About: #Georgiou&Tolley @ArtsLab

Arts Lab International was founded by artists Darryl Georgiou and Rebekah Tolley-Georgiou in 2018. Darryl Georgiou’s interdisciplinary (or anti-disciplinary) artwork has been exhibited internationally and is held in renowned public and private collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum (UK) and the Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, (Athens/New York). His photo-artworks and designs have been used on the covers of a number of best selling novels in Europe, South Asia and the US (including 'Brick Lane' by Monica Ali). He has also co-edited award winning books with photographers in the UK and Europe. Georgiou is an Associate Professor in Media Arts at Coventry University, with extensive experience of postgraduate Art & Design research, teaching and international project collaboration. Georgiou was formerly a picture editor and director (1989-1993) of influential image theory ‘photo journal’, Ten.8 magazine. Connecting image-makers and writers, Ten.8 was a counter cultural publication in the progressive intellectual tradition, which looked at the relationship between photography, knowledge, culture and power. Rebekah Tolley-Georgiou is a filmmaker, artist & educator. Owner of Tarian Films, she is creative producer and co-author of critically acclaimed feature documentary, We Went to War (2012), a collaboration with filmmaker Michael Grigsby, which revists a group of Vietnam War veterans, Grigsby first filmed in 1970. The film screened at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, ICA, London, with UK TV on Film4 and was nominated for Sheffield DocFest’s Innovation Award. Tolley-Georgiou is creative producer for award winning Okhwan’s Mission Impossible (2016), a bicycle road movie about one man’s pursuit of peace and a united Korea. She is formerly Head of Media Production & Executive Producer (2005-2010) for Tinopolis, international TV production group, working with BBC and the United Nations (amongst others). Independently she has worked on projects for BAFTA Los Angeles (Heritage Archive project), BAFTA UK, and Oxford University/Pitt Rivers Museum. Tolley-Georgiou’s photographic work has been featured in The Guardian, Observer Magazine, Radio Times. She is currently a Research Fellow at BOM (Birmingham Open Media).


Context

Well… “Context Is Half The Work”

We understand our Arts and media history, and why it has a bearing on the here and now.

Why ArtsLab international…?

ArtsLab international takes as its inspiration, The Artist Placement Group (APG). An organisation founded in 1966 that actively sought to reposition the ‘role of the artist’ within a wider social context, including government, commerce and public sector, while at the same time playing an important part in the history of conceptual from the mid 1960s up to the 1970s. Emerging from the idea that artists are a human resource underused by society, often being isolated from the public by the gallery system and shielded from the mundane realities of industry commerce and government. The idea was that artists, designated ‘Incidental Persons’ would bring alternative ways of seeing and collaborative thinking to bear on the organisations they were placed in. APG would thus recognise the artist’s outsider status and turn it to positive social advantage. The APG initiated and organised ‘placements’ for artists, where artists researched, worked on projects and realised collaborate works. They made the case for the mutual benefit of the artists’ presence in organisations. Artistic practice and knowledge would no longer be confined to the studio and the gallery, but their field of activity would be extended to commercial, industrial, public and administrative contexts, to act upon societal organisation and decision-making processes. The emergence of the APG ideas and concepts took place against the backdrop of discourse about ‘dematerialisation’, and moving away from an object-based understanding of ‘the work’ of art. The statement, “Context is half the work”, illustrates this spatial and ideological shift; out of the studios and into the institutions of society; from object-based work towards information, to site-specific work and to social relationships. The organisation also exhibited in art galleries and in 1989 became known as Organisation and Imagination (O+I). In 2004 the Tate Archive in London purchased the APG records. A recommended read!

Georgiou & Tolley

- Understand the historical importance of influential artists and key arts movements (such as The Artist Placement Group), on society today.

- Understand the contemporary contexts of media art forms and their technological implications.

ArtsLab international is dedicated to making innovative artworks and facilitating cultural and counter-cultural dialogue; by organising contemporary and interdisciplinary (or anti-disciplinary) artworks of international scope.

ArtsLab is a studio, laboratory and platform for collaborative art projects.

ArtsLab feels strongly about Art, accessible arts education, and the multicultural aspects of its collaborative projects and community networks.

ArtsLab believes that communities should feel more connected, expressive and valued.

ArtsLab is passionate about connecting different worlds, disciplines and ideologies.

ArtsLab speaks the languages of art, media, education, politics and creative business. 

ArtsLab believes there is a problematic relationship between the perceived value of the arts to the majority, versus the financial value of arts to a minority.

ArtsLab believes that the arts garner commercial wealth, while it is increasingly difficult for artists to sustain a creative practice today.

ArtsLab bridges these sometimes disparate worlds, to the benefit of all parties involved.  

ArtsLab international facilitates its mission:

- By offering an advisory services to create meaningful projects for public and private organisations.

- By conceiving and organizing exhibitions, archives, collections and artistic programs across media platforms.

- By facilitating collaboration with partners: artists, curators, educators and organisations.  

- By documenting and publishing these activities, so that accessibility and educational impact can be made available for a wider audience.

- By serving as an open forum for discussion with events such as symposia, workshops, screenings, festivals and collaborative projects with cultural organisations, public institutions, and professional partners.

- By believing that “anything is possible if the idea is good enough.”

Image:  Context Is Half The Work , quoted from ‘Structure in Events’, 1972 (APG)

Image: Context Is Half The Work, quoted from ‘Structure in Events’, 1972 (APG)