SUSTAIN Digital Artist Exchange
SUSTAIN Artist Digital Exchange is a six- month programme focused on low carbon artmaking for five artists based in Greater Manchester and five artists based in Aarhus in conjunction with Castlefield Gallery (UK) and the Aarhus Centre for Visual Art (DK).
Greater Manchester-based artists Chris Alton, Omid Asadi, Maya Chowdhry, Sophy King, and Jessica El Mal were selected to take part, alongside Felis Dos, Sophie Filtenborg, Heidi Nikolaisen, Stine Rosdahl-Petersen and Sabine Wedege from Aarhus. From October 2021 to March 2022 the ten artists took part in a six-month programme of digital workshops, talks, visits, critical feedback and professional support focused on low carbon artmaking.
During the course of the programme the artists have explored how their practice can contribute to a low carbon culture and a low carbon future – from learning more about the use of low carbon materials and production methods to discussions on low carbon methods of research and development and of showing work. The zine is the result of a collective effort to – through workshops, talks, visits, critical feedback and professional support – better understand the possible paths of engaging in low carbon artmaking as a professional artist.
SUSTAIN is supported by The Danish Arts Foundation; Aarhus Municipality; Manchester x Aalborg x Aarhus Cultural Collaboration; Arts Council England; Manchester City Council; Creative Industries Trafford.
My practice spans a range of media and approaches, including; socially engaged projects, video essays, textile banners, and publications. In 2012 I founded English Disco Lovers (EDL), an anti-fascist, pro-disco group. Other projects include; Adam Speaks (With New Mouths) (2017), a neoclassical treehouse commissioned by the National Trust; What Mortals Henceforth Shall Our Power Adore (2020), a video essay that frames the trident as a symbol of colonial intent; and Words to Grieve (2021), which seeks to expand the English vocabulary for grief. Each project addresses an array of interconnected social, political, economic and environmental concerns. I’m also an active member of the Quaker community and a skateboarder.
I was a participant in Syllabus III, an alternative, peer-led, learning programme (2017-18). Exhibitions & commissions include; Throughout the Fragment of Infinity That We Have Come to Know, The NewBridge Project, Gateshead (2020); Link & Shift, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2019); Survey, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; Bluecoat, Liverpool; g39, Cardiff; & Jerwood Space, London (2018-19); Bloomberg New Contemporaries, South London Gallery; & Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Biennial (2018-19); Adam Speaks, The National Trust, Croome, Worcestershire (2017); and Outdancing Formations, Edith-Russ-Haus, Oldenburg (2015).
My name is Omid Asadi. I was born in Iran (1979). Iran is where I was raised and where my adolescence was spent, alongside my early adult years. Before pursuing art full-time, I was also a former engineer and a champion boxer in Iran. During the year 2007, I immigrated to the United Kingdom. Becoming an artist was the last thing I imagined myself being. However, in 2012, when I was 34, I began studying art at a beginner’s level in college. Fast forward to 2018, where I gained my MA in fine art with distinction, from the Manchester School of Art.
Contrast is the main focus in my work. It can be identified between mediums, materials, colors, textures, cultures, meanings, nature etc. Through contrast, I practice different disciplines to investigate issues regarding the current human condition, immigration, identity, Environment and childhood memories. My recent works are based on the Heterotopia idea by Michel Foucault. Currently, I still also live and work in Manchester.
Felis Dos (DK)
felis works primarily with visuals such as painting and video but also with performance art.
I am a multidisciplinary environmental artist, investigating the intersection of human activity and the environment through examination of and immersion in a place. I work with a range of found natural and man-made materials, photography, film and digital processes using a pared-down aesthetic. Walking, mapping and research are integral to my practice. My work recognizes narratives of place, time and human interactions with the non-human, working with communities and ecologies.
My practice considers the Anthropocene, deep time and vibrant matter, examining ecological systems and phenomena in relation to the climate crisis. For several years I have been concerned with moss, soil, earth, peat, wildfires. I’ve focussed on peat moors and lowlands around Manchester; investigating their social, economic, and ecological context; exposing the nature of our relationship with our environment.
I use film to convey narratives within my work. This has developed into an interest in using audio-visuals as a means of exploring how we inhabit and experience our world and the huge turmoil we are all grappling with. I’m currently exploring ideas about low-carbon artmaking, rewilding and sustainability relating to Rogue Artist’s Studios and the urban environment.
Heidi is a visual artist and independent researcher working with installation, digital art and text. She holds a MFA from Funen Art Academy and a BA in Comparative Literature and Russian from the University of Copenhagen. She works in the cross field of digital aesthetics, critical theory and new materialism, her work often drawing on ideas, narratives and concepts from literature, technology and philosophy.
In 2017 she co-founded and worked until 2019 as programme director of the artist-run exhibition platform for contemporary art Organon in Odense. Since 2021 she has been based in Aarhus as part of the studio collective Corporum, an artist’ organization and studio collective working for better working conditions and community organizing for artists. In 2021/2022 she worked as programme director of the artist-run exhibition platform Cantina in Aarhus. In 2021 she sat on the jury on the project Peer Peer Peer, a collaborative network and exhibition project with c4 projects (Cph), SixtyEightArtInstitute and Piscine artist’ group.
Heidi is currently doing a postgraduate independent study programme at Maumaus in Portugal as well as taking part in the Sustain programme, a joint artist development programme by Castlefield Gallery in Manchester and AabKC in Aarhus aimed at providing more focus on low carbon art making within artistic practices.
Stine Rosdahl-Petersen (DK)
Stine Rosdahl-Petersen (b.1985) works mainly with site-specific sculpture and installation that are taken shape in dialog with the context´s spatial and cultural specifics. Throughout the years she has recurrently worked with sewing and weaving practices that transform shapeless masses, such as raw wool, into sculptural forms. Traditional crafts are an important reference in her practice. In particular, she has repeatedly worked with the ancient art of making bee skeps – doomed baskets of woven straw that house beehives. This technique was, in Danish rural communities, traditionally mastered by men and precluded women. Petersen´s reappropriation of this male-only craft is a rebellious gesture towards the assumption of weaving being a traditionally female, hence ´minor´, craft. Impermanence and cyclical transformations are also crucial elements in her practice, as she creates objects that are then subjected to natural transformations throughout the exhibition period, sometimes leading to their complete dissolution. Francesca Astesani, South Into North.
Sabine Wedege (1993, she/her) is a visual artist from Denmark, educated from Jutland Art Academy and Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. Works primarily with sculpture, but also with text, video, and sound – used in parallel and in contrast. Researching how to harmonize concept and material, by putting associations in a new frame of references. Preoccupied with history versus topicality, to connect connections from the past to contemporary issues and questions.
Her practice encompasses heavy and lot of references and stories, ranging from paganism, satanism, occultism, splatter, folklore, traditions, art history, prehistoric art to intersectional feminism, racism, capitalism, consumerism, ecology, conspiracy theories, landscapes, patterns, and systems. The materials used are an extra layer that encapsulates the works’ references, leaving it as a fused constellation that almost make its own newly created iconography, and carries its own symbolism in a newer frame. A kind of overload, materialism and cultures mingling, exactly as a reflection of society. The works seems like a distorted reality of familiar objects, tools, and trends, in addition, humor plays a significant role, as well as kitch and pop aesthetics to the complex reference ensemble.
She has shown works i.a. Kunsthal Aarhus, Kunsthal Kongegaarden, Aarhus City Hall, Mørke Dage Festival, Nordic Literature Festival, Museum of Contempoary Art in Belgrade, and Alhemija Festival.