Based in Newtown in mid-Wales at the historic terminus of the Montgomery Canal, Nicky will be pioneering a unique partnership which will see her split her time between Newtown and Emscher in the Ruhr area of Germany.
Over a period of six months the artist will alternate between the waterway regions, exploring similarities and difference, hosted by two innovative arts organisations: the acclaimed Emscherkunst Triennial on the river Emscher in the Ruhr Valley and the highly regarded Oriel Davies Gallery in Newtown.
We have teamed up with the Arts Council of Wales to create seven artists' residencies across Welsh waterways, as part of our Arts on the Waterways programme. This partnership aims to highlight the heritage and historic significance of Wales' canals, as well as celebrating their current relevance to local communities and contemporary Welsh culture. We're exploring how contemporary arts can play a new role in conserving, animating and re-interpreting the waterways in Wales.
Film and video
Nicky Coutts' work has been exhibited at public venues that include Kunsthalle Mainz; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Hå gamle prestegard, Norway; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London. She is represented in the UK by Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art, with solo gallery shows in 2008 and 2011. Over the past five years she has moved from working primarily with photography to film and video.
Nicky says: “My work often involves people, groups, communities in both rural and urban locations performing roles that alter perceptions of place and how we inhabit it. I'm based in London where I teach at the Royal College of Art and at the University of the Arts. A concurrent project in Japan similarly involves looking at the role of the artist working with others to make art that couldn't have been made by an individual. I'm very pleased to be taking part in the research residency for Newtown and Emscher and look forward hugely to developing a project with participants in Wales and Germany over the next six months.”
Tim Eastop, executive producer of Glandŵr Cymru's Arts on the Waterways programme, said: “We're delighted that Nicky will be taking up this residency. It'll be fascinating to see the results of her explorations in the two locations over the six months. Art has been at the forefront of how the Emscher waterways and communities have been regenerated in recent years, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Nicky compares and contrasts this with the waterway communities in Wales.”
Nicky is the latest artist as part of a three year programme of artists residencies across Wales' waterways. Andrew Dodds and Alan Goulbourne completed their residencies on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal and Llangollen Canal respectively in 2014. Mair Hughes started her six-month residency along the Montgomery Canal. Nicky's is one of two more residencies taking place in 2016. A final exhibition in 2017 will bring together new work made as a result of all the residencies