Dialogues 5 artists & MDP team, 2018 | Image: Mark Devereux Projects
  • Dialogues 5

Course Info

Dialogues 5 was an 8-month project providing tailored critique and mentoring for five visual artists. Selected from a national open call application process, Mark Devereux Projects worked with Shaun C Badham, Holly Davey, Hannah Leighton-Boyce, Hollie Miller and Amy & Oliver Thomas-Irvine across the duration of the project.


Start Date:

End Date:

Clayhill Arts

Clayhill Farm
Charlynch Lane
Bridgwater, TA5 2PH
Course programme

Dialogues 5 consisted of three core stages:

Creative retreat at Clayhill Arts, Somerset | June 2018
The five selected artists spent four days dissecting, questioning and enhancing their artist voices through critical conversation and collaborative learning led by the Mark Devereux Projects team.

Dialogues | June – December 2018
Following the retreat, each artist was carefully matched with specialist curatorial mentor actively working within the sector, receiving one 3-hour studio visit and one 1-hour Skype follow-up session. Curatorial mentors included; Fiona Bradley (Director, Fruitmarket Gallery), Katie Hickman (Curator, BALTIC), David Kefford & Sarah Evans (Aid & Abet), Claire Mander (Director, theCoLAB) and Nathaniel Pitt (Director, Division of Labour). The participating artists received ongoing critique, studio visits and mentoring from the Mark Devereux Projects team throughout the programme.

Dialogues 5 at The NewBridge Project: Gateshead | November 2018
The project culminated in a group exhibition at The NewBridge Project: Gateshead featuring new and experimental work by the  artists. Click here for further information…

Participating Artists

Shaun C Badham | www.shauncbadham.com

Shaun C Badham has spent much of the last 4 years working exclusively on two long-term projects, I’M STAYING and MORNING. Manifested from an accident impairing his vision, the artist moved back to his hometown. During this time of re-engaging with his surroundings he encountered an abandoned set of climbing frames in his local park. Interested in their histories and stories, Badham began drawing and photographing them, using this process as a tool to recalibrate his depth perception and adjust to his new vision. As his fascination with the site grew, it extended into a research-led site-specific project, investigating the correlation between these climbing frames (designed in the 1970s), with the area’s inclusion within the Basildon New Town experiment. Considering this vast history, the artist set out to save and restore the park’s heritage climbing frames, giving them a new lease of life.

Shaun C Badham lives in Essex and graduated in 2017 from the MFA at Goldsmiths, University of London. His long-term projects I’M STAYING and MORNING have both been presented nationally. MORNING has included MORNING Victoria Park and King Edward Centre, 2016, MORNING Publication Launch at Focal Point Gallery, 2016; MORNING Moon Probe Launch, 2017; MORNING MFA Degree Show, 2017; group show Togetherness: Notes on Outrage, South Kiosk presented at Kestle Barton, Cornwall, 2017 and The Plotlanders, Back Lane West, Cornwall, 2018. I’M STAYING has included I’M STAYING Survey Paintings (solo show) at Annka Kultys Gallery, 2016 and I’M STAYING neon at The Old Bookshop, 2016; The Island, 2016; Hamilton House, 2015; Knowle West Media Centre, 2015; Redgrave Theatre, 2015; Bristol Folkhouse (Bristol Biennial 2014) and Arnolfini, 2014. I’M STAYING is part of Sculpture in the City, London 2018/19.

Image: I’m Staying | Shaun C Badham, 2016

Holly Davey: www.hollydavey.com

Holly Davey studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London and since graduating has developed a visual art practice working with photography, video, sculpture, text and performance. At the centre of her work, she explores ideas surrounding memory and place. She is interested in the heritage of a location or a collection especially it’s lost and largely forgotten social history. Often she works with collections and archives, both public and personal to explore how our lives can be interpreted through the fragments that are left behind. Within her research, finding the salve that connects the lost moment with the here and now is the starting point for developing work. The remembered becomes the lived present, reality shifts, time collapses making the forgotten visible.

This way of working has resulted from a series of commissions including Nothing Is What It Is Because Everything Is What It Is Isn’t, a National Museum Wales and Colwinston Charitable Trust Commission; Here Is Where We Meet, a Situations Commission for Bath and Bristol Weekender; Here Is Where We Came From, Plymouth Arts Centre Commission and There Is No There There, A la Ronde, National Trust, Exeter. Recently, she had a solo exhibition ‘ The Conversation’ at g39, Cardiff. She has taken part in several international residencies and has exhibited in Argentina, Belgium, Spain, USA and the UK. She is based in Cardiff and is the recipient of a Creative Wales Award.

Image: Berlin, Louth, Melbourne, Weka Pass | Holly Davey, 2018 | image courtesy of the artist

Hannah Leighton-Boyce: www.hannahleightonboyce.com

Hannah Leighton-Boyce lives and works in Manchester, England. Her sculptural works range from site-specific and ephemeral actions, to drawing, sound and installation. Her working method combines material and process led exploration with present day and archival research, to explore forms of place, object and body relations through themes of surface and erasure, embodiment and connectivity.

