Friday, 22 April 2011

Enemies of Good Kunst

Since October of last year Enemies of Good Art have broadcast live every Friday afternoon 4-5pm on Resonance 104.4FM. They will continue with their live broadcasts until the end of May when they'll take a break until September.

At present Ana Shorter from Enemies of Good Art is producing a series of shows from Berlin. On Friday 22nd April, today, Enemies presents Art Practise and Family Commitment: the view from Berlin. The show will look at art practise and the demands of raising a family. Four multi-disciplinary artists, all with children under 4 years old talk openly to Ana Shorter on the subjects of motherhood, fatherhood and practicing in Berlin: Ines Lechleitner addresses issues of non verbal communication; Shan Blume, an independent artist living and working alongside his family, explores the possibility of space; and collaborators Sofia Burchardi and Plamen Bontchev work with photography, video and installation.

On the next Enemies show on Friday 29th April four Berlin based artists will give a personal account of the combined roles of mother to young children and primary care giver to aging parents. Ana Shorter will be joined by artists, Dorothy Ann Daly, Mona Jas, Sibylle Hofter and Raluca Blidar.

For details of future shows and to hear previous broadcasts visit www.enemiesofgoodart.org/radio

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Birds Eye View film festival seeks a Producer/Managing Director

BEV have put out a call for a new producer/managing director. I know from working with them first hand as a critic that they are an exceptionally motivated and creative team who love film, music, events and debates and create an incredible, exciting line-up of things to see, do and discuss every year. They are looking for a new team member - the text below is from their job notice - and I can promise it will be a wild and inspirational ride.

Birds Eye View is a positive response to the fact that only around 7% film directors and 15% screenwriters are women. It is a fast growing and dynamic organisation, a very small team with increasing cultural impact. BEV celebrates and supports international women filmmakers with a 10 day Festival at London's major venues (BFI Southbank, Southbank Centre, ICA, City Screen cinemas) each March. The critically acclaimed Festival attracts an audience of around 11,000 and the involvement of world leading & internationally emerging filmmakers (Mary Harron, Susanne Bier, Lena Dunham, Marjane Satrapi, Wanuri Kahiu, Jessica Hausner, Isabel Coixet, Mia Hanson-Love) and high profile actresses (Zoe Wanamaker, Juliet Stevenson, Rosamund Pike). Alongside film screenings, Birds Eye View is developing a cross arts programme, including Sound & Silents, a series of commissions of female musicians to create new live scores for silent films (artists commissioned to date include Imogen Heap and Holst Singers, Micachu, Mira Calix, Bishi, Natalie Clein, Zoe Rahman and The Elysian Quartet). Birds Eye View also nurtures and develops new talent through our bespoke Labs for outstanding emerging female writers and directors. We currently have five feature films in funded development with partner production companies as a direct result of these Labs (two comedies from Last Laugh: Women Create Comedy, and three animations from Re:Animate). Please see http://www.birds-eye-view.co.uk/ for more info.

Birds Eye View is looking for a new Festival Producer, who would also take on responsibilities of company management. This is an extremely challenging role which offers an exciting opportunity for the right person. We are looking for a dynamic individual with outstanding leadership skills and the experience and capabilities to work independently and carry significant responsibility for the organisation. The festival producer would work with founder-director Rachel Millward, and a skilled and dedicated freelance team http://www.birds-eye-view.co.uk/31/the-team/the-team.html.

Leadership experience in project management / festival production is essential. A sound understanding of organisational development, company finances and administrative systems is also required.
Responsibilities include:
  • overseeing company administration, operations and finance
  • producing a ten day international film festival every March in London's premiere venues (BFI Southbank, Southbank Centre, ICA etc)
  • working with Creative Director/CEO Rachel Millward on company and festival strategy & fundraising and development
  • production of touring events and training programmes
We are looking to recruit for this role as soon as possible. Anyone interested should email rachel@birds-eye-view.co.uk.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Chaps cure climate change at the National Theatre

The effects of climate change are being felt most damagingly and can be counteracted least effectively in the poorest, rural parts of the world. It is also in these regions that women are already most likely to experience violence, chronic poverty, death in childbirth, starvation, little opportunity for academic and sexual health education, poor access to nutritious food and clean water, barriers to medical treatment (barriers as basic as having to walk miles to the nearest hospital) and labour, financial and sexual exploitation. While everyone will bear the brunt of climate change, the people who suffer most from what wasteful industrialised countries have done to the environment are non-white women in poor countries. There, resourcefulness and frugality are not lifestyle quirks but mandatory for survival.

