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Woolgather Art Prize 2012 You Choose The Winner Shortlisted Artists: Mike Ballard (London) Holly English (Essex) Nathan Evans (Leeds) Hondartza Fraga (Leeds) Howard Gardener (Chester) Sarah Gillham (Worcester Park) Dominic Heffer (Hull) Claire Holyoake (Leeds) Sooim Jeong (London) Topical Jungle (Leeds) Jin Eui Kim (Cardiff) Eleanor Leonne Bennett (Stockport) Edwin Li (Newcastle) Karen Logan (Sheffield) Augustinas Naslenas (Sheffield) Steve Nice (London) Andy Nizinskyj (Barnsley) Chloe Plumb & Ned Patten (Leeds) Alfie Strong (Leeds) Emily Towler (Leeds) Lex Thomas (London) Sean Williams (Nantwich) Suok Won Yoon (Coventry) Robert Youngson (Leicester) Victoria Youngson (Leicester)

Woolgather Art Prize 2012 The Woolgather Art Prize was set up in 2011 for artists to partake in and the public to enjoy the visual arts. Woolgather have always, and will always, support artists making through public projects, professional development and the integration of art into people’s daily lives. Time is a great showman, you are always aware of him/her/ them, but he/she/they have many different guises and this can either pin us down or set us free. The art prize project aims to explore the artist’s role in society and remove barriers or preconceptions about contemporary art and any highbrow academia that can surround it. By presenting the 25 artists/ groups in a sited exhibition, an interactive website and this publication we have tried to give anyone the chance to engage with creative outputs across various mediums and platforms – hopefully there will be some art for all. We are always looking forwards, or looking back. Sometimes sideways too. As artists ourselves the Woolgather team have spent the last few years coordinating large scale projects and creating opportunities for creative practitioners, ironically having little time to indulge in personal work ourselves. We approached a number of artist-turn-organisers to contribute a text towards this publication, maybe the results will give us an insight into why we have felt the need to organise and give us some comfort in numbers.

Sometimes we have to be encouraged to make time for ourselves. We encouraged artists across the country to do just this; by inviting all who applied for this year’s prize to spend one day or just some time that day to use in whatever way they wish, either creatively or on an activity/action to forward their practice or aspiration for creative lifestyle. Whether these results were all the artists that took part, or just a percentage that sent on images we hope we inspired some people out there to step away from their routine. The date we set was for 25.03.12 These are the documents of that day:


‘The Magpies Return’ Band Practice in Selston, Nottingham

On the 25th of March 2012 I Went Back



Under the Furnace #25

And Now it Falls Upon Me Like Winter Snow


Climbing a Mountain to Visit a Literary Legend


Tribute to Caspar David Friedrich



Dr. Rebekka Kill Head of School, Art, Architecture and Design at Leeds Met A Peculiar Task The Woolgather team set its participants an interesting, and in some senses peculiar, task for their publication. They invited participants to “complete an activity, go on a journey, meet someone, make something, have a meal, join a club, make a phone call, learn a skill, anything you want”. They explained that this activity should generate a “photo, drawing, illustration, document of a painting, sculpture, performance” and was a response to finding a balance between creativity and “regular life”. I would like to think about this invitation slightly differently. The French writer Nicolas Bourriaud defines relational art as art that happens in society; it is quintessentially social. He says that we exist in a ‘society of extras’ and in this society art becomes like a game; urban, immediate and sociable. He says, ‘art is a state of encounter’ (Bourriaud, 2002: 18) and we should ask questions (of art) like, ‘Does this work permit me to enter into dialogue? Could I exist, and how, in the space that it defines?’ (Bourriaud 2002: 109), this is called the coexistence criterion. For art to be relational it needs this coexistence criterion.  For Bourriaud, ‘art is a dot on a line’, and this line extends in many directions; it weaves its way through our homes, our social spaces, our conversations, our thoughts, it slices


through geography and history. But, where can we find this dot on a line? This dot might be an object like a painting or a sculpture found in a gallery, but equally it might be found in ‘meetings, encounters, events, various types of collaboration between people, games, festivals, and places of conviviality’ (Bourriaud, 2002: 28). If we view Woolgather’s peculiar task through the lens of Bourriaudian co-existence criterion it becomes an invitation to exist in society, to act as an “extra” in urban space to generate dots on the art line as this line weaves through social spaces, phone calls, journeys and clubs. To generate dialogue with the world, with others, with objects and activities. Bourriaud champions social art that “invites us in” and in the centre of Woolgather’s practice is exactly this invitation. Bourriaud, N. (2002) Relational Aesthetics (Paris: Presses du Reel)


