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WEVAA commissions high-quality new work by local, national and international artists
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WEVAA supports the development of innovative and inspiring new work through a programme of commissions that offers significant opportunities for practitioners and audiences. The programme enables the development of works that might not otherwise be possible, including ambitious public presentations by artists based in the South West; engagement projects that connect practitioners with diverse communities; and exhibitions that bring the work of internationally celebrated artists to people living locally.

Commission opportunities will be shared via our mailing list, sign up to receive regular updates.


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International Artist Exhibition Spike Island

Ofelia Rodríguez

Ofelia Rodríguez (1946–2023) studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, and later at Yale University, New Haven and the Pratt Graphic Art Center, New York. In 1978–80, she travelled to Paris, where she studied at Atelier 17 and exhibited her first assemblages and ‘magic boxes’. She settled in London in 1984. She has exhibited her work at venues such as The Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA (1988); the 5th Havana Biennale, Cuba (1995); Museo de Arte Moderno ‘La Tertulia’, Cali, Colombia (1995); MAMBO, Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Colombia (2008); MOLAA, Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California (2011, 2017 and 2021); and Instituto de Visión, Bogotá, Colombia (2017). Her work is held in collections such as ESCALA, Essex Collection of Art from Latin America, The University of Essex and MOLAA, Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California.

Talking in Dreams is a major monographic exhibition. This extensive presentation brings together a selection of over fifty paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures made over the past five decades.

Influenced by memories of her native Barranquilla, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, Rodríguez combines found objects and images rich in symbolism to construct humorous yet critical works that examine cultural identity and gender stereotypes.

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Place portrait
Engagement Commission Spike Island

Place Portrait

Place Portrait is a multimedia installation by Anna Haydock-Wilson in collaboration with Caitlin Dawkes, Holly Humphries, Ryan Convery-Moroney and Tsipora St. Clair Knights. The work explores Spike Island’s neighbourhood and includes interviews with local characters (both human and more-than-human), ambient sound, still and moving images, and found, reused and newly created materials.

Anna Haydock-Wilson connects people through participatory activities. She studied fine art and independent filmmaking in London, and recent exhibitions include Inhabited Spaces (2019), Centre of Gravity (2020) and Make Gallery Exeter (2021).

Caitlin Dawkes is an artist who is interested in exploring the (dis)comforting effect of art objects through tactile sculpture. Dawkes studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, UAL (2022) and recent exhibitions Horse Hospital (2022) and The Station (2022).

Holly Humphries is a Bristol-based artist who works with the themes of consumption and desire. She is part of East Bristol Contemporary and has exhibited at The Station (2022), St Anne’s House (2023) and The Arts Mansion (2023).

Ryan Convery-Moroney is a photographer and documentarist. He is interested in architecture, social structure, psychogeography and the multifaceted use of urban space and planning.

Tsipora St. Clair Knights is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores the complexities of identity. She studied dance at Bath Spa and is a Board Member of Purple Moon Drama and Rising Arts Agency.

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North Somerset Artist Commission

Germaine Budden

Geramine Budden makes sculptural works and texts informed by natural materials and geological motifs, employing metaphor to foster empathy with the non-human experience. Her practice explores materials and processes, and how they communicate, and how we can apply this intuitive knowledge base to issues around the environment.

In Memory of Water, Germaine explored the art of ‘Suminagashi’: a traditional form of Japanese printmaking created by suspending ink on the surface of water to document the shape and movement of water and its response to wind and currents. In response to the coastline of Weston super Mare, she created intuitive prints in rock pools to experiment with the patterns created within these geological structures, interrupted by seaweed which imposes restrictions on the flow of inks. Exploring the possibilities of unobtrusive ocean safe inks as a method of documenting the landscape, this act also promotes personal connection with place and considers ocean ecologies.

Grains of Sand is a programme of micro-commissions led by Super Culture for early career artists from North Somerset, with outcomes presented at the Promenade Weekender.

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Amy Credit Josh Lomen 17
North Somerset Artist Commission

Amy Butlin

Amy is an interdisciplinary artist whose process-led practice is driven by an ongoing search for self. Drawing on themes such as the unconscious, memory, repetition and uncertainty, her work is informed by ideas from folklore, history, feminism and her own neurodiversity. Amy employs automatic writing and drawing, and uses everyday found materials, in an improvisational way that allows chance encounters to shift the direction of her work into film, photography, and installation.

For this new work, Over Old Ground, Amy focused on a walk from the land to the sea, between the sites of two bronze age barrows on Weston’s hillside, to investigate the complex nature of our relationship with place. A series of open-ended, overlapping explorations whilst walking the network of paths between these two points considered the nature of the pathways, the shifts and changes to the environment, and overlapping histories and mythologies. Combining drawing, writing, photography and textiles the work considers the complex, shifting nature of places and our relationships with them.

