GIFT is thrilled to be embarking on a new project this August, as we offer a virtual warm welcome to Mia and Eric for an ‘off-site’ visit from their home in Calgary, Canada to a wonderful woodland area situated in the wider Borough of Gateshead - Chopwell Wood.
Throughout August we are inviting people who have a connection in some way with Chopwell Wood to connect with Mia and Eric online through a conversation about their experience of the woods and the local area. We are also inviting as many people as we can to participate in Mia and Eric’s online Public Assignment while visiting Chopwell Wood - which can be found here.
You can find out more about Mia and Eric by watching the below short video presentation by the artists.
GIFT’s Festival Director Kate Craddock first met Mia and Eric in Vancouver while attending PuSh Festival earlier this year (in what seems a pre-COVID lockdown lifetime ago) and was really excited to hear about their approach to working with communities and especially their work in more rural contexts. Kate was particularly excited by both their seemingly very playful artworks, combined with their in-depth methods for engagement, and their long term commitment to the sites and communities they work with.
We don’t know yet what will emerge or be created through this process, but we are excited that whatever develops will do so in conversation with the local communities who engage with the woods.
GIFT is always looking to extend the areas of Gateshead where our work reaches, and this project allows us to do just that. We are also excited, as this project allows GIFT to test out a new way of working - using a digital residency model to connect international artists with Gateshead based artists and communities- again, something we hope to build on in the future.
GIFT is one of the commissioning partners on 3 WOODS - along with Matchbox, Germany and the Arctic Arts Festival Norway - and again, we are delighted that this gives GIFT an opportunity to be working in an increasingly networked way with other international festivals.
We anticipate 3 WOODS being a project that lasts over the next 2 or 3 years, and so there will be lots of opportunity to get involved.
For more information about the project - visit https://www.3-woods.com
3 WOODS is a series of new interrelated works by artist duo Mia & Eric (CA) commissioned by Matchbox (DE), Arctic Arts Festival (NOR) and GIFT (UK).