Visual Commissions Archive
Over the years, Exeter Phoenix has commissioned a range of projects from visual artists as part of our commitment to nurturing artists and supporting the development of new work. On this page, you will find information about past visual art commissions.
ARTISTS MOVING IMAGE COMMISSION 2018
LIAM JOLLY: AMEN BROTHER (DUM DUM KA-H)
Based in Redruth, Cornwall, Liam Jolly is an artist working across installation, video, performance, painting and public intervention.
His works tread a fine line between fiction and reality, employing double take and changing points of view as a mechanism to challenge our assumptions of what we are being presented with.
In playfully questioning the material, mechanics and structures of when something is considered an art work and when it is not, he is making us question our perception of reality in unexpected or subversive ways.
For this commission, he will be making a film that attempts to remix, into a visual score, the ‘Amen Break’, arguably the most sampled drum break in musical history and the corner stone of music sub genres such as Hip Hop, Drum & Bass & Jungle.
ARTISTS MOVING IMAGE COMMISSION 2017
ISOBEL ADDERLEY: W E F E W
Artist Isobel Adderley is fascinated by our preconception of the body and physical space as separate and opposing forces. Isobel attempts to blur or trouble these preconceptions in her work and uses film, sculpture, live performance and music production to do so. W E F E W presents taught skin over twisted bones, quarried land, faceless, hybrid bodies. The absence of substance.
STREET LAB: LIVE ART BUSKING COMMISSION 2017
For Street LAB, Exeter Phoenix and Blind Ditch commissioned two new works that bring audiences into lively encounters with contemporary live art practice on the streets of the city. This micro-festival of live art busking formed part of Art Week Exeter (13-21 May 2017).
The two selected commissions were titled A Five Year Old Could Do That and Get It Off Your Chest.
A FIVE YEAR OLD COULD DO THAT
The criticism of ‘a five year old could do that’ is often levelled at contemporary art, and especially at performance artists. But could a five year old actually make contemporary art?
Alistair Gentry will find out by taking a toy piano to the streets with a live art busking pitch that is equally influenced by John Cage’s works for toy or prepared pianos, and by the most basic comedy tactic of a grown man playing a very small piano very badly.
GET IT OFF YOUR CHEST
Musical performance duo Asthma experiment with noise making as a way to realise political frustrations.
They’ve been gathering a sound bin of discarded, accidental and overlooked stuff and sounds from Exeter’s streets…
Join them for a live, improvised collaboration between voices and sound scrap for a musical dance jam of a performance and let out a collective scream.
ARTISTS MOVING IMAGE COMMISSION 2016
BEN TUPPER: A MYTHOLOGY IN SELF DEFENSE
Bristol based artist Ben Tupper’s new moving image project draws upon a combination of European film references, newly shot handheld footage and looped audio samples to explore conflicting methods of narrative construction and latently observe presentations of emotional masculinity.
The film’s dialogue is directly transcribed from a conversation between French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard and camera inventor Jean-Pierre Beauviala and is presented in conversational fragments.
To accompany the screening, Berlin based musician Chris Sergeant produced a live experimental audio composition that was broadcast simultaneously on community radio station Phonic FM (106.8fm), aiming to act as an alternative iteration or point of orientation between the film and the space in which it is encountered.
PARTNERSHIP COMMISSION: MOCC ARTISTS COMMISSION 2016
LOUISE ASHCROFT – REMAKING THE INTERNET IN PAPER
Museum of Contemporary Commodities invited proposals for dynamic public encounters that explore urgent questions related to the nexus of data-trade-place-values.
The selected commission is Louise Ashcroft’s project Remaking The Internet In Paper.
ARTISTS MOVING IMAGE COMMISSION 2015
BENJAMIN A OWEN: GOLDFINCH
Benjamin A Owen is a filmmaker whose work explores politics as it is played out in the everyday and in the commonplace. Although often working in the form of film, his practice encompasses exhibition making, performing music and working in education. Owen’s process is highly collaborative, and he often works with musical performances as a form.
Goldfinch is a work that draws deeply on the artist’s interest in the layman’s relationship to politics, landscape, participation and performance. The film takes as its subjects an 84-year-old jazz musician named Dave Collett and a community of ladies that gather at the Carterton Women’s Institute, creating a double portrait rooted in the landscapes of suburban England.
Owen’s practice aims to expand the idea of cinema – creating environments where film and performance may coexist.
ARTISTS MOVING IMAGE COMMISSION 2014
RYAN CURTIS: PROCESSION
Procession was a new moving image artwork by Plymouth based artist Ryan Curtis that made reference to monumental architecture and religious ceremony.
Curtis explored how our perception of a physical object can be augmented through its passage through space, combining video and sculptural elements within the gallery space.
DIGITAL ART COMMISSION 2013
MAIA CONRAN: CROWD
In 2013 Exeter Phoenix partnered with the University of Exeter to offer access to their 3D printing facilities at the Centre for Additive Layer Technology.
We commissioned South West based artist Maia Conran to explore this technology in relation to her existing practice and to create and exhibit a new piece of art as a result. Maia explored the possibilities to bring together digital animation and 3D printing software and created a video and sculptural installation called ‘Crowd’.
In Crowd, the artist appropriated and reworked iconic scenes from King Vidor’s classic 1928 film The Crowd. Uncanny computerised movement of empty cinema seats replaces the presence of both actors and audience, highlighting the relationship between the viewer and the viewed. These digitally animated seats are also drawn out into physical space through the use of 3D printing, extending the installation beyond the projected image and playing with notions of the viewer and the viewed.
DIGITAL ART COMMISSION 2012
DAVID BLANDY: ANJIN 1600: EPISODE 4
The first instalment of David Blandy’s episodic animation project Anjin 1600, which draws reference from the life of William Adams – the first Englishman to reach Japan and the only westerner to be granted the title of Samurai and 1980’s Franco-Japanese TV cartoon Ulysses 31 (itself inspired by Homer’s Odyssey).
Commissioned in partnership with Animate Projects and Animated Exeter festival as part of the artist’s solo exhibition Passage of the Soul that brought together several recent works exploring identity, fantasy and reality, as enacted by a cast of alter-egos stemming from the artist’s passions for kung fu, soul, hip hop and Japanese manga.
DIGITAL ART COMMISSION 2011
MARCEL DINAHET: SKY/CANAL/RIVER
Marcel Dinahet’s work is concerned with the littoral – marginal areas where water and land meet. Over the last 30 years he has worked internationally, making films around, and often within, seas, ports, rivers and sources, documenting both the places and the people who live and work in these boundary zones.
In 2011 he produced a new body of work made in and around the river Exe and its parallel shipping canal as they pass through Exeter and open into the estuary before meeting the sea.
DIGITAL ART COMMISSION 2011
EDWINA ASHTON: IN A ROSE COLUMNED FOREST…
Edwina Ashton’s 2011 solo exhibition, Out With the Hammers, centred on a new animated film In a Rose Columned Forest (2011) and accompanying body of works, which were inspired by the 19th Century naturalist Phillip Henry Gosse, and his meticulous study of marine life in Devon’s rock pools.
Commissioned in partnership with Animate Projects and Animated Exeter festival.