Breaking New Ground

Barby Asante is an artist, curator and researcher based in London and Amsterdam. Her work creates situations and spaces for dialogue, collective thinking, ritual and reenactment. Using archival material in the broadest sense, she is interested in breaking down the language of archive, not to insert or present alternatives to dominant narratives but to interrupt, interrogate and explore the effects and possibilities of the unheard and the missing. Over the last 20 years of artistic action she has created projects that have explored, liveness, performativity and sociability, to think about issues of place, identity and belonging, critically reflecting on race and social justice. Coming from the feminist position of the personal is political Barby’s artistic journey travels through her own experience of coming from a Ghanaian migrant family growing up in the UK, institutional interventions, working with people, thinking about ways to create/ occupy space, unearth un-constituted archives and un-accredited knowledges to articulate perspectives that reflect on the histories and legacies of slavery and colonialism that inform our present.

Barby has shown work and developed projects nationally and internationally. Her work has been included in Untitled, New Art Exchange, Nottingham (2017); The Diaspora Pavilion, Palazzo Pisano Santa Marina, Venice (2017); Who’s Urban Appropriation is This? TENT, Rotterdam (2017); and Starless Midnight, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts, Gateshead (2017/18). Her on going project, As Always a Painful Declaration of Independence: For Ama. For Aba. For Charlotte and Adjoa, brings together groups of womxn of colour, to explore social, cultural and political agency, through collective actions that attempt to collect and tell stories of living and forgotten womxn and the everyday political actions that do not get articulated in narratives of social, political and cultural change. The project is developed in a series of chapters, with new chapters being presented as part of And Still I Rise, Nottingham Contemporary and at BALTIC Centre of Contemporary Arts in 2019. Barby is also a PhD Candidate, CREAM University of Westminster, co founder of the collaborative project, agency for agency and on the advisory board for the Women’s Art Library.

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Becky Beasley is a Paul Hamlyn Artist Award recipient (2018) who has participated in numerous international exhibitions, among them Towner Gallery, South London Gallery, Leeds City Gallery, Spike Island, Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, Tate Britain, Whitworth, Bluecoat, Walker Art Gallery, Whitechapel Gallery. She received a late autism diagnosis in 2021 and is a passionate advocate for female neurodiversity in the Arts, as well as hormonal health self-care. She is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London and is represented internationally by Galeria Plan B, Berlin and Francesca Minini Gallery, Milan.

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Mel Brimfield’s diverse interdisciplinary and collaborative practice is rooted in scripted performance, incorporating live work, moving image, staged audio, installation, photography and drawing. The formulation of innovative co-production partnerships amongst multiple institutions, agencies and community groups representing a broad spread of disciplines is central to her approach, as are a series of rolling collaborative relationships with a diverse range of performance practitioners. She received a BA from Bath Spa University and an MA from Chelsea College of Arts, UAL.

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Louisa Buck is a writer and broadcaster on contemporary art. She is a Contributing Editor and London Contemporary Art Correspondent for The Art Newspaper and a regular reviewer and commentator on BBC radio and TV. Her articles have appeared in publications ranging from the Guardian and Vogue to Frieze and Artforum. She is the author of a number of catalogue essays for institutions including Tate, Whitechapel Gallery, ICA London, MCA Australia and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Her books include Moving Targets 2: A User’s Guide to British Art Now (Tate 2000); Market Matters: The Dynamics of the Contemporary Art Market (Arts Council England 2004) and Owning Art: The Contemporary Art Collector’s Handbook (co-authored with Judith Greer) (Cultureshock Media 2006). Commissioning Contemporary Art : A Handbook for Curators, Collectors and Artists was published by Thames & Hudson in October 2012 and in 2016 she authored ‘The Going Public Report’ commissioned by Museums Sheffield. Louisa was a judge for the 2005 Turner Prize and is a founding member of The Gallery Climate Coalition.

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Annabel Dover is an artist and lecturer, who works across a variety of media including painting, photography, video, drawing and cyanotype. She has a BA in Fine Art from Newcastle University,; MA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, London; PGCE in Art and Design from University of Cambridge, and a PhD from UAL looking at the unknown biography of the Victorian photographer Anna Atkins. The forthcoming novel will be published in May 2021. 