Luckily this spring the National Theatre is on the case. In a series of events pegged to their specially commissioned eco drama, Greenland, they have invited men to chat it out. If women want to be involved they can pay to attend and listen in silence; the money from their ticket purchases will be used to pay for more men to talk later, or for male playwrights to have their work staged. At the moment there are 10 productions on at the National: London Road, Frankenstein, War Horse, Hamlet, The Holy Rosenbergs, Rocket to the Moon, The Cherry Orchard, One Man Two Guvnors, Emperor and Galilean and A Woman Killed With Kindness. Of these ten, just one work - London Road - was written by a woman, Alecky Blythe. But theatre audiences, as everyone who goes knows, are at least half women.

The Greenland play had two men and two women writers (Matt Charman, Ben Power, Moira Welcome to Thebes Buffini and Penelope Eigengrau Skinner) but taken as a whole production, including the director and dramaturg and others, the women were outnumbered. 

Between 11th February and 8th May 2011 there are in-depth talks and an exhibition on the theme of climate change. There are seven named solo talks, all of which are given by men: Charlie Kronick, Bjorn Lomborg, John Shepherd, George Divoky, Michael Jacobs, Nigel Lawson and Marcus Brigstocke. Three of these men – Shepherd, Jacobs and Brigstocke – have one or the other of the two male Greenland writers as interlocutors. The women playwrights have been excluded. None of the solo headline talks are given by women. There are two talks with two speakers each: Tim Flannery with David Shukman, then David King with the one woman speaker, Gabrielle Walker. So far on the talks stage you can see twelve different men and one woman. There is also, on Thursday 14th April, a debate amongst Green Futures and the Institute of Ideas on the themes in Greenland, but I can’t find specific names of participants online, either at these organisations’ sites or the National’s own site.

The accompanying exhibition, Postcards From the Future, is in the Olivier theatre’s cloakroom foyer. It features large-scale images of London as it might look if we do nothing about climate change. The artists are Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones. Final tally of named contributors in the countdown to global eco Armageddon: fourteen men, one woman.

Forget about imagining the future if we don’t act on climate issues. Thanks to the National, we already know what public life will look like if we don’t act on cultural femicide.


Monday, 11 April 2011

Stuart Whipps opens The Front Room

Longbridge South Engineering 0617 by Stuart Whipps

On Thursday 14th April 2011 between 12.30pm  and 1.30pm at The Front Room, 96 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3EA, Stuart Whipps will introduce his key works, show work in progress and discuss his practice. Babies and children are welcome. Whipps' practice is concerned with an examination of shared bodies of knowledge, most recently those found in archives. Often he remakes or visually reconfigures materials to display alongside original photographs from thematically related sites, and in so doing questions the nature of documentation.

Tickets cost £5 and can be purchased via Troika Editions here.

This event is brought to you by the Enemies of Good Art.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Pianist and composer Lola Perrin: Seven Fridays performance project


Lola Perrin photographed by Nazarin Montag

Lola’s Perrin’s Seven Fridays is a new concert series that begins on Friday April 8th at 6.30pm at the Saint Mary Madgalene church, Munster Square, London NW1 3PL. Perrin will be performing her piano suites - on a beautiful Bosendorfer - at this venue one Friday per month from April to October. Each concert is introduced by a guest speaker who is invited to give a short talk inspired by the triggers Perrin used to write the suites: everything from science and cities to contemporary art, fashion, photography and painting. Each concert also marks the launch of the piano suite manuscript books.

To kick the series off, on Friday 8th April Perrin will be playing Suite I, Early One Sunday Morning, (after a painting by Edward Hopper) and Suite II, Nine Images for Piano (inspired by Ansel Adams photographs). The concert will be introduced by John Bryson, photographer and co-founder of Bicha Gallery.

Tickets are available on entrance for £6 (£3 concessions). Phone 020 7935 8682 for more details.

