g39 in 2014

This week at g39 we sadly said goodbye to our final exhibiting artist of the year Carwyn Evans, who brought the 2014 programme to a monumental end with his solo exhibition UDO. It was his most ambitious body of work to date, and it resonated in the g39 space incredibly well, being universally met with critical praise by the arts community and the public alike.

UDO was the official launch event for Cardiff Contemporary 2014 – thank you to everyone who attended to make the event so buzzing and memorable. In his opening speech at g39 the leader of the City Council Phil Bale announced his ambition for Cardiff to be a world class cultural city and the part that the visual arts plays in this vision.

While we were working with Carwyn at g39, we were also re-discovering the city in unexpected ways through Alex Rich’s commission for Cardiff Contemporary Reflections Towards a Well-tempered Environment. Alex’s series of interventions took their inspiration loosely from the maritime experience and legacy that international trading has given to Cardiff. Sometimes iconic, other times whimsical, these interventions allowed us to experience the city and in new ways as sites for activity and we learned as many facts about Cardiff from exchanges with visitors as we gave out. During UDO we hosted the touching MadeinRoath event Requiem for Howard Gardens, celebrating the life and times of Cardiff’s art school building whose last ever cohort of graduates left in the summer.

Behind the scenes, Warp Coordinator Cinzia Mutigli has been busy re-energising the Warp website into a more streamlined and user-friendly service. If you haven’t already done so, please visit the site and let us know what you think. And at the September AGM we were delighted to welcome two new members onto the board: Bob Gelsthorpe (artist ace and ex-Warp Intern) and Hoodi Ansari (Business Intelligence Analyst, Confused.com). Both bring their own unique expertise and wisdom to the direction of the organisation.

During the summer we presented Cities of Ash, curated by Sam Perry. Sam’s curatorial practice goes from strength to strength – in January he was commissioned to curate To begin, at the beginning at NURTUREart in New York. And we were delighted that he was accepted onto CuratorLab at Konstfack University College of Art and Design in Stockholm – which he discovered on the launch day of Cities of Ash. Congratulations Sam on a great 2014!

We welcomed many inspirational artists and curators to our Artist Talks and Guest One-to-One sessions during 2014, including Alex Boyd (Oriel Davies), Louisa Fairclough, Simon Harris, Helen Legg (Spike Island), Melanie Counsell, Ben Borthwick, Andrew Hunt, Helen Lucy Clout, Bedwyr Williams, Ryan Gander, Kevin Hunt and Joe Fletcher Orr (Cactus).

We were also delighted to learn about Helen Sear’s selection for Wales in Venice 2015 (g39’s second board member to represent Wales in Venice!), and James Richards’ inclusion on the Turner Prize 2014 shortlist. And the Gingell family received the 2014 Arts & Business Cymru Award for Philanthropy for their support of the John Gingell Award at g39 in 2013.

In April we presented the work of Turner Prize 2013 winner Laure Prouvost in Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain, alongside Jorge Lizalde, Catrin Davies & Lewis Wright, Megan Broadmeadow, Shaun Featherstone and James Green.

We will be seeing in 2015 in the same way we saw in 2014 – with the UNIT(e) season and Library residency. It was really effective as a period of focused production for the partaking artists, and we were particularly delighted that UNIT(e) artist Kelly Best went on to be selected for the Jerwood Encounters: 3-Phase opportunity. Congratulations Kelly, and we hope that the UNIT(e) 2015 artists have similar success.

THANK YOU to all our funders, partners, sponsors, artists and volunteers who have been involved with g39, whether that’s via our programme of activities or our business development – your continued support enables us to preserve this incredible arena for people to experience contemporary art.

So here’s to 2015 when we look forward to working with many more partners including Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Eastside Projects, DASH, DAC, Diffusion, Oriel Davies, Wales Arts International, The Romani Arts and Culture Company, and many more. Finally, we can’t finish our 2014 round-up without wishing Anthony Shapland a fond (and drunkenly teary) farewell as he embarks on his Creative Wales year away of g39 for some long overdue studio time. We will be expecting great things in 2016, Anthony!

We wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas
From the board and staff of g39

g39 is funded by Arts Council of Wales.