Flow likes a challenge, but what does Flow do? who do we work with? where do we do it?

I realised that whilst I’ve been busy having meetings, making plans and thinking forward, I haven’t really shared on my website what I actually DO. Typical, one gets busy doing and forgets to spread the word. And what is my ‘normal’ may not be yours! So here goes, in a nutshell, this is what I/Flow does:

Flow specialises in producing visual arts projects in partnership with major stakeholders, presenting new art in unusual places. Think artworks on beaches, exhibitions in Coastwatch buildings, films in historic stone barns on coastpaths, soundworks emanating from industrial cranes (having a conversation!), performance artists concealed under bridges, casts of quarry walls in forests – anything is possible outside the constraints of the gallery walls.

We work with acoustic specialists, geologists, archaeologists, zoologists, foresters and librarians – opening up visual art to new audiences and innovative ways of perceiving the world around us.

Flow has two key areas of delivery – FCA Projects initiates and delivers scattered-site visual art projects in non-gallery locations with partners, and FCA Advice supports others to do so – either by mentoring artists at ground-level, or by guiding organisations in the processes necessary to develop sound partnerships. Everything Flow does is about collaboration and dialogue and research is at the core of what we do.

We specialise in working with both art and non-art partners to achieve this and can provide a bespoke team to respond to particular requirements of any project. We also have experience of touring, working with strategic partners to tour both existing and newly commissioned contemporary visual artworks. For example, thanks to a grant from Arts Council England, we’re presently in consultation with the Forestry Commission, the National Trust and the Canal & River Trust about a touring programme, which will begin with a  period of action research.

We’re always on the lookout for new partners – current conversations include talking with an ethnozoologist; digital locative media producers; land-management organisations, Community Libraries and a writer whose subject area is technobiophilia. We love a challenge!

last month Free for Feb, this month it’s #internationalwomensday 2 free artist mentor sessions

NOTE, THIS WAS WRITTEN IN 2013, BUT THAT ISN’T EVIDENT ON THE POST.

Last month on Friday 1st February I launched Flow Advice by offering a huge TWELVE half-hour mentoring session to artists. All slots were taken and feedback tells me well received. So thanks to everyone for participating and I hope we talk again soon.

This month, launching on Friday 1st March, I want to do it again (but smaller – that was a big commitment!), but with a focus on mentoring women artists to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March. Maybe it is because my daughter suggested I should do it.  Maybe it was my going through old artworks of mine last week and unearthing a commissioned video from years ago, for which I interviewed Bristol women from many cultural background to identify similarities, has been on my mind. Whatever the reason, I think its a good idea.

When I made that film in 2001 I believe my daughter was about 15 years old. Brilliant to see now that, as a fantastic  woman who has studied human rights, she has adopted feminism into her life  in the same way she has good food and enjoying art. I guess it was just part of everyday life.

So the free sessions for March are to celebrate International Womens Day and will be for women only. There will be only 2 sessions this month, each half an hour, so you need to book in quickly. The same system as last month, please complete the preliminary survey, so I have some understanding of what you do and what you would like to discuss.

And off we go!!!

N.B. PLEASE DON’T APPLY IF YOU HAVE ALREADY HAD A SESSION

my first Flow post – time to explore concepts and thoughts – starting with nesting

I usually post from my carolyn-black.co.uk website so this is a first for Flow Contemporary Arts.

I want to explore nesting – what does it mean to people? It’s one of those concepts that has a myriad of interpretations. Russian dolls. Birds. Mammals. Parents. Stacking things. Incubation. Settling.

Wiki offers a few ideas – some I have not seen before. Today I will start with the most obvious one, just to ease my mind into the theme:

A nest is a place of refuge to hold an animal’s eggs or provide a place to live or raise offspring. They are usually made of some organic material such as twigs, grass, and leaves; or may simply be a depression in the ground, or a hole in a tree, rock or building. Human-made materials, such as string, plastic, cloth, hair or paper, may also be used.

It’s easy to think about nesting today – working from home, in a warm house, heavy frost outside. Winter is a good time to think towards the spring, when nesting is easier to conceive of.

A search for the words nesting and flow together comes up with an intriguing article by Ben J. Rushbrook & Megan L. Head &
Ioanna Katsiadaki & Iain Barber:

Flow regime affects building behaviour and nest structure in sticklebacks

I have no knowledge of sticklebacks and their breeding habits. But some of the information in the article really makes me think, such as this:

Within flowing water treatments, we find that males select nesting sites with lower than average flow. We also find that nests built in flowing water are smaller and more streamlined than those built in still water.

Are people the same? I live by the River Severn, I find the constant ebb and flow of the tidal estuary calms me, excites me, I feel engaged with the landscape. My sister has moved to live by the sea.  We have no need to nest for breeding purposes, but we do appreciate streamlining our nests.

Flow and nesting are upmost in my mind. I welcome your thoughts on them too – literally, poetically, madly, deeply, metaphorically……..

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