CORNERS of Europe
Corners draws threads between people and places on the outer edges of Europe, from Taranto in Italy to Gdansk in Poland, from the Balkans to South East Northumberland. Corners considers what we share and what defines us. Designed and driven by a growing number of cultural organisations working on the edges, it brings together artists and audiences through research, artwork, collaboration and digital exchange.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
CORNERS connects regions on the outer edges of Europe. It brings to the center areas that are outside of political, cultural and economical mainstreams, focusing on remote regions and small towns. It draws connections between them through research and artworks, connecting people to people and place to place. For us, this means looking closely at what is specific to each place we work in, regardless of official borders and divisions, and then searching for commonalities that draw threads between them.
CORNERS can be found in and between remote areas such as the North of Sweden, Sàpmi Land, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania, East of Poland, West of Ukraine, Lithuania, Kaliningrad Russia, Basque country, Northern Ireland, North-East England and the South of Italy.
Our goal is to meet local audiences, organizations, and active citizens, to connect with them and together bring the corners of Europe into the centre of the European cultural map. Since 2011,CORNERS has brought together more than 50 artists and researchers (and the number grows) and over 30 organisations and institutions working as partners and collaborators on the project.
CORNERS artists develop projects that are presented in public spaces, where this kind of work is not often shown and to people who don't often have the chance to experience contemporary art within their neighbourhoods.
Since we joined the CORNERS, we have worked with our four UK-based artists Lalya Gaye, Simon Farid, Julie Myers and Maria Anastassiou to develop co-productions that will be presented across Europe over the next two years. In March, we welcomed30 artists and producers to the region as part of the CORNERSNorth East England Xpedition, where we toured a range of places,connecting creatively with local people, hearing and sharing their stories and taking inspiration from our region.
We have developedCORNERS Live, working with our associate digital curator Dominic Smith and open-source software developers Sourcefabric, based in the Czech Republic, alongside the CORNERS artists. CORNERS Live is an exciting hybrid exhibition, broadcast and collaborative online space for artists and audiences to share their experiences of CORNERS from anywhere in the world.
CORNERS of Europe in Blyth
We visited CORNERS events in Haninge (Sweden) in May, Prizren (Kosovo) in August as part ofDokuFestand Belfast (Northern Ireland) in October as part of theBelfast International Arts Festival, where the artists presented their work.
Our first CORNERS event was in South East Northumberland from 9th - 22nd May 2016, where many of the artists who visited the region as part of the North East EnglandXpedition earlier this year returned to present their projects, working with local people to reveal hidden stories and draw threads between communities across Europe. We premiered two new projects at this event: [Voiceover], a collaboration between Julie Myers (UK), Lucyna Kolendo (Poland) and Bojan Mucko (Croatia); andSafari Here, a collaboration between Maria Anastassiou (UK), Isabella Mongelli (Italy) and Milos Tomic (Serbia).
Together, CORNERS artists and researchers will continue to explore the outskirts of Europe and co-create artistic projects across borders of artistic disciplines in order to bring stories from one corner of Europe into another. Co-creations will be gathered in different places across Europe, where artists and their audiences will inhabit unusual and public spaces, using partners’ cities as their stages: Umeå and Stockholm (SE), Ljubljana (SI), Gdansk (PO), Belgrade (RS), Zagreb and Rijeka (HR), Donostia / San Sebastian (Basque Country, ES), Belfast (Northern Ireland, UK), Tees Valley and Northumberland (England, UK), and Prizren (Kosovo).
UK-based artists part of the CORNERS project through ISIS Arts
Simon Farid (Playground)
Simon Farid is a visual artist interested in the relationship between administrative identity and the body it purports to codify and represent. Taking on the role of a hacker or trickster he looks to playfully intervene in the identity-generation process, operating as ‘other people’ and enacting ways to counter emergent institutional identity confirmation mechanisms. A quick Google search will, of course, reveal where he lives, works, what he looks like and information about other people with whom he shares his name.
Julie Myers (Voiceover)
Julie Myers is an interdisciplinary artist working with photography, film, audio, drawing, installation and digital media. Myers’ work forms a response to people and place; exploring everyday ways that people make sense of their environment through memory, personal experience and the representation of story. These concerns are developed though collaborative and participatory projects with communities and individuals.
Myers has exhibited extensively both in Europe and USA. Commissions and awards have included: Arts Council England (2006, 2009, 2010); The British Council (2008); The British Film Institute (2001); with funded residencies at Bedford Creative Arts, UK (2014); Wysing Arts Centre, UK (2010); Stanford University, US (2009); The Banff Centre, CAN (2009).
Lalya Gaye (Oh My Home - Lost and Found)
Artist, Designer and Engineer (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
Lalya Gaye is an artist, designer and engineer based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK where she runs the collaborative digital media art practiceAttaya Projects. Lalya builds interactive art installations, provides consulting in interaction design and digital technology, and delivers creative electronics workshops. She works primarily with sound, light, metal, interactive technologies, and urban space.
Maria Anastassiou (Safari Here)
Artist Filmmaker (London)
Maria Anastassiou is an artist filmmaker, originally from Cyprus and now in London. Her practice uses analogue, digital and archival materials across platforms from gallery to cinematic, documentary and participatory modes of production. Collective practice is crucial to her work with an interest in collaboration as a creative force of production and intercultural dialogue as an instigator for new ideas.
In 2012 she co-foundedcollective-iz, a critically acclaimed London-based filmmakers’ collective, programming and creating platforms for critical debate within the context of experimental film, video and performance. In 2010 she co-founded the film projectUnravel: The Longest hand painted film in Britainthat went on to win theDeutsche Bank Award for Art 2010and tour the UK extensively.
Our artists joined the CORNERS Xpedition to Puglia in Southern Italy in December 2014. During the Xpedition, the artists developed their proposals for international co-productions for future European touring and presentation with other CORNERS artists from our partner organisations.
OUR SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERS
The total budget for the project is 2.566.000 EUR, half of this amount will be covered from Creative Europe, and the other half will be secured from local funds by CORNERS Partners.CORNERS in Blyth was supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, Arts Council England, bait, The Esmée Fairburn Foundation, The Community Foundation and The Polish Cultural Institute.
CORNERS in Blyth was made possible by our partnership with bait, as well as the continued support and involvement of our local partners:
Beach Hut Radio, Blyth Academy, Blyth Comrades Club, Blyth Development Trust, Blyth Neighbourhood Police Force, Blyth Town Council, Buffalo Community Centre, Croftway Primary Academy, Headway Arts, Keel Row Shopping Centre, Martin of Lennon Properties, Morpeth Road Primary Academy, Northumberland County Council, Northumberland Domestic Abuse Service, Northumberland Police, Silx Teen Bar and St Mary's Church.
The support from Creative Europe programme is giving us the opportunity to continue building our platform, to make it more vivid and diverse. We will continue to connect artists in co-creations, encounter new regions, meet and engage new audiences in arts and culture. For the next 3.5 years, starting from 1 September 2014, eleven partners will work together:Intercult(Sweden),PogonandDrugo More(Croatia),Exodos(Slovenia),Arts Council Northern IrelandandISIS Arts(UK),City Culture Institute/Gdansk(Poland),Donostia/San Sebastián 2016(Basque Country/Spain),Cultural Centre REX(Serbia),Teatro Pubblico Pugliese(Italy), andDokuFest(Kosovo).
For more info visitwww.cornersofeurope.org