X-ray Vision

Quietly Enjoying the Inevitability of Death


Little Snidgle



A Composition

Pipe study



Working Earnestly for those Creative Days


The day Day II was was converted Converted

Adam Young Live Artist and co-founder/artistic director of Indivisible Year two of the Woolgather Art Prize and the curating troop (Chris, Annie & John) have asked us to playfully gaze into our artistic futures. In these trepid times of austerity it is encouraging to witness a new movement of young artists who place the social benefits of artistic practice far above the monetary or academic bubbles that may further their own careers. With little or no money changing hands, swaths of graduates are creating their own opportunities, setting up their own spaces and rewriting the rules of how, where and when we interact with art. Critics may question the resulting quality of the work created under these conditions however the counterpoint remains; it is the creative act that is of most importance here and not the residual outcome. In this way art has the power to bring people together, rather than polerise them.   Contemporary spaces for art need to be engaging, social spaces and not the gated palaces of reverence that pepper the arts landscape sucking in the lions share of the ever dwindling ACE coffers. What’s more is that these monolithic palaces know this to be the case yet they are so bloated on the credit/debts of yesteryear that they are incapable of being reactive. They are the proverbial sloths of creativity and culture. The established ideal of the gallery space seems perfectly twee and out of touch in comparison to the DIY spaces popping up in almost every city in the UK today.


Having lived in Leeds my whole life I am routinely reminded just how lucky I am to live in a city of large (im)migration. Reflecting on the individuals that make up the arts scene [general]; there is an overwhelming majority of non-natives planting their roots here and contributing to a culture of DIY that is seemingly ever more renowned on the international stage. The future of Leeds is most certainly a collective one. It is the likes of Woolgather and many others who are steering the trends of where we aim ourselves. As individuals we often forfeit developing our personal artistic practice in favour of the creative practice of facilitation and curation. In the case of the Woolgather Art Prize, their interest is not to be of a high lording position from which to cast judgment in this competition. The public decide! The Woolgather Art Prize encourages the emancipation of “art” and the “publics” ability to define what “art” is. True. They did make the initial call on which artists were selected but no system is perfect. There must always be compromise.   I would go so far as to argue that it is the “public” who are the real artwork in the Woolgather Art Prize. Each vote counts towards the democritising of art and in that way each vote is a radical act. As last year’s Prize proved, for a person who has never entered into a gallery before to be given a voice on what they value in a work of art has implications reaching far beyond the obvious. This fits perfectly into Alan Davey’s vision of “GREAT ART FOR EVERYONE”. If we are to truly embrace the idea of “everyone” we must first accept the diversity of opinion on what is great!


Edwin Win! (Edwin Win a Race)


You Are Here #42

Today I Found A Gravestone in a Wall


Sundays are for Daydreaming


Composition for a Yellow Bird that sang



Tree Gazing in Sunshine on Tarmac

Bruce Davies Curator BasementArtsProject Experience is the key to understanding, and there will always be a disconnection between thought and action if experience is removed from the equation. As Lou Reed once pointed out ‘between thought and expression lies a lifetime’; ideas are without limit but we are not, and for that reason we must use and create as many opportunities for experience as possible. The following is an attempt to join the dots between an idea, its execution and those who experience it. In Absentia Recently I got myself involved in an art project by 2nd Year LMU student Lydia Catterall. For my part I was invited to answer a series of questions fired at me over a number of e-mails. These questions hinted at some kind of personal ethos or ideology. At the end of the process I was invited to supply my question master with an activity that she would carry out on my behalf and then report back to me, an intermediary in the experience. ‘To encourage the public to share in my curiosity, I gave away a lollipop with every questionnaire. My theory was that a percentage of recipients would reply to my questions based on their interest in my project, some would think I was lovely for giving them a lollipop and in turn feel compelled to do me a favour, and the uninterested may feel an element of guilt if


