“Paintings first escaped from gilded frames about a century ago. Ever since then, sculptures and characters and dances and performances have been escaping out of their frames, their stages, their halls, their galleries, their studios and into everyday places and epic landscapes. Not only do these events – whether rigorously specific or gently allusive to the sites they are made in – reinvigorate themselves from what they take from their sites (after all, that's just the rest of the arts catching up with landscape gardening), but they also can reveal their sites, bathe their sites, illuminate and initiate their sites.
For the visitor or audience, there is a journey to be taken, a baptism of perhaps unfamiliar senses to be received, an evolution of new organs, or a simple encounter with a place often passed through but never really seen, never really touched, never really heard, never really felt.
For the artists, the balance of skills can be turned upside down; vulnerability and restraint may be great virtues, listening as much as declaiming, taking away as much as adding.
Together, audiences and artists, meet, travel, discover and share a 'commonplace'.”
Wrights & Sites
Who we are and what we do
b-side is a contemporary multi media arts festival that commissions artists to make new site responsive work that explores and animates public spaces in Weymouth and Portland, Dorset. b-side offers artists a range of opportunities to engage with and respond to its programme – through bursaries, residencies, work with young people and commissions.
b-side work is showcased at least every two years at the biennial b-side Festival, a celebratory event highlighting new work in live art, visual art, new media, sound, text, installation and film.
Always on the lookout for new ways of exploring the less commercial aspects of the seaside we are open to ideas from collaborative or participatory artists as well as individuals who want to create site responsive work. We especially welcome interest from early career artists.
b-side also works with young people in Weymouth & Portland; the ‘b-side Encounters’ programme works with partner organisations to enable young people to work with professional artists to help develop their ideas, skills and present their work. This work is often with disengaged and disadvantaged young people, supporting them to develop themselves, their self confidence and articulate their voice.
In 2011 we were awarded funding from Arts Council England to become a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO). For the first time Weymouth and Portland has a dedicated contemporary arts organisation with funding at least until 2015.
Our festival delivery team is made up of artists and individuals representing partner organisations:
|Alan Rogers:||Project Co-ordinator|
|Sandy Kirkby:||Creative Producer|
|Rosie Russell:||Encounters’ Programme Coordinator and representative of Departure Arts|
|Amanda Wallwork:||Curator and representative of Sherborne House Arts|
|Julie Penfold:||Curator and representative of DIVAcontemporary|
|Book Keeper:||Mandy Rathbone|
b-side is currently working with regional, national and international artists and will continue to put innovative and challenging arts practice at the heart of its work. Have a look at our archive pages for a flavour of past b-side projects and festivals.