ARTS INDUSTRY MAGAZINE ARTICLE

ARTS INDUSTRY MAGAZINE ARTICLE

     7 JULY 2017 - INTERVIEW WITH BRANCH DIRECTORS

Branching In: A new kind of arts consultancy, Branch Arts, has been launched by Flora Fairbairn and Susie Lawson who come from different corners of the cultural domain.

What is Branch Arts, is it concerned with all the arts or specifically visual, and how did you come together to create it? Branch Arts is an umbrella organisation. It brings together two core services: Creative Branch, an art advisory service for private clients and organisations, as well as curating and producing art projects around the world; and Branch Out, offering specialist arts communications and access to an extensive network of creatives. The idea behind Branch Arts grew from previous projects that we collaborated on. For these we tapped into multiple networks each had built up over our combined 30 years in different areas of the industry. It seemed only natural that we should pool our resources to establish Branch Arts...

ROBERT MONTGOMERY COMMISSION

ROBERT MONTGOMERY COMMISSION

Branch Arts were approached by the Royal Society for Blind Children to find an artist to raise awareness of the 22,000 blind and partially-sighted children and young people in England and Wales.

We are delighted to announce that from a wide selection of artists presented to the charity by Creative Branch, Robert Montgomery has been commissioned to create a sculpture to be launched nationally in January 2018.

The campaign has been initiated by the charity along with the advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, to draw attention to the plight of the UK's blind children, many of whom are very seldom seen, live outside the hustle of everyday society, and are rarely able enjoy the opportunities or future prospects of their contemporaries...

ENDURANCE : CUBAN ARTISTS TODAY

ENDURANCE : CUBAN ARTISTS TODAY

An online exhibition curated by Flora Fairbairn, Elvis Fuentes and Gabriela M. Fernàndez for Collectionair - until 3 July 2017

Flora Fairbairn has been visiting Cuba since 2009, having launched The Havana Cultura Visual Arts Project for Havana Club in 2010.  The purpose of the initiative was to support young emerging Cuban artists, so over the years she has become very familiar with the Cuban contemporary art scene and has watched it explode over the last 8 years. At the 2009 Havana Biennial, Flora met the Cuban curator Elvis Fuentes who had recently curated the groundbreaking exhibition, Killing Time in New York. Over 80 artists featured in the exhibition, their work metaphorically recording some of the tensions in the cultural, social and political landscape of the preceding two decades, having been dismissed by the official discourse on the Island or stereotyped by narrow conceptions of identity. Flora invited Elvis to curate this on-line exhibition for Collectionair, featuring up and coming Cuban artists of today, and ENDURANCE: Cuban Artists Today reflects on the circumstances of growing up in Cuba.

PAUL BENNEY - SPEAKING IN TONGUES

A multi-dimensional exhibition in Venice, co-curated by Flora Fairbairn and James Putnam

13 May – 26 November

In the intimate 16th Century Church of San Gallo, just yards from St Mark’s Square, is Paul Benney’s Speaking in Tongues exhibition.  A sound and visual feast which represents the culmination of many months of planning and collaboration fuelled by Benney’s creativity and vision. 

On entering the church, the visitor is transported into another world. Accompanied by a powerful holosonic landscape of sound, each of the 12 characters in the 3.5m painting recount intimate life-changing moments. The experience transports one into a reflective oasis and a mesmerising moment of calm and it can feel as if you have stepped into the painting, or that the characters have stepped out. As the visitor moves around the church, the hushed murmuring sound that one had encountered on arrival, is transformed into a clear stream of personal monologues, that one-by-one, seem to reverberate through one’s own head. 

The exhibition, picked as a highlight of the 2017 Venice Biennale in The FT's How to Spend It, has been a joy to work on. The outstanding reviews have been an added bonus to the pleasure of working with a brilliant team and a multitude of fantastic supporters. 

The Venice Biennale has been described as a ravishing carousel of international art, where no two people see the same Biennale, as there is so much to see.  It's an amazing experience to be immersed within thousands of exhibits dotted all over Venice, and the glowing reports from visitors experiencing Paul Benney’s exhibition has made the 2017 Biennale all the more magical.

Posted by Flora Fairbairn

Video link

For exhibition details please contact us

THE ARTIST'S OWN FAIR: LOPF

LONDON ORIGINAL PRINT FAIR 2017 AT ROYAL ACADEMY

Spring heralds the return to an old friend with the London Original Print Fair at the Royal Academy. Having been involved with the fair in some capacity since 2000 and responsible for the very successful PR campaigns for 5 years, it is always a treat to return to the world of print makers, dealers and general print enthusiasts. This year, like all others, brought together some of the leading contemporary artists in support of the medium.

The LOPF truly is the "artist’s own fair" with many wondering the aisles of the Fair including the genius Norman Ackroyd alongside his fellow RA’s Peter Blake, Paula Rego, Cornelia Parker, Bob & Roberta Smith, Basil Beattie Tess Jaray and Gavin Turk. Print makers celebrating the age long traditions also included Glenn Brown, Tom Hammick, Ben Eine and Weimin He – Browns, fantastic after Half Life (after Rembrandt) capture the very essence of printmaking as they showcase how prints have been at the heart of artistic practice for centuries but continue to develop new and wonderful techniques.

Collaborating with Alison Wright on the communication campaign, this year’s audiences increased by 12% with peak sales at the Private View and buzzing Young Collectors evening. It is always a pleasure working with print makers, capturing the essence of their craft and sharing this, through well informed media, to those who can appreciate the wealth of the print.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

SUSIE LAWSON IN CONVERSATION WITH ARTISTS SARAH MAPLE AND SCARLETT BOWMAN

SOHO FARMHOUSE, 8 MARCH 2017

“The men liked to put me down as the best woman painter. I think I’m one of the best painters.” Georgia O’Keeffe

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2017 and the theme #BeBoldForChange, Director Susie Lawson chaired a talk by two emerging female artists, Sarah Maple and Scarlett Bowman. Hosted at Soho Farmhouse, the discussion explored the working practice and experiences of these two passionate and talented female practitioners working within a male dominated world. 

According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 51% of visual artists working in the US are women. Meanwhile, only 5% of artworks in major museums walls in the US are by women artists and only 2 out of 100 of the most expensive artists of all time were women. Having worked with artists throughout my career, it has become apparent that historical female artists were overshadowed by men and the secondary art market, and the stats above reflect this. However, the climate is changing and as Scarlett and Sarah illustrated, there is no longer a need to differentiate but celebrate and support women’s ascendance in the art world. 

Well received by the audience, the talk explored Sarah and Scarlett’s definitions of success; how they have been received in the art world and whether they felt their work received different responses because they are women. 

Maple’s bold feminist work illustrated the topic fantastically. Her provocative investigations into what it is to be both a woman and a Muslim in 21st Britain is both humorous and seductive and undoubtedly aroused the Soho Farmhouse audience. 

www.scarlettbowmanstudio.com

www.sarahmaple.com