Grains of Sand is a programme of micro-commissions led by Super Culture for early career artists from North Somerset, with outcomes presented at the Promenade Weekender.

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North Somerset Artist Commission

Rowan Colquhoun

Rowan Colquhoun is a non-binary artist and maker living in North Somerset. Their artistic practice explores navigating relationships through interpreting various signs and symbols to consider hidden vulnerabilities and desires. Playing with contrasting elements within their work, Rowan often juxtaposes animal figures and organic shapes alongside emotional experiences such as dream-like states to reveal alternative perceptions of the subject matter at hand.

Through their research into the unusual critters and flora hidden in the watery nooks and crevices of Weston’s coastline, Rowan has delved into the worlds of the rock slater, European eel, the rock samphire, and bladderwrack seaweed amongst other things. Throughout the development of this project, Rowan has become interested in coastal foraging and how it can help to gain a deeper understanding of our natural environment and the sustenance it can provide. The resulting work, Sustenance, incorporates a series of site-specific relief prints installed in the landscape.

Grains of Sand is a programme of micro-commissions led by Super Culture for early career artists from North Somerset, with outcomes presented at the Promenade Weekender.

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North Somerset Artist Commission

Alice Cunningham

Alice Cunningham is a visual artist whose diverse practice ranges from sculpture and carvings, to drawing and socially engaged work. Her work explored the materiality of things through a keen interest in people and our material engagement with the world around us. Alice is interested in ways that we can communicate, interact with and understand our surroundings, whilst disrupting common-place aesthetics to create interesting dialogues between material, people and place.

Remains is new sculptural re-imagining of Westons iconic Birnbeck pier, that considers the tension and balance between the built and natural habitats of Weston-Super-Mare's coastline. Through Alice’s experiments with the sand, sea water, mud and silt of Westons intertidal zone when the tide has gone out, a pier structure was wrapped in canvas printed directly in this location to create a large sea drawing. The work reflects on and connects with the natural environment and our complex relationship with it.

Grains of Sand is a programme of micro-commissions led by Super Culture for early career artists from North Somerset, with outcomes presented at the Promenade Weekender.

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MUD credit Promenade
North Somerset Artist Commission

Move Until Dusk collective

Move Until Dusk (MUD) is a fledgling movement theater collective who came together through a shared interest in dance and movement that is rooted in research and experimentation. Together, they are intent upon unpacking and unlearning common conditioning, thoughts, beliefs, and customs through corporeal expression that is essentially ‘of the body’. Their curiosity and unconventional nature, often sees them responding to the physicality of place, space and context to both explore and question the world around them.

Birnbeck Beast is a newly developed performance focussing on the mystical and mythical creature that is Birnbeck Pier and the natural cycle of life that is decomposition, using movement and sound as mediums to explore the symbiotic relationship between self and surroundings.

Grains of Sand is a programme of micro-commissions led by Super Culture for early career artists from North Somerset, with outcomes presented at the Promenade Weekender.

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Engagement Commission Spike Island


FORECAST is Engagement commission by Rachal Bradley, developed over the past year in collaboration with emerging West of England-based artists and Creative Youth Network alumni Carlo Hornilla, Tommy Howlett, Lauren Jeffery and Calum McCutcheon. Reflecting upon the underlying functions of the psyche, the body and where these meet the reality around us, FORECAST comprises a video work exploring the collective consciousness of crows and a mirrored pavilion sculpture suspended from the gallery ceiling.

Rachal Bradley is an artist and writer based in London. In her work, Bradley aims to understand the formative and formal relationships between the body and systemic structures within society.

Carlo Hornilla is a Bristol-based freelance artist, illustrator, storyteller, and poet; who uses “play”, “fun” and regular introspection as a platform to explore feelings, connections and communication.

Tommy Howlett is a 2D animation filmmaker interested in story-telling, blending means of the expressive and conventional, and bringing adult audiences closer to animation.

Lauren Jeffery is a portraitist and poet who approaches her practices as a vehicle to expand her perspective.

Calum McCutcheon's practice is a tool for introspection, using process as a means of understanding his own logic and subjectivity.

