Monday, 29 March 2010

Twenty For Harper Road

‘Twenty For Harper Road’ was a disused travel agents, but for the month of April, it will be transformed to host the Tate’s first offsite project space. This idea, thought up by Raw Canvas*, will see the Tate educational programme temporarily moved to Elephant & Castle to hold free workshops and events with young artists, designers, architects and musicians – this is going to be a place to experiment with ideas about education and participation.

Harper Road will kick off with a flag-making event – the outcome will define the identity of the temporary project space, and a flag representing this will be hung outside. Fittingly, the last event for the project will be a banner-making workshop, the banners from which will then be taken on the May Day March. The events are aimed at a wide audience of the younger generations.

The project is thinking of the multiple ways in which it is possible to combine ‘artist’ and ‘educator’. The artists are becoming the educators through transforming aspects of their practice into a form of dialogue or practical workshop. Each artist whose proposal has been accepted, will have up to three days in the space to do what they want. This ranges from a pirate radio station, to food tours of Borough market and weekly crit. groups. There is an eclectic, energetic and hugely enthusiastic programme for this project space. ‘Twenty For Harper Road’ is very open to ideas and anticipates unexpected happenings as a result and last minute decisions – but this is all very welcome in what is almost an experiment for the Tate.

The programme will culminate in a series of seminars and informal conferences with other gallery education programs around the country and local initiatives. These discussions will examine ideas of independence, education and participation.

The project is really exciting, not only being the first time that Tate Modern has set up an offsite project space, but also because of the opportunities opened up as a result, to develop an independent program. ‘Twenty For Harper Road’ is a pilot project and creates a space for talks and workshops – with no one else having a base dedicated to these ideas at the moment, this project space is providing a focused environment to examine participatory activity.

- Holly Willats

‘Twenty For Harper Road’ facebook group.

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