COVID-19 prompted major closures with systems juddering to a halt, but from lockdown incredible adaptations have arisen and new creative work is evolving. We spoke to Future 20, HOME’s resident collective of artists aged 18-25 to learn more about their evolving project: The Last Place on Earth.
Launched in Summer 2019, Future 20 is HOME’s year-long artist residency and training programme for emerging artists. The project was scheduled to culminate in a large-scale public event and takeover of the main gallery space at HOME in August 2020, however due to the ongoing pandemic, the event space has moved online.
“We’re evolving,” says Jahday, one of the collective members on a weekly Future 20 Zoom session, “we’re no longer in the safe environment of our usual practice spaces and we’re making things we never could have before.”
The diverse creative practices of the collective were already considerable, ranging from poetry and spoken word to glass blowing, ceramics, textiles, filmmaking, photography and performance. Now, working remotely and digitally, there are chains of reaction taking place across the collective, with members collaborating and building upon one another’s work to create new forms. One artist’s sound is layered over another’s experimental film. Elsewhere, ceramic and expanding foam forms are scanned and uploaded, using an app, and digitally modeled by Studio Morison’s programming team. There is also the opportunity to experiment with art forms they may never have tried before.
As the processes of making and creating have changed, the shape of the virtual world and the works within it are expanding and evolving. “It’s better,” says Future 20 member, Sally, who is creating textile and crochet works made from recycled clothes and sculptural forms from repurposed plastic bags. “We can play with scale because of the different processes.” Where once there may have been resource limitations to create large works to schedule, the digital world makes space for experimentation and manipulation. Project guide, Ivan Morison agrees that “we’ve all found ourselves working and adapting in ways we never did before.”
The collective are keen to ensure that The Last Place on Earth can be experienced in a number of ways and be accessible to all. This has the added bonus of longevity – unlike a traditional physical exhibition that runs for a set period of time before the doors close, in this project the opportunity for encounter does not end. Instead, The Last Place can be rendered and edited into a film piece and watched online or in a future physical show. Additionally, it could be experienced online as a 360° film or as a virtual reality world via a headset. The collective is showing that collaboration nurtures exciting new opportunities and creativity during a time of crisis, a positive practice that we want to learn from and continue to develop as we move towards a green recovery together.
The Last Place on Earth will be launching in August.
The Future 20 collective are:
Lead Artists: Studio Morison, guided by Ivan Morison
Producer, Mentor and Facilitator: Debbie Chan
Producer: Sarah Sharp
Project initiation, vision and development: Marisa Draper, Head of Engagement & Rosie Stuart, Young People’s Programme Producer
Venture Arts Support Staff: Sarah Crosby & Katherine Long
Find out more by following our social media channels and checking out @future20collective #Future20 #TheLastPlaceOnEarth