For artists with a strong connection to Cumbria

On Sat 3rd – Sun 4th December 2022, we hosted a Digital Artist Development Lab here at Cooke’s with 16 artists with a strong Cumbrian connection as part of T I D A L our, new digital arts engagement programme focussed on Barrow’s coastal environment. Applications for this free development opportunity closed at Midnight on 6th Nov, 2022 and were confirmed on the following week.

TIDAL is the new digital arts engagement programme focussed on Barrow’s coastal environment. With Barrow’s proximity of town and sea, and the climate crisis as a central focus, the programme, which launched with this lab, will include participatory commissions, workshops, courses and talks over the course of 2023.

The lab was a weekend of talks, workshops and visits to inspiring locations in and around Barrow. Space was created for artists to build new networks, share and get feedback about work and ideas in progress and gain skills and knowledge around using digital technology and the natural environment within a creative practice. The lab was also able to offer a travel bursary of up to £50 and accommodation in Barrow was provided. Bursaries were also available for childcare.

Following the weekend lab, attendees had the opportunity to apply for one of three mentored commissions to be exhibited at Signal Film and Media in April 2023.  With £1000 available to support the making and development of this work, the selected artists will be provided with 1:1 mentoring in the lead up to the exhibition. Technical support and equipment hire (free of charge) will also be available to artists.

As part of the weekend, lab visits included: St Cuthbert’s Church, Aldingham, Earnse Bay and Biggar Bank beach, Walney Island, Barrow and Wildernest, Baycliff.

Speakers/mentors/workshop leaders included: Charlotte Horn – Exhibitions Producer (FACT Liverpool); Hwa Young Jung – Artist; Angela Chan – Artist/Researcher; Tom Ireland – Artist and Director (Abingdon Studios, Blackpool); Steve Benn – Senior Reserve Manager (Natural England) and John Fox & Sue Gill – Artist-led Co (Dead Good Guides).

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