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Farmers to get their own biennale

 

via The Art Newspaper:

Farmers to get their own biennale
By Gareth Harris | Posted 22 June 2006

LONDON. Just when you thought farming in the UK was in terminal decline, help may be at hand from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The Art Newspaper has learned that representatives from the UK’s Rural Cultural Forum (RCF) met with officials from the DCMS at Tate Britain on 23 May to request funding for the first Farmers’ Biennale of Art and Agriculture, scheduled to open in Yorkshire in the summer of 2009.

The RCF, a lottery-funded umbrella organisation for 25 rural associations such as the National Farmers’ Union and the Soil Association, campaigns for “cultural investment in rural creativity”, said a spokeswoman.

The biennale will focus on three areas, according to Ian Hunter of Littoral Arts, a member association of the RCF. These include commissions for artists working on farms and in disused farmers’ markets, field-art including crop circles and urban projects such as growing “corn fields in the cities”.

Mr Hunter told The Art Newspaper that research into the project had been funded by the Arts Council, which provided £22,350. He said: “Why can’t we appropriate urban cultural models such as the Liverpool Biennale and then re-deploy them to renegotiate our relationship with agriculture?”

Other issues under discussion at Tate Britain, said Mr Hunter, included a new national gallery for rural art and culture to “promote new contexts for contemporary art practice in challenging rural and agricultural issues”. The National Agricultural Centre at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, near Coventry, is the proposed site for the new museum.

The RCF is also in discussions with Tate Britain about the possibility of hosting, in 2010, a survey of art inspired by agriculture, with works by Stubbs and Damien Hirst.