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Dr Althea Greenan works in Special Collections and Archives at Goldsmiths University of London and curates the Women’s Art Library (WAL) collection there. Her work with the collection began in 1989 as a volunteer with the Women Artists Slide Library, the artists’ organization that became the Women’s Art Library in 1993. She remained with the collection when it was gifted to the Library at Goldsmiths University of London. She works with artists and academic researchers to help realise new projects based on the Women’s Art Library collection, in particular those that position the collection in contemporary practices. She has written on the work of women artists since the 1980s and her doctoral research at the University of Brighton considers the Women’s Art Library slide collection as a feminist post-digital space. She has published reviews, interviews and creative pieces in a range of publications from art magazines to academic journals.

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Nadia Hebson is an artist and lecturer. She works across painting, objects, large scale prints, apparel and text through subjective biography most recently exploring the expanded legacy of American painter Christina Ramberg. Hebson studied at Central St Martins and the Royal Academy Schools and is senior Lecturer in Painting at the Royal Institute of Art Stockholm. Exhibitions and commissions include Gravidity & Parity &, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne; one on one: on skills, The Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, EKKM, Tallin; I See You Man, Gallery Celine, Glasgow and Alpha Adieu, Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, M HKA. In 2014 with AND Public she published MODA WK: work in response to the paintings, drawings, correspondence, clothing and interior design of Winifred Knights (an expanded legacy). In 2017 with Dr Hana Leaper she co-convened the conference, Making Womens Art Matter at the Paul Mellon Centre, London.  Currently Dorich House Museum Artist in Residence she has been working remotely throughout 2020 and her contribution to Dora Volume one can be read here:

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Jennifer Higgie is an Australian writer who lives in London. Her latest book is The Mirror and the Palette: 500 Years of Women’s Self-Portraits; her new book, The Other Side: A Journey into Women, Art and the Spirit World will be released in February 2023.

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Juliet Jacques is a writer, filmmaker, broadcaster and academic based in London. She has published four books, including Trans: A Memoir (2015) and a short story collection, Variations (2021). Her fiction, journalism and essays have appeared in the Guardian (including her ‘Transgender Journey’ column, longlisted for the Orwell Prize in 2011), New York Times, Frieze, London Review of Books and many other publications; her short films have screened in galleries and festivals across the world. She also teaches at the Royal College of Art and elsewhere, and hosted the arts discussion programme Suite (212) on Resonance 104.4fm. She also plays football for Clapton Community FC women and the Surrey representative team.

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Laura Lancaster’s practice uses painting to re-contextualise found anonymous analogue imagery, unlocking the latent psychological charge of potentially mundane subjects. Through paint handling, shifts in scale and obfuscation these images take on otherworldly uncanny qualities. In this ambiguous liminal space the slippage of the meaning and identity of the subject is explored and manipulated. Lancaster graduated from Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne and lives and Works Newcastle Upon Tyne. Her work is held in public and private in the UK and internationally.

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Cathy Lomax is a London based artist and winner of the 2016 Contemporary British Painting Prize. On completing a MA in Fine Art at Central St Martins in 2002 she set up Transition Gallery in East London. She also edits two art and culture magazines, Arty and Garageland. In 2016 Lomax started a PhD at Queen Mary University of London, researching the role of makeup in the creation of the female film-star image. Her artwork assimilates the seductive imagery of film, fame and fashion and juxtaposes it with personal narratives and the everyday. Her resulting paintings and installations play with history by combining influences from disparate sources to form new groupings and categories.

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Paula MacArthur is a painter, BA Painting Tutor at OCA and current Chair of the artist-led group Contemporary British Painting. She trained at The Royal Academy Schools where she was awarded the RA Schools Prize for Painting and now works from her studio in Rye, East Sussex. She has also been a prizewinner at John Moore’s Painting Prize and the NPG Portrait Award. Her work is held in collections around the world.

Solo exhibitions include Still Light at Rye Art Gallery (2022), Verse at Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sevenoaks (2018) & Infinitely Precious Things at VJB Arts London (2015). 

Recent group exhibitions include Love, Celebration & the Road Ahead at TJ Boulting, Once Upon an Instant at HTW Berlin, A Generous Space at Hastings Contemporary and New Art Gallery Walsall, she has also exhibited at National Museum Gdańsk, Jiangsu Museum of Art China, Kuhlhaus Berlin, ArtHelix Brooklyn and Compton Verney.

