Jamboree #1: LOW PROFILE – On the origins of Jamboree (part 2)

Originally published: 5 January 2016 – https://www.a-n.co.uk/blogs/jamboree/post/52436121/

The first iteration of Jamboree took the form of a residential workshop held in Plymouth (Nov 2015) over 3 days, with 16 artist participants (selected from 6 artist run associate schemes from across the UK) and guest curator Martin Clark (Director, Bergen Kunsthall & Artistic Director, Art Sheffield).

The workshop aimed to foster a peer network of artists who are invested in each other’s practices, providing useful and supportive connections; provide a focused professional development opportunity and maximise energy and resources, by gathering a group of artists together from across the country to share knowledge, practice and networks. Jamboree aimed to expand regional/national networks for artists and visibility of artists based ‘in the regions’; create a social environment for sharing; support the potential of long lasting connections and provide useful professional contacts.

During the workshop the group took part in/attended:

  • the Jarman Film Award screening
  • gave individual presentations of art practice – focused on current concerns, modes of practice and challenges faced.
  • a ‘place mapping task’ and group presentations – artists worked in groups to map useful information about the place they live and work in, whilst considering how they operated within that place.
  • provocation led by Martin Clark on the notion of place/operating at ‘the edges’ and individual responsibility.
  • visited KARST for a behind the scenes tour and private view opening.
  • Group session led by Martin Clark focused on notions of what is lacking/what is required.
  • Go-Sees to Peninsula Arts Gallery, Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery, The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth Arts Centre.
  • A public film screening of video work (selected via an open call) by associate artists of Jamboree’s partner Associate Schemes.
  • Presentations by a sonic expert Neil Rose and cartography and geographic information systems expert, Sean Lewin
  • Reflective sessions on ‘what is next’
  • Skill mapping and swapping task (to share individual skills amongst the group)

Jamboree – a new approach to creating a dispersed but connected model.
Our desire to bring people together in one place, to meet face-to-face in an intensive environment to get to know each other and each other’s ­­practice; reflects our interest (and belief) in notions of individual and collective responsibility, and the potential of the collective as an agent for change.

At present in the UK, it is well recognised that there are multiple established art ‘scenes’ operating across the country. This situation disrupts a notion of a clear or singular centre and presents arts practitioners with the potential of a (geographically) dispersed but (socially) connected model.

The framework of Jamboree empowers individuals to make the most of being part of a collective, a community of practice and part of a developing network of artists who are critically engaged, widely dispersed (geographically) but interested in making (social and professional) connections and open to sharing knowledge, information and contacts.