Radius 2012?

January 2011 I was invited to blog about the NON-Festival in Bergen Norway. The largest performance festival in Bergen to date initiated by artist, Agnes Nedregard who was supported by a team of dedicated artists, sponsors, and volunteers.

This project was inspiring and what I want to touch on was the spirit of the festival. A group of international artists were invited to Bergen to work in residence for a week and then perform within the three-day festival. The artists had total artistic freedom and had no pre-conceived product of what their performance would be.

There was a lot of risk involved because there were no restrictions, nor were the artist’s asked to report, propose, or identify what they were going to do before they did it. This was the exciting bit, not spontaneous art but there was only an invitation to show their work….

Last year Radius was the collection of events and exhibitions that happened during GI 2010 that shared similar elements.  Artists that live and work in Glasgow were invited to share their event or exhibition as part of Radius; existing in small venues, in-between official GI places, spaces and activity. It was supported by Central Station and the Skinny as well as working in collaboration with Atypical Root. There were no qualifications, just the goods and minimal effort to be included.

It happened because as an artist and director I didn’t meet the cut of the official festival but I was still so far into my planning, preparing and scheduling I was still determined to have it happen and let people know it was happening. I knew there would be others too so I set out trying to find them.

My experience as art director of Montgomery’s Café is this. Audience is powerful, and it’s everywhere. I have had many great experiences working with many different artists and I’ve had an international collector walk into the Montgomery’s Café and buy an entire show.  Things that make exhibitions happen are: a lot of work, commitment and belief, always on a minimal budget, some trading and a lot of community support.

It’s important to take risks and to take yourself and your audience seriously; these actions create knowledge, personal and professional. It also builds relationships, continuity and clarity. Each year I aspire to be an artist, and on the way I see myself five years ago in someone else, it means I have diversified my efforts.

Sometimes the best things come from the most restricted budget, things in the rough are incredibly interesting. I like thinking of myself as an independent voice; it gives me fuel, determination and freedom. To round it out, my point is that artists have a voice whether the funding bodies are able to support them or not, Radius was support in kind without expectation, but I wasn’t disappointed and I would welcome enquiries, suggestions and ideas if other independent voices wanted to contribute. It’s around the corner!!