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Jade Montserrat was the recipient of the Stuart Hall Foundation Scholarship supporting her PhD (via MPhil) at IBAR, UCLan,  (Race and Representation in Northern Britain in the context of the Black Atlantic: A Creative Practice Project) and the development of her work from her Black diasporic perspective in the North of England. She was also awarded one of two Jerwood Student Drawing Prizes in 2017 for No Need for Clothing, a documentary photograph of a drawing installation at Cooper Gallery DJCAD by Jacquetta Clark. Jade’s Rainbow Tribe project – a combination of historical and contemporary manifestations of Black Culture from the perspective of the Black Diaspora is central to the ways she is producing a body of work, including No Need For Clothing and its iterations, as well as her performance work Revue. Jade was commissioned to present Revue as a 24 hour live performance at SPILL Festival of Performance, October 2018, a solo exhibition at The Bluecoat, Liverpool, (November – March 2019) which toured to Humber Street Gallery (July – September 2019) and was commissioned by Art on the Underground to create the 2018 Winter Night Tube cover. In 2020, Iniva and Manchester Art Gallery commissioned Jade as the first artist for the Future Collect project, with a solo exhibition Constellations: Care and Resistance at Manchester Art Gallery (2020 – 2022). In 2021, Jade participated in a group exhibition titled An Infinity of Traces at Lisson Gallery, and opened a solo exhibition titled In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens at Bosse & Baum Gallery, both in London. In 2022, Jade was included in the group exhibition Body Vessel Clay (curated by Dr. Jareh Das) at Two Temple Place, London, travelling to York Art Gallery.

The following publications are relevant to Jade’s conversation with Louisa Buck: 

A Reimagining of Relations, as part of her Future Collect commission with iniva and Manchester Art Gallery.

Tender Order by Jade Montserrat with Jane Lawson and Industria.

In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, Jade’s solo show at Bosse and Baum in 2021. 

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Eleanor Moreton studied painting at Exeter College of Art and Chelsea College of Art, and Art History and Theory at the University of Central England. Her work explores ideas around gender, sexuality, love, psychological theories, and history. She also appears from time to time as a musician and musicians often feature in her paintings. Her solo show A Cold Wind From The Mountains at the Phoenix Exeter in 2017, was recently included in the Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting by Matt Price (Anomie, 2018). Other solo shows include the Ceri Hand Gallery in Liverpool and in London, Canal, London and Jack Hanley, New York. She has taken part in group exhibition in the UK and abroad. She was a Durham Cathedral Artist in Residence. Her work also features in Picturing People by Charlotte Mullins (Thames and Hudson 2015).

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Laura Moreton-Griffiths is an artist, writer and curator working in London. She works through performance, drawing, painting, film, installation, sculpture, print and text – storytelling for positive change. Alongside her studio practice, she curates, teaches, writes and programmes artist talks. Studies include: Royal College of Art, MA Contemporary Art Practice, Critical Practice; The Royal Drawing School Drawing Intensive Scholarship Programme; Turps Correspondence Course; Camberwell College of Arts BA Painting; Interactive Multimedia at the ARTEC; Foundation at St Martins School of Art.  Her work is held in private collections in the UK and internationally.

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Louise O’Kelly is an independent curator based in London. In 2015 she founded Block Universe, London’s leading international performance art festival and commissioning body, with the mission to create a platform and support structure for a new generation of interdisciplinary artists working with performance. Commissions and international premieres have been held in major institutions, theatres and offsite locations across London. In 2019 Block Universe expanded internationally to present programmes in Italy, the UAE and Germany, and in 2020 organised a week-long virtual festival.

O’Kelly regularly speaks in relation to contemporary art and performance, and has delivered lectures, talks, short courses and contributed to panel discussions at the invitation of universities and institutions across the UK and internationally. She sat on the committee for a UK-wide Live Art Sector Review in partnership with LADA and Arts Council England (2019-2021), and inaugurated the Performance Research Network with founding members Liverpool Biennial and Glasgow International, supported by Art Fund (2021). She is currently an Associate Researcher for Precarious Movements: Choreography and the
Museum, a partnership between Australian museums and Tate, contributing towards their forthcoming publication.

Since 2012, she is Artforum’s representative in the UK, managing relationships with galleries and institutions across the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Australia & New Zealand.

