December 13, 2012

Over 200 proposals landed in our inbox for our inaugural Artists Commissions programme and we have been delighted with the high standard of submissions. Artists from far and wide, of different backgrounds and art forms applied but all shared a common goal of wanting to learn about and demonstrate the potential of the arts to inspire social change.  It has been heartening to hear from so many artists and organisations who share our aspirations and we’d like to thank everyone who applied as we appreciate the time and effort that goes in to writing applications.

Informed by our Arts and Kindness paper these four commissions will focus on the themes of empathy, belonging, values, and learning and artists will be supported, connected with wider conversations across disciplines, and feel part of a community of practice.

After four days of interviews, and much deliberating and discussion, People United and our partners, Arts Council England, Kent County Council, National Theatre and Turner Contemporary are very pleased to announce the artists who will be working on this exciting series of commissions in 2013.

They are:

Empathy in association with Kent County Council: Sarah Woods 
Sarah is a playwright and campaigner, writing for theatre, radio and television. Sarah will ask through writing, performance, multimedia and science – what actually IS empathy?

Belonging in association with National Theatre: Janetka Platun
Janetka creates work to interpret the lives of people through alternative archives, photographs and installation. For this commission she will be working on a site-specific installation that explores interpersonal relationships and how we find ways of belonging.

Values in association with Turner Contemporary: Maria Amidu
A visual artist, Maria will use participatory practice to explore and reveal the commonality (and division) of values between visitors to Turner Contemporary. Maria’s artistic practice explores the social relationships between people mediated by objects and places.

Learning in association with Kent County Council: Phoebe Marsh
A solo performer, producer and recent postgraduate from The University of Kent, Phoebe will share her learning through blogs, podcasts and performance.

In addition, Penny Klepuszewska will be creatively responding to the overall programme. As a photographer interested in exploring and revealing aspects of contemporary life, Penny will develop a series of photographs investigating the four themes of the commissions programme.

We are thrilled to be working with this group, and over the coming months will profile the work of each artist. In addition, we’ll be regularly blogging, posting photographs and film and keeping you up to date with the progress and results of each commission.

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