THE WILD PROJECT
Melissa Burn, Roos Dijkhuizen, Alistair Grant, Danielle Heath, Simone Landwehr, Tim Ridley, Saskia de Ronde, Beth Savage, Bobby Sayers, Adam J Scarborough, Alexander Stevenson
Preview and Performances: Saturday 12 July, 18:00–21:00
Installation: 12 July–9 August
Opening times: Thursday-Saturday, 12:00–18:00 or by appointment
The Wild Project residency took place last summer on the border of the Czech Republic and Poland, bringing together sixteen artists from across Europe to respond to notions of ‘The Wild’. At its core the residency was about expanding perceptions of the term, to include all of its diverse contemporary meanings – socio-politically, historically and environmentally in relation to Europe. This summer for their third project in the UK since the residency, the group will reform at Primary to make new work alongside each other for the first time in almost a year, respond to local sites and situations, and to expand the discursive elements of the original residency.
“From political and environmental usage such as descriptions of ecology or urban decay, to behavioural or social terms such as being outside of social norms; the term ‘wild’ has come to mean anything from deranged to beautiful, from excited to politically rogue. All of these myriad concepts were in the minds of the Wild Project artists, and made for a broad and challenging residency. Over two weeks last summer we were thrown together in the rural heart of Europe for workshops, seminars and discussion, and eventually two ambitious exhibitions on-site. The group was a mixture of established makers and recent graduates, and all openly explored new ways of working, challenging existing structures that made up their practices. We came together to create a number of collaborative works, and in particular we filmed a lot of the activities with the intention of creating a documentary and accompanying film works.
On our return to the UK we moved away from the starting points that defined the residency phase and created ambitious group shows in London and Edinburgh with entirely new works each time. These shows intended to re-situate and re-stimulate connections from the often less than ‘wild’ hometowns and cities of the artists involved. This has driven a closer inspection of wildness within the urban landscape, and within social behaviours.
We are not a ‘collective’ as such, but a band of very different creatives including a filmmaker and a dancer, alongside sculptors, photographers and environmental artists. This re-connection through exhibition has brought new life and ideas into the mix. Many of the group have travelled to wild and remote locations, while others have explored the term wild within the urban settings in which they live, and I believe we will continue to be influenced by one another’s broad approaches.”
Alexander Stevenson (artist and initiator of The Wild Project)