'Shiva's Dreaming,' rendered from the interior of the Crystal Palace, Lawrence Lek, 2014

‘Shiva’s Dreaming,’ rendered from the interior of the Crystal Palace, Lawrence Lek, 2014

Sophie Risner, Library and Archive Administrator as well as Administrator for the Archives and Access project introduces us to Artist Albums a one-off project specifically designed to engage with the archive content from the point of view of an artist and curator

Artist Albums is a project which aims to look at and examine how a range of artist practitioners interact with Tate’s new digital tool – Albums. The project invites five participating artists and one gallery / studio to build and share their own album using exclusively digitised archive material content in a bid to explore and visualise how Albums can be used as a communication tool, research space and possible artist working methodology.

Albums as a functionality was soft-launched onto the Tate website in October, 2014. As a tool it works to create a space on the Tate website which groups together items from Tate’s artwork collection which was digitised from 1998–2000, archive items digitised as part of the HLF funded Archives and Access project, and uploaded user content.

Inviting four cross-disciplinary practices to create an Album and supporting blog post the project aims to explore how creative practitioners interact with and use specifically the Archival content online. Questioning whether by re-thinking the Archival material we can create new and interesting curatorial themes and links as a way to unpack how practitioners use the digital space whilst also examining the functionality and flexibility of the Albums tool.

Artist Albums will also reflect on the potential for new spaces of audience and artist interaction with the Archive collections online. Begging the question; can the Albums feature generate much needed visibility to both a diverse range of art practices previously unheard of within the institution as well as allowing for archival content to engage with art practices which traditionally may not have been associated with it.

How can working with archival collections in this manner; in which bodies and collections of work are grouped via ‘Albums’ open up more fluid spaces of possibility, interaction and exchange.

Invited Practitioners


Yemisi Blake

Yemisi Blake is a writer and artist. His practice is concerned with narratives of urban life, people and place. His work combines poetry, visual art and research, often involving collaborations with individuals and communities.

Yemisi has created publications, performances, installations and exhibitions in the UK and abroad. He has been commissioned by organisations, including The Wellcome Trust, Tate, Southbank Centre and The Delfina Foundation. His work has been broadcast on national radio (BBC Radio 4), featured in publications (Poetry Review, Wasafiri, Oberon Books), and exhibited across London’s bus stations.

Yemisi has been an artist in residence with organisations including Art on the Underground, British Council, All Change and Urban Words. He studied BA Sociology and MA in Photography and Urban Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

  • Find out more about Yemisi


Grand Union

Grand Union is a leading critically engaged contemporary visual arts gallery and purpose-built studios, based in Digbeth, the heart of Birmingham’s cultural quarter.

Grand Union runs an ambitious and varied public programme of exhibitions and activities that support artists and curators both nationally and internationally; ensuring that our unique production and presentation spaces enable artistic talent to grow and develop. We place great importance upon the commissioning of new work, and supporting artists and curators at the beginning of their careers.

The Tate Album and blog post has been produced by Kim McAleese (Programme Director) and Oliver McCall (Gallery Assistant).

  • Find out more about Grand Union


Charismatic Megafauna

Charismatic Megafauna is Jenny Moore, Georgia Twigg and Susannah Worth, an all-drum, all-live, all-loud trio. As well as regular gigs at the likes of Biddle Brothers and Open School East, the band has played as part of Supernormal Festival, Wysing’s Space-Time Festival, Conduire for the Art Licks Weekend, and the Art Licks V&A Late. Their debut music video was recently screened at Doing What Comes Naturally’s Spare Rib event at the Feminist Library.

In the words of Jack Chuter of ATTN Magazine:

warped sexual assault statistics are pummelled under stick and foot, with all three members laying their catharsis upon a single drum kit. Yelped voices and vibrant playsuit colours project forth, as the group tip between skeletal punk, thunderous tribe and the brink of total collapse.

Read more here:: Archives & Access Project: Artist Albums