Introduction to Arts Writing

Saturday 17th March 1 – 4pm


Saturday 17th March 1 – 4pm

Explore a wide range of critical, creative and practical approaches to writing about art and developing new skills using writing, from artists’ statements and arts journalism to developing art-works that incorporate text. Join Wayne Burrows and a mixed group of artists and writers who share your interests for what will hopefully become a regular peer-to-peer support group and network in the city.

The day will consist of an introduction to BACKLIT and the role of writing in his own practice from Matthew Chesney (BACKLIT Director), followed by a half-day series of exercises and discussions led by Wayne Burrows.

Wayne is an experienced visual artist and freelance writer based at Primary, Nottingham. He has worked with galleries like Xero Kline & Coma, Syson, New Art Exchange, Watch-It, QUAD, Nottingham Castle and Nottingham Contemporary, and is currently collaborating with Strange Names Collective on a new visual commission for the Lakes Ignite festival in Cumbria (Summer 2018) and finalising material for an archival exhibition at Centrala, Birmingham (Autumn 2018). As a writer he has published nine books, including The Apple Sequence (Orchard Editions, 2011), Marine: A Story In Eight Objects (Nottingham Castle/Fermynwoods, 2013), Exotica Suite & Other Fictions (Shoestring Press, 2015) and Eastern Bloc Songs: A Sampler (Nottingham Contemporary, 2016). His critical and creative writing has also appeared in anthologies, magazines and editions, including Metro, Nottingham Visual Arts, Leftlion, a-n news and The Double Negative. He is currently completing a new image and text fiction publication, Telekinesis, and an artists’ book, Asymmetries, for publication during 2018.

This introductory half-day session at BACKLIT will look at the full range of approaches to art writing, from editorial, reviews and journalism alongside more creative options, such as text for performance, voice-overs for video or writing for publications, artist statements and other contexts. We will draw directly from Wayne’s experience in all these fields, and look at the many different ways in which contemporary artists use text in their work.

In this first session, participants will be invited to try out new techniques for writing – whether a review or something more creative – to a BACKLIT exhibition. We will be encouraged to think about writing in new ways and discuss the relationships between visual, performed and written texts in a wide range of contexts.

This session is planned to be the first of a four-part series of workshops at different visual arts venues (all in Nottingham) with new guest speakers and perspectives introduced each time. The intention is to build a mixed group of writers, performers and artists interested in supporting each-others’ practices while developing interests and skills in these areas, with the longer term goal of creating a publication.