December 7, 2020

The Tetley Jerwood Commissioned Artists and Curators Announced

The Tetley Jerwood Commissions are part of our Development Programme Fund that provides funding for arts organisations who, with vision and skill, can deliver transformational development opportunities for artists, curators and/or producers.

The three projects were selected from a shortlist of 30 nominated by artists and curators who have deep knowledge of artistic practice in the North of England. The final three were selected by Eoin Dara, Head of Exhibitions, Dundee Contemporary Arts; Zoé Whitely, Director, Chisenhale Gallery and Bryony Bond, Director, The Tetley.

The selected artists/curators are: Emily Hesse, Samra Mayanja and ROOT-ed Zine

The Tetley Jerwood Commissions will give these three practitioners/collectives the opportunity to develop a significant body of work, or curate a group exhibition, with the support of a dedicated mentor, a research and development budget, a production budget and institutional backing.

Emily Hesse:

Hesse’s exhibition commission will centre around The Witches Institution, a project Hesse has been developing in partnership with academic Andrea Phillips.

Hesse describes The Witches Institution as:

“a collaborative series of experimental works, discussions and experiences that aim to think about, in this current moment of hypocritical political structures, what a cultural institution run by alternative magic could physically manifest as.”

Emily Hesse is a multidisciplinary visual artist based in the Tees Valley. Her work questions and aggravates social and political power dynamics on both a micro and macrocosmic scale, through revolutionary thinking, philosophy, regional folk histories, collective action and the use of land and its associated materials as a physical form of protest.

Samra Mayanja:

For The Tetley Jerwood Commissions, Mayanja proposes to develop a new body of work resulting from a lone expedition around the UK, in search of British materials and methods to make bark cloth, a Ugandan fabric used predominantly for burial.

Leeds-based Mayanja describes her film works as seeking to “acknowledge, collect and archive accessible, decentralised and dislocated images of black people and their environments – in an effort to commune disparate voices.” Mayanja studied Economics and went to Leeds Arts University to complete a Foundation in Art & Design in 2017. Since then, Mayanja has exhibited at Signal Film & Media, Barrow-in-Furness and MAMA, Rotterdam, Netherlands. Mayanja has performed at Centre for Live Art Yorkshire (CLAY), Leeds and Kampnagel, Hamburg, Germany.

ROOT-ed Zine:

ROOT-ed Zine propose to develop an exhibition entitled Past (Retrospect), Present (Reality) and Future (Reform), The exhibition will feature work by emerging BIPoC artists from, or based in, the North West of England.

They said:

“This year has been turbulent for many and has made a lot of us pause and reflect on the Past, the Present and the Future. During the chaos we’ve also been reflecting, and have noticed centenary cycles of oppression and want to preserve this knowledge in order to disrupt the cycle and make change.”

ROOT-ed Zine is a magazine and social platform founded by artists Amber Akaunu and Fauziya Johnson, both based in Liverpool. The project is dedicated to supporting Black, Asian and PoC creatives that are from, or are based within, the North West of England. ROOT-ed highlights topics that concern taboos within their community, such as interpersonal and social issues, including ethnic hair, mental health and QTIPOC. ROOT-ed Zine was first published March 2018, this first issue included an exclusive interview with Turner prize winning artist, Lubaina Himid, editions have also included artists and creatives from the North West and around the world including Tiffany Leung, Salma Noor, Elliss Thompson and many more.


The Tetley

The Tetley Jerwood Commissions

Jerwood Arts Development Programme Fund



Emily Hesse, Enduring (The Ghosts in the Room), 2018, photo John McKenzie, courtesy of the artist and Workplace Foundation