In a time of Covid-19 we are all waiting to see what comes next. We wait with anticipation, hesitancy, imagining a future in uncertain times and spaces. We try to care for each other and ourselves, but we are weighted down with many concerns.
For a year, 10 artists enrolled on the BxNU MFA at Northumbria University have engaged in a research exchange with the staff of BALTIC, sharing ideas and evolving events about care, sustainability and the future.
Waiting (weighting) is a performative event that has developed from this collaboration involving:
• A film made by the artists in response to the BALTIC Research Exchange and their feelings throughout the year;
• A panel discussion between three invited practitioners whose work is inspired by different ways of thinking about – and filling – time.
Katie Hale is an internationally recognised novelist and poet, whose debut novel, 'My Name is Monster', was shortlisted for the Kitschies Golden Tentacle Award, and has been translated into multiple languages. She is a former MacDowell Fellow, Hawthornden Fellow, and Wordsworth Trust Poet in Residence. Her poetry has won the Munster Chapbook Prize, and has been twice shortlisted for the Manchester International Poetry Prize. She has featured on national television and radio, including programmes such as Radio 4’s Open Book and Front Row, and has created commissioned work for the National Trust, the Barbican Centre, and the BBC Contains Strong Language poetry festival.
Dr. Hannabiell Sanders is a bass trombonist, African & Latin hand percussionist, composer, producer, and activist. She is a charismatic performer and teacher who is committed to using her music and knowledge in service to social justice to break stereotypes and bring diverse communities together. Hannabiell is the Artistic Director of the social enterprise, Harambee Pasadia which creates, organises, and manages festivals and events that focus on community building, arts from the African Diaspora, and intergenerational collaborations with artists and organisations all over the world. She is also the Musical Director for the Ladies of Midnight Blue and the Hannabiell & Midnight Blue Collective.
Fiona Crisp is an artist and Professor of Contemporary Art at Northumbria University. Her practice resides at the intersection of photography, sculpture, film and architecture, where the material relations of representation and experience are enacted within large-scale installations. Crisp is a founder member of The Cultural Negotiation of Science, a research group that brings together artists, academics and research students whose practices engage with expert cultures across a broad spectrum of science and technology. Over the last decade, she has been developing dialogues with fundamental scientists regarding the visualisation of concepts and data that challenge the limits of our imaginative capacity.
The BALTIC Research Exchange is a cross-year collaboration with students on the BxNU MFA which is organised as part of Northumbria University’s partnership with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. In 2020-21 two groups of collaborators developed research projects informed by curators and members of the BALTIC’s Learning & Civic Engagement team, exploring thematic cross-overs between artistic practice and the work of cultural professionals, opening up new avenues of exploration for all involved.
The BALTIC Research Exchange is designed to both unwrap new areas of exploration for all parties and to increase students’ professional knowledge of how public encounters are developed, how large arts institutions work, and the diversity of roles taken by people working within them.