Katharina Fitz and Jess Price about Re-Imagine the City residency
RE-Imagine the City exhibition Launch
Thank you to everyone who came to the opening of Re-imagine the City. It was a fantastic event celebrating the launch of an exciting and thought-provoking exhibition. Our artists in residence, Jess Price and Katharina Fitz, shared their experiences of the residency programme and discussed the works they produced for the exhibition.
Katharina’s described how her work, Transformation of Spatial Relations, is influenced by the disappearance of pubs in the UK. Her work seeks to re-interpretate objects that belong to these spaces, such as taps and kegs, as momentous to a lost part of British culture. By documenting these objects, and casting them in terracotta and clay, she also creates an archive of their existence.
Jess clarified how her piece, CCCXIX-IV-XCV-XL, aims to spark conversations about homelessness in Derby, and is inspired by her research into consumerism and the prevalence of homelessness in our city. In her work, Jess uses threads to expose the number of people affected by homelessness, and the amount of ‘positive outcomes’ recorded. By presenting clusters of threads together, she highlights the discrepancy in these figures.
The evening concluded with a first look at the exhibition, an opportunity for everyone to share their thoughts, and for networking in our gallery space.
Re-imagine the City is on show until 19th August 2018 and can be visited at Artcore between 9:30am-4:30pm, Monday to Friday.
Re-Imagine the city review
Artcore’s Re-imagine the City residency was an ambitious project from the start: the artists were tasked with responding, not to a simple theme, but to urban life as a whole; exploring the ways we live and work within cities. The resulting exhibition aimed to examine social groups within cities, explore the ways in which cities change and develop, and to investigate cities in relation to the idea of a ‘utopia’.
The selected artists for the project, Jess Price and Katharina Fitz, spent two months at Artcore during which they researched and planned their works. Jess, a Derby University graduate and emerging artist, actually graduated on the same day the exhibition opened. Her work follows a similar theme to that of her degree show, and aims to expose the prevalence of homelessness in Derby. She is passionate about drawing attention to the issue of homelessness and starting conversations about it through her art. Katharina is a more established artist, she is fascinated by abandoned buildings and is particularly troubled by the recent decline of pubs in the UK. Her work memorialises objects from British pubs, such as taps and kegs.
It struck me that in looking at cities, both artists have examined ideas of displacement; either buildings without people, or people without buildings. This made me think about the idea of ‘utopia’ and its definition. A ‘utopia’ is often thought of as an idyllic or perfect place, but that is not what it really means. The confusion comes from the Greek prefix ‘Eu’ meaning ‘good’ sounding identical in English to ‘U’, meaning ‘no’. A ‘Eutopia’ would be a good place, but ‘Utopia’ in its true sense actually means ‘no place’. It is fitting then that this exhibition views cities as sites of displacement, places where buildings lay empty and disused while people sleep on the streets outside. Cities become locations of dislocation, places of ‘no place’ where people have nowhere to go, and once thriving social spaces have no one to visit them.
Jess’ exhibited work is titled CCCXIX-IV-XCV-XL, the numbers refer to statistics she gathered about homelessness in our city. Her work uses construction materials, like bricks and white paint, as they are materials we often take for granted. The number of bricks and threads in her work refer to the same statistics as her title, with the 319 threads left of the bricks representing the amount of individuals who made use of the homelessness shelter over winter. This mass of threads contrasts to
the 90 threads on the right, symbolising the number of ‘positive outcomes’ recorded from these cases. I was lucky enough to attend the Launch event on the evening of the 19th July, and heard many groups discussing Jess’ work and talking about homelessness and how it can be tackled. Their conclusions were mirrored by her work; giving people houses isn’t a perfect solution, as there are so many other fragile threads that cause an individual to enter and re-enter the cycle of homelessness.
Katharina’s installation is titled Transformation of Spatial Relations, it aims to explore the interconnectedness of pubs in the UK, and what their decline means for the British population. Katharina sees pubs as places where people from all backgrounds and cultures can meet and socialise and is concerned that their decline inhibits socialisation and integration. By casting a beer keg in clay, Katharina creates a monument to pub culture. But this monument is fragile, unlike a bronze or iron sculpture; it would shatter if disturbed or knocked from its pedestal. By taking casts from taps, kegs, and the paraphernalia of British pubs, Katharina builds an archive of material pertaining to Public Houses in the UK. Her work not only mourns the loss of urban spaces, it documents their disappearance.
