Piotr Piasta (Oct 2014 - Apr 2015)

Piotr Piasta (Oct 2014 - Apr 2015)

Berwick Visual Arts and the Centre for Rural Economy (CRE) at Newcastle University are pleased to announce Piotr Piasta as their second artist in residence.

Piotr Piasta is a visual artist, independent filmmaker and a photographer who currently lives and works in the Wieniawa district of Poland.

His artwork explores themes of history, time and memory often within a rural context and he is particularly interested in ageing within rural communities and the stories and memories of older people in these communities.

Berwick Visual Arts residency in partnership with the CRE provides the opportunity for an artist working in any discipline to question what and who is rural, and explore rural life and society beyond idyllic representations, whilst living and working in Berwick-upon-Tweed for six months.

The Centre for Rural Economy (CRE) at Newcastle University is a research centre specialising in interdisciplinary social science, researching rural development and policy, food and society, and the wellbeing of rural communities. The centre will provide access to research staff, facilities and equipment to support Piotr in the development of his work and support the distribution and display of work that is produced during the residency period.

Upon appointment to the post Piotr said ‘I am extremely happy to be offered the residency at Berwick Visual Arts and the opportunity to work with the Centre for Rural Economy. The residency will allow me to extend my research subjects and I am excited to explore a different rural culture to my own.

I am particularly interested in ageing in rural populations and I believe that old people are living archives of the past, and their stories are like inspiring books of knowledge. During the residency I hope to share their stories and show them in a new visual form’

Piotr was selected by a panel consisting of James Lowther - Head of Visual Arts, Berwick Visual Arts; Frances Rowe - Research Associate, Centre for Rural for Rural Economy; Sam Peace, Relationship Manager, Visual Arts, Arts Council England and Judith King, Freelance Curator and Co-Director of Arts & Heritage based in Northumberland, from over 75 applications.

Guy Garrod, Director of The Centre for Rural Economy said “The Centre for Rural Economy is delighted with Piotr Piasta’s appointment and to be continuing its involvement in the artists’ residency at Berwick Visual Arts for the third year running. Creativity and the arts are important themes in CRE’s research programme, and the residency builds on recent collaborations with the UK research councils and the Leverhulme Trust and with colleagues across Newcastle University.

Piotr’s intention to focus his work on older people strikes at a central concern of rural areas today, that of an ageing population and the social exclusion and isolation that, for some people, can be part of growing old in the countryside.”

James Lowther, Head of Visual Art for Berwick Visual Arts said ‘We are delighted to announce Piotr as our fourth artist-in-residence and the second as part of our unique partnership with the CRE. The panel were impressed by the quality of Piotr’s work and his response to the rural context of the residency, exploring relevant and contemporary rural issues and were unanimous in appointing him to the post'