Artist-led OSR Projects sets the date for Od Arts Festival 2020, a festival of contemporary art in rural Somerset
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Image Credit: Sadie Hennessy, Jolene and the Jealous Guys, Od Arts Festival 2018. Photo by Brendan Buesnel.
The inaugural Od Arts Festival was dreamt into reality as a pilot event last year in May 2018. Taking place across our home of East and West Coker, the festival took its name from the Od – a crooked stream that meanders through the neighbouring villages.
All kinds of artworks, films, music, talks, workshops and other events received over 5000 visitors, enthralled 200 schoolchildren, and provided valuable opportunities for 16 artists to create and present their work in a rural setting. We made it happen in close collaboration with local businesses, schools, community groups and venues.
OSR Projects have learned that we've been successful in our bid for Arts Council England funding, which means, we can confirm the second Od Arts Festival is going to happen!
In 2020, the festival will take the title of Alone With Everybody. We will invite artists and audiences to explore the ideas, politics and experiences of solitude, loneliness and isolation. It's a theme that is really relevant to our local area, addressing the problems as well as possibilities of rural isolation. It also seems to resonate globally, with the spread of isolationist politics and social media filter bubbles.
The festival will be curated by Simon Lee Dicker, artist and founding director of OSR Projects, in a new collaboration with Vickie Fear. Vickie is currently Curator/Programme Manager at Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth, and works independently as a curator and producer of exhibitions, commissions and events across the South West.
We are planning to install a wide range of artworks including three major projects, up to six site-specific, event-based or performative works and a selection of artist films, which will be newly commissioned or adapted for the festival.
Artists or collectives will be selected through an open call process and in partnership with organisations across the South West, including: 'a space' arts (Southampton), CAMP (Plymouth), Caraboo Projects (Bristol), CAST (Helston, Cornwall), Contains Art (Watchet, Somerset), Hardwick Gallery (Cheltenham, Gloucestershire), Obsidian Coast (Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire), The Mothership (Dorset) and WITHKIN (Dorset).
OSR Projects will offer artists a fee alongside curatorial and technical support to develop artwork for and with the people of East and West Coker. Details of the open call and application process will be released later this month – to be the first to hear, please sign up to our mailing list!
OSR Projects will also create an outdoor community feast as a festival finale. With the support of a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, the gathering will be organised collaboratively with local people and made as accessible as possible, with a particular ambition to reach those experiencing social isolation for a variety of reasons.
Other confirmed funders of Od Arts Festival include Old Mill, South Somerset District Council, East Coker Parish Council and West Coker Parish Council.
Want to support an artist or host a project? Prospective venues, sponsors or supporters interested in Od Arts Festival are encouraged to get in touch to find out how to be involved!
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