@artnucleus site visit for @bsidefest and @exlab2012 commission – Portland, UK

Artist Simon Ryder is carrying out his research for his new work, to be presented later this year as an Ex Lab & b-side joint commission. You can follow Simon’s blog online,  visit b-side website, and follow us!

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@MaritimeMix2012 launches video and website coming soon..

It’s all hotting up towards the Cultural Olympiad now – here’s a taster of what is to come – including new works from our Exploratory Laboratory (Ex Lab)!

Maritime Mix – London 2012 Cultural Olympiad by the Sea Trailer from Maritime Mix 2012 on Vimeo.

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Simon Callery researches a route with Dorset GIS technicians

In the lightless spaces under Dorset County Council Ex Lab artist Simon Callery outputs a set of unique maps to create a new and imaginative route between Sherborne and Weymouth. This, ‘Callery Way’ will meander between the historic sites of quarries where raw rock is still exposed in the landscape. His route follows the older paths and ‘droves’ where the passage of people and their animals excavates the deep Dorset mud and the substance of the landscape is illuminated.

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Ex Lab Art Science Meeting at West Bay

It was a saline day of dialogue between the Exlab artists and scientists. The meeting between these factions certainly produced frisson; accounts of the strategies of marine defence were as compelling and creative as the artists’ amazing proposals. West Bay was an emotional site for this formative meeting between the experimental participants in the Laboratory. The partners, who have worked as collaborators, were able to meet all the artist and scientists, who are going to make the project happen, in one place for the first time.


Contributed by Andrew Stooke

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Purbeck Jam – Mat Chivers public event to harvest stories about the Jurassic Coast and Purbeck

It was a dark and stormy night.   More than 25 people braved the wind and rain to gather around the fire at the Square and Compass in Worth Matravers to share their knowledge and love of Purbeck over a glass of mulled cider.  A warm and lively evening included poems and stories from among others Wendy Wharam, Ged Duncan and Roy Ford, with John Bullock of Ystrels keeping things going as master of ceremonies.  It turned out that all but one or two of those present were ‘blow ins of more or less long-standing, who had chosen to live in Purbeck and had a deep passion for the place.

The Purbeck Jam was the initiative of sculptor Mat Chivers who has been commissioned to make a new work about the geology of the Jurassic Coast responding to the National Trust estate in Purbeck, as part of the Ex Lab project.  During the evening he made audio and video recordings to use as raw material towards his new work.

Mat has already made several trips to Dorset from his home on Dartmoor to walk the coast, explore the landscape and meet quarrymen, geologists and National Trust staff.  The Purbeck Jam was part of his research, a way of drawing people together, introduce himself and his work and collect human information about Purbeck and the landscape to complement the scientific data he is hearing from scientists. 

Text by Jo Morland

Photos by Rose Ferraby


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artist Mat Chivers hosts research event at Sq & Compass 8.12

Our first public event: Mat Chivers invites local performers, musicians and wordsmiths to share their stories with him about the local landscape. The geology of the area has not only shaped the coastline but also affected the communities that live along it. Houses are built from local stone, people work in quarries, poets write about it, artists paint it.

These are early days of the research period for the 5 commissioned artists and this is a great way for local people to inform and contribute to the process. Mat will give a brief introduction to his own work as an artist and then document and record the performances for him to reflect upon, and analyse, afterwards. That’s all we can tell you right now, but if you live near the Square and Compass do join us – if you need the address then you are too far away!

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Ex Lab blog goes live – watch out for updates as the artists begin their research

We’re delighted to announce that the commissioned artists are Simon Callery, Mat Chivers, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom, Simon Ryder and creative studio Proboscis.

Each will respond to a different area of the coastline, resulting in a number of temporary site-responsive artworks to be presented at various coastal and inland locations across Dorset in 2012. Look out for more information as the project develops…..


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