The Artists’ International Development Fund is a joint partnership between the British Council and the Arts Councils in England and Northern Ireland which opens up international perspectives for artists to expand their horizons.
The Artists’ International Development Fund is more than just a way to put on an exhibition in another country. It gives artists the chance to share their passion with others and get their names out there. Artists build valuable connections and strong networks during their time abroad, as well as immersing yourself in a completely different culture.
They Are Here - Stockholm Residency
Project Title: Stockholm Residency
Artist: Harun Morrison and Helen Walker
Dates of travel: June and September 2017
At the invitation of Konsthall C, an arts centre in Stockholm, Helen Walker and Harun Morrison of They Are Here are undertaking a four-week residency in two two-week blocks in June and September. The artist duo are based in London, Birmingham and the River Lea, and describe themselves as a collaborative practice whose work, or ‘games’ intend to embrace design, film, performance and writing.
"Our work can be read as a series of context specific games", explains Harun, "the entry, invitation or participation can be as significant as the game's conditions and structure." Through these games, Harun and Helen seek to create ephemeral systems and temporary, micro-communities that offer an alternate means of engaging with a situation, history or ideology.
Having heard about the Artists International Development Fund through ‘word of mouth’ the duo decided to seek support for a project that would develop in Sweden. The residency in which they are involved continues research into national and transnational financial systems. Sweden exemplifies what is sometimes referred to as the ‘Nordic Model’, in essence a combination of free-market capitalism with comprehensive welfare support. They Are Here are interested in how this context offers a different angle to London’s financial system.
Their evolving project, The People Behind The Financial System, Sweden, means that Helen and Harun need to spend time creating a map of the financial system. The intention being to create a final performance in which the wider public have face-to-face discussions with people in the financial sector. The AIDF grant will help build a professional relationship with Konsthall C and develop fruitful conversations with other arts organisations and artists in Stockholm and Gothenburg.
For Walker and Morrison, whilst buying a glass of beer or wine might be quite expensive in Sweden, you can't put a price on what for them is the stand-out highlight of their stay so far: watching the light of the famous midnight sun!