A Biennial for the South West?

On 18 October, at Arnolfini's magnificent 5th floor event space, Visual Arts South West presented an OPEN SPACE event exploring the question: Do we want to have a contemporary art biennial in the SW?

The day was an incredible mix of artists, producers, arts professionals and audiences all discussing questions that were asked around this topic. There was a great amount of energy and enthusiasm and commitment to the topic. All of the discussions were recorded and can be found here>>

The day ended with the following conclusions being drawn up:

 - We should drop the term 'Biennial'

 - We should investigate other models, including costings

- We should map the existing events/activity in the region, and map ambition for particular parts of the region 

- We should map what success would look like.

 - We should develop a think tank/ project board to move it forwards and this should be elected through open call

- We need to define expectations/ambition more clearly; prioritisation of outcome  

- Stakeholder mapping

- We should commission a feasibility study that is fleet-of-foot and has no assumptions.


 - Should we put a call out for ideas for project and create the structure around the content, not the other way round?  

How would ideas be credited?

- Should we start small and grow?

Open Space is an interactive and inclusive way of structuring a meeting that allows the participants to set the agenda. Open Spaces have been used all over the world to deal with complex issues with positive results. At the end of the event the following will have occurred:

-       Every issue of concern to anyone will have been raised, if they took responsibility for doing that.

-       All issues will have been discussed fully.

-       Al full record of issues and discussions will be published online in a format where people can carry on the discussion after the event.



What's On

Family Saturdays

Aspex Gallery, The Vulcan, PO1 3BF

Monday 01 October 2018 – Thursday 31 October 2019

Craft Workshops

Various Venues

Friday 08 February 2019 – Tuesday 31 December 2019

Life Drawing Classes

Lostwithiel , PL22 0BP

Thursday 14 March 2019 – Sunday 08 March 2020

Visual Arts South West

Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network

Supported by: