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Artists’ international development fund – Nathan Jones

  • Date: 20 November 2012
  • Artform: Literature, Music, Visual arts
  • Area: International, National

Looking to expand his professional network and develop his artistic practice, Nathan Jones used a £4,004 from the Arts Council’s Artists’ international development fund for a five-day research trip to Berlin. 

Background

Nathan Jones is a poet and performer who produces cross-artform collaboration and experimental approaches to poetry for Mercy, a creative design and marketing agency in Liverpool which mixes business with a focus on artistic production and development.

Having established engagement opportunities in the UK including Trigger in Edinburgh, Cornerhouse in Manchester and PitM in London - as well as forming Syntax, a network for collaboration between poets and coders - Nathan applied to the Artists' international development fund to expand his contacts internationally.

Berlin's reputation as centre for international artists led Nathan to believe that he could forge relationships in the city during only a short stay. The high number of English speakers there also made it an ideal location for his project as there would be less barriers to international artists engaging with his poetry. Additionally, Nathan identified similarities between the artistic environment in Liverpool and Berlin which have both used cultural regeneration in their development. 

Objectives of the project

  • to give time out from schedule of production to performance - allowing the Nathan to network and for his ideas to grow collaboratively
  • to conduct research including at least eight meetings with artists and curators in Berlin and visiting specialist bookshops, venues, performances and networking events
  • to present and/or perform at Künstlerhaus Bethanien to showcase work, receive critical feedback and foster potential partnerships with Berlin-based artists, curators and organisations
  • for one Berlin artist or curator to accompany Berlin-based curator Sam Skinner on a trip to Liverpool in September 2012 with the potential of developing future events and collaborations between the cities, including a similar programme to the one developed in Berlin
  • to create a legacy from the project by establishing an international network for Nathan and his contacts

Partnership input

The Künstlerhaus Bethanien provided a venue for the project in kind and promoted the event through their marketing and communications department.

Finding the right people in Berlin was a challenge but curator Sam Skinner, conducted research and selected contacts for Nathan to meet. Sam is familiar with Nathan's work well and chose artists who could influence his practice and provide opportunities for future collaborations.

Outcomes of the project

  • Nathan exceeded targets by meeting 20 artists in Berlin
  • an event - Electronic Voice Phenomena featuring six live performances - was staged in Berlin and attended by 115 people. The event featured poetry as well as fine art and music. Nathan presented his own work and there were also opportunities for networking
  • again, exceeding targets, Nathan brought Sam Skinner and five artists to Liverpool during the Biennial to take part in a workshop - the Electronic Voice Phenomena Think Tank - with UK writers and performers
  • Nathan now has a significant network in place in Berlin with the potential of setting up a new project

Read our interview with Nathan Jones on the Arts Council blog

Find out more and apply for the Artists' international development fund