10 Artists Selected for the Bedell Creative Arts Programme

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10 Artists Selected for the Bedell Creative Arts Programme 

Following an extensive selection period, the Jersey Arts Trust is delighted to announce that 10 local artists of a variety of disciplines have been chosen to form the core group of this year’s Bedell Creative Arts Programme. Artists Sam Falle, Todd MacDonald, Olivia Muscat, Jacqueline Mezec, Christian Foley, Rebecca Coley, Amber Hahn, Liz Shea, Jack Chown and Eryn Filipponi will now have the opportunity to develop their work with industry professionals, as well as collaborate with one another and showcase their collective work at a large-scale showcase at the Jersey Opera House in August 2015. 

Artist profiles:

 Amber Hahn (Amber Frances) – Performance Artist

Performance artist Amber Hahn uses YouTube as a platform to “explore the unclear boundaries in which art exists”. Amber discovered ‘vlogging’ – a form of online blogging that uses digital videos as entries instead of text – in order to gain the same exposure to the cutting edge art scenes that you may find in larger cities, whilst she is based in Jersey. This has enabled Amber to create the pseudonym ‘Amber Frances’ and make her art have global presence. Amber enjoys encouraging the viewer to question the genre of her art form: is it art? Is it an actual hair tutorial? Is it a performance? Is it a painting? She believes that art exists within these boundaries and is fascinated by this way of communicating virtually to her viewers’ private spaces. She is also interested in the multi-disciplinary aspects of fine art/media, particularly video and sound.

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Christian Foley – Performance Poet, Musician and Writer

Christian Foley is a musician, spoken word poet and writer, specialising in autobiographical work – his collections often focus on relationships, family and childhood. Although deeply personal, he aims for his work to resonate with all audiences across the spectrum of life experience. In the past five years, Christian has taught and performed in South Africa, South America, London and the Channel Islands. His work has also been broadcast in the USA, and UK on BBC Radio One, leading to his selection as a shortlisted BBC Introducing Artist of 2013. As a teacher Christian believes in incorporating music, film, artwork and as many creative disciplines as possible into the teaching of poetry in order to inspire others to write. Christian’s ethos is that poetry is not taught or learned in such binary terms: rather, it is experienced and lived, a valuable tool of self-expression, not only for children – but all of us. His current work, and the basis of his first book, is a collection of poems and songs inspired by education, particularly his work with young offenders and disenfranchised youths. He aims to use a number of different mediums to explore this theme.

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Eryn Filipponi – Choreographer

Aspiring choreographer Eryn Filipponi is currently studying Drama and Theatre Studies at undergraduate level, at Royal Holloway University of London. Eryn has been dancing since she was young with the Jersey Academy of Dancing, where she took exams and was lucky enough to travel with Team Jersey in 2013 to the Dance World Cup, where she took part in a silver-medal-winning song and dance group. Eryn formed a Jersey-based dance company in 2009, which performed for charity events and as entertainment in local hotels until she started University where she has broadened her company, to work with other students. She is currently working towards a performance for a conference based in London during early February, for the National Society of Dance Researchers. Eryn still dances herself and is currently President of the Royal Holloway Dance Society, which is busy rehearsing this term under her guidance for a show and three competitions. She is really looking forward to broadening her experience in choreography and theatre making through this programme, and is very keen to get started.

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Jack Chown – Musician and Producer

Jack is in his final year studying music at the University of Oxford. Primarily a percussionist, he has taken full advantage of the student music scene performing with all the major orchestras including Oxford University Orchestra. Having won the Jersey Young Musician of the Year in 2010, Jack has also continued his studies having lessons at the Royal Academy of Music under the tutelage of Steve Quigley (RPO, Sting). He has also become involved in the Oxford musical theatre scene and has been a part of various productions including The Producers, an upcoming production of West Side Story and fellow Jerseyman, Toby Huelin’s, own musical – In Her Eyes. Musical theatre has also seen Jack travel up to the Edinburgh fringe to perform in 2013 As a multi-instrumentalist Jack now spends most of his time in the studio writing for and producing various artists. He is also in the process of composing for a short film, producing a hip hop artist and delving into the DJ world. His dissertation ‘Capturing the Carnivalesque: Glastonbury 2014’ involved using binaural recording technology to capture this year’s Glastonbury festival. After graduation, Jack has been accepted onto a music production course at Metropolis studios in London where he hopes carve out a career in the studio.

