by Kristian Garside
See the Windows tab for more on this new exhibit
As part of the Covid-19 Emergency Grant from ACE, Maketank commissioned artist Mark Parry to create an installation that would help Exeter residents imagine the city's future. During the winter, Mark interviewed a diverse range of inhabitants via Zoom which he then edited into the clip you can listen to above. Five dramatic light discs created by the artist pulse away to the accompaniment of the looped audio, absorbing the viewer into further imagining. Due to lockdown, the actual installation wasn't able to be placed in the front windows until May, when there would be enough foot traffic to properly engage with it. The exhibition ran from 20 May - 21 June.
You can see more of Mark's work and support him here:
We have been thrilled to host and support photographer Brendan Barry since May 2020. Through our collaboration, Brendan has been able to develop new strands of his large camera practice and envision and create the next iteration of Exeter's cultural quarter: his own Positive Lights Projects. Read about Brendan's work in the prestigious British Journal of Photography and/or watch the video we commissioned of his Maketank studio below.
Compassion Through Play
June 14-20, 2021
Maketank proudly co-conceived a week-long festival of play, colour and kindness with Maarten Koners of the Playful University Club . As we re-emerged from lockdown, families, children and adults were all invited to play games, make music, do yoga and have a lot of fun in the green spaces of our city centre. Kindness ninjas roamed the streets, Taiko drummers vibrated the Cathedral Green and origami boats were launched at the Quay. We coloured in Kinder Beasties and added to a Bus Station drawn by Scott Walker as part of our first People's Lab for the generation of a Future Kinder Exeter. The Commentators also commented on all of Saturday's events live and in-person, but of course, throughout the week we hosted multiple zoom sessions with international psychologists, pedagogues and theatre practitioners who introduced and encouraged playful activities to transform individual and group experience. Perhaps most importantly, bubbles abounded, reminding us all of the importance of playful communities!
In autumn 2020 Maketank invited Emma Welton to make a piece on the Hammond organ that is resident in its building on Paris Street. We wondered what the organ might have to say during this time of locked down arts and culture, alone in a former showroom in central Exeter. And now we wonder what others will make in response to Emma's composition. Join us in the Creative Circle (see Participation section). And please support Emma Welton at emmawelton.net/
As part of ACE's Covid Emergency funding, Maketank has envisioned, hosted and supported the development of a new community of practice: Performance in Exeter or PiE. Inspired by CAMP, PiE is a networked ecology for Greater Exeter and Devon artists interested in performance to share practice, support each other, collaborate on interdisciplinary projects and advocate for the future of arts and culture.
Connect. Grow. Amplify.
Maketank's Story So Far...
We've been on Paris Street since February 2019, here's what you might have missed:
A mini festival of new local work with 5 artists and artistic organisations (Living Spaces)
A sell out performance of Achilles by Company of Wolves
A pilot of The Writer’s Den to support writers in development
The establishment of a Performance Incubation Programme that has mentored & supported two new performances including the international collaboration On Leaving the House.
6 networking/collaborative meetings with artists across disciplines. This has grown into the creation of a new Performance in Exeter (PiE) community of practice.
The co-creation and festival directorship of Kinder Exeter, a week-long celebration of compassion through play.
Provided space and mentorship for the first UK reading of Andrei Kureichik's Insulted. Belarus and the first and to-date only all female cast reading of the play as well as a window installation dedicated to the project.
850+ audience members attending events at Maketank
4,000+ viewings of window exhibits
1,500+ viewings of online performances and events
We established an Artist-Researcher in Residence program in 2019 which has supported a theatre company, two photographers and a haptic technology PhD candidate since its inception.
We established an 2019 internship programme which supported 5 interns to work with Maketank. This programme has continued throughout 2020/21 in various formats supporting over 30 interns all under 25.
We have worked with the University of Exeter's MA Creativity: Innovation and Business Strategy since its foundation to be a place for students to work and develop their gamification idea generation strategies. This has led to many excellent projects supporting local and international businesses including the recent Battle for Green campaign for the United Nations Development Programme.
We provide space and support for Yalla Arts, a participatory community theatre project; Shumba arts, a creative cultural organisation; and various musicians and drumming projects related to Extinction Rebellion.
We supported 24 artists/companies with block amounts of subsidised rehearsal space.
We ran a youth theatre program in 2019 called MakeNoise
We provided space for multiple community generated exhibitions
We have also supported
3 artists from communities with low engagement with the arts.
and provided visibility for 27 other live performance events and organisations within the city, through a window display and regular newsletter.