Seven Fridays will be happening on Friday April 8, Friday May 6, Friday June 3, Friday July 8, Friday Aug 5, Friday Sept 16, Friday Oct 14 and guest speakers will be John Bryson, Marcia Teusink, Nazarin Montag, Dr Alida Gersie, Dr Martin Coath, Antonio Capelao and Sue Hubbard respectively. Visuals will accompany some performances.

Lola’s music has drawn comparisons with the music of Ravel, Debussy, Satie, Keith Jarrett, Philip Glass, Steve Reich and Michael Nyman. Seven Fridays marks the release this year of Lola Perrin sheet music by Spartan Press and comes on the heels of Lola’s highly acclaimed shows at BFI Southbank and Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall. Said the BBC:
Lola Perrin's inspirations seem to lie somewhere between the ecstasies of Keith Jarrett's early 70s solo improvisations and the delicate proto-minimalism of Cage's "In a Landscape": even Philip Glass' solo piano works come to mind.

Brief biographies of the other guest speakers can be found below:

Marcia Teusink is an London-based visual artist whose paintings, drawings, and photographic images investigate everyday objects and impermanence. Marcia has also been teaching art to children and adults for over twenty years, in the USA, Switzerland, Italy, and now the UK. She completed her MFA in Visual Arts at the City University of New York at Queens College and is currently doing post-graduate studies in Museum & Gallery Education at the Institute of Education in London.

Nazarin Montag’s work is concerned with exploring the ‘surface’ of digital media. Working with photographic images and employing a painstaking process of cutting and re-constructing a surface, new works are created that provide an illusion of depth and density that were perhaps absent in the original image. Her work offers an imaginary development of the still image; “In an age of advanced technology it has become a normal part of everyday life to interact with the virtual world, where the boundaries between reality and fantasy are blurred.”

Dr Alida Gersie is a dramatherapist/supervisor, workshop-leader and organisational consultant in private practice. Since the 1970s she has specialised in the uses of story to facilitate beneficial change in distressed individuals, institutions and communities. She held a directorship at the Postgraduate Arts Therapies Programme at the University of Hertfordshire until 2000. Her research and writings focus on change-oriented story-work. Throughout her work the principles of sustainability have been of important concern. She is the author of acclaimed and translated books, including Storymaking in Education and Therapy (with Nancy King), Storymaking in Bereavement, Reflections on Therapeutic Storymaking: the use of stories in groups and Earthtales, storytelling in times of change.

Dr Martin Coath builds computer models that reflect the way our senses adapt to the environment in which we find ourselves. The aim is to understand how we acquire the tools to make sense of the world through our experience of it, which involves examining what is meant by learning, even down to the changes that occur at the gaps (synapses) between pairs of neurons. We build our internal world using just hints from our external world, fleshed out with what is embodied in our experience. These two unequal streams combine in patterns of events, flashes of synaptic activity, which are the raw material from which our percepts are constructed.

Antonio Capelao, DipArch RIBA II, is of Portuguese descent and runs Bicha Gallery, an art gallery located at the London’s South Bank ,which he opened in 2009 with partner John Bryson. The gallery represents living contemporary artists from Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Norway, Spain, the US and the UK – working in ceramics, drawing, installation, metal work, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Antonio’s other career as an architect has taken him to architectural practices in Ahmedabad, India.

Sue Hubbard is a freelance art critic, novelist and poet. Twice winner of the London Writers competition she was the Poetry Society's first-ever Public Art Poet and created a number of site-specific poems as part of a visual arts project in Birmingham's jewellery quarter. She was also commissioned by the Arts Council and the BFI to create London's biggest art poem that leads from Waterloo to the IMAX and was writer-in-residence at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill during ArchiTEXT week. Her first collection, Everything Begins with the Skin, was published by Enitharmon in 1994 and a number of her poems appeared in Oxford Poets 2000 published by Carcanet. Her latest collection Ghost Station was published by Salt Publishing in 2004. Depth of Field, her first novel, was published in 2000. Sue Hubbard is a regular contributor to The Independent and The New Statesman where she writes on contemporary art. In 2006 she was awarded a major Arts Council Literary Award.

