Established by Artquest, PEER FORUM is an annual programme aiming to support artists by providing them with the funding, space and resources necessary to establish their own peer mentoring groups. As a host organisation, we provide support and create a space for artists to instigate dialogue and develop ideas and research.
This year’s selected group is led by artist Lea Collet who will be working with Miriam Austin, Naz Balkaya, Harry Bix, Guendalina Cerruti, Rosa Doornenba, Roxman Gatt, Maria Gorodeckaya, Zaiba Jabbar, Natalia Januła, Lou-Atessa Marcellin, Eleni Papazoglou, Dylan Spencer-Davidson, Anna Souter and Kandace Siobhan Walker.
Including visual artists, curators and writers, the group will explore the importance of collective affection and how artists can organise, communicate, present themselves, and work towards social change by sharing a more personal and intimate voice through their work.
The sessions will evolve from the group’s hybrid practices that intertwine writing, new forms of performance, object-making and digital work, all carried out by individuals or collectives online and IRL. Through a range of disciplines, they explore ideas of community, ecology, technology and agency, mutating through the spectrum of digital culture and corporate business models. Together they will look at forging new forms of connection from both behind and beyond the screen.
Through peer led discussions, engaging with Camden Arts Centre’s exhibition programme and practical workshops that encourage collective thinking, the group will consider PEER FORUM as an ecosystem of care with the potential for symbiosis.
Miriam Austin is an artist based in London. She graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Sculpture in 2012 and is currently studying towards a PhD in Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford (Studentship funded by the AHRC). Miriam’s current research explores the relationship between ritual, myth, ecological fragility, and the politics of the body.
Naz Balkaya is a Turkish artist-curator based in London, a graduate from MFA Curating at Goldsmiths University. Her projects generally promote collaboration, solidarity and safe networking, representing the millennial conditions and supporting the emerging cultural producers. Currently, Balkaya works as an assistant curator for Performistanbul and represent them within the UK. Artistically, Balkaya works through her artistic and curatorial collective, Panicattack Duo, which she established with Cypriot artist Emilia Demetriou in 2014. Panicattack mostly work with performance, video and photography, but also curates a series of performance exhibitions.
Harry Bix is the founder and producer of his art practice East Anglia Records and is a Lecturer in Landscape Architecture at University of Greenwich. He is the recipient of the Derek Jarman Scholarship, Slade School of Fine Art (2014) and the Betty Mclean Award presented by Bruce Mclean (2016).
Lea Collet’s work vacillates between collaboration, performance, installations, video and fiction. She stares into plant contact and communication, digital connectivity, group relationship and technology as a potential for allowing people to escape the limits of their material bodies. Lea trained at Camberwell College of Arts, London at BA level followed by an MA at Slade School of Fine Art, London. She often works collaboratively with Marios Stamatis.
Guendalina Cerruti is a London-based visual artist born in 1992 in Milan. Through her installations Guendalina create domestic-related micro-universes dense of sentiment, sarcasm, cynicism and psycological deepth, where decorative and subjective collapse merging in new system of visual communication between reality, representation and immagination. In Guendalina’s work objects, images and text exploring the personal and the popular, are carefully organised into arrangement whose complexity is often derived from the use of repetition, symbolism and scale.
In sculptures, videos and performances Rosa Doornenbal explores how commercialisation of ways of caring for the human body changes experiences of physicality, intimacy, and sexuality. She is interested in how objects for care and support can shape and control subjectivity and gender norms. She graduated from Goldsmiths MFA Fine Art in 2018 and BA Fine Arts at Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 2013.
Roxman Gatt (b. 1989, Mosta, Malta) work encompasses, text, painting, 3D, video, sound, photography, sculpture, installation and performance. Roxman’s research explores sexuality, identity, gender and consumption. Most recently the artist has been working with themes of humanising and interacting with consumer objects. Making the inanimate iconic and fetishised. Mundane aesthetics and the internet become both a tool and a trigger to produce work.
London-based Russian artist Maria Gorodeckaya. Her work sits at the crossroads of writing, performance and sculpture as an investigation into the power dynamics within which identities are determined through both affective and affected bodies. Maria graduated from the MFA Fine Art, Goldsmiths University of London (Sept 2013 – Sept 2015)
Zaiba Jabbar is a moving image artist, award-winning director, independent curator and founder of Hervisions. With nearly a decade of experience of working in the creative, music and media her curatorial practice is an investigation into how people on the margins are using technology to create art outside of traditional formats, mixing high and low culture and making space for themselves through the experience of expanded moving image.
Natalia Januła is an artist and archivist based in London and Warsaw. She studied linguistics and Photographic Arts at Westminster University followed by Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Arts. Her practice consists of mixed media assemblages, sculpture, video, photography, speculative wearables, CGI and performative elements. Her works explores the female body, the natural world and material phenomenology. It equivocates between the organic and synthetic, often simulating entities whose physiologies include both technological and biological components.
Lou-Atessa Marcellin is an artist whose practice has developed to adopt a curatorial mode of production in the form of a research platform called Diaspore, investigating ecological frameworks which interconnect social and environmental spheres. Using ecology and researching non-human organisational systems, such as the faune and flora, allows her to draw parallels between structures that are present in nature such as theself reliance of the forest and how such ideas can be implemented within contemporary culture.
Eleni Papazoglou is a designer experimenting with performance, printed matter and moving image. She studies the areas sport, work and play to observe systematised collective experience which she then subverts through group re-enactments, walks, and instruction-led exercises. Currently her practice is collaborative.
Dylan Spencer-Davidson is an artist based between London and Berlin. Using performance, music, writing, video and research into therapy practices, his work explores the emotional conditions of contemporary life. This year, he presented performances at Cabaret Voltaire (Zürich, CH), TROPEZ (Berlin, DE), Royal Academy Schools (London, GB) and created musical scores for Nika Neelova and Malik Nashad Sharpe, among others.
Anna Souter is an independent writer, researcher and curator, interested in the intersections between contemporary art and ecology. Anna’s writing spans fiction and non-fiction, drawing on tropes from academia, memoir, poetry and science writing. Her practice combines investigations into personal/bodily experience with explorations of cross-species consciousness to produce texts which are open-ended, networked and multi-directional.
Kandace Siobhan Walker is a writer and filmmaker. She writes fiction and poetry. Her work has appeared in the Guardian, Protoype and The Good Journal. She has collaborated on short film projects with IdeasTap, DAZED and the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Her short film Last Days of the Girl’s Kingdom was selected to air on Channel 4’s Random Acts. She was born in Canada and lives in Wales.