jackie insta Jacqueline Mézec – Poet and Playwright

Jacqueline Mézec is a Jersey-born poet of Breton ancestry who also writes for theatre and screen. Her screenplay Breathe won a Jersey scriptwriting competition and the film premiered at the Closing Gala of the 2009 Branchage International Film Festival. Her play End Notes was selected for a rehearsed reading at Jersey Opera House in 2012 as part of the Jersey Arts Trust Spearpoint New Plays Project. Her poems have won prizes in writing competitions organised by the Jersey Arts Trust, Jersey Evening Post, Jersey Eisteddfod and the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society and she has undertaken poetry commissions for the Jersey Evening Post, Jersey Holocaust Memorial Day and the 25th anniversary celebrations of Jersey Arts Centre. She was a runner up in the Mslexia Women’s Poetry Competition in 2013 and 2014 and her poems have been published in Wavelengths: New Poetry in the Channel Islands (Holland House Editions). She contributed the Jersey postcard for BBC Radio Scotland’s Commonwealth Poetry Postcards project for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and was recently one of 15 poets featured in the Jersey Arts Centre WW1 centenary exhibition 100 Poems.

Liz insta Liz Shea – Songwriter

Primarily a musician, Liz Shea’s interests are wide and varied.  She has worked professionally as a singer-songwriter performing with the piano all over the UK, recorded 4 albums, and appeared on TV and radio. She loves teaching singing and holds an ATCL singing diploma, and has also studied violin to a high level as part of her music degree. As a classically trained musician, she manages to encompass both pop and classical music genres. She studied music at City university, and whilst she was there explored the crossovers in music therapy and dance therapy, dance being one of her lifelong loves.  She is also a qualified aerobics instructor and loves teaching dance based exercise classes. She is looking forward to stretching herself musically in collaboration with other artists of different disciplines, and exploring the interrelationship between them.  She is excited at the prospect of working outside of the box, and using her skills in composition and improvisation alongside others too.

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Olivia Muscat – Visual Artist (Painter)

Visual Artist Olivia Muscat is currently in her final year at Loughborough University studying a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. Between 2013-2014, Olivia also took three accredited online short courses with Oxford University in related art history subjects. Olivia’s recent exhibitions and publications include, the Gallery Student Art Awards 2014, held at CCA International Galleries (Jersey), and a selection of work published in Jungle Magazine: Issue 4 (UK). Her current work seeks to explore the materiality of paint, specifically emulsion, conveyed through the process of a pouring technique that employs gravity as its central tool, countered by both two and three dimensional surfaces, creating work that questions the boundaries between painting, sculpture and object. These surfaces act as arenas on which the paint’s flux is captured and fossilized, whilst distinct bands of colour suggest gravity visually. Although she experiments with different methodologies, Olivia says that chance is inherent to her work, ‘modulating any preconceptions about outcome, creating both diversity and further avenues for exploration.

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Sam Falle (Winterfalle) – Songwriter

Sam Falle writes dark story-led folk music under the pseudonym ‘Winterfalle’. The Jersey-born songwriter’s two singles have been aired on BBC Radio 6, playlisted by BBC Radio Jersey and featured on the front of the national BBC Introducing blog. Sam has performed across the UK and Germany including festival sets at Home Farm, Oxjam Islington and Danny Boyle’s Winter Shuffle Festival. Sam now lives in London where he is finishing his first record and playing the folk circuit. Two cinematic videos for Winterfalle songs ‘I Know’ and ‘Deadbeat’ – both shot in Jersey – have made the official selection at indie film festivals Aesthetica, Branchage and London Short Film Festival.