For further details about Seven Fridays and more on Lola Perrin's remarkable work visit http://www.lolaperrin.com/


Lola Perrin photographed by Nazarin Montag

Sunday, 3 April 2011

I hit the glass ceiling. It really hurts.

I let my rage get the better of me. During the last five years of my career I couldn’t help but notice the extreme under-representation of women as featured or reviewed artists, star interviews, commentators, recipients of major appointments and commissions, critics, leaders, guest speakers, panellists, experts and debate participants. I noticed the rosters of group art exhibitions, reviews spreads and mastheads in newspapers and magazines and the numbers of women (not) displayed in bookshops or honoured on prize shortlists in all areas of the arts. I wrote articles about these issues, telling the absolute truth about what I witnessed and experiences, and here they are:


I wrote with and about despair, frustration, rage, realisation and positivity. Many women contacted me and told me they felt the same way. Some of the women were famous, many worked in the arts or the media, some were culture-lovers unconnected with these industries. Nearly all were strangers who had felt moved to get in touch, because they had noticed exactly the same things and been offended by the same old misogynistic excuses. They congratulated me on my bravery, although I do not have any. I have sadness instead.

I was blacklisted. I lost my career. I regret biting the hand that fed. What did I think I would achieve? I regret rocking the boat, even though it’s rowing me and all other women straight to hell. Perhaps I should have shut up and put up.

At a party a few months ago, in a haunting exchange that has been in my thoughts ever since, I was approached by a legendary woman. This woman is in her seventies now. She is renowned as a champion of women authors and artists, a critic, a writer, a great reader, a mind, a wit and (I’m sure she won’t mind me saying so) a right good hedonist too. She said, “I have something to tell you. You must be very careful. My power and my ability to change the world… were silenced.”

I pretend that I am proud and defiant. I pretend that it was worth it. I pretend that it is not totally and utterly devastating to lose a twenty year career that I adore and am excellent at, simply for stating what I have witnessed or pointing out what is obvious. I pretend that I can’t remember and do not care about the sheer joy of the process: working with erudite, experienced and dynamic facilitators and researchers, meeting intelligent guests, visiting fascinating exhibitions, debating big ideas and complex issues, talking in-depth to geniuses, critiquing work and explaining my own ideas. The depth, detail and refinement of the content have been peerless. The topics and the colleagues have been diverse in every single way except one: women are excluded from all positions of prestige, even a five minute slot in a discussion.

I mourn the loss of this, with harsh grief. I ask myself what is worse: colluding with a discriminatory culture, making no difference and surviving; or speaking up, making no difference and being crushed. When a woman hits the glass ceiling or is punished for talking, she is supposed to look left and right, think laterally, then go off and do something else. But I do not want to do something else. I want my career back. But I do not want to be surrounded by contempt for women - a contempt so profound that women's names do not even arise in conversation -  or to witness the poison of female misogyny in practice. So I pretend that in the wake of total destruction, there is opportunity. I pretend to believe in magical thinking and in the grand plan of the cosmos, where everything happens for a reason. I pretend to believe that when one door closes, another opens.

Then, one night, I’m organising my filing cabinet. This is a slim steel beauty with different drawers for different book projects; if I get an idea I write it down and slot it into the appropriate drawer. I discover a stack of notes, scripts and tallies I’ve printed out or jotted down in the middle of broadcasting or recording things, waiting for interviewees or having meetings in 2008 and 2009. This, with no editorialising, is what I found.

1. A note on the back of a TV script: “On the side of [famous male telly pundit’s desk]: 20 books, 18 by men, 2 by women. On the desk itself: 6 books, all by men.”

2. A tally of radio items I’ve presented, on a piece of paper with a quaint illustration and caption saying Jane Austen’s Writing Table: “Two men talking about neuroscience and the mind; two men talking about the value of the Internet and the future of criticism; two men talking about the Prix Pictet photography prize; two men talking about psychoanalysis; two men talking about superheroes; two men talking about craft; the four men I introduced for [an arts festival]; two men talking about the English civil war. There have never been two women on discussing anything at all.” I’ve added a distressed note: “Is this what the future’s going to be like? The same as the past? You say I’m the chair, the director, the moderator. I’m the hostess.”

