Fused has just been to the new Eastside Projects space to take a sneak preview. At the moment it is empty apart from the amazing structure that will be used as office space. Gallery Director Gavin Wade explains a little more:
“Pleasure Island was first commissioned for the Wales Pavillion at the Venice Biennale, and the structure is 1 of 2, the other built in the artists Wood near Barmouth where Heather & Ivan Morison live and will be converting the wood into an arboretum over the next 40 or so years! so they cut down the trees on their land and then produced Pleasure Island and Fantasy Island, named after fairground style attractions on east and west coasts of england. The structures emerged out of early discussions and plans that I made with Heather & Ivan when they asked me to come and work with them on designing a building for their wood and they developed it further. Heather & Ivan are planning a puppet show for the opening night in Pleasure Island which will further extend the fiction of the building and its new home and function within an artist run space in Birmingham.”
Gavin and the rest of the board of directors (Simon & Tom Bloor / Ruth Claxton / Celine Condorelli / James Langdon) have some very exciting plans for the space over the next 3 years. There will be a host of amazing artists exhibiting from all over the world as you can see by their vision statement here:
Eastside Projects is artist run space as incubator of new ideas and forms for the City of Birmingham and beyond. Eastside Projects proposes the development of a new type of physical space for the gallery, a complex evolving programme of commissioned works and events based on radical historical positions and a new gallery spatial identity providing vital distinctive features to the area. Eastside Projects in partnership with Birmingham City University is revenue funded by Arts Council England West Midlands and aims to commission and present experimental contemporary art practices and exhibitions boosting confidence in the cultural activity of the city both inside and out.
The programme would present the work of challenging and dynamic emerging artists as well as more established practices aiming to expand the growing critical regional arts audience and encourage new audiences within Eastside itself, Birmingham and the region; it would also strive to achieve an influential position within the UK and Europe’s thriving art world. Eastside Projects will be a space for collaboration, dialogue and exchange aiming to examine contemporary society and the conditions of artistic production by confronting existing artistic and curatorial practices. Through links with like minded institutions Eastside Projects would aim to contribute to the support network and infrastructure of visual arts practice in the UK.
Eastside projects will promote the idea of art as an important form of alternative knowledge production. The space and programme would offer a tool for the comprehension of contemporary visual culture and the immediate context of the development of Eastside and engage with the role and function of art within the urban environment.
The first show will open towards the end of May and will include: Marc Bijl, Chen Shaoxiong, Spartacus Chetwynd & Marte Eknaes, Bill Drummond, Peter Fend, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Liam Gillick, Joseph Hallam, Matthew Harrison, ISAN, Ben Kinmont, Kelly Large, Heather & Ivan Morison, Mithu Sen, Support Structure, Mark Titchner, Laureana Toledo, Lawrence Weiner.