Her recent work exhibited in Ruth Barker & Hannah Leighton-Boyce at Castlefield Gallery explored salt as a metaphor for the physical and emotional body and residue as an archive; through salts inherent properties in its myriad structural forms and formlessness. The notion of sentiment- the intended belief, thought or feeling behind an act- and sentimentality, led me to explore the potential of salt to reflect on the human condition.

Other recent works include a collaborative live sculpture made with residents of Helmshore, Lancashire (2014) funded by Arts Council England; Instruments of Industry at Touchstones Rochdale (2016) funded by a New Opportunities Award [New Expressions3], the audio installation was released on Folklore Tapes’ Industrial Folklore Series (2017).

Image: More energy than object, more force than form | Hannah Leighton-Boyce, 2018 | image courtesy: Simon Liddiard

Hollie Miller: www.hollie-miller.com

Hollie Miller is a visual artist exploring performance in the non-performative through time-based, site-specific and intimate methods. With emphasis on the record (photo, video, sound) not as a supplement to the live but as a suggestion that our actions never cease and can be crystallized through the digital as ‘living fossils’. Her work seeks to demystify fictions that mask social realities of the body such as risk, intimacy and agency. In pursuit of the contemporary female subject as a vessel of transgression and subversion in search of truths. In order to confront our capacity for empathy with the humanity of the other.

Hollie Miller holds an MA in Fine Art Performance from The Royal College of Art (2014-16) with initial conservatoire training in dance and somatic practices (2007-10). Recent presentations include: Baltic 39 Gallery (Newcastle), Apulia Land Art Festival (Italy), Spiral Wacoal Arts Centre (Tokyo), Uppsala Konstmuseum (Sweden), Galeria Labirynt (Poland).

Image: Ecdysis The River Thames at Low Tide | Hollie Miller, 2016 | image courtesy of the artist

Amy & Oliver Thomas-Irvine: www.thomas-irvine.com

Amy & Oliver Thomas-Irvine are a collaborative duo formed in 2008, due to a shared raw aesthetic and material driven process. Working in sculpture, found-object, collage, photography and instigated live performance-based installations, the duo’s work is concerned with formal aspects and disruption of sculpture, such as weight, line and form. Amy & Oliver Thomas-Irvine are inspired by topics that have sculptural potential, such as temporal/street/social architecture, geological rifts, charged environments, economics of raw materials, social customs and rituals, altercations within architecture and physical labour intensive workings. These objects, materials, buildings and structures are formally compelling but also pliable and receptive to their environment. Seeing these compositions and collisions of raw material and pure form as areas of potential experimentation and prompts for new work, Amy & Oliver Thomas-Irvine play with tension between the impersonal, the tactile and the charged.

Amy & Oliver Thomas-Irvine (b. 1986, Manchester & Porstewart) both hold BA Honours degree in Fine Art from the Univeristy College of Falmouth (2008) and are a collaborative artistic duo. Notable exhibitions include; Binlang, Gallery 333, Exter (2018), DERAILER DERAILER, The Still House Group, New York (2016), One+One, Angus Hughes, London (2015), Monochrome, Beers London, (2015), In the Face of Collapse, ATOI & Jacobo Castellano, COMBO, Cordoba, Spain (2014); Accost Nascent, solo exhibition and live happening at KARST, Plymouth (2014); Creekside Open, A.P.T Gallery, selected by Paul Noble, London (2013); The Tanks, Extraction, Art in Action, Tate Modern, London, (2012); Art in Action, Tate Britain, London (2012). The artists have received numerous grants and awards and in 2014 they have been nominated for Testing Ground: Master Class at the Zabludowicz Collection and received the AIDF Award from The Arts Council England and The British Council. ATOI live and work in Helston, Cornwall.

Image: Derailer-steel | Amy & Oliver Thomas-Irvine, 2015 | image courtesy of the artists

Further Info

Dialogues 5 | Creative Retreat | Clayhill Arts | 21-25 June 2018

Each of the artists were briefed to prepare for a two-hour crit with the Mark Devereux Projects team and Dialogues 5 peer artists. The format of these crits was left open, encouraging each artist to present their work in a suitable manner for what they wanted to gain from the session. The crits ranged from digital presentations and roundtable discussions to site-responsive performances on site at Clayhill Arts.


Outside of the crits and structured sessions led by Mark Devereux Projects, the retreat offered valuable opportunities for further dialogue across a range of contexts. This included walks in Somerset, communal dinners and informal artist-led activities.

Clayhill Arts

Clayhill Arts is a new residential learning space for the creative industries, offering professional development courses in a retreat like environment, overlooking the Quantock Hills in Somerset.

It hosted the Dialogues 5 creative retreat providing excellent facilities, accommodation and workspaces for the numerous sessions.

For more information about Clayhill Arts visit clayhillarts.co.uk

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