3. A script for a radio show on Tuesday 17th February 2009, from the recycling bin. I'm using it as scrap paper. A male presenter, a female studio producer and a female broadcast assistant. A man reviews another man’s film. A man talks about his new book. A man who’s a veteran broadcaster talks about a famous documentary series he commissioned, which was presented by another man, who was a politician in Mrs Thatcher’s all-male cabinet. There are no women.

4. A tally from the web site for a current affairs TV show. Different comment sections are written by different correspondents covering topics like Ecology, China, America, the UK, Europe, Sport, News and Politicians. There are 14 men and one woman. There are also links to blogs written by insiders at the Today programme (two men), Working Lunch (one man) and World Tonight (another man).

5. Back to the Jane Austen souvenir jotter pad. A tally of the last fifteen different shows I’ve presented, covering five months of work. There were 63 male guests and only 27 women; two of the shows had no women at all, and either 6 or 7 men.

6. Scrap paper: the first page of the script for Start the Week on Radio 4, on the back of which I’d written a cue for something unrelated. [EDIT: I have never worked on or listened to Start The Week so I do not know if this particular edition is representative.] The show is for Monday 1st June 2009. The producer, assistant producer and broadcast assistants are all women.  The presenter is a man and his guests are three men and one woman.

7. The full trailer script for a discussion programme on Tuesday 2nd June 2009. The producer and broadcast assistant are both women. The presenter is a man and he is speaking to a man who wrote a non-fiction book about crime, two men reviewing another man’s exhibition and a man who wrote a novel about a real-life famous male. There are no women.

8. My trailer for a weekend omnibus pulling together the highlights of various cultural shows for the previous week. I introduce the collection: two male presenters, a male author for the Young Adult market, a male politics pundit, a male academic on immigration, a male composer, a male playwright, a live male novelist talking about a dead male novelist, another novelist. No women.

I remember now why I am angry. All it would take to alter this is for producers, editors, organisers and commissioners to call women, to cover women, to support women, to include women, to respect women, to credit women, to honour women. All it would take is for women, victims and perpetrators alike, to revolt, to fight, to unite, to challenge, to refuse, to change. 

UPDATE: Another day, another clearout. I discover one of my work notebooks from 2006. I use these notebooks to write down interesting ideas, words and names... and complaints:

1. On the [flagship arts show] web site, under Drama, Literature, Art, Music and Dance, there are only male names as featured interviews. One interview is with 3 men, about how they've dramatised the novel of a 4th man with the help of a famous director, man 5. The cast of the adapted novel calls for 11 more men and 2 women (the wife and the mistress).

2. I am a guest critic on Front Row on Radio 4 on 29th September 2006. The presenter is the lovely and brilliant Kirsty Lang. We listen to an introduction for the show, which namechecks Doctor Who, Ridley Scott, Anthony Minghella and Robin Hood. "All the heroes," I say frustratedly. "Where are the heroines?" "Exactly," says Kirsty immediately with a clear, fast, acute glance at me.

3. On 31st December 2006 the Sunday Times presents its 2006 Magic Moments: "Our critics choose this year's standout events in the arts." There are ten critics, covering theatre, film, TV, art, music, comedy, radio, pop, architecture and dance. All ten are white men.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Clegg and Cameron sign their names across our hearts

Activist Sian Norris is sending an open letter to a government whose budget has struck at the heart of women's safety, independence, security and employment. The following text is extracted from the letter. To read this powerful piece of writing in full and add your name in support of Sian's activism, click the link here.


I am writing to ask you, as feminists living in the UK, to sign a letter I am writing to Cameron, Clegg, May and Featherstone, regarding the funding cuts to domestic violence support service providers, and the post to combat female genital mutilation. I believe we cannot stand by as the government cut money that saves the lives of women, and provides help and support to some of the most vulnerable women in the country. Therefore I am writing to tell the government about what these cuts mean, and why they cannot happen. And I am asking the leaders to stand by Theresa May's pledge of 'actions, not words' with a promise to donate to the leading charities themselves.

However, I am just one woman, one voice. We need many voices to show the government that they must not do this. So I am asking if you will sign the letter I have written in support of the statement we are making against these cuts. One woman can be ignored. A lot of us are harder to ignore.