they didn’t make the effort to send me at least one email. Within a few days, my purpose made inbox was slowly filling up with ‘basic profiles’ from people I had only interacted with for that brief moment it took to hand over an envelope and smile. I replied to every email response I received with three questions, gradually building up a picture of these individuals without necessarily knowing their real names. Up until this point, my participants had followed my instructions, so I asked the ones remaining if there was an action they would like me to complete, record somehow and relay back to them. I received this from Bruce:’ I would like you to get in contact with an artist who is currently travelling across Europe. He is currently in Lulea, Sweden and will expect you to arrange a call via skype. His name is Kimbal Bumstead. I would like you to interview him about his practice and ask him about his current project and surroundings. I hope you find this intriguing. ‘I Did’ ‘Kimbal and I agreed to ‘meet’ online at 7pm one Tuesday evening. As I clicked ‘answer’, I was welcomed into his brownpapered habitat. Despite the physical distance, our mutual willingness to be open, share and laugh about the technical difficulties that crept up throughout the evening allowed an intimate conversation to be shared somewhere within the vastness of cyberspace. There was the obligatory house tour,

followed by a fish-based meal in both kitchens. We told stories of travels, people we had met and subsequent work we had made. Kimbal asked about my earliest memory and first family home. He drew it from my description and said his own was very similar. He was ‘there’ when I went to sleep and the first to greet me the next day. After fifteen hours, we thanked each other and went about our very separate days on either side of the North Sea. I was left with the feeling you get when you arrive home from a holiday; weary but glad you escaped for a while. It wasn’t really until Kimbal sent me photographs later that morning that I fully understood that I had inhabited space in a stranger’s home for a while, all because I took the time to ask.’ Bruce Davies / Lydia Catterall / Kimbal Bumstead

Tom Goodall Musician and Organiser (Big Spaceship) Jibberings of a half awake dreamer Moments of creativity that require no praise. A natural discourse to the mundane and the incessantly dull portions of life. Doing things yourself for free and giving someone a rare feeling of satisfaction. Going to an amazing gig with local bands and realising that this is probably better than anything at the O2 Academy. Knowing that there is so much more talent undiscovered than within the public eye. Knowing that people are beginning to realise that anyone can put on a gig, exhibition or show and get away with not being in an showboating elitist cult. Make friends, get about, show your face. Personally, I like the idea of simplicity when searching for inspiration. Forget about convention and the complexity. Simply admiring something for what it is can be far better than fearing a theory behind its conception. It is always more fluid and simpler than anything you can imagine. Get up and let the classical and romantic side of you melt together. Inspiration is nothing without the doing.



Am I Nearly There Yet

Trekking back across the meads with new fish for our now very nice clean pond.



Shall Float


Planning an activity holiday





29 Saturday Self

Warp Lace Machine


Multi-National Gathering, British, Thai, Korean and Nepalese


It’s about the moment, people, and places



Paper Houses

There’s No Place Like Home... There’s No Place Like Home...


Precious Art Collective “Precious is an art collective, borne out of frustration with the excessively delicate and constrained atmosphere of the art school. Comprised of 12 young art students in Leeds Precious believes in a sense of community and freedom from elitism in art, expressed through an emphasis on entertainment and involvement with our audience and advancing links within the Leeds artistic community. At present our group is still young, having only just been founded this year. Yet our recent actions have been promising. In the spirit of our ethos, Precious recently set up its first exhibition, aptly enough within one of our member’s basements. It is from this initial foray into exhibiting that we take our name. The original “Precious” exhibition was so called for its theme. On reflecting on our experiences, we felt that there was an ubiquitous stifling measure of preciousness within art and even further abroad in wider society and we wished to focus on that. For participating artists, the theme could be taken literally or ironically depending on their preference. “Precious” itself was held for a single evening and in that time we achieved a total of 200 entrants. With this first success already on our backs we hope to reach further and exhibit again. For this achievement we are thankful to those who have supported us, in particular our good friends at Woolgather, without whom this may not have been possible.