Whilst visiting Re-imagine the City I was amazed at how well the two installations went together, both thematically and aesthetically. The colours used by the two artists, deep reds and oranges contrasting with bright whites, are almost identical. The materials too are similar; both artists see the act of creating a work as part of the finished product, and the materiality of their creative processes can be seen so clearly in the exhibition.
This thought-provoking exhibition is not just the result of two artists working on separate projects; it is the result of artistic collaboration and exploration. From working so closely together in the Artcore studio, Katharina and Jess have learned from each other and inspired each other’s practice. Artcore’s residencies are not just an opportunity for artists to get free studio space, a bursary, and to exhibit their work; but are also a way to connect with other artists and to learn and develop from working closely with other creatives. This creative connection can be seen in Re-imagine the City; it’s wonderful to see two artists with very different backgrounds inspiring each other in such a tangible way.
Re-imagine the City is on display until Sunday 19th August and is well worth a visit, it is open 9:30am-4:30pm, Monday to Friday.
In the city and in-between – Artist Talk by Joanne Lee at Artcore
Joanne Lee is an artist, writer and publisher of the Pam Flett Press, a serial publication essaying aspects of everyday life. Her work frequently investigates specific sites through writing and photography. Projects have included Vague terrain, an edition of the Pam Flett Press attending to edgelands and interstices; an audio-visual essay, The good place that is no place, which explored ideas of home, belonging, sanctuary and high rise living from the perspective of Grimsby’s East Marsh; General waste, a photographic series focusing on a variety of littered landscapes in Britain; and Neepsend sequence, which resulted from repeatedly walking Sheffield’s urban lanes. She is currently developing new work from Returns, a residency considering post-industrial landscapes in Stoke-on-Trent, which will be shown in the city’s Airspace Gallery in late 2018. Publications include ‘Vaguely Northern: In between in England’, a chapter for the book Northern Light: Landscape, Photography and Evocations of the North (Transcript Verlag, 2018) and ‘Force yourself to see more flatly: a photographic investigation of the infra-ordinary’ for Georges Perec’s Geographies; Perecquian Geographies (forthcoming, UCL Press) She is Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Institute of Arts.
For this event Joanne Lee will be in conversation with Katharina Fitz and Jess Price, two artists in residence for Re-Imagine the city.
Join us on the 5th July at Artcore 11am-1pm.
Registrations open at 10.30am
Free. To confirm your attendance please RSPV to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artist Talks are part of Artcore residency programme throughout the 2018-2019 .
Artist selected announcement
Artcore is delighted to announce Katharina Fitz and Jess Price as the two artists selected for Re-imagine the City, a two months residency focusing on learning from the city and use of public space. The project aims to explore the issues that shape the city. The artists selected will work with local communities to map, re-imagine and influence the places where we live and work.
Katharina Fitz is a Nottigham based artist whose work focuses mainly on conceptual photography as well as sculpture. Since 2016 she has introduced different mediums such as casting, mould making, woodwork and ceramics into her practice. She is concerned with subjects surrounding urban sociology showing the structures, processes, phenomenon, and problems that are part of urban life and human interactions with a special interest in shared memory and social and cultural aspects of life.
she classifies objects into groups in order to appreciate their characteristics and reflect upon their narratives. Therefore repetition and the interconnections between object and subject play an important role in her practice. Her work is characterized by an objective and conceptual line following clear structures.
To find out more about Katharina Fitz, please visit: www.katharinafitz.com
Jess Price is a Derby based artist whose practice gravitates towards addressing political themes more and more. She is especially interested in how politics is portrayed in art. When looking at political artists she has found their views have been shown either aggressively obvious or subtly hidden within a piece. She is finding the balance between telling the audience my ideas and keeping the piece itself open to interpretation.
One way she likes to guide her audience towards her concepts is in her use of materials. She chooses to create sculptures that combine materials that everyone can recognise as a necessity.
In her work, she aims to highlight unspoken current affairs and bring them to the attention of the general public in a format they would find more engaging than their usual news sources.
Working around these unspoken issues, she also likes to reflect on the ideas of cause and effect and how we are controlled in what we do, see and know.
To find out more about Jess Price, please visit: https://jesspricefineart.wixsite.com/jessprice
- Residency dates:15/05/2018 to 10/07/2018
- Exhibition dates: 19/07/2018 to 19/08/2018