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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Sunderland 10 x 10

O'Hara, Suzy and Coniffy, Helen (2016) Sunderland 10 x 10. [Artefact]

Item Type: Artefact


In April 2016, I was Associate Curator and co-producer for Sunderland 10 x 10, an ambitious artist in residence programme that paired 10 multidisciplinary artists with 10 businesses in Sunderland. This project offered me a valuable opportunity to investigate how artists could learn from and share skills, ideas and knowledge with Sunderland-based, commercial businesses and realise the value and contribution artists make to the creative economy.

Sunderland 10×10 aimed to foster new relationships and connections between local Sunderland businesses and North East artists. In early 2016, we began our search for artists and businesses who would be willing to take a risk on an experimental model of practice that had no clear route forward, no defined set of outcomes and no real sense of what might happen. In essence, we were seeking out collaborators who would trust in our belief in the value and contribution that artists can make to the creative economy and their ability to act as catalysts for innovation, promoting new ways of thinking and learning within commercial businesses.

Ten North East artists and creatives were selected from over eighty applications, to work with ten Sunderland businesses. The successful artist/business pairings were; Anne Curtis and Arc Adoption, Stevie Ronnie and Ashmore Consulting, Breeze Creatives and Sunderland Business Improvement District, Tim Shaw and Sunderland Fab Lab, David Lisser and MAC Trust, Corine Kilvington and Northumbria Water, Rachel Magdeburg and SES, Chris McHugh and Sunderland Football Club, Dominic Smith and Erin Dickson and Siglon.

The project enabled me to progress my research in relation to Art Hacks: Group Collaboration across sectors and 1-2-1 Pairing Commissioning across Arts and Business. This time the collaboration happened within a commercial rather than a cultural context. We asked the businesses to draft a business brief that would outline the areas that they would like the artist to focus on. This brief helped inform our selection and 'pairing' of the artists with the businesses.

We facilitated a series of CPD sessions that focused on enabling artists to learn more about and prepare for the commercial context in which they would spend they residency period. I also devised and delivered an art hack event entitled the Sunderland 10 x 10 Collaborative workshop that would help establish the principles of the collaboration.

The Sunderland 10 x 10 Collaborative Workshop was a hands-on opportunity for participating artists and businesses to think, discuss, make, and create with each other, in a high energy, highly collaborative and creative environment

By modifying and applying my art hack model for a commercial, rather than culture-led commissioning context, I was able to interrogate the current language that each sector uses to describe the other and reveal key areas of difference and similarities, which had been identified in my earlier research. I initiated dialogue between the 10x10 collaborators by inviting them to discuss the areas of similarity and difference the following topics.
•Motivations and Values,
•Language, Working Practices,
•Collaboration and Transaction

and a final theme, specific to this project - Engaging Cultural Audiences and Customer Relationships.

These discussions supported the groups to progress seeded ideas through collaborative making with recycled materials and cheap art materials.

Once the CPD sessions were complete, the month long residency began. Each artist and business pairing were asked to collaborate to scope and shape a project proposal that responded creatively to the businesses’ briefs through their own artistic practice and approach. They were then given the opportunity to pitch their project proposal to a panel of expert representatives from the arts and business sectors, in a competitive process, and two proposals were given £7500 to realise their project. Two commissions were selected for production:

•Between Wind and Water by Dominic Smith and Siglion

•Athenaeum Nights by Breeze Creatives and Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID)

[img] Other (Sunderland 10 x 10 documentary)
01bf146198 - Published Version

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More Information

Depositing User: Suzy O'Hara


Item ID: 13319

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Suzy O'Hara: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2021 21:40
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2021 21:40