Delaine Le Bas
Maslen & Mehra
Richard T Walker
People Like Us
Bas Jan Ader
Ami Jade Cadillac
Anne Hilde Neset
Woods, wildernesses forests: these are places, long established in the kind of collective narrative provided by myth, fairy stories, Shakespearean plays, where things happen. The five artists selected to rise to this challenge are approaching their commissions in very different ways in the woodland area of Henham Hall. Other art-related activities around the Lavish Lounge area include artist talks, curators' tours and conversations, and an artists' film programme.
curated by Melvin Benn, Ben Borthwick, Ami Jade Cadillac, Louise Gray and Anne Hilde Neset and produced by Lavish Design.
Woods, wildernesses forests: these are places, long established in the kind of collective narrative provided by myth, fairy stories, Shakespearean plays, where things happen. These are the type of spaces that offer the possibility – in all its infinite chances – of transformation. It is with this idea in mind that we have commissioned five new artists to site new work in the Iris Gallery, the woodland area of Henham Hall.
It is one of the hallmarks of contemporary art practice that new spaces are discovered and utilised. Latitude Contemporary Art – now in its second year as a professional strand of contemporary visual art curation – offers its selected artists a real challenge. The woods have no walls, few boundaries, the terrain is uneven: whatever the artists create, it must have the presence to occupy a space that is far removed from the certainties that easier venues might offer.
The five artists selected to rise to this challenge are approaching their commissions in very different ways Installing a soaring structure wrapped around by skeins of dolls’ hair and concealing two waxwork dolls, the installation by Anglo-French artist Alice Anderson invites thoughts about ritual and separation within a framework that hints at the Brothers Grimm. Delaine Le Bas invokes Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbau – an architecture of strange topographies and personalised, alternate spaces – to approach issues concerning liminality and witchcraft, of exclusion and inclusion. As is perhaps apt for a festival that’s known for its musical programme, Graham Dolphin’s work is about memorialisation and the strange intimacy engendered between artist and fan. Andy Harper’s large, glowing globe – an orrery – is a reference to historical ideas that link the natural and the mechanical worlds. Artist duo Maslen & Mehra consider the temporary nature of Latitude’s July community with their ghostly statues that mirror other landscapes like wormholes into new realities or fantasies.
One of these artists will receive this year’s Latitude Contemporary Art prize of £10,000 plus a commission for next year’s festival. The prize will be awarded at a presentation in Lavish Lounge at 5.30pm on Saturday, 16 July, following judging by a panel of independent experts. Please see signs at Lavish Lounge for further announcements..
Other art-related activities around the Lavish Lounge area include artist talks, curators’ tours and conversations with curators Ben Borthwick, Louise Gray and Anne Hilde Neset. There is also a separate artists’ film programme on the Big Screen nearby (from dusk until late, Thursday to Sunday) and in the Latitude Film Gallery (11am-dusk). Films by Wood & Harrison, Nico Vascellari, Ana Prvacki, Seb Patane, Richard T Walker, People Like Us, Bas Jan Ader and Bob Flanagan will be featured here; Saturday’s Big Screen highlight will be Mordant Music’s new score, commissioned by the BFI, for Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí’s 1929 surrealist classic Un Chien Andalou (Certificate 15). Full details of the film programmes will be posted outside the Film Gallery and the Big Screen area. All films are U certificate unless otherwise marked. In addition, a live art show including a fund-raising art sale for KOP (www.kopafrica.org), consisting of work created by artists Jerome Miller, James Rueben Stephens and Suzi Kemp, Dan Woodger, Pat Bradbury, and Paul Layzell, Jim the Illustrator, Maria Slovakova, SNUB23, Rosie May Gam and Dan Kitchner will be staged in the higher woods. (Further details will be posted at the Lavish Lounge.)
Last year, a small theatre with a glowing screen and video-feedback loop – Graeme Miller’s Moth Theatre – won the first Latitude Contemporary Art prize. Returning to Latitude for a second year and now relocated to the higher woods area, hunt around for a theatre performance built for moths and starring moths. Opening after dusk, Moth Theatre is a place of stillness within the hurly burly of the greater festival. And, in its own quiet way, a place of complete transformation.
Louise Gray and Anne Hilde Neset
Image: Delaine Le Bas, Witch Hunt (detail) 2009. Copyright the artist and Courtesy Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin, and Galleria Sonia Rosso, Turin; photography Tara Derby
Henham Park, Southwold - Suffolk