Social Works?: Open


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Social Works?: Open is the first publication from the Social Works? programme, and features 14 new commissioned pieces of writing and 2 artist commissions. The publication was launched at the Social Art Summit, which took place across several sites in Sheffield on 1st and 2nd November 2018. 

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 Recipients of the writing bursaries were:

Jen Delos Reyes

Jen Delos Reyes is a creative laborer, educator, writer, and radical community arts organizer. Her practice is as much about working with institutions as it is about creating and supporting sustainable artist-led culture. Delos Reyes worked within Portland State University from 2008-2014 to create the first flexible residency Art and Social Practice MFA program in the United States. She is the director and founder of Open Engagement, an international annual conference on socially engaged art. 

Kerry Morrison

Kerry Morrison is an environmental artist and ecologist who works with processes of walking, talking, listening, drawing, photography, ethnography, data collection, and performance. In 2011 Kerry  co-founded in-situ, a non-for-profit artist led initiative in Pendle, which serves to examine art, environment and culture in the locale of Brierfield, Nelson, and Colne.

R.M. Sánchez-Camus

Marcelo is a creative practitioner who develops works of art in collaboration with community partners. His interests lay in neighbourhood narratives, hidden mythologies, psychogeography, and outdoor interventions. He researches and writes on socially engaged practice and holds a doctorate entitled Applied Live Art. Recent project partners include Freedom Festival in Hull, Elan Valley Trust in Wales, Artangel, People United, and Circolombia. He was born in New York City to parents who emigrated from Chile and lives in London. 

Claire Mead

Claire Mead is a curator, art historian and queer feminist activist working in France and the UK. She is curator in residence at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art where she is co-curating a workshop programme and exhibition around queering the museum collection in collaboration with the local LGBTQI community. She is also a coordinator for the grassroots activist organisation Collectif Archives LGBTQI in Paris campaigning for a public LGBTQI French archive, organising talks, workshops and debates, as well as a programmer for the Paris art organisation Polychrome, delivering screenings and exhibitions around queer and feminist activist practice.

They Are Here

They Are Here (f.2006)  is a collaborative practice steered by Helen Walker & Harun Morrison. They are currently based in London and on the River Lea. Their work can be read as a series of context specific scenarios. Resisting rigid hierarchy and foregrounding knowledge exchange they seek to create ephemeral systems and temporary, micro-communities that offer an alternate means of engaging with a situation, history or ideology. Institutions they have developed or presented work include: CCA Glasgow, Grand Union, Konsthall C, Southbank Centre, Furtherfield, Studio Voltaire, STUK and Tate Modern. 

Harvey Dimond

Harvey Dimond (b. 1997) is an artist and programmer based in Glasgow. Their interests lie in queer activism, Caribbean identities and the implications of being black in Scotland. They are the co-founder of the People of Colour Society at The Glasgow School of Art, an organisation which aims to empower and platform creatives of colour and challenge institutional racism. In March 2018 they co-curated In Residence, a series of exhibitions and events featuring 40+ artists of colour.

Lauren Velvick

Lauren Velvick is a writer, artist and curator based in the North of England. She is a regular contributor to national and local arts publications and is a Director of contemporary art and writing publication Corridor8. Lauren is custodian of two informal archives and has an ongoing interest in the ethics and labour of archiving and administration.

Recipients of the artist commissions are:

Les Monaghan

Les is interested in class, community, and representation. Previously a press photographer schooled in unambiguous imagery, he works by deconstructing the documentary method through successive projects; staging photographs with migrants assimilation(2006 – 2008), working with texts, the year long commission Aspirations Doncaster(2014) and the ACE funded The Desire Project(2015 - 2016), collaborating with others and re-contextualising,Relative Poverty (2016 - 2018). Works are often shown on a large scale engaging directly with the public.

Joe Cotgrave

Joseph Cotgrave’s practice explores personal narratives, as a young gay man living with HIV. He engages with audiences to create meaningful conversation surrounding issues relating to the virus. His practice aims to highlight and subsequently reduce the stigma that exists for people living with HIV, particularly amongst at-risk groups. Personally, the work provides Joe with a space in which to comprehend his experience of HIV diagnosis, stigma and trauma, and to reconcile those issues visually, in collaboration with audiences. As audiences navigate site-specific installations they are confronted with a juxtaposing commentary of HIV, traditional narratives compete with contemporary experiences. And, as they do so they are provided greater understanding of HIV. This understanding transforms how audiences engage, not only with the work, but also with the artist.


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