The act of cultivation involves fostering growth, providing support & encouragement via labour, care or study. Building on our learning from pilot project ‘Propagate This’ & continuing our focus on process over output, we will host 6 x artist residencies spanning the months of Spring 2022.
Taking new offshoots of our pilot as a starting point, ‘Cultivate That’ will follow through with our commitment to providing artists & local partners with tools to propagate new work; offering space, funding, time, support, local/national networks; & inviting audiences to be part of shaping conversations.
‘Cultivate That’ is a new project building on recent pilot, ‘Propagate This’, which was birthed directly in response to local & national crises. Last year amplified social issues particularly relevant to our hometown & called into question systems perpetuating them. With Croydon Council’s section 114 notice pushing Turf & public services into heightened states of precarity, the Croydon community had suffered effects of decisions made without us. It felt urgent to interrogate our relevance to the community we inhabit & work in ways that are responsive to what local people need.
In ‘Propagate This’ we shifted from creating exhibitions to offering an environment for sustainable & generative recovery through creativity & curiosity. Responding to the skills & needs of our local community, we sought to create opportunities for people to ask questions & respond to problems that are relevant to them, through workshops, events & provision of space & facilities. This generated a wealth of dialogue about our local area, urban regeneration, accessibility, who gets a say in decision-making, & where the arts sit within that. Our continued desire for our space is for it to feel even more rooted in the community & our community to feel rooted in the space. We want to further explore models of making decisions together so that art’s role is interwoven into society, not running alongside it; & we want to continue to support those artists we began conversations with in more sustained ways.
‘Propagate This’ used small points of entry to grow new experimental shoots. ‘Cultivate That’ continues this work, providing a supportive environment to continue to nurture the budding ideas of our new collaborators – locally-connected practitioners who enjoy co-creating & sharing ownership of ideas.
Drawing on artist feedback requesting more time to work together, we’ll host a residency programme that spans 3 months, providing space & time for people to continue to:
- Ask questions & respond to problems relevant to them.
- Reimagine alternative futures for space & community in Croydon.
- Explore new models of making & decision-making together.
Following our experiments with ‘Propagate This’ we will fully integrate our collectives’ programmes with the main gallery programme. Resident artists will work with our collectives & a local community organisation of their choice, activating the gallery, offsite poster, & digital spaces.
Resident artists will have access to free workspace & print facilities. Throughout the project, we’ll provide a skills-share & development programme of workshops & events open to resident artists & the public, delivered by the Turf team & invited local creatives.
There will be no set outcomes for the residencies, but we want each one to have long-term impact beyond the funding period & for processes to be publicly visible throughout. The project aims to hold a necessary local focus while maintaining relevance further afield in consideration of alternative working practices.
Cultivate That has been generously supported by Arts Council England.