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We The People Are The Work

We The People Are The Work is a major visual arts project in Plymouth that will explore ideas of power, protest and the public.

The project will see five internationally acclaimed artists from the UK, Canada, France and Mexico journey to Plymouth to create new artworks, give talks and lead workshops, inspired by the city’s rich heritage, its people, and their aspirations for the future.

From recent worldwide events including Brexit and the election of Donald Trump to the changes being experienced by communities in Plymouth on a more local scale, the exhibition will look at the shared experiences and differences that shape our society.

The exhibition for We The People Are The Work will take place from Friday 22 September - Saturday 18 November 2017 at five venues around the city: The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, The Council House at Plymouth City Council, KARST, Peninsula Arts at the University of Plymouth and Plymouth Arts Centre.

Each of the five high-profile contemporary artists invited to take part in We The People Are The Work have been paired with a specific venue that aligns with the artist’s practice. Each artist will develop works that involve the public in some way - either in an aspect of their research, development, production or realisation.

The artists commissioned to take part include Claire Fontaine, a Paris-based collective working in neon, video, sculpture, painting and text. Also taking part is British contemporary artist Peter Liversidge, whose recent exhibitions include Tate Modern and the Whitechapel Gallery. We The People Are The Work will be Mexican artists Antonio Vega Macotela and Eduardo Thomas’ first major project in the UK. Ciara Phillips is a Canadian born artist who lives and works in Glasgow and has just been announced as an artist in the Sydney Biennial. Penzance-born artist Matt Stokes, who has exhibited at galleries all over the world, immerses himself in the social structures of the scene he is working with, which then result in films, installations and event-based works.

We The People Are The Work is curated by Simon Morrissey, who is internationally renowned for his distinctive approach of involving audiences in the development of permanent and temporary artworks. Morrissey is the director of Foreground, and he has curated exhibitions for leading galleries and agencies including The British Council; the Arnolfini in Bristol; Chapter in Cardiff and Hauser & Wirth Somerset amongst many others. As part of the project, Morrissey will lead a free walking tour between the five venues and give lectures at Plymouth College of Art and the University of Plymouth.  

We The People Are The Work will launch to coincide with Plymouth Art Weekender (22 - 24 September 2017) and will include events, talks and workshops, and film screenings, inviting communities to engage creatively as part of this cross-city project.

The film programme will include a special screening of Colin Gregg and Hugh Stoddart’s 1982 film Remembrance. Shot entirely on location in and around Plymouth, this British independent film featured large numbers of local people and young men in the Royal Navy as extras, alongside Timothy Spall and Gary Oldman in their first significant roles. Expanding out from the core venues, the project will also “infiltrate” the city’s outdoor video screens, advertising sites and transport networks, creating opportunities for connection and engagement across the whole of Plymouth.

For more information see the website for We The People Are The Work.

What: We The People Are The Work

When: Friday 22 September to Saturday 18 November 2017

Where: The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, The Council House at Plymouth City Council, KARST, Peninsula Arts at the University of Plymouth and Plymouth Arts Centre.

  • Exhibition / Gallery
  • Free