Rebecca instaRebecca Coley – Filmmaker and Director

Rebecca Coley is a film director working across documentary and drama, interested in creative ways of storytelling and mixing traditional approaches. Rebecca began her career as a runner for films in Liverpool, thirteen years ago. She studied at WFA in Manchester and worked for Newsline in the Channel Islands (ITV regional), before moving to London. She has made four shorts that have screened and won awards at festivals internationally, JACK BLOND, HARD TO SAY, PANTS & PRETTY BITCH. She also wrote and co-directed an award winning feature film, IMAGINARY SUMMER in 2008. She is currently directing a live theatre project, -five nights of pop-up theatre in launderettes around London – which will then be filmed in a documentary style, fly-on-the-wall piece about a day in the life of a London launderette. Recent projects include STEAMERS for Channel 4, about a sauna and steam room in the Docklands area of East London. The film is about camaraderie, friendship and community. Rebecca’s creative surf documentary, NIAS – POINT OF CHANGE, is also currently in production.

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Todd MacDonald – Filmmaker

London based filmmaker Todd MacDonald is fast establishing himself as a creator of visually thought provoking and incisive music videos, documentaries and experimental drama. To date, his work has been recognised by Aesthetica, Branchage and London Short Film Festival. He works in-house for London based production company Illuminations on Arts documentaries for television, online marketing promos and performance films. More recently he has been creating video content for singer songwriters including Winterfalle, Tom Hyatt and Alchemea studios.

Selection:

Over 60 local artists submitted their portfolios of work to the Programme.

The Jersey Arts Trust invited 30 applicants to a weekend of interviews at the Jersey Opera House in December, and from this a core group of ten were selected to be at the heart of the development Programme. Professional facilitators of the Bedell Creative Arts Programme, led by Jasmiina Sipila, had the difficult task of selecting the artists that they felt were best placed to benefit from this unique opportunity.

Development and Production:

The 10 artists will now go through a concentrated period of development where they will work under the professional guidance of industry professionals: Jasmiina Sipila, Alejandro Olarte and Saara Hannula to realise their own artistic aspirations, as well as being given the opportunity to collaborate with the other selected artists. The collective results will be showcased at the Jersey Opera House in August, 2015. Tom Dingle, Director of the Jersey Arts Trust, said:

“It’s difficult to express how exciting it was to receive such a high number of interesting applications for this year’s Programme – it’s a great testament to the strength, diversity and quantity of talented creative individuals here in the Island. It wasn’t an easy task to select just ten but the facilitators very much focussed on who would benefit most from this experience at this point in their career. There will be more opportunities for people to get involved with the Project as it unfolds and we very much hope to keep in touch with each and every Artist who applied.”

The Programme:

The Bedell Creative Arts Programme is a year-long initiative, run by the Jersey Arts Trust in partnership with the Jersey Opera House and sponsored by Bedell and the One Foundation. It supports local creative artists in the development of their own craft and encourages people to collaborate with artists of different mediums to produce exciting new work. The Programme is open to artists of all practices – composers, song-writers, filmmakers, multi-media artists, dancers, choreographers, performance artists, writers, designers, directors, visual artists – who make original work and are interested in interdisciplinary collaboration.

Lesley Piner, Head of Group Business Development and Marketing at Bedell, said:

“Since we first announced our support for this innovative community arts scheme, we have been impressed with the calibre of participants and it is evident already that this latest programme has unearthed another group of talented individuals across various arts disciplines. Now, for many of them, there is the opportunity to collaborate and develop their abilities under expert tuition and we look forward to seeing the results at the end of the programme.”

One Foundation Council Member, Rod McLoughlin, further commented:

“The selection process for the creative arts programme has identified an impressive range of talented artists across a diverse range of art forms.  Their CVs are indeed impressive and they clearly stood out during the selection. But that was just the first stage in the Jersey Arts Trust’s fascinating programme which exposes the artists to experienced professionals and encourages them to share ideas to take their own practice in new directions. It is a truly ‘creative’ creative arts programme!”­

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