the site of The Horsfall) can inspire and inform our arts and mental health practice at The Horsfall (resources are currently being curated into an online collection and can be supplied upon request).
– Ruskin/Horsfall’s vision for Useful and Beautiful art and how this can be reflected in arts and wellbeing work with young people at The Horsfall.
– The natural world in the urban environment and its relationship to young people and mental wellbeing.
You can download the full application guidelines PDF here: The Horsfall Micro Commissions Application Guidelines 2017
About 42nd Street
42nd Street is an innovative Greater Manchester mental health charity committed to supporting young people aged 11-25 years with their emotional well-being and mental health, promoting choice and creativity. With an excellent 35 year reputation, our unique holistic service model combines therapeutic psychological interventions with advocacy and social care. We reach 2000 young people each year via individual therapeutic support, projects and activities, leadership, peer research and a creative programme.
About The Horsfall
The Horsfall is a new venue and creative programme for Manchester, dedicated to improving young people’s mental health and wellbeing and the opening programme of projects, workshops and events will see artists, makers and heritage experts working with young people to reinterpret stories from the past, interrogate their own stories and to imagine new futures.
About the Micro Commissions
The Micro Commissions will be reserved for practitioners who are 35 years of age or under on 1st May 2017.
As this commission programme is conceived as a period of research, testing and experimentation, the only set public outcome is a presentation or sharing about your commission for an audience to be determined by The Horsfall team (including young people and the Creative Producer) and the commission holder.
As well as having access to one floor of The Horsfall for the equivalent of one week, commission holders will have access to 42nd St staff and their expertise in the field of young people and mental health.
It is not necessary for the applicant to consider or plan any direct delivery with young people during the commission period, although we do welcome applications that consider the involvement of young people in some way.
The Horsfall is based in central Manchester and easily accessible by public transport. The building consists of three floors and either the ground or first floors are potentially available for the commission. The ground floor is fully accessible.
There are two Micro Residencies in 2017 each lasting approximately one week. This can be a block of time or individual days taken over an extended period. Commission holders will receive:
– £500 expenses
– Workspace at The Horsfall
– Support from the Horsfall programme team (creative producer, engagement officer and communications officer)
– Access to support and information from mental health practitioners as necessary and where possible.
Chosen practitioners must have a current DBS at the time of taking up the micro commission. 42nd Street is able to assist in this process if necessary.
How to apply:
Please send the following:
– A one-page statement outlining your practice, your interest in the Commission, and how it will benefit one or more of the following:
– Your work
– Young people
– The Horsfall
– 42nd Street
– Your CV
– Supporting material – This must be in the form of a pdf containing up to 8 images and no larger than 10mb in size. You can include links to work online and your website within this document. If you want to include moving image/sound work in your application please include links to your work online.
There are two commission time slots. These will be confirmed by mutual agreement with the chosen candidates and will be between June 2017 and January 2018.
If you have any further questions about any aspect of the application please feel free to e-mail Julie.McCarthy@42ndstreet.org.uk. Please send applications by e-mail to Julie.McCarthy@42ndstreet.org.uk.
Selection Panels and Timescales
The Micro Commission panel is chaired by Julie McCarthy, Creative Producer for The Horsfall at 42nd Street. The rest of the panel is made up of:
– Two young people from the Creative Agents group at The Horsfall
– A representative from The Kim Lindfield Trust
The deadline for submissions is Friday 5th May at 12 midday.
Successful candidate will be notified by Friday 12th May.
This opportunity is open to creative practitioners working in any discipline at any stage of their
career. The commissions are reserved for practitioners aged 35 years or under on 1st May 2017.
Students in full time education are ineligible to apply.
We regret that we are unable to provide feedback on unsuccessful applications.
all words and artwork, ©Derek Collins. If you would like to get in touch with Derek, please email us.