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International Artist Commission Spike Island

Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Lawrence Abu Hamdan (b.1985, Amman, Jordan). His audio investigations have been used as evidence at the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and as advocacy for organisations such as Amnesty International. He has exhibited at the 58th Venice Biennale; the 11th Gwanju Biennale; the 13th and 14th Sharjah Biennial; Witte De With, Rotterdam; Tate Modern Tanks, London; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Portikus Frankfurt; The Showroom, London; and Casco, Utrecht. His works are part of collections at MoMA; Guggenheim, (both New York); Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Tate Modern, London. As part of a temporary collective with nominated artists Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani, he was awarded the 2019 Turner Prize.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan's new film commission, 45th Parallel, focuses on the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, a unique municipal site that straddles the jurisdictions of Canada and the United States. Filmed on location, 45th Parallel activates this unique site’s legal and symbolic potential. The work is structured as a monologue in four acts, performed by acclaimed film director Mahdi Fleifel. The story centres on Hernández vs Mesa, a judicial case covering the fatal, cross-border shooting of an unarmed fifteen-year-old Mexican national in 2010 by a US Border Patrol agent.

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Asmaa Jama
Spike Island Digital Commission

Asmaa Jama

Asmaa Jama is a Somali artist and poet based in Bristol. She is the co-founder of Dhaqan Collective, a feminist art collective of Somali women, centring the voices of women and elders, and privileging co-creation and collaboration. In 2021, Jama was shortlisted for the Brunel African Poetry Prize and the Wasafiri Writing Prize, and longlisted to the National Poetry Competition. Jama is a Cave Canem 2021 Fellow.

The commission takes the form of a teaser for Jama’s new film, Except this time nothing comes back from the ashes, which will be premiered at their upcoming solo exhibition at Spike Island in June 2023.

Made in collaboration with Gouled Ahmed, Except this time nothing comes back from the ashes is a moving image project exploring self-portraiture, archiving and memory. The film follows ghostly, glitchy presences haunting a city, each figure representing those who exist in the margins or the periphery. The work is inspired by African photography studios, which have provided an important context for artistic self-expression, as well as for the sustained practice of communities archiving themselves in local historical records. Filmed in Addis Ababa, this work stems from Jama’s direct engagement with private family collections and archives.

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Jack young
Spike Island Engagement Fellowship for South West-based Curators

Jack Young

Jack Young is an artist and participatory educator living in Bristol. He writes experimental fiction and non-fiction with a focus on queer ecologies. His hybrid chapbook URTH was published by Big White Shed in 2022, and he co-hosts the literary podcast Tenderbuttons. As an educator, Jack works with young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, developing arts-based critical pedagogy with a particular emphasis on multilingual filmmaking, applied theatre and creative writing. He has worked with schools and institutions in Barcelona and London including MACBA, Institut Moisès Broggi, Royal Academy of Arts, Horniman Museum, Tate and Gasworks. Jack was the recipient of the 2022 Spike Island Engagement Fellowship for South West-based Curators, and curated The Body-Forest, a programme of engagement activities and public events.

The Body-Forest explored how thinking of the body as an interconnected ecosystem rather than as a machine – a metaphor developed under capitalism – might shift the way we think about our human connection to the world. Drawing on the work of biologists Pierre Sonigo and Shrese, among others, the programme included participatory workshops, discussions, radical history walks, reading groups and more. It interrogated how the concept of the Body-Forest might de-centre the human, and change the way we think about time, language, desire and community in an age of overlapping social and ecological crises.

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UK-based Artist Commission Spike Island

Tanoa Sasraku

Tanoa Sasraku (b. 1995, Plymouth, based in London, UK) graduated from Goldsmiths College (2018) and is currently studying at the Royal Academy Schools. Recent solo and group exhibitions include Testament, Goldsmiths CCA, London (2022); A Tower to Say Goodbye, presented by General Release at the Chelsea Sorting Office (2021); Recession Grimace, Klosterruine, Berlin; Tanoa Sasraku: O’Pierrot, LUX Moving Image, London (both 2020); Resist: be modern (again), John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Nashashibi / Skaer – Thinking through other artists, Tate St Ives (both 2019).

The major solo exhibition at Spike Island includes works on paper, photographs and bronzes that build upon the artist’s ongoing research into hostile wildlands, and personal relationship to the energy, mythology and memories stored deep within the British landscape. Made using digital and analogue techniques, and processes that shift scale, materiality and texture, the works draw connections between microchip circuitry, tartan textile fabrics and ancient rock formations.

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Event with The Brunswick Club and Schwet

EP64 #64: The Grand Final

EP64, the ‘ephemeral project’ lasting 64 concerts, reached its finale at the end of May 2022.

Since 2016 EP64 has involved a wide range of musicians and visual artists. All were invited back to collaborate one last time, in a series of improvised performances over two days initiated by raw vocalist Dali de Saint Paul.

