In partnership with The Arab British Centre and working with creative institutions in Kuwait and the UK, Making Marks facilitated group visits for nominated artists to Kuwait and the UK and offered funding for creative, community engagement programmes under the project’s themes. A short film has been created by artist Hydar Dewachi to document the project.
Making Marks considers the positive impact of international working and exchange and how this shapes us. Throughout the facilitated visits, artists were asked to explore transformations that can take place through the exchange of ideas and practices from one cultural environment to the next and reflect on how this marks us as well as how do the artists see themselves making their mark through their practice.
The experience provided an opportunity for participating artists to explore how the UK and Kuwait’s 120-year relationship shapes our societies and our image of ourselves. The programme actively challenges stereotypes of our respective cultures and highlight the similarities, differences, and universal challenges facing emerging creatives the world over.
On return to their home countries, the artists had 4-5 months to develop their work inspired by the visit and their connections with Kuwait and UK-based artists. Artists received £1500 to cover the development of their work, including for any outreach activity. The outreach activity such as talks, workshops, publications, exhibits, etc., is designed to encourage audiences to view the project and consider the beneficial impact of international exchange and collaboration between the UK, Kuwait and the wider Middle East.
As a continuation of the programme and in response to the Covid-19, a virtual talk on Zoom for “ Exploring Creative Exchange” was held were the eight emerging artists from Making Marks Kuwait-UK ( Emii Alrai, Sarah Ismail Alsayed, Sheikha Al Habshi, Ben Malcolmson, Faye Al-Mansour, Staneslas, Katherine Midgley and Sian Rees Astley ) explored the new work that they have created in response to their experiences, before considering the wider impacts of exchange on emerging artists both professionally and personally and discussed the creative potential of exchange programmes for early-career artists.