Five Songs – ESP for WINTERREISE

Five Songs – ESP Offsite Project

Friday 14th December, 5–11pm & Saturday 15th December 12–6pm
Minerva Works, Fazeley Street, Birmingham B5 5RS

Five Songs is an ESP offsite project happening across two days as part of Winterreise/Winter Journey, a collaboration with Sue Ball, MAAP and many others.

For Five Songs selected ESP members will present new work in the rough, industrial space of Unit 7, Minerva Works. Taking the song cycle Winterreise as its starting point, Five Songs examines the voices of five artists: Tracy Hickinbottom, Michael Lightborne, Samuel Rodgers, Kevin Ryan and Rafal Zar, who work across painting, sculpture, sound and video. The off-site project is free and open to all from Friday 14 to Saturday 15 December.

On Wednesday 12 December at 8pm ESP will make its first live transmission of artworks by members as part of a demonstration by John Hill of Lucky PDF. The broadcast will act as a trailer for Five Songs, with artists involved in the project having been invited to develop a version of their work to be available for ESP TV. More info

Samuel Rodgers, an artist and composer/improviser, will make a new sound work using field recordings of the unit and found objects that responds to the acoustic of the space and draws attention to the environmental sounds of its surroundings. Employing a mixture of mundane and ethereal imagery Rafal Zar’s works evoke a sense of a mythical journey. For this project he will show a selection of new paintings and sculpture across the space.

Painter Kevin Ryan will present a new body of works that examine the process of painting and the painted surface. By co-opting the visually complex space of Unit 7, with its coloured, patchy walls, he will draw elements of the wider space into his own work and ask the viewer to re-examine his seemingly monochrome works. Like Ryan, Tracy Hickinbottom is interested in the idea of an artwork reaching, or not reaching, a state of ‘finishedness’, and often reuses and recycles her own work in order to make something new. For Five Songs Hickinbottom will make a new sculptural work in response to the physical conditions of the unit that looks at how we move through space and interact with others.

Artist and writer Michael Lightborne’s work is driven by a desire to see through things, to sense the unordered and illegible and the creative and often incongruous links between material fact and cultural imaginary. Here he will present a new HD video that takes a line from Schubert’s Winterreise as its starting point: ‘Every river will reach the sea; Every sorrow, too, will reach its grave’.