HOUSE is a curated contemporary visual arts event, taking place biennially in October across Brighton and Hove. HOUSE produces a series of co-commissions, often with city visual arts partners, and invites an internationally respected artist both to produce a major new piece of work and to develop a curatorial thematic together with HOUSE Curator Celia Davies. Other co-commissioning opportunities are offered to a range of emerging, mid career and artists otherwise marginalised from the art world mainstream, along with a wider community programme.
HOUSE was conceived in 2008 to provide a commissioning platform for contemporary visual artists and to promote a wider public engagement with contemporary visual arts in the city of Brighton and Hove.
Inclusivity and accessibility are inherent to HOUSE offering the potential to experience new ideas and different ways of thinking within the artistic process.
HOUSE is devised and directed by Judy Stevens and Chris Lord.
HOUSE Biennial’s theme for 2017 is Excess. We asked each commissioned artist to take their own approach in exploring notions around our theme and the consequences of society’s appetite for desiring too much.
This year, we have invited renowned British artist Laura Ford to make a series of new sculptural works. Ford has taken her inspiration from the Royal Pavilion’s collection of Regency period satirical caricatures, providing a commentary on the Prince Regent’s lifestyle, plus aspects of excess within British popular culture. Consistent with Ford’s customary approach to her work, comic invention is deployed to grapple with wider serious societal issues.
HOUSE has also initiated new commissions from South East based artists Natasha Caruana, Andrew Omoding and Anthony Stevens. Natasha Caruana’s, Timely Tale is a lens-based work set against a backdrop of love, desire and health in the age of Excess. The work centres on a specific family story, but one almost all will recognise.
Meanwhile, Andrew Omoding and Anthony Stevens come together to create a joint exhibition. Working in mixed-media and textiles, threads and sewing, both artists mindfully repurpose unwanted materials to create new artworks.
Storytelling is a common thread within all the HOUSE Biennial artists’ commissions. A rich visual narrative runs through each, drawing not only on the artists’ personal experiences, but also on common events and scenarios familiar to all. In some sense, the works act as prompts for us to consider our own moral positions in relation to the subjects explored.
The programme also includes a participatory community project led by artist Becky Warnock. For Crossover Point, members of the Brighton Table Tennis Club have been invited to collaborate on a digital storytelling project that takes inspiration from Brighton Museum & Art Gallery’s Willett Ceramic Collection.
Alongside artist talks and events, a programme of films around the biennial theme of Excess has been selected by Laura Ford and is accompanied by short films from Brighton’s Carousel filmmakers.
We look forward to seeing you at the festival,
HOUSE Curator and visual arts advisor