With it’s inception in 1998, Deptford X is London’s longest-running contemporary art festival – its core programme is a platform for emerging contemporary artists, with a strong foundation of support from art-world professionals. Deptford X Festival takes place in multiple locations across Deptford over 10 days from Friday 23rd September to Sunday 2nd October 2016. With over 80 exhibitions taking place across 40 different venues, this ambitious festival is set to offer something for everyone. We caught up with the festival organisers for an insight into what to expect at this year’s Deptford X...
“It is an unmissable opportunity to experience Deptford at its fullest. This year we have introduced a new programme of commissions: Platform 2016. Five emerging artists have been selected from a shortlist of nominations by a panel of art-world professionals, known for championing emerging artists. Johann Arens, Joey Holder, Manuel Mathieu, Berry Patten and Takeshi Shiomitsu will present ambitious public works, all within walking distance of each other. Deptford X Fringe will be taking place across Deptford. This year we have over 80 different exhibitions and events across 40 venues, bringing together artists, independent projects, spaces and galleries under the same rubric, to make the area a unique destination for contemporary art.”
Patrick Henry, the new director appointed in late 2015, has shifted the focus onto emerging artists in the planning of the 2016 festival – identifying a gap in the current landscape of contemporary art; a fallow period where early-career artists are self-organising, funding opportunities are scarce and commercial representation seems like a dream they have been mis-sold. With this in mind, Henry reached out to five top contemporary gallerists, curators, and academics.
He asked all of them to nominate five artists who they felt were making interesting work, but had limited public-facing shows or few solo opportunities. The aim is to intervene at a critical juncture in their early careers, enabling them to make a step-change, respond to new sites, and present their work to larger and more diverse audiences. The artists will be encouraged to be ambitious – to push the boundaries of their practice, to experiment and take creative risks.
The 5 artists who will be featuring their work at this year’s festival are:
Joey Holder - Tetragrammaton
Manuel Mathieu - An Analogy of the Sun
Berry patten - a cheap excuse night in
Johann Arens - Somatic Matters
Takeshi Shiomitsu - Notes on image infrastructure
Deptford X is uniquely of its place, a visual arts festival that draws on Deptford’s cultural and creative heritage through engaging, innovative, high quality programmes of contemporary art.