2018 groundwork exh web image

Groundwork, Exhibition 14–29 September 2018

Groundwork with Tracing the Pathway
Exhibition 14th–29th September 2018
Monday - Saturday 10am–4pm
Free, all welcome

Tracing the Pathway (TTP) is an itinerant non-for-profit arts and research collective. The collective currently comprises four artists: Ashleigh Bowmott, Cara Davies, Mads Floor Andersen and Thomas Eke. In collaboration, we have presented artworks, interventions, workshops and academic papers, as well as, produced events and festivals across the UK, Europe, the Middle East and USA.

The idea of what and where home is is a key inspiration for TTP and since 2015 the collective have taken time to return to each member’s hometown to produce a series of new projects. Cara and Ashleigh grew up in Milton Keynes and are vitally passionate about championing cohesive creative communities in the city, hence the development of Groundwork: a cross-art platform for and about Milton Keynes, which examines the initiatives and interventions one might need to make in order to lay the Groundwork for a thriving cultural infrastructure.

Groundwork is multifaceted. It is grassroots, organic and responsive, and, since it began, it has operated as an umbrella project title for a variety of activities: curating unique artworks; supporting the professional development of local artists; and providing a platform for both local and internationally renowned artists to make deep, long-lasting and meaningful connections with the town.

The Groundwork exhibition has been commissioned by Milton Keynes Arts Centre as part of our Common Ground 2018 programme. Common Ground expands upon MKAC's community participation and artist development programmes by offering a twelve month season of five distinct projects, each presenting high quality and meaningful opportunities for engagement between a diverse spectrum of artists and communities living in Milton Keynes. The project sees artists work directly with communities to create new works and establish a connected programme of workshops, professional and artistic development, salons and supper clubs targeting artists and practitioners based in Milton Keynes.

Our support has helped TTP to create a home for the past two months, offering them residency space in its gallery and supporting them in the curation of a 3-month programme of workshops, film screenings, talks, professional development sessions, performances, walks, residencies and mentoring sessions throughout Groundwork 2018. In turn, this offering has enabled TTP to support the development of eleven unique artists’ projects as a way to widen engagement with and encourage debate about Milton Keynes; its heritage, landscape, mobility, architecture, people, sites and sounds of the city.

The exhibition maps the history, relationships, artworks, interventions and collaborations that have emerged over the first four years of Groundwork, but in particular the past two months as artists: Aaron James, Anna Berry, Beatrice Jarvis, Hayley Newman, Hunt and Darton, Katie Ellen Fields, Laura Cooper, Phil Smith, Priya Chohan-Padia, Sapphire Goss and Thoams Cuthbertson worked towards the completion of their projects in and around the Arts Centre.

The final iteration of these artists’ work has been curated by TTP as part of their festival called the Groundwork Weekender. The Groundwork exhibition shares highlights of the socially-engaged and site- responsive nature of the Groundwork Weekender, displaying documentation and remnants of the artists’ artworks and pinpointing where one might locate and encounter them across our city. As TTP are passionate about supporting communities that coalesce around the arts this exhibition also reflects on the diverse range of significant cultural and heritage hotspots in MK, the people TTP collaborate with and the burgeoning networks of creativity flourishing through their’s and their project partner’s initiatives. The exhibition therefore provokes the viewer to take a journey through Milton Keynes, to examine it from multiple perspectives and develop a critical dialogue about the complexities of site, culture, history and heritage.

This work has been commissioned by Milton Keynes Arts Centre as part of their project Common Ground. Tracing the Pathway have received further support for this exhibition from Milton Keynes Community Foundation and Sharing Culture: MK, a collaborative events programme in celebration of our cultural heritage, new town stories and European connections. The exhibition design has been supported by Studio Chehade.