LOOK UP 2021 Artist Line Up

Updated: Jun 22


Produced by ArtReach, as part of the Liberty EU project and Journeys Festival International, Look Up 2021 is a collaborative visual arts mentorship programme, hosted by Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, United Kingdom, and coculture, Berlin, Germany.


Four European-based artists from sanctuary-seeking backgrounds have been selected for the project and will be mentored by established arts professionals to create new visual artworks for the public realm. The artists will develop new work that will be installed in Leicester, Manchester and Portsmouth as part of Journeys Festival International 2021 (15 – 24 October), and will take part in two short residencies that will take place between June and August 2021, at Aspex, Portsmouth and coculture, Berlin.


We had a large number of very high quality applications from artist across Europe and we are proud to announce that the artists selected for this programme are:


Bahzad Sulaiman, a performance maker and visual artist from Syria, now residing in Germany, who “believes that cultural heritage is an excellent way to promote social inclusion and community empowerment.”


Parham Ghalamdar, an Iranian-born painter and researcher based in the UK. “During my residency I will train an AI engine to study flags of different countries to create new ones belonging to no country. My work will be a study on borders, sense of belonging, diversity, technology, and science-fiction”.

Rita Adib, a multi-disciplinary artist also from Syria, now residing in Germany, who believes “in the importance of creating site specific work that can spark a conversation, engage and provoke the public.”

Ally Zlatar, a lecturer in Philosophy, History and visual culture, originally from Canada, now residing in Scotland, who says, “Especially after the pandemic, mental health needs to be looked after now, more than ever. Mental health can be interpreted in so many ways during this project in relation to these themes and I would love to divulge into this project with mentors and peers to create some very interesting work.“


The opportunity will allow the artists to create new work that explores the role of art in the public realm and the impact of social messaging in public spaces. Through mentoring support, artists will be challenged to develop their practice and create new work that is site responsive and of a significant scale, impacting the places it is installed.


The selected mentors for the programme, who will be guiding these artists through the residencies and creative processes, include Rachel Dobbs and Adam Broomberg.


Rachel explains that, “Across the last 18 years of my practice as ½ of LOW PROFILE, I have become an established practitioner - devising, developing, creating and exhibiting artworks for a range of different contexts (including galleries, live art festivals, online, and public realm). As LOW PROFILE, we make ambitious and engaging artworks in response to specific contexts - carefully shaping audiences' experiences in generous ways, putting them at the centre of our work.”

Whilst Adam, a Professor of Photography at HFBK Hamburg, continued “At The Royal Academy of Art (KABK), in the Hague where I work, my role is to mentor the MA students throughout their two years. I have been involved in a few mentoring positions with co-culture one of the organisations involved in Look Up. Finally as Professor of Photography at HFBK in Hamburg my role is essentially to mentor the students for the 7 years of their education.”

Which makes them the perfect pair to take these young artists on an explorative and creative journey!


Artists will attend one of two short, intensive residencies that will be designed to explore and exchange ideas as well as develop relationships between the artists and mentors. Artistic ideas for the work will be formed and developed at these sessions, alongside learning about similar approaches taken by established artists/arts professionals working in this field. Between and after these sessions, artists will create the new work and have access to the mentor to discuss progress and finalise the work.


We can’t wait to share the work with you at the festival in October and till then, why not see some of the artist’s work using the links below look out for updates on the development of the work on our website news feed.


INSTAGRAM: @coculture.de @aspexportsmouth @adambroomberg @racheldobbs1 @bahzad_sulaiman @ritaadib @parham.ghalamdar @allycardone


TWITTER: @coculture_de @aspexportsmouth @AdamBroomberg @RachelDobbs1


FACEBOOK: @coculture.de @aspexportsmouth @bhzad.suliman @adam.broomberg @rachel.dobbs.451 @rita.adib.35 @someaddresshere @ally.cardone


Images from Look Up Manchester 2018, WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT IN THE CAR by Kate Daudy. Photography by Jonty Wilde.



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