Participants included:

Dali de Saint Paul, Dan Johnson, Laura Phillips, Ossia, Silver Waves, Miguel Prado (Harrga, Nzumbe), Robin Stewart (Giant Swan), Ben Vince, Paddy Shine (GNOD), Jesse Webb (GNOD), Agathe Max, Copper Sounds, Lizi Hoar, Matt Loveridge (MXLX), Tom Bugs, Guest (Jabu), Matthew Grigg, Sarah James, Deej Dariwhal (Thought Forms), John Scott (Stereocilia), Matt Davies, Yoshino Shihigara (Yama Warashi), Conrad Singh (Evil Usses), Leon Ray Boydon (Evil Usses), Joe Kelly (Wendy Miasma), Andrew Neil Hayes (Run Logan Run), Annie Gardiner (Hysterical Injury), Aonghus Reidy (Ocean Floor), Melanie Clifford, Snoozie and more.

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International Artist Commission Spike Island

Candice Lin

Candice Lin (b. 1979, Concord, Massachusetts) works in Los Angeles, California. She received her BA in Visual Arts and Art Semiotics from Brown University, in 2001, and MFA in New Genres from San Francisco Art Institute, in 2004. Her practice utilises installation, drawing, video, and living materials and processes, such as mould, mushrooms, bacteria, fermentation, and stains. She addresses themes of race, gender, and sexuality in relationship to material histories of colonialism, slavery, and diaspora. Lin has had recent solo exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Germany; Louisiana State University Museum of Art, New Orleans (all 2021); Pitzer Galleries, Claremont, CA; Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Art Center, Canada; Ludlow 38, New York; Francois Ghebaly, Los Angeles, (all 2019). She is Assistant Professor of Art at UCLA.

Her major new commission at Spike Island expands her ongoing research into marginalised histories, colonial legacies and the materials that link them. Combining materials as diverse as opium poppy, bone black pigment and lard, the exhibition weaves together wide-ranging stories of migration, biological warfare, and British and American colonial relationships with China to explore how Asian people have often been defined in relationship to animality, contagion, and the inhuman. Lin traces how these definitions have subsequently influenced constructions of whiteness and citizenship in the United States.

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International Artist Digital Commission Spike Island

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley (born 1995, lives and works in Berlin, Germany) is an artist working in animation, sound, performance, and video games to communicate the experiences of being a Black Trans person. Their practice focuses on recording the lives of Black Trans people and intertwining lived experience with fiction to imaginatively retell Trans stories. Spurred on by a desire to record the “History of Trans people both living and past,” their work can often be seen as a Trans archive where Black Trans people are stored for the future. Throughout history, Black queer and Trans people have been erased from the archives. Because of this it is necessary not only to archive their existence, but to record the many creative narratives they have used and continue to use to share their experiences. In 2022, Brathwaite-Shirley produced a solo performance work at the Serpentine, London. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at Skanes Konstforening, Sweeden (2022); Arebyte Gallery, London (2021); Quad, Derby (2021); Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea and Science Gallery, London (both 2020).

GETTING HOME SAFE is a pro-Black, pro-Trans game in which viewers explore what it means to GET HOME SAFE when your safety is not guaranteed. Unfolding real-time within the digital space, players’ choices influence the narrative of the game and ultimately determine if they get home safe or if they stop someone else from getting home. As part of Brathwaite-Shirley’s ongoing work to archive a Black Trans experience, GETTING HOME SAFE centres ideas of responsibility and care. It challenges the player to understand how their actions and choices impact on other people’s lives. Are your actions contributing to a world that makes it easier for others to breath or are you the reason why others are slowly being erased?

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SW-based Artist Commission Spike Island

Lucy Stein

Lucy Stein has been based in St. Just, Cornwall since 2015. She studied at The Glasgow School of Art, and later at De Ateliers, in Amsterdam. Recent solo exhibitions include Thesmophoria (including the performance lecture Bride of Quiet) Galerie Gregor Staiger Milan (2020); Digitalis Purpurea (a re-introspective ), Conceptual Fine Arts , Milan (online) (2020), £10.66, Palette Terre, Paris (2018); Crying the Neck, NICC Brussels (with Nina Royle) (2017); On Celticity (organised with Paola Clerico), Rodeo Gallery, London (2016).

The Spike Island commission Wet Room, was her first major solo exhibition in the UK. Working primarily with painting and drawing, Stein’s show is inspired by the fougou: narrow Neolithic underground passages unique to West Cornwall that lead to womb-like chambers and have become sacred sites of worship. Echoing the ritual rebirthing ceremonies that are believed to have taken place within these uterine caverns, the exhibition centres around an installation comprising a bathtub and sink with running taps, surrounded by tiled walls that have been hand-painted with scenes relating to the artist’s study of western esoteric traditions.

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