Each week with our Artist Spotlight, we’ve been featuring some of the great artists who were supposed to tour to Lancashire this Spring. This week is something a little different. This week we are featuring a Spot On artist and a project that even with the current lockdown, is still going ahead! Even if it does involve more ‘Zooming’ than originally planned.
For our 2020 Spot On Digital Commission, we have asked Elliott Flanagan to explore the Spot On Archive. Here he tells us a bit more about what he is working on…
Who are you and where are you based?
I’m Elliott Flanagan and I am an artist based between my hometown Burnley and Manchester.
What do you normally do?
In my art practice I generally make work via video, installation, text and sound that discusses ideas about masculinity, identity and social debate. These are exhibited locally, nationally and internationally. Also I like to travel and take part in artist residencies. These are occasions when an arts organisation, like a gallery or festival, recruits an artist to produce work and exhibit there over a fixed period of time. Last year I had residencies in Venice and Chemnitz (Germany).
3. What are you doing at the moment?
I had some work in the More T’ North exhibition at the Harris Museum in Preston before the virus struck so I’m currently in touch with the organisers as they create a virtual tour of the exhibition so that people can still access the works online. Furthermore, I’m doing a talk towards the end of May as part of their updated programme.
I have been chosen for the Spot On digital commission 2020 so that’s been keeping me busy during the lockdown. I’ve been filming and writing towards the project whilst trying to be flexible to the new climate we find ourselves in. For example, collaborating within the community and speaking to people was a key element of my proposal so I’ve had to adapt. As a result, I have contacted people and had conversations via Zoom instead.
4. Where can people find you?
My website, Vimeo and Instagram accounts are regularly updated and are good ways to keep up to date with my work and current projects:
5. What is your top tip for staying creative/inspired/busy while at home?
From my experience of lockdown so far, I think the first thing to do is admit it’s a challenging time to stay creative and inspired in the ways you’re accustomed to. There are parameters now – certain limitations to your ambitions and what you can achieve at this moment in time. To not give your self a hard time about this and to remain positive and proactive is so important.
Research is an integral part of my practice and informs my work so I recommend reading as much as possible. I’ve got a book from Whitechapel Gallery about moving image on the go at the moment. Also, Laure Prouvost is an artist whose work I really admire so I’m reading her book Legsicon.
I’m also inspired by film, so most evenings I’ve been watching the BFI Player or MUBI. On these platforms, I’ve particularly enjoyed films by Eric Rohmer and Jean Pierre Melville. Finally, I’d recommend finding time to sit down and listen to your favourite music. Dig out the old record collection or make a playlist on Spotify. Here’s your track one: Only You by Steve Monite. You’re welcome.
Are you a Lancashire based artist or creative? We want to put the spotlight on you! To get involved email Stephie firstname.lastname@example.org (just.co) with your answers to the questions above, a photo of you or your work, and all your online and social media link