Monday, 3 August 2009

I won't be taking the lead.



Thank you for your submission to Artists taking the lead.
I am sorry to inform you that your idea has not been shortlisted.
We received in excess of 2,000 submissions and the artist advisor panels faced a real challenge in deciding a shortlist of just 60, as there are were many exceptional ideas to choose from.

...

We understand that you will be disappointed by this outcome.

We hope this may be the beginning of a journey for your project, and we wish you every success in the future.


It's easy to write about the successful projects that get national media coverage but I thought it might be worth sharing an unsuccessful application.

I was excited to think about submitting a project for the Northern Ireland Taking the Lead Olympic commission. The idea is one that came to me a couple of years ago when I visited the pssquared space in Belfast and during my trip there got to see the Thompson Dry Dock where the Olympic class liners, that included the Titanic, were built. The fact that shipbuilding connected Northern Ireland to the world, seemed like a good starting point for an Olympic idea. The other thing that struck me when I saw the dock was that it was bisected by a low wall on which the ship's keel would have rested. This bisecting wall has particular resonance in Northern Ireland but it also made me think about individuals and groups, men and women. I imagined a single older male dancer on one side and hundreds of young female Irish dancers on the other. I imagined the girls with angle-grinders. You can see that it mightn't have been the most attractive option for the artist advisors, but there's still something in it that I want to work out.

Maybe the dry docks won't have me but there's still a place for the solo man and the hordes of Irish dancing girls and their angle grinders. video

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