The Plymouth Art Weekender is upon us! This fantastic annual event brings together artists, makers, creatives and the general public in a celebration of the city and the talent it produces.
The Weekender showcases a wide and diverse range of activity for all ages including a large array of events and exhibitions throughout the city by local, national and international artists.
With so many events packed into one weekend it can be tough to decide where to go first – here are our tips for scheduling your Saturday…
First, head to Armada Way for 10:00
This iteration of The Park Bench Reader will see various benches along Armada Way dressed with classic works of adult and children’s classics. The Plymouth Classics iteration harks back to the works links to bibliotherapy, the notion that reading a classic work of literature aloud over a period of time has beneficial outcomes for individual and therefore societal health. The benches of Armada Way will be dressed with a range of Classic works of Adult and Children’s literature.
Say hello in Plymouth Central Library over the course of the day, where you will be able to collect badges, red carnations and maybe pick up a bargain from the library who will be having a book sale.
Wander past the Whats on kiosk in the City Centre
The Truth Wall from Kiss & Bite Letterpress
Friday-Sunday all day
The Truth Wall is an installation of political letterpress posters organised by the Kiss & Bite letterpress studio, Plymouth.
Like this installation? Don’t miss the family letterpress workshop with Kiss & Bite here at Plymouth Arts Centre.
Pop by Plymouth College of Art
‘More Than a Pony Show‘ from artist Matt Stokes
Friday-Sunday all day
Matt Stokes’ works begin with an immersive research process that explores the social structures of the place he is working in, resulting in the production of films, installations and events. These outcomes hold collaboration at the centre of both their formation and philosophy, often being made directly with people from the collectives they are celebrating.
In his new commission for We The People Are The Work, Stokes has worked with different generations of the punk-DIY music scene in Plymouth to create a multi-screen film work that poignantly explores punk’s legacy of protest and resistance, whilst charting the decline of live music venues in the city.
Make it to The Council House for 12:00-12:30
For Plymouth Art Weekender 2017, artists Edwin Burdis and Tom Woolner are collaborating for the first time on a series of playful and improvised performances. Working with the Devonport Park Community Choir they have created an immersive performance that reimagines the traditional sea shanty. The artists have drawn upon Plymouth’s naval history and civic architecture to inspire a series of props and costumes that will loom large in the performances.
Then take a trip to Ocean Studios
‘Together’ is an exhibition of photographs by Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support participants that have been working with Fotonow CIC during educational workshops over the Summer. Inspired by the theme of artists Elmgreen & Dragset ‘A Good Neighbour’ works, that will appear on billboards at the Civic Centre, Fotonow staff Amy Griffin and Esther Scali have been supporting the group of 15 individuals to work ‘together’ in exploring what being a neighbour means.
On your way back into the City Centre, check out Radiant Gallery
An interactive installation of fifty robots who will sing + dance for you if you give them the love + care they need. Each robot represents a real child in Plymouth in need of a real person or family to register as a foster carer.
Read the robots a story, give them a hug through the gallery windows, aAs the robots become emotionally ready + regrow their fluff, become an official fluffy foster carer for a week or weekend with the Bureau for Fostering Fluff, + make a robot’s dreams come true.
Designed by local children fostered by Plymouth City Council, and built by local artist Eloise Malone, Hana Backland, Mike Cobb and Phil Innes, this is a new immersive gallery installation suitable for adults and children.
Make your way to us here at Plymouth Arts Centre
An exhibition of interactive installation pieces which explore the physical and emotional spaces the artists inhabit. Megan Heywood and Niamh lily Wimperis invite the viewers into the small worlds they’ve created for themselves – a mono-coloured set and a blanket fort respectively. This exhibition is also the debut of their zine ‘Dwell’ which has had both local and international artists submit work on the same theme. Dwell has been created as a celebration and recognition of women’s voices in art.
This exhibition is part of We The People Are The Work, a major visual arts project in Plymouth that will explore ideas of power, protest and the public.
Ciara Phillips uses the discipline of printmaking to explore social concerns and develop collaborative practices. Regularly opening up her exhibitions as working print studios, she uses them as places for investigation, social action, discussion and debate.
In Plymouth Phillips has made a major new installation that takes over the multiple galleries and social spaces of Plymouth Arts Centre to turn them into a production space exploring the intersection of the personal and the political where she will work live in the exhibition with groups of women from the city to produce printed textiles to represent their voices and concerns.
Anthrosoluble Dispersion is an exhibition and research presentation by contemporary artist Jules Varnedoe. Featuring video, sound, research materials, sculptures, food and conversations with the artist, the exhibition will draw upon Jules’ research into oceanic futurism, displaced geologies, the proliferation of non-native species and the intersection of human infrastructures with landscapes and other organisms.
The Looe Street Detectives are looking for new members. Would you like to join them?
Formed in 2013 to investigate the area around the Arts Centre at 38 Looe Street. Drawn from local residents living and working in the city, we investigated the people and events that made up this part of Plymouth, unearthing fascinating insights into those who lived and worked here over the last 500 years.
With support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we are now going to research the history of the Plymouth Arts Centre site and the people who lived and visited over the centuries. We want to explore who they were and what they did and how their actions meshed or collided with the thinking of their day. Do any of these past characters continue to have an influence on our ideas today?
Finish it all off with Saturday Night at the Athenaeum
An evening of music, film, dancing and glow sticks for your pleasure and entertainment.
Kicking off the proceedings, join the Fantasy Orchestra for a kaleidoscopic symphonic brigade of music treats, from Morricone to the Sound of Music; expect psychedelic loveliness, rousing choral noise, and some choice costumes.
Followed by the Video Social Club, an artist-led initiative from Rachel Dobbs, Steven Paige, and Beth Emily Richards, presenting experimental film, video & moving image works responding to the thematic: ‘Faking It’.
Finally returning from 2 decades of partying in a quarry in mid-wales, social vibes will be delivered by 90s DJs Kate “rewind” Richardson and Erin “top-one, nice-one” Bailey, bringing Glowsticksy discolighty whiteglovey shameless 90s dancey fun. Is it art? Who cares?!
While this schedule is sure to keep you busy, there’s plenty more to experience from the Weekender – while you’re exploring the city, don’t forget to hop on one of the Weekender Bus Sessions!
No.21 – The Badge Making Bus from 10:00-12:00
No.50 – The Wonderzoo bus tour from 12:25
No.34 – Orbit bus all day