Saturday 18 July – Sunday 27 September 2015
RESOURCE: Clay Arlington, Jack Brindley, Ben Cain, Maurice Carlin, Daniel Eatock, Sean Edwards, Anne Harild with Blue Room, Jonzo, Laurence Payot, The Serving Library, Print Club, The Piracy Project, Ian Whittlesea
An exhibition examining the usefulness of art and twenty-first century arts centres, featuring work from a wide range of UK-based artists RESOURCE is inspired by the 1927 founding manifesto of the Bluecoat which states that the organisation was set up to promote not only the arts, but also the ‘diffusion of useful knowledge’.
The resulting exhibition includes artists whose work suggests or subverts a practical purpose, alongside interventions into the infrastructure of the Bluecoat by publishing collectives and designers. Many of them have made new work for the exhibition utilising the building’s hidden resources – its studios, performance spaces, print rooms and the people who use them – opening up the day-to-day working life of the UK’s oldest arts centre.
Art works as temporary resources available for visitors include Sean Edward’s sculpture which provides dividing walls for the exhibition, Jack Brindley’s museum-style audio guide which layers a fictional narrative over the building, Ian Whittlesea’s exercises in becoming invisible, and the Piracy Project’s reference library of bootlegged publications – open for browsing and new contributions by the visiting public.
RESOURCE also features working methods which highlight both what we might learn from each other and how we can work within an economy of means. These include Anne Harild’s prototype shelters co-designed with Blue Room, a group of adult artists with learning disabilities, and Daniel Eatock’s contribution, an installation determined by the materials left over from previous exhibitions.