Balloon is for artists who are interested in dramaturgy in a wide sense; in discussing, viewing and contextualizing each others’ work, and in actively testing out new ideas.
Now in its fourth year, Balloon is a peer group dramaturgy project for artists making performance work, run by Nikki Tomlinson (Artsadmin) and Michael Atavar (Oval House) at Toynbee Studios. It is an artist-led forum for 8 artists at a time, which is open to application, usually running from January through to March each year.
The group provides a framework for artist-to-artist support and critical feedback during the making of new work. The content of the sessions evolves through and is directed entirely by the participating artists’ contributions, rather than led by any one individual, and as such, each Balloon group takes on its own character according to the artists involved each year.
Many of the 20 artists who have met through Balloon over the past three years continue to support each other’s work, and develop new work collaboratively. Artsadmin hosts post-Balloon groups throughout the year by offering meeting and studio space on an ongoing basis.
“Balloon creates a focus which is quite rare yet very productive and much needed, I think, for an artist. It’s a sort of focus on the unfocussed. Scheduled, fairly strict, collaborative focus on open discussion. At once a space away from pressures of outcome-driven discussions elsewhere in ones work, and yet also a luminescent tendril of sticky scaffold leading one away from ones own individual (potentially) narrow thinking and lone mental churnings.”Orion Maxted