Four new public art commissions will reach wide audiences as part of a three-year international programme of work in partnership with organisations and artists in Greece, Germany and the UK.
Alongside the main commissions in each of the four locations there will be a range of smaller commissions, as well as leadership development programmes, media campaigns, schools workshops and a series of networking and development sessions for organisations across the arts, refugee and migration sectors.
The programme is funded by Comic Relief.
The lead artists for 2021 are:
Olivier is a London-based editorial illustrator and visual journalist whose award-winning book “Escaping the Waves” documented the experiences of Syrian refugees in Europe. He is working with Andrew, a journalist and writer, on a new project exploring the story of fish and chips, from its refugee origins to the present day.
The commission will see large scale work exhibited at Turner Contemporary in Margate from June 2021, alongside an ambitious programme of schools engagement and an associated exhibition at Canterbury Cathedral.
Black British Berlin-based theatre artist Dr Mojisola Adebayo, who has worked on theatre and performance projects internationally from Antarctica to Zimbabwe, will be undertaking research and development and presenting Leaves from Family Tree, connected to a commission from ATC and Young Vic, alongside discussions and workshops workshop with Dr Nicole Wolf, for and with artists of refugee background, located in outdoor space in Berlin.
The work connects to the subject of migration, environmental racism and climate justice, through a female African Diasporic lens. It makes the connection between extraction from the land and the Black female body as a site of extraction.
A related exhibition Across Borders: Body & Self will be held for emerging artists in partnership with coculture Berlin.
Born in Albania and now living in Italy, Adrian is an artist whose work has been exhibited internationally including at the Venice Biennale.
His commission will engage with the neighbourhood of Victoria Square, leading to a public installation/intervention in the Square itself in Autumn 2021. It will form part of VSP’s ongoing enquiry: Who Is The Contemporary Athenian? with an associated for emerging artists.
A programme of poetry performance and workshops in a programme curated by poet and educator Kayon Chingonyi.
Kayo’s first full-length collection, Kumukanda, was published in June 2017 and went on to win the Dylan Thomas Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award. His new collection, A Blood Condition, was published this year. Kayo will be curating a programme of poetry, spoken word and Hip Hop, as well as hosting and performing in locations across Yorkshire.