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Sally O’Reilly writes for performance, page and video, interleaving academic research and technical knowledges with the comic, the fantastical and the psycho-social. Besides contributing to several art magazines and numerous exhibition catalogues, she has written the novel Crude (Eros Press, 2016), the libretto for the opera The Virtues of Things (Royal Opera, Aldeburgh Music, Opera North, 2015), a monograph on Mark Wallinger (Tate Publishing, 2015) and The Body in Contemporary Art (Thames & Hudson, 2009). She was writer in residence at the Whitechapel Art Gallery (2010–11) and at Modern Art Oxford (2016); producer and co-writer of The Last of the Red Wine, a radio sitcom set in the art world (ICA, London, 2011), and co-editor of Implicasphere (2003–8), an interdisciplinary broadsheet.

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Irini Papadimitriou is a curator and cultural manager, whose practice draws on interdisciplinary and critical discourse to explore the impact of technology in society and culture, and the role of art in helping us engage with contemporary challenges. Currently Creative Director at FutureEverything, an innovation lab and arts organisation in Manchester, she was previously Digital Programmes Manager at the V&A, where she initiated and curated the annual Digital Design Weekend festival and Digital Futures programmes; and Head of New Media Arts Development at Watermans. Her exhibition, Artificially Intelligent, was on display at the V&A in 2018 exploring our complex relationships with technology, invisible technological infrastructures and boundaries of humanness. She has been a co-curator for the Arts & Culture experience at Mozilla Festival, with the most recent project ‘Trustworthy AI: Imagining Better Machine Decision Making’ in October 2019. She is a co-founder of Maker Assembly, a critical gathering about maker culture, and an Associate at IWM Institute. Irini has been a recipient of curatorial research programmes including MOBIUS (Finnish Institute), Art Fund, Mondriaan Fonds and British Council, and has served as a jury member for Prix Ars Electronica, Lumen Prize, EU STARTS and ACM Siggraph.

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Erika Tan’s practice as artist, lecturer and curator is primarily research-led and manifests in multiple formats: moving image, publications, curatorial and participatory projects. Recent research has focused on the postcolonial and transnational, working with archival artefacts, exhibition histories, received narratives, contested heritage, subjugated voices and the transnational movement of ideas, people and objects. Future projects point towards the digitization of collective cultural memory and cloud architecture through the prism of ruins, hauntings, and mnemonic collapse. Tan’s work has been exhibited, collected and commissioned internationally including: The Diaspora Pavilion (Venice Biennale 2017); Artist and Empire (Tate Touring, National Gallery Singapore 2016/7); Come Cannibalise Us, Why Don’t You (NUS Museum, Singapore 2014); There Is No Road (LABoral, Spain 2010); Thermocline of Art (ZKM, Germany 2007); Around The World in Eighty Days (South London Gallery / ICA 2007); The Singapore Biennale (2006); Cities on the Move (Hayward Gallery, London). Recent curatorial project: Sonic Soundings/Venice Trajectories www.sonicsoundings.com.

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Nye Thompson is an artist turned software designer turned artist. She creates data-generating artist software systems to explore new technology paradigms, and has a particular interest in the machinic gaze and its underlying power dynamics. Her recent creation The Seeker is a Demiurge AI, a network-based entity, which travels the globe virtually. It looks out onto our world and describes its visions. She has exhibited around the UK, Europe and the Far East, including Tate Modern, The Barbican, The V&A, ZKM Karlsruhe, Ars Electronica and The Lowry. Her first solo show Backdoored.io – described by C4 News as “too shocking to broadcast” – became global clickbait and triggered an international government complaint. Her work has been featured on BBC, C4, CNN Hong Kong, the Guardian and Wired, and she was guest presenter on BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Art of Now: Surveillance’. She was the recipient of an Arts Council England G4A award in 2017, a British Council/ACE travel award in 2018, and an Arts Council England Projects Grant award in 2019. She was a Lumen Prize finalist in 2018 & 2019, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Rapoport Award for Women in Art and Technology. Her work was recently acquired for the V&A Museum’s permanent collection.

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Emily Whitebread works across diverse media, ranging from performance and video work to written publications. Her practice investigates, breaks down and reimagines utopian futures as proposed by architects, social policy makers, technologists and scientists. She is Co-Director of Well Projects C.I.C., an artist-led gallery and publishers, print studio and music practice space in Margate. Emily is an alumni of Open School East (2017) and former artist in residence of Museo Leonora Carrington de San Luis Potosí (2018). Currently in recipient of a Developing Your Creative Practice Grant by Arts Council England researching sustainable and ecological analogue photography techniques.