Brb…taking its name from the popular chatroom acronym ‘be right back’, is a remote mentoring opportunity aimed at early career artists, during this pause that Covid has forced many to take.

 Caraboo will be offering six emerging artists based in Bristol, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire an online artist support, taking place from mid July. This is open to all artists who identify as being in the early years of their career and we encourage all ages (18+) and those that have taken non-traditional routes.

 The brb mentors are: Nella Aarne, Harriet Bowman, Savinder Bual, Rachael Clerke, Martyn Cross and Laura Eldret, all artists and/or curators based in the South West.  Each will be paired with a chosen artist to discuss strategies of working, developing and surviving in the arts via one-to-one sessions online. 

 We will be running the programme between mid July and September, which will consist of two one-to-one sessions with your paired artist followed by feedback and the chance to contribute to a shared online resource open to everyone involved which will be looking to extend conversations between peers beyond the one-to-one sessions.

 The aim of the programme is to provide space and time with a professional artist to focus on areas of your artistic and/or career development as well as fostering a dialogue and network of support between you and other artists. We are hoping to attract a wide range of applicants who are at an early stage in their careers and we particularly welcome those from non-traditional routes, BAME and/or LGBTQI+ communities and those who consider themselves disabled. The programme will be mediated by Caraboo member and artist Phil Root.

brb… team

Nella Aarne

Nella Aarne is the Co-Director of Obsidian Coast, Bradford-on-Avon, and the convener of the Of Animacy Reading Group. Envisaging feminist and environmentally sustainable practices, her work considers ethical encounters, collaborative learning and redefined notions of productivity. She is invested in critical thought that calls for heightened sensitivity to our own socio-political and material entanglements with boundless subject positions, histories, living beings, molecular compositions, technological apparatuses and infrastructure. Nella also works with Visual Arts South West, and has worked on projects for ICA, London; Arnolfini, Bristol; Glasgow International; Art Licks Weekend, London; and Science Museum, London. She earned her BA Honours in History of Art from the University of Leeds in 2012, completed the MFA Curating programme at Goldsmiths in 2015, and was the recipient of the Curatorial Junior Fellowship at Goldsmiths in 2015–16.

Image: Sonia Levy, For the Love of Corals (2018), installation view at Obsidian Coast

Harriet Bowman

Harriet Bowman lives and works in Bristol. Working across sculpture, text and performance, Harriet’s work is informed by an ongoing fictional narrative which evolves through materials and their site of production.

Solo exhibitions include: All Round-er (sad sale), Spike Island, Bristol (2018); putting my foot down, Outpost, Norwich (2018); Easy Over (performance), OUTPOST, Norwich (2018); Desktop Residency, Online (2020) Selected exhibitions include: Exeter Contemporary Open (2019), OUTPOST MEMBERS show selected by Jessica Warboys (2019), Bankley Open Call, Bankley, Manchester (2019); EBC003, East Bristol Contemporary, Bristol (2016); Plymouth Contemporary Open, Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth (2016). Forthcoming projects include: Yellowfields publication/event, HER MIT, an event in collaboration with Phil Root; Publications include; All Round-er (sad sale) 2018, Yellowfields, 2020. Selected awards/residencies, Gildengate house Residency 2018, Gane Trust award, 2018, a-n bursary 2019.

Image: Installation view, All Round-er (sad sale),  Spike Island Gallery.

Savinder Bual

Savinder Bual makes moving image works and kinetic sculptures. Her practice references early engineering principles and inventions from the 1800’s. These precursors to cinema include pre-cinematic devices, the steam engine and clock time.

Imagining herself as a cinema pioneer she explores the interplay between the moving and the still, creating works that sit between the pre-cinematic and the digital. By discovering lo-fi ways to add movement to single images and commonplace objects and materials, her intent is to ignite wonder at the illusion of cinema.

Bual studied painting at Winchester School of Art and photography at the Royal College of Art, London. Since then her work has screened and exhibited widely, including Bloomberg New Contemporaries; Turner Contemporary; Wimbledon Space, Focal Point Gallery, Peer Gallery and CCA. Savinder is currently making work for Whitstable Biennale and continuing her ongoing series ‘The Pineapple Project’ for a performance at Space Studio, Baroda, India. She was recently awarded a Jerwood bursary.

Image: Installation view, Javasu, Caraboo Projects, Bristol, 2019

Rachael Clerke

Rachael Clerke is an award winning Bristol-based artist working across many mediums. Her work can usually be described as satire and is often explicitly anti-capitalist, queer and feminist. She is interested in changing the world by creating alternative narratives and realities. Rachael is currently developing Working Model, a modern-day city built by children, and Shared Ownership Businesses, a shared ownership business. She is also learning to skateboard and grow food. Rachael is a proud member of: Interval artist collective, Artist Union England & ACORN and is a Jerwood Foundation Artist Advisor. She once received a ‘review’ that read simply – “Performance Art? Either learn to paint or sculpt or fuck off”.

Image: Shared Ownership Business, Bristol, 2019

Martyn Cross

Martyn Cross is an artist based at BV Studios in Bristol. Since graduating in Fine Art from Bath Spa University in 1998, he has developed an expanded art practice that is rooted in painting yet also encompasses other art forms such as sculpture, performance and writing. He has shown in various artist-run, public, and commercial spaces, including, amongst others: The Garage (Bristol), Peter von Kant (London), Mostyn (Llandudno), LIMBO (Margate), That Gallery (Bristol), Kettles Yard (Cambridge), and Ceri Hand Gallery (Liverpool). In 2014 he won the inaugural Angelika Open, and in 2012 was included in Modern Painters magazine’s ‘100 Artists to Watch’. Martyn also has artwork in both private and public art collections in the UK, Europe and the United States.

Image: Installation view, Fresh Hell at The Garage, Bristol, 2019

Laura Eldret

Laura Eldret explores social forms and works across art forms including installation, textiles, performance and video. Select exhibitions include Gods House Tower (2020); Karst and The Box, Plymouth (2019); Firstsite, Colchester (2018); Turf Projects, Croydon (2017); CCA Derry, NI (2016); Fig-2, ICA, London (2015); Focal Point Gallery, Southend (2015); Drawing Room, London (2015); South London Gallery (2013); Ikon, Birmingham (2013); The Gallery, Arts University Bournemouth (2012); Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle upon Tyne (2012); and Camden Arts Centre, London (2011). In 2016 she was shortlisted for the Vordemberger Prize and awarded a Gasworks URRA residency in Buenos Aires. Eldret is a visiting tutor in Fine Art at Arts University Bournemouth and has guest lectured at RCA, Goldsmiths and UAL. Curatorial experience includes delivering public art and projects for Contemporary Art Society (2004-12), and co-founding and co-directing CollectingLiveArt (2007–10). In 2019 she established More Than Ponies, an artist-led programme of contemporary art for and/ or about the New Forest.

Image: Installation view, Those Who Look Out & Those Who Look Back, Laura Eldret & Paul Vivian, God’s house tower, Southampton, 2020
Pro, fabric, fringing and thread, 260 x 100 cm 2017 @cahoonashairhub Photo credit @danweillphotography

brb… mentees

Jack Hardy

Dan Guthrie

Madeline Rolt

Ellen Pye

Kelsey Cruz-Martin

Zoe Brennan