The Nomadic Village UK 2012, Wolsingham, County Durham, UK

Monday 21st May – Sunday 3rd June 2012

Public Opening: Friday 1st June 15:00 – 21:00

In just a few days we will be heading up the A1 to participate in this event… lets see what I can conjure up with a placenta, some twigs and a bunch of dead pheasants, lol….

“Alison Brierley works with organic materials in an often shamanic nature, recycling wildlife and dead animals such as road kill in an attempt to use everything, she dislikes waste. Brierley harnesses these methods to honour birth, life, sex, death and renewal, her practice also involves wild foraging, creating a deep connection with the environment by surviving from the land. Themes in Brierley’s work stem from nature as well as anthropological and ethnological studies of tribal cultures, these are informed by her extensive travelling. Brierley often works with schools and the wider community on projects, working alongside others to push boundaries and challenge perconceptions.

During the Nomadic Village Brierley will recycle wildlife, especially road kill to create useful, everyday objects, encouraging interaction, participation, education and activism. Exploring ideas of survival and self-sufficiently, especially in a nomadic context.
Inspired by recent journies to Japan, Brierley will focus on the idea of ‘Wishing Trees’ to create a structure that will be ceremonially destroyed at the end of the Village.
Brierley will attend the Village with her camper van ‘Olive’, her partner and her newly born baby.”

I will be inviting the local Primary school children to help create the Japanese style Wishing Tree.

View the links below to the most recent info on the web…


From 21 May to 3 June 2012, County Durham will house a village within a town, when a ‘Nomadic Village’ of over 30 international artists makes its temporary home in Wolsingham. The artists will live and work in camper vans, caravans, marquees, a converted police bus and even an adapted milk float based at the Desmesne Mill Picnic Area in Wolsingham. The 10-day project will provide space for professional artists working in a variety of mediums to live and work, engage and interact with the local community and produce work that responds to the location and situation. At the end of the Village, on Friday 1 June, there will be a public exhibition, and during the Village there will be open afternoons for the local residents to visit the artists at work.

The artists come from as far away as Australia and as near as Tow Law, and the work will vary from photography, film and digital media to 3-dimensional sculptural pieces. Participating artsits have been selected based on the quality of their work as well as their commitment to gaining inspiration from their temporary location and their artistic practice of working as nomadic artists. As well as being able to take advantage of the open afternoons and to chat to the artists and visit the focal point and the village ‘mayor’ – artist Klaus Mähring – many residents will be involved in the artists’ work more directly: artists will be visited by and will visit pupils from Wolsingham School and Community College; a group of photographers based in Tow Law are going to be working with the local community during the time that the Nomadic Village is in Wolsingham to gather stories, images and anecdotes about other ‘visitors’; and other collaborations and interactions are being worked out at the moment.

The project is being brought together by ISIS Arts, in collaboration with Durham County Council and Wolsingham Parish Council. The Village is the brainchild of Klaus Mähring: a photographer who uses an old-fashioned plate camera to create stunning visual impressions of the landscape, he lives for six months of the year in his converted police bus, travelling for inspiration. Two years ago, he invited artists to camp with him in Bulgaria, and the resulting Nomadic Village was such a success that Mähring was keen to create another one with more structure and facilitation for interaction with the local community.

The Nomadic Village will create a unique working environment for artists, who will be able to draw inspiration from each other and from living with like-minded creative people, as well as from the beautiful location. It also gives the residents of Wolsingham, a rural location, an extraordinary opportunity to interact first-hand with artists and their practice, as well as enjoy the exhibition of the resulting artworks. This exhibition will then tour to Vienna and other parts of Austria, with further tours in discussion, taking the inspiration of Wolsingham to other communities internationally.

Nomadic Village Artists