Our association with Woolgather goes back to the very founding of Precious. Affiliated members of Precious have known the group for even longer. With this then it may come as no surprise that we support, condone and even recommend Woolgather’s continued interaction with the artistic community. For some years now, Woolgather have worked within Leeds to help nourish, what was before their conception, a rather dry art community in the city, through finding interest in not only those invested in the arts but also the general public. It quite clearly achieved that last year. In testing the waters with their first Art Prize, Woolgather demonstrated that there exists in Leeds a surprisingly strong interest in art, both from participating artists and an audience who showed up in force throughout. Media interest was also notably high, humbly attracting sparked intrigue from the dear BBC. Following this success Woolgather has attempted to extend its reach, attracting entrants both nationally and internationally. In response to an invitation from Woolgather to set up shop we were only too happy to oblige. We were humbled by their request and excited to be a part of what is looking to be yet another fantastic show. For the Precious Bar at Woolgather we have taken note of our travels. On a recent excursion to Budapest our team has been inspired to bring you a small taste of our scenic nightly journeys with our themed bar. We are proud to participate in the Woolgather Art Prize and we hope this is the first of many joint ventures.�

Watching birds swoop about Wakefield Cathedral


Collection art project - Margate day trip!



Interval, Assemblage on Paper

It’s Hard To Find A Vet You Can Trust So I Thought I’d Try To Repair The Dog Myself


Higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide



The Wishing Thread

Falling Awake





Live from the BBQ



Karen Watson, Artistic Director, East Street Arts Would I lie to you baby? A ramble through reality Is art real? According to wikipedia, which is so democratic anyone can input anything in to it, including serial liars, the definition of real is: reality is the state of things, as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible. A still more broad definition includes everything that has existed, exists, or will exist. So assuming this is an accurate or real definition of reality do we engage with art as it actually exists or as it appears? Artists such as Maurizio Cattelan who ‘appears’ to revel in what is real is known for sending friends to meetings posing as himself. Many artists set up bogus companies as art works, sometimes very convincingly. Artists have become famous on the back of creating art works as replica tins of soup and boundaries often blur between art and branding/marketing. The age-old question ‘but is it art?’ signifies that we are not sure what we are looking at or engaging with when we think we are viewing art. Are artists playing with our minds and messing around with our experiences of what we believe reality to be?


Further real intelligence shared with us on wikipedia: Reality is often contrasted with what is imaginary, delusional, in the mind, dreams, what is abstract, what is false, or what is fictional. The truth refers to what is real, while falsity refers to what is not. Maybe - then there are many realities and my reality is not your reality. How do we know we are even seeing or looking at the same thing? My reality could be your fiction or lie. We create our own realities based on our own truths. Art presents things created out of nothing, it presents spectacle, it presents situations that wobble the boundaries of what is real and what could be a lie. Since Duchamp and the now infamous urinal our eyes and intelligence are open to anything being able to be presented, as art anywhere. Is that art? Is it art because we say it is? the artist intended it to be? or because it exists and is therefore real? Please lie to me baby.

Please Touch


Revisiting Self in Sadness


Volunteering at a clean up day



Words of Advice For Young Artists

Patsy Mathieson and Becky Mills from the sound desk at the Trades Club Hebden, Bridge


A three year break from exercise, now over




A Day Of Creative Endeavor

A day in the studio with Frida



Firebrick Treehouse in a Lemon Grove


Walk to Aldford

Time Travel is Possible




...and I thought you were dead




Index 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

Alex Millhouse-Smith - ‘The Magpies Return’ Band Practice in Selston, Nottingham Alfie Strong - On the 25th of March 2012 I went back to where I came from. Andrew Martyn Sugars - under the furnace#25, response to an electrically driven blast furnace. Andrew Wright - and now it falls upon me like winter snow. popgrafik.240312 Andy Nizinskyi - Climbing a Mountain to Visit a Literary Legend Augustinas Naslenas - Tribute to Caspar David Friedrich Annie Nelson - 2 family visitors | 1 trip to the allotment | 1 Plot of land cleared | 1 ‘Sculpture’ Formed | 3 Allotment society ‘discussions’ | 1 cycling accident | 1 broken down car | 1 ipod lost within the seat of a car | 2 cars and a jump lead | 1 recovery van | 1 hand on fire | 1 car crash | 1 broken central locking system | 1 visit to A+E | 2 rescued roller-skates. Badge - X-ray Vision Becky Gee - Quietly Enjoying the Inevitability of Death Benjamin Mills - Little Snidgle - I don’t often make time for much beyond myself, but when i do I’m confronted with love and inspiration. This i have found is my biggest weakness. Chloe Plumb and Ned Patten - A composition Dom Heffer - Pipe study Chris Woodward - Working Earnestly for those Creative Days Claire Holyoake - The day I was converted Edwin Li - Edwin Win! (Edwin win a race) James Feraciour - You Are Here #42 (Woolgather) Eleanor Leonne Bennett - Today I found a gravestone in a wall Emily Towler - Sundays are for daydreaming

