Backlit Gallery & Studios team | Image courtesy: Backlit
  • Federation House

Critical dialogue & talks programme


December 4 - 10:00 am


December 13 - 06:00 pm


Federation House

Federation Street/Balloon Street

Manchester, M4 2AH

Mark Devereux Projects launched a new programme of critical dialogue and talks in Manchester in September 2014. Each month we invited curators, gallery directors, leading artists and other industry professionals to the city to lead a variety of different events, talks and one-to-one advice sessions for artists around the region.

Workshop/Course Info

December 2014: Backlit team, Nottingham
For December’s critical dialogue & talks event, we hosted a day of ‘hot-desking’ one-to-one advice and portfolio reviews with the Backlit team at Federation House, Manchester. Split into two parts (11am-1pm & 3-5pm), each member of the Backlit team was available to answer any questions that artists had and gave feedback on work/practice based around their own personal specialisms and areas of work. Concluding the Backlit team’s visit, Director Matthew Chesney lead a talk & discussion based around ‘The role of the Artist Curator’. Focused on the transition from contemporary Artist to Meta Curator and an approach to maintaining both positions within critical contexts, Matthew discussed ideas around practice to discourse and how these roles intersect, connect and conflict.

November 2014: Jack Welsh: Writing surgeries for artists
For November’s critical dialogue & talks session, Jack Welsh led two days of one-to-one writing surgeries for our Supported Artists, MDP Associates and PANDA members. Attendees were given the opportunity to spend concentrated time with an experienced writer, researcher and artist to gain advice and support writing current / future documents. Whether it was based around writing artist statements, biographies, cv’s, exhibition proposals or writing about individual pieces of work, Jack offered advise and support to artists with information about what to write, what not to and appropriate uses of language in different situations.

October 2014: Remco de Blaaij, Curator, CCA, Glasgow
For October’s evening critical dialogue & talks session, Remco de Blaaij led a talk and discussion event based around working and showing your artwork outside of your own home town/city. Centred around his vast experience as a curator working internationally and his recent Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Travel Award for Central America and the Caribbean, Remco discussed and gave advice on the ways in which early-career artists and curators can start working nationally and internationally. Concentrating on the questions of why, how and when are the right times and places to break-out from your home town, this event included advice on how attendees can start to realise some of these ambitions. We are also offered our Supported Artists and MDP Associates the opportunity to have a one-to-one mentoring session or portfolio review with Remco during his stay in Manchester.

September 2014: Will Strong, Co-Director, The NewBridge Project, Newcastle
We were delighted to welcome The NewBridge Project (Newcastle) Co-Director Will Strong to Manchester for our first session as part of our critical dialogue and talks programme. Will led a talk and discussion based around the different ways in which artists and creatives can and have re-appropriated commercial space for arts usage. Centred around his own experience within Newcastle through The NewBridge Project and his knowledge of other similar initiatives around the country, Will discussed the ways in which we as artists and creative people can form a legacy and ongoing need for these spaces and use them to our full advantage. Taking place at Castlefield Gallery’s Federation House building (part of their New Art Spaces initiative), it was a pertinent conversation and discussion to consider and think about the ways in which we can secure and further these kinds of opportunities for the future. We are also offered our Supported Artists and MDP Associates the opportunity to have a one-to-one mentoring session or portfolio review with Will during his stay in Manchester.

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