Devised by Joshua Sofaer for the Live Art Development Agency’s DIY scheme, Indecent Proposal was an exceptional opportunity for 6 mid-career artists to develop bespoke proposals for Yorkshire Sculpture Park with curatorial support.
The artists were, Joshua Sofaer, Oreet Ashery, Jordan McKenzie, Florence Peake, Hester Reeve, Daniel Lehan, hosted by curators Helen Pheby, Clare Lilley, and Damon Waldock at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The site visit included artist presentations to curatorial staff and an introduction from YSP about its history, scope and remit. Artists developed proposals specifically for YSP individually, and at a later date discussed their ideas with the group. The proposals were collated and submitted to YSP for their consideration. The YSP curatorial team then gave feedback to individual artists.
YSP is a landscape laden with possibilities for the kind of live, interactive, and ephemeral interventions that have come to be understood in the UK as Live Art. This project – Indecent Proposal – explored that potential with a group of experienced artists, who developed bespoke ideas for the Bretton Park Estate.
The proposals were submitted and it is hoped and imagined that they will lead to productive new working relationships between YSP and the artists in the future.
“I found it very liberating to work within an open forum and explore the realms of possibility without being constrained by formal commitments to budget, programme etc., a process which has actually generated some very plausible proposals. I will be in touch with all the artists directly but can confirm that if we had the time and money we would do all of them! It was fascinating to see the vastly different, but all thoughtful and appropriate, responses to YSP. It’s prompted us to consider adapting the process to provide some kind of annual info day for interesting artists.”
Helen Pheby, Curator, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
“This process could have been extremely daunting – given the history of the sculpture park, the presence of the curators and peers, however the entire process was highly enjoyable, taking place in an atmosphere of informality, curiosity, good humour, and even-handedness.”
Daniel Lehan, Artist
“Indecent Proposal has given me a real boost in confidence as an artist. To be with a group of intelligent, prolific artists and present my ideas in a potentially intimidating scenario was tremendously rewarding. The model of presenting our work and then presenting our ideas was a new experience for me, different from the usual written cold proposal as a way of introducing myself and work.”
Florence Peake, Artist
“In short this was just wonderful through and through. Well organised, the perfect premise laid out from which to become engaged and have new ideas, non-stressful expectations, playful atmosphere, lovely group of fellow artists and the YSP staff were incredibly open and generous hosts. I even enjoyed getting my final proposal together.”
Hester Reeve, Artist
“Indecent Proposal has given me the confidence to think about taking the initiative and actually approaching organisations without waiting to be invited. The experience of meeting curators face to face was invaluable and I have also had an opportunity to meet artists who I will definitely keep in touch with in the future.”
Jordan McKenzie, Artist
“Whether it will materialise or not, is really of no importance to me; the experience so far as been rewarding enough. I learnt that live artists are the most innovative bunch of people and have really interesting ways to respond to challenges and solve problems. I also learnt that if I want to get a commission in a particular space I will not hesitate to contact them and propose to meet them and pitch my ideas in person, something I have not done in the past.”
Oreet Ashery, Artist
Florence Peake’s performance MAKE, was performed at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in April 2012. In January 2013 Hester Reeve began a two year residency at YSP.