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New Geographies artists chosen for East's 'overlooked places'

image copyrightJulia Devonshire
image captionThe concrete World War Two structures off the coast of Great Yarmouth provide one of the 10 locations for the Cooking Sections duo of artists

Ten artists from across the globe have been chosen to creatively transform "forgotten and overlooked" corners of the East of England.

Members of the public were asked to nominate unexplored places, with more than 270 landmarks and sites suggested.

The chosen commissions include a film about Tilbury's disused station and an LGBT rambling club for the coast.

The East Contemporary Visual Arts Network (ECVAN) described the winners as a "cohesive group of artists".

Last year, ECVAN asked for ideas from across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk to inspire visual art.

image copyrightOrla Moore
image captionArtistic team Heather Peak and Ivan Morison will focus on Wicken Fen and the Wash

The Arts Council England-funded project - known as New Geographies - was designed to give "an opportunity to encounter excellent art in unexpected places" delivered by the end of 2019.

The artists chosen include Brighton-based David Blandy, who will create a work with the flora and fauna of Canvey Island based on Dungeons & Dragons, and Cooking Sections, who will base a work about flood risk in response to the concrete "pyramid" structures in the sea off Great Yarmouth.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionMaria Anastassiou will look at the migrant heritage of Tilbury's disused Riverside railway station

Donna Lynas, ECVAN chairwoman, said artists responded to the locations "with their own personal histories and narratives".

"We have a cohesive group of artists who make a strong statement about valuing people as the starting point for art commissioning, with many different approaches".

The project - using £600,000 of Arts Council funding - also involves nine galleries and museums across the region.

Arts Council England area director Hedley Swain said seeing so many nominations "put people who live in and around these places right at the heart of the work".

The 10 artists and their projects:

  • Maria Anastassiou - a film about the refugee and migrant connections to Tilbury railway station, Essex
  • David Blandy - a work inspired by the insects and wildlife of Canvey Island based on computer game Dungeons & Dragons
  • Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernandez Pascual and Alon Schwabe) - research-based project about the east's coastal flood risk
  • Ian Giles - a rambling club for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, taking in Colchester, Great Yarmouth, Cambridge and Norwich
  • Krijn de Koning - sculpture to be created inspired by nominations including the tree stump corner in Verulamium Park, St Albans
  • Taylor Le Melle and Zadie Xa - to transform dormant beaches along the North Norfolk coast
  • Susan Pui San Lok - series of works based on the history of "witchcraft" across the east
  • Studio Morison (Heather Peak and Ivan Morison) - sculpture to be created in The Fens in Cambridgeshire
  • Stuart Whipps - film based on the design and development of post-war new towns, including Stevenage and Harlow
  • Laura Wilson - looking at ancient forms of craft through research at Must Farm near Peterborough

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