OPEN CALL – Short Films & material for projections for DOWNTOWN – SYNESTHESIA II at Notting Hill Arts Club

WhittyGordon Projects (artists Fiona Whitty, Jenny Gordon) and Kate Ross (curator – Notting Hill Arts Club)  are inviting submissions of short (under 5 minute) films on the theme of DOWNTOWN.

DOWNTOWN is inspired by the vibrant and bustling urban area of Kingston, Jamaica, where WhittyGordon have been initiating projects for the past three years.

We are looking for films by artist/filmmakers to respond to the theme of DOWNTOWN, which can cover all aspects of inner city life and urban subject matter. We are also looking for images (of artworks, stills from films or specially designed work – not moving images) that will work well as projections for the night at Notting Hill Arts Club to enhance the DOWNTOWN atmosphere.

The films along with other artworks, curated by Kate Ross (Curatorial Curiosities), will be shown at Notting Hill Arts Club on August 8th 2013 as part of a show reel at 8pm. DOWNTOWN is the theme for SYNESTHESIA II – the second in a new visual arts, sound and moving image series for Notting Hill Arts Club curated by Kate Ross. Wall based art works and the films will be accompanied by music from DJs and bands inspired by Jamaican, African urban sounds.

Information on the SYNESTHESIA series can be seen at

For more information on Fiona Whitty and Jenny Gordon who are WhittyGordon Projects, see

Please email with your submission by Monday 15th July

The Curator Kate Ross (Curatorial Curiosities) is an independent curator who has worked extensively in art galleries, museums and higher education. Curating contemporary art, design, sound art exhibitions working with a particular interest in non-gallery spaces, she is currently curator at Notting Hill Arts Club and also works at CHELSEA space gallery. Kate is also a keen arts blogger and writes exhibition reviews.

The final decision is that of the artists and curator. We regret that we will not be able to show all films as we have a limited time frame to screen the show reel. We look forward to hearing from you – Fiona, Jenny and Kate.

when I met artist Grayson Perry

On the evening of 11th December 2012 I attended the University of the Arts, London Benefactors’ Reception which was held at the Platform Theatre Bar on the new purpose built campus site of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. The reception was hosted by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Nigel Carrington and the evening was an opportunity to thank, meet and chat with benefactors who fund scholarships, facilities and career opportunities for recipients across the University.  I was there because I am the recipient of an award thanks to the generosity of the Chelsea Arts Club Trust and I am this year’s Chelsea Arts Club Trust Fellow. You can read more about my CHELSEA space award and what that involves me doing in a previous post I wrote here and my role was also written about by Donald Smith, Director of Exhibitions at CHELSEA space in the latest CHELSEA space blog post here.

Grayson Perry & the Curious Curator (Kate Eleanor Ross) at the University of the Arts, London Benefactors’ Reception, December 2012

Grayson Perry & the Curious Curator (Kate Eleanor Ross) with Amanda Reekie (PR Strategist & Trustee of Chelsea Arts Club) in the background  at the University of the Arts, London Benefactors’ Reception, December 2012

Artist Grayson Perry was at the event in his capacity as a Governor of University of the Arts, London and he gave a speech during the evening which highlighted the importance of the opportunities that the benefactors present had provided in assisting artists to focus on their practice through University by giving awards and that this then contributes to the creative life of the UK. Grayson Perry particularly used his speech to draw attention to the fact that these awards are especially important in supporting artists and those in the creative arts at a time when there are less grants, fees for studying have been increased and arts subjects are being marginalised by the new Ebacc qualifications system.

Grayson Perry at the University of the Arts, London Benefactors Reception

Grayson Perry speaking at the                      University of the Arts, London Benefactors’ Reception 

I very much enjoyed meeting Grayson Perry who was friendly, down to earth and chatty. I spoke to him with MA Fine Art student award recipients from Chelsea College of Art & Design who I knew because of my work on Chelsea Salon Series as Curatorial Associate. We talked about the importance of art schools and Universities for supporting, encouraging and creating the future artists and makers of our cultural society as well as the pros and cons of the internet!

I also thought that Grayson Perry’s outfit, hair and make up were brilliant – he looked great! I saw first hand how as an artist, 2003 Turner Prize winner, Grayson Perry is commenting on contemporary society while using historical techniques and themes in his work through ceramics, most recently tapestry or through his clothes and looks he creates. I recommend watching the television series In the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry which you can see here as its a great insight into the artist’s way of thinking and understanding how he is inspired by what he sees around him to create artwork, in this case a tapestry.

On the subject of cross dressing which Grayson Perry is famous for, I wrote in my most recent blog post here about a contemporary of his – artist Brian Chalkley who has also been a part of the cross dressing scene of artists and knows Perry well. Here’s a great image of them together and you can read more about artist Brian Chalkley discussing art, cross dressing, Grayson Perry and more in my interview with him which is written up here.

artists Grayson Perry & Brian Chalkley

artists Grayson Perry & Brian Chalkley.             Image taken by photographer Marcus Bastel