Allowing artists to work and thrive

A group of artists and artistic ventures are to benefit from a £375,000 award made to the University of Bedfordshire from Arts Council England.

A list of 13 has just been announced. They will be the first to be involved with TestBeds – part of £1.5 million investment to enhance Luton’s arts and cultural infrastructure.

Professor Helen Bailey, who leads the initiative, said: “Each was chosen for the quality of their existing work, their vision for their career in the arts, and their potential as future placemakers, global citizens and catalysts for change.

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“With such a variety of experiences, artistic practices, talents and creative goals, our TestBeds 2017 cohort is set to be an exciting and dynamic group.”

They include dancer, performer and choreographer Agnieszka Rebosz, fine artist Gayle Storey, newly-founded Luton film production company Four Faced Films and textile artist Nicola Moody.

Also featured are visual artist, musician, writer and editor Stephen Whiting who produces Luton’s satirical magazine Clod, artist Sophie Gresswell whose work explores distortion, identity and misrepresentation, as well as Catalyst Co-Lab, a 12 month research and development programme for mid-career artists of any discipline, focusing on collaborative practice and partnership working.

Professor Bailey added: “As well as providing local artists with the tools to establish thriving creative businesses, TestBeds has already attracted internationally renowned artists to Luton.

“We hope the programme will spearhead innovative, cross-disciplinary research into the employment of arts and culture.”