CIVIC has grown from an exhibition into a larger project, a network of practitioners and researchers, in conversation about art, architecture and the city; about cultural institutions, place, space, writing & walking.
The first manifestation of this project in 2014 was as an interrogation of the city, an invitation to propose architectural and other interventions for a number of sites across Swansea towards an exhibition at Mission Gallery. Through a process of observation and speculation an imaginative and discursive space was created within the gallery, to be used as a fixed location from which to initiate events and actions, where partnership outcomes and the material produced by exhibitors and contributors was shown.
Curated by Bella Kerr, the initial question was; ‘How will the city be investigated?’ A number of local architectural practices, makers, writers and artists were asked to collaborate and several sites and themes identified. The term site was expanded to incorporate the idea of ‘between sites’ or other interpretations.
Before the exhibition, architects, artists, writers, academics, residents and makers ‘walked and talked’ the city. During the exhibition period, we approached the questions it posed through themed ‘table talk’ discussions. These public events involved invited guests and contributions from all over the UK. An integrated Education Programme was central to the project and addressed learning for all ages through making and participation, alongside the interactive ‘PLAY – BUILD – LEARN’ area for children and families.
The CIVIC project has been led since the start by Bella Kerr and Amanda Roderick.
International & Partnership Projects
Following an offsite project for Cardiff Contemporary later in 2014, CIVIC’s investigations and material was used to develop international projects in Venice and New York in 2016 and 2017.
There is a wealth of information and ideas within CIVIC which provides opportunity for dialogue or exchange to be developed. In New York numerous contacts and connections were made which have already fed into exhibitions and residencies in Wales. We are interested in developing further conversations with artists and others considering issues of space and place in urban and other contexts, such as cultural institutions.
Organisations CIVIC has worked with include:
Royal Society of Architects Wales, as part of Wales Festival of Architecture 2014; Cardiff Community Housing Association; Design Circle, RSAW South; The Josef Herman Foundation; Q-art; Assemble; Aberrant Architecture; Mission Gallery, the Jane Phillips Award; the Arts Council of Wales; Wales Arts International; Swansea College of Art, UWTSD; Carmarthen School of Art at Coleg Sir Gar; Casa Dell’Ospitalita di Venezia; La Gagiandra, Venice; Residency Unlimited, New York; Store; Addo; Cardiff Contemporary/Cardiff Council; Swansea Council; Tidal Lagoon; Family Arts Campaign and Cardiff Story Museum.
April 2014 CIVIC launch & exhibition, Mission Gallery Swansea
October 2014 Reveal/Conceal CIVIC @ Cardiff Contemporary
July 2016 Citti de Campi Residency, Venice
October 2016 Collaborative Curatorial Residency at Residency Unlimited, New York
June 2017 Lost & Found, Residency, Venice
July 2018 CIVIC Conversations: NY & UK
October 2019 CIVIC MIX
Grants, Awards & Sponsorship
2014 | Arts Council of Wales Strategic Funding for CIVIC Exhibition (£5K).
2014 | Arts Council of Wales Research & Development Grant for CIVIC Artists (£3K).
2014 | Cardiff Council Cardiff Contemporary Grant for CIVIC Artists (£3K).
2014 | CIVIC Exhibition transport sponsored by Days Rental, Swansea.
2016 | Wales Arts International International Opportunities Fund for Curatorial Residency to New York (£5K).
2016 | Wales Arts International International Opportunities Fund for Residency to Venice (£3K).
2017 | Wales Arts International International Opportunities Fund for Residency to Venice (£3K).
2017 | Swansea College of Art Materials Research Funding for Residency to Venice (£2K).
Oct/Nov 2016 | Paid Research leave from Mission Gallery (Amanda Roderick)
Oct/Nov 2016 | Funded Research Leave from Swansea College of Art (Bella Kerr)
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