HOUSE contemporary visual arts festival
2-24 May 2015, four new commissions at various venues across Brighton & Hove

You Imagine What You Desire, © Nathan Coley 2014, Illuminated text on scaffolding, photo by Keith Hunter copy_small

PHOTO CREDITS: You Imagine What You Desire, © Nathan Coley 2014, Illuminated text on scaffolding, photo by Keith Hunter

HOUSE is the contemporary visual arts festival, taking place every May as part of the festival season in Brighton & Hove.

HOUSE 2015’s theme is Edge & Shift and brings together four commissioned projects presented in domestic, non-traditional and public spaces across the city.

Turner Prize shortlisted artist Nathan Coley is the Invited Artist, focusing on renewal and destruction.

Three further commissions interpret ideas of ‘Edge & Shift’. Joseph Popper is co-commissioned with Lighthouse to make a new sculptural work on drones and Amanda Loomes is co-commissioned with Photoworks creating a new film installation on labour. Engaging the local community, HOUSE and Photoworks have co-commissioned City Collective, a new video work reflecting on conflict and change.

HOUSE 2015 is curated by Celia Davies, Director, Photoworks; “HOUSE identifies itself with creating remarkable new and engaging work by established and emerging artists sited across the city for audiences to encounter. This year’s theme invites a range of responses to interpret what might be considered both timely and interesting in our understanding of ‘Edge and Shift’ in society today.”

Nathan Coley’s exhibition Portraits of Dissension takes as its point of departure, themes of architecture in a state of renewal and destruction, referencing Brighton’s Royal Pavilion and images of a famous Brighton landmark building on the day it was bombed. Marking moments in history and collective memory, the works act as a way to explore wider implications or to relate back, reflect and consider what’s next. The exhibition, in Brighton’s Regency Town House, will explore ideas of unrest, the monumental, absence, portraiture and the occupation of space.

Coley says “I am thrilled to be the Invited Artist for HOUSE 2015 and to be creating new sculpture for the compelling space in The Regency Town House. Taking the venue and Brighton as my starting point, the new works look at links between the destruction and renovation of architecture, and what objects we might make, in the aftermath of political acts.”

Andrew Comben, CEO, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, said, “We are delighted to have co-commissioned the wonderful Glasgow-based artist Nathan Coley for Brighton Festival 2015.  Portraits of Dissension is a unique, politically charged piece work that responds to one of the key themes that Ali Smith brings to Brighton Festival as Guest Director this year, Taking Liberty.”

Joseph Popper will create a handmade drone command centre as a set on a 1:1 scale. The design and making of the room is a riff on the DIY methods of amateur enthusiast pilots, who construct dedicated flight simulators out of simple materials to high degrees of detail and accuracy. The ‘room’ will convey the uneasy similarities between the enthusiast simulator and an actual drone command centre. It is a work that in its subject, explores the ‘edges’ of contemporary modes of conflict and in its making refers to the ‘shift’ that this has effected, as a fascinating hobby to re-enact violent acts.

Amanda Loomes will make a new film to be projected onto an installed concrete wall that continues her preoccupation with people at work and the contemporary changes happening in relation to notions of what labour is today. Its subject is the marine aggregate industry and its use in beach nourishment and concrete. “I am particularly moved by the effort of people whose work goes unnoticed, or work that becomes erased or undone. In my practice I am drawn to record their labour and stories to see if art can inscribe value or somehow make things fairer.”

The fourth commission, uses photography and audio recordings to create City Collective, a new video work made in the city, by the city, that creates a group portrait of people’s reflections on conflict, shifts in attitude, changes to understandings of what constitutes conflict today and its wider implications of anxiety and unrest.

The HOUSE 2015 wider programme this year offers a pop up cinema in collaboration with Cine-City accompanied by a series of artists’ talks, presented collaboratively with all partners.

HOUSE partnership projects:

Outside In works with artists who face barriers to the art world, often live on the edges of society and are currently excluded from the art world. Through open submission, East Sussex artists who are registered with Outside In are invited to propose work relating to the HOUSE 2015 theme for a new exhibition at Phoenix Brighton.

