Museum On Tour, 13 March 2019: Contemporary art across the country
by Jo Clarke, Marketing and Communications Officer
We’re mid-way through the second week of a four week series of exhibitions called fig-futures.
The exhibitions are being delivered in partnership with and hosted at KARST in Stonehouse. Each of them have been curated by Ben Borthwick and the overall programme is supported by Outset, the Art Fund and Arts Council England.
As well as providing the opportunity to showcase the work of four different artists in the space of four weeks (no mean feat!), fig-futures has both an interesting past and a fantastic legacy.
The seeds were sown in 2015, when a major project called fig-2 took place in London, presenting an astonishing 50 exhibitions across 50 weeks at the ICA Studio at the Institute of Contemporary Arts.
The project brought together a wide range of practices, exploring the fields of visual arts, literature, science, fashion and design, performance and dance. The artists involved were invited to create and exhibit new work, to be playful and to take risks.
fig-futures has adopted this quick-fire one-week exhibition structure along with some of the fig-2 artists and, over the last few months, has travelled to four different towns/cities in the UK.
The project kicked off in Cambridge last year before travelling to Leicester and Blackpool. Plymouth is the final stop on the national tour.
Last week KARST’s gallery was filled with the drawings, paintings and videos of British artist Suzanne Treister. This week takes a totally different approach with two works that explore scale, context and the maritime as a metaphor by Austrian sculptor and installation artist Eva Grubinger.
Next week we’re looking forward to seeing Paris-based Charlotte Moth’s architecture-inspired work. Her exhibition will also include an offsite installation in Plymouth’s iconic Pannier Market.
The programme will conclude with artist Laura Eldret transforming KARST into a space that will socially engage visitors and community groups.
Curator Ben Borthwick sums it up well: ‘fig-futures has enabled us to work with four brilliant artists to realise ambitious projects that resonate with Plymouth’s growing ambitions as a centre for contemporary art.’
As well as the sheer variety these four exhibitions bring, it’s the legacy from them that’s particularly exciting for us. Once the project is over work by all four artists will be acquired by The Box for the city’s permanent collections.
‘It has been incredibly exciting to see a momentum build through the week-long fig-futures exhibitions. The final shows are set to end our tour with as much energy as we began with last year,” says fig-futures Project Manager, Yves Blais. ‘The legacy of newly collected works from the project will ensure future audiences have the opportunity to enjoy artworks by each artist.’
If you haven’t yet visited KARST, what are you waiting for? Gallery opening hours are 11am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday and admission is free. Private views are taking place each Monday from 6pm as well and everyone is welcome.
You can find out even more about fig-futures here.
All images by Dom Moore.