Dove Street Studios, Norwich UK, is home to Franco-British practitioners Hannah Turner Wallis and Théodora Lecrinier, the collaborative curatorial partnership Dyad Creative.
On a visit to the studios, we observe the duo engrossed in their latest venture, Cley19: Borderlines, opening on 4th July, 2019. Following the success of Cley18, curated by the esteemed Caroline Fisher, Dyad look to contend with the innovative archive of exhibitions hosted at St Margret’s Church and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre, Cley-next-the-Sea, Norfolk UK.
Dyad’s engagement with Norfolk artists, curators, and committee members has formed a web of evolving relationships, including the North Norfolk Exhibition Project (NNEP) with whom they are realising Cley19. Something the pair are particularly interested in is the coming together of people and place, the connections and the interactions instigated in these scenarios. While the exhibition draws on a conglomeration of themes, Borderlines was elected as the anchor for the show. Through 2018/19 the phrase Borderlines has been seen to acknowledge current topics and affairs, while also depicting imagined physical qualities. In conversation, Dyad considered the array of interpretations of the term, unearthing links to the landscape, the body, performance, and the political climate. The Open Call has allowed for a myriad of voices to come together to discuss the lone word, contributing material adaptations for the duo to curate; it is this dialogue that Dyad take hold of, and with great care and consideration apply to a space, making available new perspectives and questions for audiences to experience.
This year, the exhibition plays host to 45 artists and 42 artworks, some of which are collaborative exhibits. The two spaces will model a wide-ranging fusion of media, including performance art which will be on view throughout the three scheduled events, the Private Viewing, the Curator’s Tour, and the Closing Party.
As artist-curators, Dyad stress the value of paying visits to artists in their studios, to curators hosting shows, showing support and building connections. It is these connections forged by their interpersonal skills that have allowed for the execution of some of their most successful ventures. The residency programme established at Dove Street Studios has allowed for the duo to curate the spaces, as artists. Working intimately with artists has spurred on the exchange of concept and knowledge, thus granting the reinvention of space and of presentation. The space and facilities made available to resident artists offer an immersive experience in which the manipulation of their practical area and study space is redesigned to bring about reflection. Dyad look to dispute the definition and role of a Curator, by taking all attributes of a space into account, finding ways to submit the experience as a journey – acknowledging the space between the walls and the work, the work and the audience, the audience and the artist, and the artist and the curator. This cycle, or process rather, is never fixed, the dimensions of and between each element of the creative experience are brought into question, where connections and understandings surface. It is in these spaces in between and during the live events where communications happen.
Cley19: Borderlines will prosper in the coming together of new audiences and artists. Those returning to the spaces should expect to encounter the architecture in a new manner, and to approach the exhibition divisions with intrigue. The exhibits have each been designed for Cley19 to correspond with the theme of this year’s guest curators, and with this, Dyad will in turn offer their proficiency to the NNEP’s established reputation of projects showcasing contemporary work to wider audiences.
Reflecting on the project, Dyad let us in on their intentions, what they aspire to achieve, while reinforcing their professionalism and commitment to the progression of the project. Lecrinier asserts that “each time you do a job you apply your personality to it, your energy, who you are and the skill that you’ve learnt so far, and therefore you have to comply to the restrictions you are given, and we knew that when we started- and we started with a massive idea and we’ve bought it down to what is possible”.
The team have begun compiling their findings and research associated with this project to pass on to the curator for 2020, in the same way that Fisher shared her insight and knowledge with them. The logistics of Cley19 including the scale, the range of disciplines, the new locations, and the higher rate of submissions, have all tested the ability of Dyad’s professional development as curators and as artists, but the journey faced thus far has only enhanced their desire to accomplish the intentions set out for each contributing artist.
From 2016, where Dyad Creative showcased The Way We Live Now, to Cley19, the dynamic duo have embarked on a tremendous exploration of space, place and community. This latest exhibition brings in to question our connections with Norfolk, and so Dyad return the question, what is a valid connection?
Turner Wallis and Lecrinier display the connections they have with their immediate surroundings, with one another as practitioners, with their subject matter, and with Cley19 through their recall of things they have learnt together, projects completed together, and the goals that they share for the future.
Following the exhibition in July, we will be revisiting Dyad Creative for an in conversation, and to formulate a review of the show.
Exhibition dates- 04.07.19 / 04.08.19