After six months of closure, we are delighted to resume our residencies at Delfina Foundation at the end of this month. Although we may have appeared quiet over this period, behind the scenes we’ve been extremely busy working on our future programmes, contingency planning and safety measures to respond to the ‘new normal’.
This included working with Sharon Zhu and Michael Tian on providing vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the arts. Through Michael’s reliable supplier networks in China, which has provided the UK’s National Health Service with over 20 million items of PPE, we have helped nearly 100 arts organisations acquire face masks, gloves and sanitiser at cost, saving our colleagues in the arts sector hundreds of thousands of pounds.
While working at home and connecting virtually with colleagues and peers has become the norm, we are eager to host residencies once again in the home of Delfina Foundation in central London. The experience will be unique for this first set of residents since the COVID-19 pandemic began. For example, in accordance to government rules, several residents have arrived already and are quarantining for two weeks ahead of the programme’s start. We have however worked to make this time productive for them, with virtual studio visits, presentations and meetings, so they can continue to take full advantage of every day of their residency.
With our building’s mix of uses – accommodation for international residents, shared workspace for UK artists, the team’s office, and public exhibition/event spaces, all in a compact area – we have decided to postpone exhibitions and large on-site events until autumn 2021 to safeguard our staff and residents who share our home. Instead, we are planning more intimate public engagements and a virtual events programme. We are taking this opportunity to transform gallery/event space into dedicated workspace that can be used by UK associates. The overwhelming response to our recent open call demonstrates the immense needs of UK practitioners at this difficult time and so we’re happy to expand our work with local practitioners alongside our international residents.
This autumn season will see the second iteration of our thematic programme science_technology_society, in partnership with Gaia Art Foundation. Given the relevance of the COVID-19 pandemic to this theme, the programme will provide a focused virtual and physical environment to address a range of urgent issues shaped by the research, interests and practices of our specially selected international residents and UK associates. Find out who is joining us and get an overview of their interests here.
While we are still unable to host guests for our tradition of family lunches, we will continue to ‘deliver’ these digitally, with presentations from former residents and recipes from our associate chefs. Soon our new season residents will take over the ‘hosting’ these lunches and this will be a great chance to get to know them and their work, as well as through other upcoming content and events related to our science_technology_society programme.
– Aaron Cezar
Director, Delfina Foundation