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Residencies & Projects

PANIC: Announcing the second round of bursary recipients

PANIC! Promoting an Artists' Network in the Crisis announces six artists in Leeds City Region who have received £5,000 and £1,000 bursaries to support the making of a new contemporary visual artwork or project.
PANIC! Steering Group are proud to announce that the artist bursary recipients are:

For the £1,000 bursaries:

Abdullah Adekola, Dave Peel, Emily Ryalls and Tammy Tsang

For the £5,000 bursaries:

Nikta Mohammadi and Tora Hed

The bursaries will offer space to create a voice and help us think through the new psychological, social and cultural conditions we face today.

Abdullah Adekola (he/him) is a Black-British working-class writer and performer. He is interested in decolonisation, alternative and healthy approaches to masculinity and mental ill health recovery. He works for a mental health charity and is a board member of the David Oluwale Memorial Association.

Abdullah describes his work as playful, philosophical, and romantic and is influenced by artists including James Baldwin, bell hooks, Roger Robinson, Maya Angelou and Corrine Bailey Rae. His breakthrough collection of poetry 'Nigrescence' comes out in September 2021. He has also been selected for the New Creatives North talent development programme by Arts Council England and BBC Arts.

Adekola will present a collaborative film and poetry project. The poem will reflect on Black history in Leeds. Adekola will contemplate the pros and cons of city life, friendship, and loneliness. Collaborators with similar interests, experiences, and circumstances are invited to read parts of the poem and respond to its themes. These responses will be documented and will shape the subsequent film.

Dave Peel (they/them) grew up in Leeds, and recently returned after eight years in London.

Mainly working under the pseudonym Erik Weisz, Peel's work is often reflective of their experience of coming from a working class background and aims to invite open conversation about class. They enjoy working with audio-visual art forms and often combine sound compositions with poetry and moving image. Peel has a BA and MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths University and has also trained and worked as a barber.

Playing with the relationship between physical and digital experiences, Peel will create site-specific audio-visual responses to a number of public seating areas in Leeds, all within a mile radius of The Tetley. Peel's production process involves collecting field recordings, videos and their own spoken responses at each location using a variety of analogue and digital techniques. Peel invites you to experience these Leeds locations in new ways, and asks you to listen to these layered compositions in the place they were made using your phone.

Emily Ryalls (she/her) is an artist based in Wakefield. Ryalls' practice incorporates photography and performance, and explores collaborative approaches that facilitate co-production.

Ryalls is currently working with The Art House, Wakefield, to build a new community darkroom facility to nurture local artists, with a special interest in supporting the growth of a socially engaged photography network in the area. She also founded The Merrie Collective in 2020.

For her bursary project, Ryalls will explore people's relationship with hostile architecture, an urban design practice which intentionally restricts behaviour in public spaces. Through visual storytelling, she wants to explore whether our public spaces are entering into a new age of hostile design interventions as a result of the pandemic. Ryalls will create a series of photographs which explore a range of choreographed and improvised interactions between members of the public and examples of hostile architecture.

Tammy Tsang (she/her) is an interdisciplinary dance artist. Her work is informed by the intricacies of the human body. With a focus on her audience's bodily experience, Tsang plays with sensory systems, tactility and tangibility.

Reflecting on the pandemic, Tsang's bursary project focuses on the uncomfortable feeling of being trapped, frozen and unable to move or act, a feeling made familiar to many due to numerous lockdowns and restrictions. Audience members will be invited to enter a mini dance club that comes with the instruction: 'DO NOT MOVE'. Motion sensors will pick up any movement and deactivate the disco once movements are detected. Through this bursary project, Tsang investigates the feelings and sensations that arise when we are unable to enjoy the innate pleasures of moving to music.

Nikta Mohammadi (she/her) is an artist and producer who works across different disciplines, including moving image, photography, sound and painting. She is interested in exploring themes of migration and intimacy and has a playful approach to how language is constructed and used in her work. Mohammadi's practice is rooted in her dreams and the splendour of mundane details of day-to-day life. Some of her influences include John Akomfrah, Sergei Parajanov, Maya Deren and Toni Morrison.

Looking at the concept of the 'rambler' in British rural landscape within this bursary project, Mohammadi will make a film borrowing elements from Iranian, Islamic and Gothic horror folklore such as Jinn, Āl and Baxtak as well as the legend of Gargoyle. She will juxtapose these distinct folklore traditions using a blend of documentary, fiction and performance. Questioning the limits of filmmaking as a medium, she will explore themes of displacement and alienation, creating a new myth that reflects on her life in today's Britain.

Tora Hed (she/her) is a Leeds-based choreographer and performer, originally from Sweden. Hed works across art forms and her practice focuses on collaborative processes, exploring the complexity of the body and themes around care. She works with Yorkshire Dance's 'In Mature Company', delivering movement sessions with elderly care home residents, finding ways to reduce physical pain with movements and combating isolation through touch.

For her bursary project, Hed will develop a dance piece together with collaborators Sarah Maria Cook, Inari Hulkkonen and Sunny Vowles. The work will explore intimacy and touch as a way of being together in public spaces. She feels that because of social distancing, our experience in public has in some ways become more static, making our body language less empathetic. Hed will film a dance performance in a public space, exploring the relationship between the body and the landscape around it.

Abdullah Adekola. Photo: Shaun Page

Erik Weisz, seven year itch, 2019

Emily Ryalls, The Yorkshire Moors

Tammy Tsang, The Last Thread, 2021. Photo: Ayça Turgut

Nikta Mohammadi, 2021

Inari Hulkkonen and Tora Hed. Photo: Sunny Vowles

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