19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24.

25. 26. 27. 28.

29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38.

Geoffrey Pimlott - Composition for a Yellow Bird that sang Gillian Holding - Tree Gazing in Sunshine on Tarmac Gin Durham - Am I Nearly There Yet Holly English - Trekking back across the meads with new fish for our now very nice clean pond, Photo credit- Dan Rawlings Holly Rowan Hesson Hondartza Fraga - Shall Float, Around the world thoughts shall fly, in the twinkling of an eye. Under water men shall walk, Shall ride, shall sleep, shall talk; Iron in the water shall float, as easy as a wooden boat” Mother Shipton’s Prophecies. Howard Gardener - Planning an activity holiday Jade Gilbert James Woolley James Woolley - I went to an open day at the village hotel to use their gym for the day. My Dad ran the Lincoln 10k on Sunday the 25th March so I figured I would go and run the same distance but quicker in the gym. We both started at 11am and my dad finished in 47minutes. I had to withdraw due to medical reasons (A stitch) after 3k. Jim Dunkley - Saturday Self Laurie Woodruff - Warp Lace Machine Jin Eui Kim - Multi-national gathering, British, Thai, Korean and Nepalese John Slemensek - It’s about the moment, people, and places Julia Claxton - Paper Houses Julie Newton - There’s No Place Like Home... There’s No Place Like Home... Karen Logan - Watching birds swoop about Wakefield Cathedral Kimberley Bevan - Collection art project - Margate day trip! Leah Durant - Interval, Assemblage on paper Lex Thomas - It’s Hard To Find A Vet You Can Trust So I Thought I’d Try To Repair The Dog Myself

39. Loz Atkinson - Higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide 40. Manali Jagtap-Nyheim - The Wishing Thread 41. Susan Moretti - Falling Awake 42. Mark O’Hara - Him 43. Mike Ballard - Live from the BBQ’ 44. Natasha Sabatini 45. Nathan Evans 46. Nicola McCartney - Please Touch (Mandy the Shetland Pony, Natural history Museum, Oxford). Work in Progress. Oil on canvas, 2012 47. Raychelark - Revisiting Self in sadness; original self-portrait taken in Spring 2011 48. Rob Hewitt - Volunteering at a clean up day at Edible Eastside, a new garden and cultural space in Digbeth, Trevor cleaned this old gas meter. 49. Rob Youngson - Words of Advice For Young Artists 50. Robert Norbury - Patsy Mathieson and Becky Mills from the sound desk at the Trades Club, Hebden Bridge 51. Sooim Jeong - A three year break from exercise, now over 52. Ruth Philo 53. Sarah Barrett - A Day of Creative Endeavor 54. Sarah Gillham - A Day in the Studio with Frida 55. Sean Williams - Firebrick Treehouse in a Lemon Grove 56. Sharon Mosey - Walk to Aldford 57. Steve Nice - Time Travel is Possible 58. Suok won Yoon 59. Tom Miles 60. Victoria Youngson - ........and I thought you were dead’ 61. Topical Jungle - Welcomet’jungle

A. Dr. Rebekka Kill - Head of School. Art, Architecture and Design at Leeds Met, A Peculiar Task B. Adam Young - Live Artist and co-founder/artistic director of Indivisible C. Bruce Davies - Curator BasementArtsProject D. Tom Goodall - Musician and Organiser (Big Spaceship) Jibberings of a half awake dreamer E. Precious Art Collective F. Karen Watson - Artistic Director East Street Arts, Would I lie to you baby? A ramble through reality

