Invited artists/collectives: Kayle Brandon + Heath Bunting, Rhiannon Chaloner + Manuel Vason, glorious ninth, GOTO10, Rui Guerra, Household, Christine + Irene Hohenbüchler, JODI, Mandy McIntosh, Gloria Ojulari Sule, Trevor Pitt + Kate Pemberton, Janek Simon, Stephanie Syjuco, Clare Thornton, and projects produced with workshop participants + local residents
Craftivism is an Arnolfini/Relational contemporary art project that responds to the resurgent interest in craft as it relates to socially- engaged art practice. It involves fourteen projects developed by artists and collectives that work with craft-based traditions and activist practices, and who employ the tactics of ‘craftivism’ (combining crafting + activism) to question and disrupt the prevailing codes of mass consumerism.
The project attempts to collapse the distinction between ‘making’ and ‘doing’ – the former associated with craft, the latter with human action. It places an emphasis on interaction and participation in the wider social realm, and employs aspects of self-organisation and ‘open- source’ principles. The artists involved engage with craft-based traditions through diverse practices including art, technology and fashion. Selected works exemplify ‘innovation’ in the general sense that newly invented forms might diverge from established rules and perceived norms.
Craftivism is developed in relation to a range of contexts and includes nine artist-led participatory projects developed with local communities, the outcomes of which are shown as part of a gallery- based interactive exhibition, online and in free software-related projects, workshops, talks and the uncurated satellite event UnCraftivism. Events also take place locally at Brandon Hill Park, Colston Hall, Full Circle St. Paul’s Youth and Family Centre, Knowle West Media Centre and The Mall Bristol.
The project will invite public interaction and provide opportunities to take part, make work and learn craft-based skills to customise products. It encourages wider communities to embrace the ‘freedom’ to create, modify and distribute products, and in so doing demonstrates the possibilities for people to modify their own lives.
Craftivism is part of the Artist/Activist season, a series of Arnolfini projects in Autumn/Winter 2009/2010 which provides a socially-active forum for debate and learning around issues of climate change and alternatives to the culture of consumerism.
Craftivism is an Arnolfini/Relational project curated by Zoë Shearman, Director, Relational, Geoff Cox, Associate Curator of Online Projects, Arnolfini, and Ann Coxon, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern. It has been developed with the support of a Crafts Council Spark Plug Curator Award and is funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Bristol City Council – Single Project Fund, The Crafts Council, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Mondriaan Foundation and Polska! Year.
Additional support and partnership from Arnolfini Café Bar, Bradley Stoke Library, Bristol City Council Park’s Department, Bristol Rope & Twine, Cameron Lee Carpets, CLIC Sargent Cancer Care for Children, Colston Hall, The Cookery School at Bordeaux Quay, Craftspace, CSF Wrestling, Full Circle St. Paul’s Youth and Family Project, Galerie Martin Janda Vienna, Galsworthy Graphics, Knowle West Media Centre, Labour Behind the Labour, The Mall Bristol, Naturepaint.com, POD Projects, West Country Knotters and Wicklea Youth & Community Centre, Brislington.