B arts
Working creatively for change since 1985
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What is Now?

What is Now?


an artist development programme that aims to create opportunities for new early career artists and creative producers in Stoke-on-Trent.

What is Now? was a talent development project for emerging artists and creative producers. Created by the Artcity programme, Artists and curator/producers worked together to reimagine the High Street in Burslem, Stoke on Trent – one of the country’s emptiest high streets. Throughout August 2018 empty shops hosted artists in residence who created a series of pop-up studio events and workshops leading to a finale exhibition trail.

Jack Stancliffe. Photographer: unknown

Jack Stancliffe. Photographer: unknown

Joanna Dawidowska. Photographer: unknown

Joanna Dawidowska. Photographer: unknown

Be bold, be courageous this is an opportunity to create exciting, fresh work
— Dan Thompson - Artist and visiting speaker

New opportunities were created for artists and curator/producers: Himarni Brownsword, Sophie Molineaux, Aimee Carter, Jack Stancliffe, Sonia Mirza, Joanna Dawidowska, Kidda Kinsey, Martin Gooding, Rebecca Kremer, Holly Norcup, Selina Oakes, Leone Davis and Melodie Forrester – reflecting talent development as a major focus of the project.

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The project culminated in a 2 day arts trail in Burslem, September 2018:

  • Selina Oakes' - 'Kon'serv' an alternative self-guided tour of Burslem's conservation area (a QR code tour)

  • Street galleries featuring work by Kidda Kinsey, Nicola Winstanley, Leone Davis, Natalie Willatt, MARTiN Gooding Artist, Clinton Ball and Aimee Carter.

  • 'Another Man's Treasure' by artist Sophie Molineaux & curator/producer Rex - Artist.

  • 'Ghosts of Her Rag Sons' by Hirmani Brownsword and a performance of 'Shambles' by curator/producer Martin Gooding.

  • 'Burslem Butterflies' by artist Joanna Dawidowska Ceramics and curated by Leone Davis.

  • 'Hybrid' at Abode by Sonia Mirza and curator/producer Melodie Forrester.

  • Jack Stancliffe performance/intervention 'Too tough to change?' curated by Selina Oakes.

  • 'Beneath The Bear' film by artist Aimee Carter and curator/producer Holly Norcop

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Thank you again to fantastic What is Now? team! Well done everyone! I loved every minute of this experience and thank you for the opportunity of having my first solo exhibition… it means so much to me
— Joanna Dawidowska