Thanks When deciding to run the Woolgather Art Prize again we knew we would have to enter unknown territory and raise funds to support its development. Investing our own money was never going to be a sustainable solution. It was our first attempt at applying for significant funding from the Arts Council and various other streams, a lot of which we were unsuccessful with, however we were chuffed and relieved when the Arts Council came through for us. We also chose to draw upon the large amount of support that has been growing from individuals and organisations for the project as well as the people we have reached through our activities and test-bed crowd funding. We scripted, shot and edited our video and then went live. Not knowing what to expect we were amazed to see the amount of people digging into their pockets to support the project and in 60 days we raised ÂŁ3,341. We would like to thank all of the individuals who personally invested in the project and showed a shared belief in the importance of creative lifestyles. This list is only a small reflection of the amount of people who have supported us in our development in a number of different ways and we extend our gratitude to all of you. Annie, John and Chris The Woolgather Team

Lucy Aaronson Elizabeth Ainge Joanna Aldoori Neil Anderson Camille Arnaud DorothĂŠe Arnaud Cat Bagg Sally Bagnall Kay Bainbridge Charlotte Baker Simon Barsby Gina Batterton Iain Baughan Linda Broughton Adam Burton Alison Butterworth Vikki Chapman James Chinneck Kathryn Clark Julie Clegg Claire Dearnley Jennifer Dickinson Alan Dunn Dawn Edwards Nathan Evans Ann Eveleigh Sean Fahy James Feraciour Nicola Field Victoria Firth Karl Fowler Hondartza Fraga Luke French Amy Furminger Rose George Alexander Gilmour

Hayley Louise Goodsell Carol Anne Grady Rebecca Clare Griffiths Verity Hatfield Denise Hickey Claire Holyoake Derek Horton Lottie Jardine Martha Jurksaitis Jin Eui Kim Jarred Knott Larissa Lane Sue Ledwith Lianne Lett Karen Logan Joanna Marsh Matthew McCarron-Shipman Jane McGeeney Alison McIntyre Jodie Mellor Alex Millhouse-Smith Benjamin Mills Lorraine Mirham Clive Nelson Gaye Nelson Jenny Nelson Tessa Nelson Verity Nelson Caroline Newton Steve Nicholls Andrew Nizinskyj Mark O'Hara Adam Ogilvie Sarah Parker Jasmin Patel Amber Peyton

Lauren Pissochet Jenny Porter Iris Priest Tom Railton Tim Ridley Helen Robinson Bethany Rose Ellen Sankey Zoe Sawyer James Sewell Lotte Shaw Sharon Shephard Clare Sibley Ellen Slemensek Jane Slemensek Ken Smith Miriam Thorpe Henry Tickner Amy Todman Emily Towler Gareth Underwood Peter Vickers Jon Wakeman Karen Watson Clara Walsh Sharon Walsh Stephen White Thomas Williamson Stephen Withers Andrew Woodward Gretta Woodward Jennifer Woodward Neina Woodward Adam Young Victoria Youngson

The Woolgather Art Prize 2012 is a national showcase of contemporary artists and art practice, focused on engaging a wide public audience. Based in Leeds and set up in 2011 by Woolgather, it was born from a need to explore the artist’s role in society and to celebrate creative lifestyle. Over 350 applications to the prize resulted in a shortlist of 25 artists/ groups exhibiting works in a public exhibition this May. All exhibited artists stand the chance to win prizes of £1000, £500 and £250, entirely determined through public vote. The prize money is a gesture to assist towards the ongoing endeavours of a creative lifestyle. Accompanying the exhibition is a website and publication that explore the life of an artist. All applicants were invited to contribute to a publication with work or documentation of a creative action made on one day. The website features the shortlisted artists through videos made by them answering the question, ‘Where For Your Future’ The project is aimed at and for the public, to remove barriers or preconceptions about contemporary art and any highbrow academia that can surround it. With the prize now in its second year, we have to express our gratitude to all who have supported us along the way and helped make the project possible.

Woolgather Art Prize 2012  

Publication to accompany the 2012 Woolgather Art Prize

Woolgather Art Prize 2012  

Publication to accompany the 2012 Woolgather Art Prize