Plymouth College of Art will host the Making Futures: Another Crossing Study Day on Wednesday 4 May 2022, giving students and academics a unique opportunity to engage with the content, curators and creators of Another Crossing, an unprecedented transatlantic collaboration organised by Plymouth College of Art and The Box in Plymouth, England, and the Fuller Craft Museum in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA.
Just over four hundred years ago, the Mayflower embarked from Plymouth, England. On arriving in what seemed to them a 'new world' they established a settlement. But of course this land was already long inhabited. The Wampanoag people lived in the region, which they called Patuxet. For some, the Mayflower voyage and subsequent settlement of Plimoth Colony is a treasured historical event, while for others, the colonisation and treatment of the Wampanoag peoples illustrate imperialism and cultural ruin.
Through Another Crossing, ten artists responded to this complex part of our history and its impact on our culture over the last four centuries, examining the cultural impact of this pivotal event on UK, American, Indigenous and world cultures.
Plymouth College of Art and Making Future’s Another Crossing Study Day will combine gallery-based talks from the artists who participated in Another Crossing, question and answer sessions in the Box with curators, artists, students and members of the public, an online panel discussion with Curator Glenn Adamson, networking opportunities and most importantly a platform for artists, academics and students to learn about and debate the difficult histories of this defining period and their relationship to contemporary craft practices.
Making Futures: Another Crossing Study Day - 4 May 2022 (provisional timetable)
Time: 10:00 - 13:00 Location: The Box
Visiting artists will give gallery-based talks at The Box, alongside a question and answer session for academics, students and a public audience.
Relevant artefacts from The Box’s archives will be presented and made available for investigation and discussion.
A panel of Another Crossing artists including Annette Bellamy, David Clarke, Michelle Erickson, Katie Schwab and Jonathan Perry (TBC).
An online panel discussion led remotely by Curator Glenn Adamson (in the US) with a panel of Another Crossing artists. In 2018, guest curator Glenn Adamson selected ten artists to participate in the project with the brief that only 17th century technology and processes be used in the creation of the objects. To fuel and inspire the work development, the artists and project partners participated in two research trips—the first to Plymouth England in March 2019, followed by Plymouth, Massachusetts in April 2019. These immersive experiences created a sense of communion amongst the artists while providing important scholarly and technical information to inform the development of the work.
These resulting artworks illustrate exceptional technical skill, while also speaking to the social realities behind the material culture, and the examination of the Mayflower crossing through a contemporary lens.
Time: 16:00 - 16:30 Location: Plymouth College of Art
Making Futures: Another Crossing Study Day plenary
Key Questions for the Study Day
What role could contemporary craft practices play in facilitating reparative dialogue?
Where is the art object in this interplay between colonisers and the colonised? What role do First Nation heritage artefacts in UK collections (notably the SW) take in this dialogue?
What new understanding is arrived at through the use of historic craft practices, and what could this teach us about a future of craft in terms of sustainability and relationship to the environment?
How should we negotiate the difficult territory for the museum in addressing its object collections sourced from a colonial history?
What is there to be gained from collaborative research, craft education and exchange with post-colonial communities?
Introduction to Making Futures
Making Futures is a Plymouth College of Art research platform exploring contemporary art and craft, design-to-make, and associated forms of neo-artisanal production. It maps the emerging trend towards smaller enterprises producing more locally embedded, and environmentally responsible design-led goods and services, and posits that these more nuanced regimes of production and consumption create new possibilities for small-scale craft, design-to-make, neo-artisanal producers and micro-manufacturers, particularly where these are able to innovate around technology, form, function, aesthetic meaning and, especially, local, (social) relevance.
It also supports the reciprocal exchange of ideas between these modern-day maker practices (many of which incorporate digital tools into their work flows) and traditional indigenous crafts. Indeed, by gathering this diverse spectrum of practices together and figuratively positioning them within a shared ‘maker-space’, Making Futures brings creative practitioners together in ways that deeply enrich cross-disciplinary dialogue and facilitate best-practice knowledge exchanges. In doing so, Making Futures is especially concerned to investigate and promote sustainable and socially engaged forms of practice, viewing their creators as social entrepreneurs and innovators. Through their development of typically small-scale, locally embedded but globally aware creative enterprises, these practitioners profoundly enrich our societies by helping to construct resilient communities capable of embracing both social and environmental justices alongside purposeful economic regeneration.
The Making Futures Research Platform and International Biennial Conference
Operating successfully for over a decade, Making Futures consists of a range of associated research and development activities, including an international biennial conference, an on-line journal, and a number of funded art, craft and design research projects exploring its themes. The international Plymouth-based biennial conference serves as a dissemination vehicle for activities across the sector globally. Curated by Malcolm Ferris since its first edition in 2009, the conference has become acknowledged as one of the leading events in its field, with invited editions having also taken place in China, South Korea, and the Philippines.
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