The Poly works in collaboration with many specialists including artists, researchers, curators and other people who get things done. These partnerships have been developed from close working over many years and are examples of how we grow projects from the bottom up. To quote our manifesto its a Stuff comes from stuff approach. Project outcomes include research, publications, further projects and artworks.
The Poly curates large-scale programmes of work, involving art and non art spaces. These programmes take as their starting point an idea or question. They may involve our own work, poly math activity and open call commissions. We aim to bring people together around ideas as a way to make new work and promote conversations. We ask the question: What happens when artists collaboratively curate their own programs of work?
The Poly has always been involved in commissioning artists. We are keen to enable new work to be made and are passionate about extending opportunities to others – we try to share the love. Commissioning enables us to reach new audiences while also responding to a need within the sector for artists to make new work. We often find ourselves in a position to be able to access funding and so use that to support others. We see the commissions as small grants that give artists space to develop or extend new work.
We see the gallery as one of many important spaces where culture is enacted. We have a track record of making work for exhibition and are regularly commissioned by organisations and institutions. All the work follows the Poly-Technics principle of exploring how knowledge resides in places and people as well as books and the internet.
Poly-vision films- The entire archive is hosted on our own You Tube channel which can be seen by clicking here.
Protest - You Me We
You Me We, is an ever growing mobile protest poster archive developed by the Poly. We become resident in a site, set up a radical screen print workshop and invite people to join in to write, cut stencils and print a poster relating to a concern pertinent to them. The Poly collects 2 copies of each poster and participants take copies away too. At each residency posters made to date are displayed.
Artists are working responsively in sites outside the gallery and engaging with people in new ways. Arts organisations are recognising the need to work differently to meaningfully bring audiences and art together.
New ways of working require us to create fit for purpose artist development opportunities that take in account the diversity of people, practices, careers paths and power relations.
We are interested in how the Poly can create spaces for thinking and doing within organisations that provide opportunities for both learning and art.
The Poly-Math scheme is part of our ACE funded taking the lead project, it offers seven artists a year long opportunity. Polymath is a program of artists’ development and responds to a changing funding climate and new opportunities that are arising from the present economic and social context. It includes mentoring with regional cultural leaders, live commissions with major hosts and an intensive residential summer school. Its aim is to create a space for artists to develop resilience through making and networking.
At the Poly-Technic one of our long term aims is to provide regular publications co-created and authored with a wide variety of people. Each publication relates to work we are undertaking or on subjects that seem relevant. We see joint publications as a way of bringing things together and holding them in one space.
To date we have produced
Number 1 with authors -
Number 2 with
Number 3 with
Number 4 with
Number 5 with
Number 6 with
Number 7 with
Number 8 with
The Poly tries to visualise its work through diagrams – we use them to explain complex ideas to partners and funders. They help us to try and see and show everything all a once.
The Poly is often invited to present its work, ideas and thinking at conferences and symposia.