As part of Gasworks International Residency Programme, Mercedes Zobel in partnership with Outset supports a 3-month residency for a Filipino artist hosted at the Outset Residency Studio from 2016 until 2018. The 2016 resident was artist MARTHA ATIENZA (b. 1981, Manila).
Working with video, sound and installation, Martha Atienza explores her direct environment from a sociological perspective, transforming her observations into fiction and investigating the use of art as a tool for social change. Since 2010 she has been working on two projects: Para sa Aton and My Navel is Buried at Sea, in her hometown of Madridejos on Bantayan Island, the Philippines. This fishing community faces a number of environmental, social and economic pressures due to global warming, migration and poverty. Working together with her family and the local community, these projects aim to identify the needs of the island and its peoples and work toward solutions to the issues they face.
During her residency at Gasworks, Atienza continued to work on material she shot on the islands, and was initially working on a video that was shown in Art Basel Hong Kong. Later on in the residency, Martha used the studio to experiment with water and light, continuing her recent work in kinetic sculpture. For the Open Studios event, Martha presented a sculpture and a new film using material shot on the islands, as a way to introduce a London audience to her continuing projects there.
Atienza also arranged a screening of The Kalampag Tracking Agency, a curatorial and organisational collaboration between Shireen Seno and Merv Espina. Featuring some of the most striking films and videos from the Phillipines and its diaspora, this intitiative continues to navigate the unchartered topographies of Filipino alternative and experimental moving image practice from the past 30 years and includes Martha’s work, Anito.
This was the first UK screening of the program and also featured Martha in conversation with May Ingawanij. The event was followed by a dinner and studio visit for over 50 people where Atienza prepared a typical Filipino dish together with Gasworks studio artist Pio Abad.
The International Residency Programme was established in 1994 to support the development of emerging non-UK based artists offering them a 3-month residency in London and the opportunity to research and make new work inspired by the local artistic community and in a supportive environment.
Each year Gasworks provides 16 international artists with a studio in a building that houses a total of 11 studios (7 rented to London- based artists and 4 reserved for the Residency Programme), a gallery and an education space for talks, workshops and other public events.
Residencies are generally non-prescriptive and process-based. They encourage artists to use their time in London to benefit from the resources that the city offers, from public libraries and archives to other arts institutions. At the same time, visiting artists work within a small community of artists and Gasworks provides opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with peers, arts professionals and the wider artistic community.
While the Residency Programme aims to facilitate research and the production of new work, it also includes a diverse range of talks, presentations, performances and open studios that help disseminate the work of visiting artists to the public.? Residency artists are encouraged to participate in an events programme that aims to disseminate and further contextualise their practice, encouraging dialogue with the public. Events may include talks, seminars, screenings, workshops and performances.
Open Studios weekend session are held quarterly, offering audiences the opportunity to visit the studios and hear about the research and work-in-progress the artists have been developing.
Over the years Gasworks has developed a number of multi-year partnerships with prestigious international institutional and private funders. These include ARKO (Arts Council of Korea), Creative India, IASPIS (Sweden), Goethe Institute (Germany), Gulbenkian Foundation (Portugal), BECA AMA (Chile), Charles Wallace (India & Pakistan), British Council (India and Pakistan) and AC/E (Spain).
Some of the Gasworks alumni include: Subodh Ghupta(India), SongDong(China); TaniaBruguera(Cuba); AndrewEsiebo(Nigeria); RenataLucas(Brazil); GabrielSierra(Colombia), IbrahimMahama(Ghana) and many others.
Martha Atienza lives and works in the Philippines and the Netherlands. Recent exhibitions include Study in Reality no. 3, Silverlens Gallery, Makati (2015) and Endless Hours at Sea, Ateneo Gallery, Quezon City (2014). She was awarded the Thirteen Artists Award by the Cultural Centre of the Philippines (2015) and was nominated for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Hong Kong (2014). Martha was a resident artist at Artesan Gallery Studio, Singapore (2014) and at the Omi International Arts Centre, New York (2013). She was awarded the 19th Baloise Art Prize at Art Basel 2017.
Established in 1994, Gasworks is a non-profit contemporary visual art organisation working at the intersection between UK and international practices and debates. They provide studios for London-based artists; commission emerging UK-based and international artists to present their first major exhibitions in the UK; and develop a highly-respected international residencies programme, which offers rare opportunities for international artists to research and develop new work in London. All programmes are accompanied by events and participatory workshops that engage public audiences.
In 2014 Gasworks successfully completed a £2.1 million capital campaign project by purchasing and refurbishing its building. The organisation thus secured a permanent home and a substantial asset, a huge achievement that gives the organization unprecedented resilience and allows it to continue to nurture future generations of UK and international artists, develop new audiences and offer participation opportunities for local families. Gasworks’ redeveloped building opened to the public on 24 September 2015. Outset supported this capital campaign, resulting in the Outset Residency Studio.