text+work is the ethos behind The Arts University Bournemouth’s Gallery programme, and underpins the exhibitions presented at the Gallery since 2003.
text+work states that its aim is to provide a forum for the meeting of practitioners, writers and curators to discuss and push the boundaries the relationship between contemporary art practice and design and discourse—be it critical, experimental, fictional, poetic, or historical.
Each text+work project consists of an exhibition (work) and an accompanying publication (text). The text+work concept is core to The Arts University Bournemouth’s Gallery underpinnings and ethos, and was initially developed by the Gallery’s Research Committee in 2003 as a means of discussing the theoretical contexts surrounding respective different art practices.
Its first exhibition presented under this concept was ‘Four Quartets Series’ by Ian McKeever and David Miller. It has since hosted 35 exhibitions (November 2003–April 2010). In 2008, the Gallery added music to its repertoire, and has so far included the Goldberg Variations, performed by David Wright, and From Experimentalism to Minimalism, performed by Kokoro, as part of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
One of the main aims of text+work is to make the exhibitions / publications available to a wider audience who might not be able to visit the gallery. It does this through the distribution of the accompanying publications (text), both as hard copies and as e-publications, and through the virtual gallery space on its website.
Alongside the text+work concept, the Gallery also runs a programme of touring exhibitions. This has included FACING EAST: Contemporary Landscape Photography from the Baltic, which was curated by Liz Wells in 2004 and A SHORT GRAND TOUR by Professor Simon Olding + Jim Hunter.
In 2007, text+work partnered up with ArtSway on an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project, teaming up to present two seminars at the 52nd Venice Biennale, 2007, and again at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009. Since 2007, text+work, The Arts University Bournemouth and ArtSway have continued to collaborate, resulting is publications and projects including B.OK by Nathaniel Mellors and Family Village by Dinu Li.
Other collaborators have included the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, the Norwich Gallery, Birmingham Libraries, The Study Gallery, Impressions Gallery, Poole Photography Festival, TRACE, ROLLO Contemporary, Wolverhampton University and Winchester Discovery Centre, and it hosted the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2006.
Past artists have included former Turner Prize winner, Grenville Davey, Royal Academicians Ian McKeever and Frank Bowling, 16 artists from the Baltic area as part of the FACING EAST exhibition, up and coming artists including Dinu Li and Eric Butcher. It also supports the university’s academic staff through research.
Past writers have included, amongst others, Susan Bright, curator and author; Luce Irigaray, feminist and culture theorist; Professor Simon Olding, Director of Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham; and David Bate, author of ‘Photography and Surrealism’ (2004).