Date: 28th September - 7th October 2023

Location: 31 Station St

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Middlesbrough Art Week

Middlesbrough Art Week is back for its 6th edition and takes place across the town from Thursday 28th September to Saturday 7th October. Formerly known as the Weekender, MAW now extends to a full week of exhibitions, talks, workshops, performances, events and exciting public interventions. This years’ MAW programme presents over 120 artists made up of regional, national and international artists, So what can folks expect to stumble across this year…..?

A giant inflatable pig, a flame themed decal van with a gun torrent, 650 images of a newborn breastfeeding, human powered clocks, singing rocks and massive portraits of Middlesbrough folk spread across Centre Square are just some of the highlights from this year’s Middlesbrough Art Week programme.

Joining the list of local and regional artists, MAW brings in some international big hitters such as Mike Nelson, David Shrigley, Ken Friedman & Tehching Hsieh to flesh out its largest programme to date.

Through the theme of ‘Measure’, MAW engages with ways of thinking of the past, present and future: from deep time to waiting time to no time. Work selected this year asks us to notice the centrality of time and how we perceive, mark, measure and value it.

Programme Highlights:

Japanese artist Saeborg creates latex body suits as extensions of her own skin, deploying them in performances. Motivated by her strong desire to transcend fixed identities (such as gender) and even the human body itself, she dons bodysuits that caricature sows or insects as toy-like figures, creating playful dystopias composed of the ecosystem’s basest creatures. For MAW23, Saeborg will present their inflatable sculpture Pigpen and also perform at Middlesbrough Art Weeks’ closing party on Saturday 7th October.

Local photographer Jason Hynes and winner of Portrait of Britain 2020 continues his project Hometown during this year’s festival. Hometown is all about photographing the people of Middlesbrough, 200 in total, in the run up to the town’s bicentenary. During the festival, five portraits over 4m high to be showcased in Centre Square on a specially designed structure. For folk that want to get more involved, the MAW team will be on hand during the festival to sign people up for their own portrait.

Summat for the Bairns was the breakout success of MAW last year and is back at MAW23 for another week of free, creative, playful workshops. Happening at Pineapple Black (Hillstreet Shopping Centre, Primark entrance) with multiple workshop stations, kids of all ages can get creative and maybe just a little bit messy. Expect Polaroid Photography, Soap Sculptures, Brick Building, Drawing, Painting and a whole lot of creative fun.

TISH / Paul Sng

“Tish celebrates the vision and profound humanism of the artist Tish Murtha, a photographer whose powerful imagery captured the essence of working-class communities. Directed by Paul Sng (Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliche, Dispossession), this documentary unveils the life experiences, struggles, and achievements of Murtha, questioning the value placed on art and artists from working class roots – as well as following Tish’s daughter Ella, in her drive to preserve her mother’s legacy.”

Tish will be screened at The International Centre in Middlesbrough on Oct 4th followed by a Q&A with Jen Corcoran & Guests.

Regional Support

As always. Middlesbrough Art Week strives to embed high levels of support for regional artists into its program. The North East Open Call (NEOC) continues to platform regional artists with 10 artists selected this year out of 134 submissions. Artists such as Lee Cutter, Eve Cromwell & Rachel Blackwell will benefit from the exhibition opportunity, as well as one on one crits with inter/national curators. The NEOC is supported by regional partners MIMA, Matt’s Gallery (London) and The Glucksman (Ireland).

Over the last 2 months, MAW has been supporting 12 Middlesbrough based artists to undertake short residencies with Visual Arts in Rural Communities (VARC) in Tarset, Northumberland. Artists have been taking time in the rural settings of Northumberland to reflect and be inspired by the beautiful landscape.

Teaming up with Northern School of Art, MIMA School of Arts and Creative Industries, Sunderland University and Northumbria University, MAW has developed a post education professional development programme for two selected artists from each course. The course offers a two day intensive professional development summer school, studio space, group crits and a group exhibition at MAW.

Quote from Liam Slevin, Middlesbrough Art Week, Festival Director

I can’t believe we are coming up to the 6th edition of the festival! Over the years we’ve always pushed ourselves and the festival’s ambition, striving to place Middlesbrough as the hidden gem of culture and creativity in the north east and I feel like we are hitting some of those ambitions. This year particularly the team has grown substantially and the exhibition and talks programmes are really benefiting from it. We have Mike Nelson and Sarah Maple in Middlesbrough for an artist-led festival. It’s wild. We have a programme that is on par with major festivals across the country.

Quote from Kypros Kyprianou , Curator

It’s fantastic that this year MAW has expanded from a weekend to a week. The acronym stays the same but the ambition has shifted, giving us the opportunity to programme a broader range of work, events and performances across Middlesbrough. I’m excited by the breadth of work and approaches to the festival theme of Measure.

Middlesbrough Art Week

Middlesbrough Art Week is the largest contemporary art festival in the North East and continues to grow in scale and ambition every year. Partners include Arts Council England, Tees Valley Combined Authority, Middlesbrough Council and Holiday Inn Express – Centre Square.

The Auxiliary Project Space

The Auxiliary Project Space is an artist-led National Portfolio Organisation. Based in a 11,000 sq ft warehouse including artist studios, exhibition and workshop space, it emphasises artistic development, large scale exhibitions and community participation. The Auxiliary will undergo a major refurbishment in May 2023, thanks to the DCMS Cultural Development Fund.

Prices

Free Festival

Location

31 Station St, Middlesbrough TS1 1SR, UK

Area

Middlesbrough

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