Actions, not words. So formed part of Theresa May's speech to the Women's Aid conference after being appointed Home Secretary and Equalities minister, little less than a year ago.

...

And, in some ways, she was right. Actions have been made, and very few words about them have been spoken. Actions that will result in the deaths, and the physical and mental harm of women all over the country, who are facing the reality of having their life-saving and life-creating services cut, thanks to this coalition government's financial and economic decisions.

It was revealed by Women's Aid on Thursday 31st March that, across the country, 60% of refuge services will have no council funding in the new financial year, and neither will 72% of floating support services, which provide support within people's homes.

...

These cuts will also lead to 40% job losses.

...

These cuts mean that 70,000 women and children will be left without the support they need to escape lives of violence. The cuts will reduce refuge places from 400 across the UK, to 160. Every day, 200 women are unable to access a refuge place. These cuts mean that many women will literally have no-where to go to start new lives away from a world of physical, emotional and sexual violence. Their children will have no-where to go. Men in violent relationships will also lose the support that many of these services offer.

...

Statistics tell us that two women a week will die as a result of domestic violence, and 2,000 women a week are raped. The number of women annually killed by their partner has risen by more than 40% in the past few years, from 72 in 2008 to 104 in 2010. The basic facts are that as a result of these service cuts, more women will be beaten, physically and emotionally. More women will be raped. More women will die.

...

Women like Tania Moore, whose story was told on BBC Panorama. When Tania Moore left her abusive partner, he continued to stalk her and send her threatening messages, before murdering her in 2004. Her mother has since campaigned to raise awareness of the horrors of domestic violence and stalking.

...

Or women like Hannah Fisher, whose mother is currently raising money for Refuge to ensure that services which could have saved her daughter exist for future women. Hannah was killed by her former partner when she was 21.

The moment when a woman decides to leave her violent partner is the moment she is most in danger. Without support services in place to ensure a safe space for her to escape to, women are at huge risk of stalking, violence and death. Refuge places save lives, like the life of an anonymous woman who got in touch with me to say how her and her baby fled a violent relationship to find a place in a refuge, and were supported in finding secure accommodation. She says the refuge saved her life.

Actions, not words.

It was also revealed last week that the post created by the government to fight against female genital mutilation in the UK has been cut. This comes weeks after the government pledged to fight this crime, that often leaves women with health problems, pain during intercourse and periods, and increased complications during childbirth. It is an act designed to control women. It is a crime committed against children. This cut suggests that the government has chosen to risk the physical and emotional health of young girls in order to save money. It is hard to get firm statistics about how many young women are affected by FGM, but one charity worker says that of all the young women she works in from the FGM-practising community, nearly all have been cut. It is estimated that 24,000 girls in the UK are at risk of being cut. No-one has ever been prosecuted for practising FGM since it was made illegal in the UK in 2003.

...

You can ensure that services which save women's lives are safe themselves. You can pledge to invest money and secure funding to protect services that save lives. Supporting the domestic violence sector makes financial sense. Domestic violence costs London alone £2.5 million a day. The average annual income of a Rape Crisis centre is £81,598 – only marginally more the cost to the state of one rape. And it makes moral and social sense. I do not want to live in a society that sacrifices the lives of vulnerable women to make savings. Risking the lives of women to save money is not an option.
Click here to read more and sign.

(c) Text by Sian Norris.

Friday, 1 April 2011

4th MaxMara Art Prize shortlist announced

Last night the Whitechapel Art Gallery and MaxMara announced the names of the five artists who have been shortlisted for the fourth MaxMara Art Prize For Women and launched the exhibition of the most recent winner, Andrea Buttner:

Extract of work by MaxMara Art Prize winner Andrea Buttner, currently on
show at the Whitechapel Gallery.
From drawing and sculpture to filmmaking and performance the MaxMara Prize this year offers real diversity in practice whilst showcasing some of the best work by women artists in the UK today. The short-listed artists are Christina Mackie, Avis Newman, Emily Wardill, Spartacus Chetwynd and Laure Prouvost.  The Judging panel was chaired by Iwona Blazwick, Director of The Whitechapel Gallery and included Gilda Williams, critic and lecturer; Amanda Wilkinson, gallerist; Lisa Milroy, artist and Muriel Salem, collector.
The MaxMara Art Prize for Women is the only UK art prize for women and was set up to promote and nurture female artists based in the United Kingdom, enabling artists to develop their potential and providing an opportunity for them to produce new works of art.  The prize itself will result in a six month residency based in Italy and an exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery.