Guest Curator for HOUSE 2015 is Celia Davies, Director, Photoworks.

HOUSE 2015 is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

For further information, images or interviews, please contact Shelley Bennett, Yeti PR on | 07890 101841 or  |


Notes to Editors

  • Conceived in 2008 by Directors Judy Stevens and Chris Lord, HOUSE is a curated, contemporary and dynamic visual arts strand running at the same time as Brighton Festival, and in part a response to the limited space in the city for presenting contemporary art. It commissions an internationally regarded Invited Artist and selects from Open Submission, the work of critically engaged artists based in south-east England. Inherent to HOUSE is an interest in the threshold between private and public space, where there is potential to experience new ideas and different ways of thinking, both within the artistic process. Previous years’ Invited Artists have been Yinka Shonibare MBE (2014) Mariele Neudecker (2013) and David Batchelor (2012).
  • Nathan Coley (b. 1967) was born in Glasgow and studied at Glasgow School of Art. In 2007 he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize (400 + artists are nominated every year, 4 are shortlisted). He is interested in how we relate to public space and architecture and what we believe. He often uses architecture as a readymade, as a means to take from and replace in the world. His work is sensitive to its context and concerned with the process of historic interpretation and the aftermath of politically charged situations.
  • Celia Davies is Director of Photoworks, producer of the Brighton Photo Biennial and Chair of Blast Theory. Recent projects include Brighton Photo Biennial 2014, The British Library by Yinka Shonibare (2014), Brighton Palermo Remix by David Batchelor for Brighton/HOUSE Festival (2012), This Storm is What We Call Progress by Ori Gersht (2012), Imperial War Museum, London.
  • Joseph Popper Born 1986; London. Lives and works in London. Joseph Popper explores ideas at the limits of certainty, drawing upon science fiction to approach the unknown. He examines space travel and other forms of human exploration and technological endeavour through film, photography and installations. Taking inspiration from cinematic special effects, his works transform found locations and everyday objects to simulate speculative scenarios and fictional experiences. In these handmade worlds, Popper plays upon common imaginations in attempt to bridge the gap between getting there and being there.
  • Amanda Loomes Loomes studied MA Fine Art Painting at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 2006, and from BA Fine Art Painting at University of the Arts, London in 2004. Recent exhibitions include The London Group at 100, Mottisfont National Trust, 2013; and Centenary Exhibition at Pitzhanger Manor, PM Gallery, 2013.
  • Brighton Festival is an innovative commissioning and producing mixed arts festival which takes place across three weeks in the city each May.  It is a major milestone in the international cultural calendar, offering an ambitious programme of visual art, theatre, music, dance, circus, books and debates, family friendly events and outdoor performances throughout the city including site-specific and unusual locations. Each year Brighton Festival attracts inspiring and internationally significant Guest Directors who bring cohesion to the artistic programme with British sculptor Anish Kapoor as inaugural curator in 2009 followed by the Godfather of modern music Brian Eno in 2010, the Burmese Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in 2011, actress and Human Rights campaigner Vanessa Redgrave in 2012, poet, author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen in 2013 and choreographer, composer, musician and performer Hofesh Shechter in 2014. This year the Guest Director is the award-winning Scottish author Ali Smith CBE.  Brighton Festival’s visual arts programme will also proudly present Gauge by Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey at Circus Street Market, Dawn Chorus by Marcus Coates at Fabrica, a triptych of porcelain sculptures by Rachel Kneebone at the University of Brighton Gallery, a new installation by Agnes Varda at University of Brighton Gallery, and A Murmuration by Sarah Woods and Lucy Harris at Onca Gallery.
  • Founded in 2006 by Pallant House Gallery, Outside In is a national project that aims to provide opportunities for artists with a desire to create who see themselves as facing a barrier to the art world for reasons including health, disability or social circumstances. The goal of the project is to create a fairer art world which rejects traditional values and institutional judgements about whose work can and should be displayed.