14 April 2020
From 7–19 April 2020, Open House artists in residence for 2019-20, Wright & Vandame, were scheduled to host a display and series of events in the Ede Room at Kettle’s Yard, which celebrated and reflected upon the outcome of their year-long residency, Meeting Ground. Unfortunately, this display is unable to be realised in its original form due to the temporary closure of Kettle’s Yard in light of government advice responding to the Coronavirus pandemic.
We are delighted to invite Wright & Vandame to instead share their experience of collaborating with North Cambridge communities through our blog and social media platforms. Wright & Vandame will host a take-over of Kettle’s Yard’s Instagram feed from 17 – 19 April 2020, reimagine their meditation and artist talk events on Kettle’s Yard Facebook page on Saturday 18 April and share their thoughts, experiences and artworks through the Kettle’s Yard blog over the course of the week.
“Sky is the meeting ground for what art & world desire.” – Jack Goldstein
It’s been one year and it is with great pride and joy that we bring our artist residency with Open House at Kettle’s Yard to a close. It’s been an intense and challenging year of growth, learning, and new possibilities for our practice. To summarise everything we’ve done, every small detail and rich anecdote, in just a few words seems almost impossible.
When we pitched our proposal for Open House in Spring 2019, we expressed an interest in two key themes: space and wellbeing. Mental health affects everyone and it is mostly common knowledge that one in four people suffers from a mental health related problem. We first explored these ideas in our first project, an exhibition for fig-2 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London in 2015, where we transformed the gallery into a free gym with works of art and exercise classes taught by trainers and artists. While ideas of wellness and wellbeing were put on hold, we spent the subsequent five years focusing on ideas of space and community. Who owns space? How can people take ownership of space – a gallery, a cafe, or a playground – and express their individual or collective identity?
To break things down, we decided to split this project into a series of six blog posts which explore individual parts of the residency including our research and development, the final outcome – a two-week takeover and transformation of the local Nun’s Way Pavilion in February 2020 featuring 48 live events, a sky film, three sound pieces, and an exhibition of sky-inspired artworks by local artists – and things we’ve learned along the way.
It’s been our most ambitious project in a number of ways: working collaboratively between ourselves, the art institution, an outstanding team of artist facilitators, and over 3,000 people from the community. No easy task. We hope you enjoy reading and learning about our adventures in North Cambridge. Now, come along for the journey!
Josh & Guillaume