An Evening With Jabba the Hutt, by Spartacus Chetwynd
Spartacus Chetwynd  (b. 1973, London) studied Social Anthropology at UCL before completing a BA in Fine Art at the Slade and an MA in Painting at the RCA.  She works in both performance and painting. Her DIY performances re-enact iconic scenes from literature, cinema and art using handmade costumes, choreography and elaborate stage sets. She has performed at Frieze Art Fair, Art Basel, ICA and Tate Modern and has had solo shows in Milan, Dijon and Zurich.

Christina Mackie  (b.1956, Oxford) studied at Vancouver School of Art and Central St. Martins. Mackie makes sets of sculptures that interlock to form installations. She has had solos shows at the Henry Moore Institute and Tate Britain and will have an exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery in London in 2012. Her work has been included in the British Art Show and the Busan Biennial. In 2005 she was awarded the Becks Futures prize and in 2010 the Hamlyn Award for Artists.

Avis Newman (b. 1946, London) studied at The Central School of Art and Goldsmiths College. Her layered, minimal canvas works, objects and works on paper show a longstanding preoccupation with the fundamental language of marking and inscribing and the initial moment of tracing. She has work in various public collections including Tate, London and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.  Solo exhibitions include: Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, de Appel Foundation, Amsterdam. Camden Arts Centre, London, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

Laure Prouvost  (b. 1978, Croix-Lille, France ) lives and works in London. She graduated from Central Saint Martins and took part of the Lux Artist Associate Program. Her work includes painting, video, sound and site specific works.  She has exhibited at Tate Britain, ICA, Serpentine and BFI. She opens a solo show at MOT International in April 2011. She was awarded the 56th Oberhausen Short Film Principal Prize (2010), a FLAMIN award  (2011) and the EAST International Award (2009).

Game Keepers Without Game, by Emily Wardill

Emily Wardill  (b. 1977) is a London-based filmmaker and performance artist. She studied at Central Saint Martins College of Art and works predominantly in film and video.  She has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally with solo shows at the ICA, London and PS1 New York; screenings at the London Film Festival and performances at the Serpentine Gallery. In 2010 she won The Jarman Award and her work is currently on show in The British Art Show at the Hayward.
Each of the artists will now be asked to create a presentation on their plans. The winner will be announced in September 2011 and the project realised during a six-month residency in 2012.  The residency is divided into two locations - the American Academy, Rome and the Pistoletto Foundation, Biella. The resulting work will then be offered to the Maramotti Collection for acquisition, and an exhibition of the resulting work will take place at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 2013.
The Maramotti family, owners of the MaxMara Fashion Group, are major contemporary art collectors. The MaxMara Art Prize for Women is the first time the fashion house has established an arts prize in the UK and reflects the company’s strong association with art and women.  The Max Mara Fashion Group was founded in 1951 by Achille Maramotti and is now run by the next generation. The company is one of the largest women’s prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) manufacturers in the world, with 2082 stores and 23 different brands sold in more than 90 different countries in the world. On 29th September 2007 the Collezione Maramotti opened to the public in Reggio Emilia, Italy. For further information, please visit www.collezionemaramotti.org. The first winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women was Margaret Salmon, the second was Hannah Rickards and the third Andrea Büttner, whose show is currently on at The Whitechapel. For more details click here.
Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, Whitechapel Gallery said, “The Whitechapel Gallery has a long tradition of premiering female artists and the Max Mara Art Prize is close to our heart as it champions and supports female artists.  The short-listed artists for the next award offer a snapshot of the sheer calibre of art being made by women in Britain today.  The judges very much hope to bring these artists and their work to even wider attention.  For the winner the judges are looking for something exceptional and an artistic practice that is truly fascinating, and look forward to being able to give the winner of the Max Mara Art Prize the gift of time to develop new works of art.”

For more details visit The Whitechapel Gallery website.