Announcement from Pier Projects:
“We are delighted to announce Alisa Oleva as the artist we will be working with this year. She will be developing a new art project for Felixstowe, inspired by walking and in response to this unique port and coastal town.
London-based Oleva was selected by a newly formed Community Arts Panel, comprising residents of Felixstowe following a nationwide Open Call for proposals.”
So – after a rather convoluted process of seeking bids, short listing applications and then crating a community panel to choose the winner – art facilitators Pier Projects – a company run by two women based in the west of Suffolk – have announced that the commission has gone to a London based artist – Alisa Oleva.
This project was described as a way of reconnecting the local community of Felixstowe with their environment through a walking and well being project.
“The project intends to reconnect people with their local environment and places within their town and promote wellbeing. It also aims to contribute to personal and collective reflection, support recovery from trauma and develop a spirit of collective endeavour and sense of pride in Felixstowe.”
Yet disappointingly, in spite of the Felixstowe peninsula containing many very talented artists, and that the commission is specifically focused on Felixstowe, and Pier Projects is in part funded by East Suffolk Council and Felixstowe Town Council – the artist chosen is not from this area.
Moreover – the project was described as a walking commission – yet although the application process gave the impression that the bid could be quite vague – in fact the artist chosen is specifically an artist working in the medium of ‘walking projects’.
This is how she is described on her website
Born 1989 in Moscow. Based in London.
Alisa Oleva holds a BA and MA from The Courtauld Institute of Art and an MA in Performance from Goldsmiths.
She treats the city as her studio and urban life as material, to consider issues of urban choreography and urban archeology, traces and surfaces, borders and inventories, intervals and silences, passages and cracks. Her projects have manifested as a series of interactive situations, performances, movements scores, personal and intimate encounters, parkour, walkshops, and audio walks.
Far be it from me to suggest she might have already been in their mind when they created this commission!
The artist commented
“ I am excited and looking forward to coming to Felixstowe to work with Pier Projects. As a walking artist, I will be creating a commission inspired by locations, sites and views shared by the local community. The project will invite people to see the town and other people from a new perspective, from different angles and viewpoints; to look at details and textures of Felixstowe whilst looking at the horizon, into the distance and the future.”
Pier Projects continues:
“Whilst the commission will launch in early Autumn, people can get involved sooner than by sharing places within the town that are significant to them. These nominated sites will feed into Alisa’s research and can be shared by tagging us @pierprojects in photos or images on Instagram or Facebook or by emailing email@example.com.
This new commission is part of a two-year programme by Pier Projects generously funded by Arts Council England and East Suffolk Council’s Enabling Community Fund”