Dreaming 2017

January 2, 2018

Tonight We Dream by Elisa Artesero, 2017 (photo credit Nikolas Grabar)

2017 – another trying and turbulent year politically and globally. Reflecting on my own artistic projects however, it’s been a richly rewarding, varied and interesting year. Here’s my overview:

The Garden of Floating Words, Elisa Artesero 2017 (photo credit Stephen Iles)

The year got off to a fantastic start with my commission for the Canary Wharf Winter Lights Festival in London. The Garden of Floating Words is a cluster of glowing neon words forming a poem that appears to be floating in the dark amongst the foliage of Jubilee Gardens. I was overwhelmed by the positive public response. So many people stopped to contemplate the poem, and take pictures which were shared across social media. I also created my ‘Dreaming Bench’ as a little extra – this was almost as popular as the main work! Surprising, as it was something people had to find, but find it they did!

Dreaming Bench, Elisa Artesero 2017 (photo credit Stephen Iles)

In February I travelled to Iceland! There, I created mountainside projection piece ‘Tonight We Dream’ at List i Ljosi Festival in Seydisfjordur, East Iceland. I was so inspired by the place that  I wrote new poetry and projected it at other locations around the town, some static projections on houses, others temporary pop up poems on a walk around the town with a portable projector. I also visited Reykjavik the days that it had the most snowfall in over 60 years – it was a truly magical experience!

Tonight We Dream, Elisa Artesero

Snowflake, Elisa Artesero 2017

I had two artist retreats to the province of Burgos in Northern Spain to a little hideaway in the mountains; once in Spring and another in Autumn. This is part of some ongoing development work, here’s a couple of preview pictures that don’t give too much away!

More Shadow Than Form, Elisa Artesero, 2017

Sunlight on Chair, Elisa Artesero 2017

In July, together with colleagues and fellow artists, John Lynch and Roger Bygott, we ran the second biennial Manifest Arts Festival! This year we were delighted to have the support of Arts Council England with one of their Grants for the Arts. We showcased over 250 artists in open studios, events and exhibitions for 5 FULL days across venues in Manchester, Salford and Bolton. This was a particular highlight of the year as it was a fantastic celebration of the arts scene in the region and we were so pleased to be able to pull it all together. Watch the video below!

Manifest Arts Logo

 

Another fantastic project that I was involved in was my continued work with The Stroke Association and University of Manchester. For this project I devised and delivered a series of art workshops for stroke survivors and medical students. More on the work in this article. Also here’s the video that explains what happened and shows some of the workshops in action!

 

This year was quite a year of travel, together with my trips to Spain and Iceland, I also went to Eindhoven in Holland, and Berlin in Germany – places I hadn’t visited previously, so it was inspiring to see the arts being produced there.

In September I was honoured to be shortlisted for Best Light Art at the Darc Awards for The Garden of Floating Words!

 

Ending the year, and continuing on into 2018, I am on the AA2A Artist Residency at Sheffield Hallam University. Here I’ll be doing some development work around spacial themes and have been placed within the Interior Design section for the duration. I look forward to revealing more as I make it!

So, there’s an overview of what I’ve been up to throughout 2017! I can’t wait for the exciting things 2018 has to offer. Thank you to all of my collaborators, commissioners, grants givers and supporters throughout the year, it’s thanks to you that I can continue to make my artwork. Happy New Year!

 

 

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Snow poems

January 29, 2015

Inspired by the recent cold snap. First came the snow…

 

Snow gazing

From my window

 

Fat flakes

Look like

Feathers

Shaken loose

From pillows

By neighbours

Protesting another

Work day.

 

Then came the hail…

 

Hail

 

Hundreds of

Tiny ice fists

Hammer urgently

At the window

 

 

Lights Behaving Madly

December 8, 2010

Some more glowing light experiments:

This is an exhibition that I and 6 other Foundation students put on in the Link Gallery at Manchester Metropolitan University in March 2010; the first student initiated and organised Foundation Art exhibition in the space. We had to submit a proposal and have an interview about the work we were going to exhibit and how we intended to manage the set up of the space. We were in competition with other degree student submissions so we didn’t know if we’d be taken seriously as Foundation students. We submitted a well thought-out proposal however, which included artist bios, images, list of equipment, a design for each space and marketing strategy, so I think this must have helped to dispel any reservations as we were given the exhibition.

We decided to call the exhibition “Future Foundations” for, I think, obvious reasons. The work included had a 3D element in common but had been approached in a myriad of ways to showcase work from students on one of the best Foundation courses in the country.

My space exhibited my Snow Table project entitled “Snow Days” together with quality prints and the book documenting the progress. Alongside this I showed the two stop motion animations I’d done on my table.

The other students exhibited on themes of preservation, tumours, obsessions, death, breath and personal exploration. These were explored through textiles, film projection, illustration, body painting and sculpture.

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The students in Future Foundations were (in order on slideshow): Elisa Artesero, Helen Wheeler, Raisa Kabir, Sophie Bennett, Anna Jordan, Ben Lomax and Laura Teasdale.

 The exhibition was well received with many wonderful comments. We had a comments box to help to get feedback from people other than our immediate peer group which was of great use to our artistic development and to see what people liked about the exhibits.

 A couple of quotes from feedback my piece received:

 “I found the development that you observed in ‘Snow Days’ to be really interesting. It was cool how you had limited control over the outcome and how you embraced the results” 

“I really liked the honest, genuine approach to the work. It feels as though someone with a genuine spontaneous streak has created from nature and man-made to create a piece which has its own life and growth and spirit!”

Over the very snowy period in January 2010 I decided to try to take advantage of the opportunity of having mounds of material to sculpt as I wished. I live in flats with shared gardens that face the street so I thought I’d experiment with making some work that could be seen and commented on by passers-by.

I decided to carry on with my art school table theme (I’d been trying to recreate the surface effect in many different ways by this point already) and make the table out of snow. This took rather a lot of time and luckily a neighbour took pity on me and lent me a shovel to get the huge mound of snow in place a little easier than my rather silly idea that I could move it all by hand/foot.

Once sculpted and smoothed flat on the surface I started to paint it in the aesthetic of the art school table’s surface. This worked out better than I thought and I was really pleased with what I’d achieved. As I was painting I had many people walking by and popping over to have a look and a chat about what I was up to. It bemused some people and delighted others, particularly children. In the evening I could see people going up to the sculpture to have a look; quite a few took photos which was nice to see.

Over the next few days I tracked the changes in the table by writing a diary and taking photos as it froze over then finally melted. I also added to the table with frozen paint icicles I made in different shapes to make it a little more 3D. It was amazing to see this piece of work change each day as a result of the weather; crystals formed to make it sparkle in the sun and when it started to melt the colours bled into each other to make a completely different piece. I enjoyed speaking to people about it and seeing more and more people pass by and take pictures each day.  

The addition of coloured icicles:

The melting snow table:

I like that this piece did not exist permanently, but changed and finally disappeared, it’s only documentation now in pictures and my diary. These are just a few pictures to illustrate the piece of course, there is a lot more in the final book I produced and exhibited at the Link Gallery in Manchester.