Artist and curator Sam Curtis’ work questions what constitutes and separates contemporary categories of creativity, economy and labour. To do this he often commissions tradespeople and other workers and asks them to redirect their job-specific skills towards the production of unusual objects that beg the question; ‘What can we do with the materials and tools of our trade if a space is created for us to think more openly about what we do and how we do it?’
As the first artist-in-residence in Park Royal, Sam was tasked with thinking about how art can engage with industry in the context of the UK’s second largest industrial estate, home to over 2000 businesses and 36,000 workers.
As part of this thinking, Sam invited ‘expert’ guests from relevant fields to join him in conversation as he walked around and inhabited different parts of the estate, including Natt Pitt; Director at Division of Labour, Richard Layzell; artist and visionairre, Robert Mitchell; artist, walker and ex Park Royal worker and Chris Morris; housing campaigner.
These walks enabled Sam to start to map a range of different approaches for initiating conversations and collaborations between artists, employers and workers, asking: What could be our common language? How do we identify and negotiate the benefits to each party in working together? And what can the disconnections during collaboration with non-artists reveal about our assumptions and expectations?Commissioned by OPDC and Create London as part of the Great Place Scheme