A taste of things to come at Ocean Studios

Richard Deacon, Bill Woodrow, Mary Kelly, Hew Locke, Gillian Wearing and Grayson Perry amongst artists announced for Ocean Studios inaugural show.

Ocean Studios, Plymouth’s £4.2 million artistic development within an approximate 60,000 ft² Grade I listed former naval building, has announced its opening programme, set to launch on 30th July 2015.

The inaugural exhibition, entitled A taste of things to come will highlight key ideas and themes; identity, communication, feminism, diversity, radical craft and social engagement. These are all themes that will be further explored in the following five years at Ocean Studios.

A new piece by Richard Deacon, Bronze Skin 2002, will lead the show which also includes key pieces by Bill Woodrow, Mary Kelly, Hew Locke, Gillian Wearing and Grayson Perry.

Tate Director Sir Nicholas Serota, and Tudor Evans, Chief Executive of Plymouth City Council, will join Bill Woodrow and Richard Deacon to formally launch A taste of things to come as they officially open Ocean Studios, which is also the new home to over 40 artists and designer makers overlooking Plymouth’s waterfront.

At a time when the arts are being criticised for a lack of leading women, the role of the curator at Ocean Studios falls to the two Directors, Leigh Mason and Jennifer Jayarajah, both of whom have artistic/making backgrounds alongside their MAs in Entrepreneurial Creative Practice.

Director, Leigh Mason says, “Of course, this is an immensely exciting time as we prepare to throw open the doors and reveal Ocean Studios to the world.  Our resident artists and makers will all be in situ shortly, joining together to build this vital new community, within this imposing space, part of which forms our 1,906 m2 gallery space.”

Leigh continues, “A taste of things to come is, of course, literally what it says.  However, this first show allows us to introduce what we’ll be doing here at Ocean Studios, and how we’ll be navigating our own course with our curation and gallery space.  We are steadfast in our resolve that we will not be guided by fashion or contemporary art trends, instead continually putting audiences right at the heart of our Ocean Studios curatorial conversation.  We are here to celebrate the diverse nature of this new artistic community and its location in the city of Plymouth, and everything that it stands for, and to bring the very best of UK and international contemporary art to our stunning new home.”

A primary aim of Ocean Studios is to engage audiences who would not ordinarily engage with art or who do not normally have any opportunity to see work by internationally renowned artists.

Co-Director Jennifer Jayarajah says, “We want to challenge the notion that art is for an elite and to welcome everyone to Ocean Studios. Another ambition for us here in the heart of Plymouth is to have more people feeling that the arts are meaningful to them without the concerns of not understanding. This is a major opportunity for art to become integral to local life with long lasting benefits, hence we have chosen key artists and pieces, some of which are political in nature and some of which consider identity and language.”

Jennifer continues, “We are thrilled that Richard Deacon has chosen Ocean Studios as the first outing for his stunning bronze piece and also thrilled to announce that our first show will feature such pivotal contemporary artists with challenging, accessible and diverse pieces that all fit extremely well with our ethos.”

Further pieces within A taste of things to come include; Hew Locke’s MedusaThe Garden by English photographer and video artist, Gillian Wearing, Post-Partum Document, a six-year exploration of the mother-child relationship by Mary Kelly, Bill Woodrow’s Pillarbox Invigilator BW577 and Grayson Perry’s Map of Nowhere.

The launch will begin with a VIP private view for invited guests on Thursday 30th July with a public opening and family day scheduled for Saturday August 1st.

Over 40 Ocean Studios residents will be renting their own studio space in order to conduct their artistic practice and will receive a variety of commercial and professional benefits. Ocean Studios will also be offering developing artists the opportunity to join as an associate member, which, for as little as £50 per annum (£30 for students and concessions), provides major opportunities. There will also be a range of short course options which will offer access to highly reputable and established artistic facilitators across the whole spectrum of the creative field.

There are many alternative opportunities to get involved in Ocean Studios, through volunteering, corporate sponsorship, teaching and mentoring or hot desking. To find out more, see the website here: http://www.oceanstudios.org.uk/
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