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Running on a Monday evening at Mareel over five consecutive weeks, artist Amy Gear delivered an informal course exploring the work of the four artists shortlisted for the 2016 Turner Prize.

With her creative approach, and using her own experiences and practice, she attempted to demystify the world of Contemporary Art. Four practical sessions were held in the Green Room with the final session in Screen 2 to coincide with the live broadcast of the winner on the BBC which was streamed live.

Amy adopted ‘slow looking’ method of learning, encouraging the group to really take time with the work of each artist and to explore every aspect of it within the context of both art and life. She explained the processes of making work and the references and connections to other disciplines, incorporating practical elements to each session.

Over the course of the five week block the confidence of each of the participants grew, they became fluent and assertive in their views and opinions about each artist and welcomed the opportunity to speak in a relaxing and creative environment. Feedback was exclusively positive, Amy’s approach was praised and all of the seven participants have asked to continue meeting as an informal group. We will support this with the use of space and hope to run a similar block of sessions next year.

Feedback from participants:

  • “Inspiring - altered my way of thinking”
  • “Creatively relaxing and thoughtful. The workshops proved to be very enjoyable and inspiring.”
  • “A great space for thinking, discussing and making. Engaging and interesting in opening up conversation in art that was difficult to understand or like as well. Very inspiring and feel I’ve met some lovely people too.”
  • “Thought provoking, constructively difficult, inclusively facilitating.”
  • “A pleasure to just talk about art"
  • “Cheerful, illuminating, engaging and well thought out”.

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