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News Release - Issued by York Curiouser

Bags of curiosity about York?

An internationally known artist is appealing for an unusual contribution towards his latest artwork in York – 300 unwanted handbags.

Jacques Nimki needs the bags for an installation as part of a major arts project which will see artists from across the country explore hidden areas of the city – York Curiouser.

York Curiouser will explore the historic city through contemporary art interventions. From 14 June to 7 July new artworks will lead people into unexplored and hidden areas of York, as well as encouraging them to take a fresh look at better-known parts of the city.

Jacques is creating an installation at the National Centre for Early Music on Walmgate and needs around 300 handbags, shoulder bags and small bags. In the final artwork, the bags will contain something which the artist is keeping secret for now.

Jacques says: “Is there a forgotten bag lying somewhere in the back of the cupboard, a treasured bag that it’s time to let go of, or maybe one received as a present but never used or liked? Every bag has a story – they go on journeys, become our companions, carry endless amounts of stuff and are eventually quietly set aside.

“I would love to know your bag’s tale, which will become part of the installation.”

Those submitting bags are asked to including a sheet of paper with a postcode or street name in York where the bag has lived or was bought; a brief personal history of the bag – when, where or why it was bought, if it’s related to a particular moment, person or time; and their name and email address if they’d like to receive information about York Curiouser, or would like to collect their bag at the end of the project. (As they will be in the open air and subject to the weather, it is impossible to guarantee their safe return in the same condition.)

Bags should be dropped off at the Visitor Information Centre at 1 Museum Street, York YO1 7DT by Saturday 17 May.

Jacques Nimki has exhibited nationally and internationally including at the Ikon, Tate Britain and the Tatton Biennial. He is currently working on a major commission for the NHS. He works from and within the urban landscape, mainly using weeds and flowers as a way of exploring how we perceive others and ourselves in specific environments.

He will be giving an artist’s talk at the NCEM on Tuesday 17 June at 6.30pm. Tickets are £3, include a glass of wine, and can be booked on 01904 658338.

York Curiouser was initiated and is being curated by Co-Artistic Directors Hazel Colquhoun, an independent public art commissioning curator, and Lara Goodband, an independent visual art curator.

Other artworks in the project will cover a range of media including light, sound, ceramics, poetry and textiles, developed specifically for locations as diverse as the Fishergate Postern Tower, public gardens, and the many snickelways that lace the city.

Others taking part are: writer and poet John Wedgwood Clarke; installation artist Susanne Davies; textile artist Sally Greaves-Lord; artist, academic and educator Matt Hawthorn; Heinrich & Palmer, who collaborate to create artworks ranging from photographic and light installations to large-scale projection events and public art interventions; multi-disciplinary artist Janet Hodgson, who uses performance, film and installation; sound artist Damian Murphy; and ceramicist Karen Thompson.

The final weekend of York Curiouser will coincide with the start of the Tour de France Grand Départ in York, and is part of the 100-day Yorkshire Festival accompanying the tour. It is also part of the University of York’s annual Festival of Ideas.

For more information on York Curiouser and the artists:

Twitter: @yorkcuriouser



Flickr: York Curiouser 2014


Further media information:

Jeannie Swales at Turnstone Media: or 07968 953737

Notes to editors

A major element of York Curiouser is education, from primary through to tertiary. University of York students are attending a series of workshops led by the Co-Artistic Directors. Both the University of York and York St John University are hosting artists in residence who are developing new artwork alongside students from a range of disciplines. York Curiouser is also working with the Children's University and York Cares to offer artist-led workshops in primary and secondary schools.

York Curiouser has many strands and partners in York including the National Centre for Early Music and the Quilt Museum. It has made links with a range of York community groups and organisations who are meeting with and briefing the artists and helping with sites and venues. These include the River Foss Society, Friends of York Walls, the Centre for Early Music, English Heritage, National Trust, and York Conservation Trust.

The project has received funding from Arts Council England through Grants for the Arts, City of York Council, The University of York, York St John University and the National Centre for Early Music.