Halesworth Cut launches digital archive for artists

malt room exhibition space at Halesworth Cut

The Malt Room exhibition space at The Cut in Halesworth. Work that has been displayed here by local artists is to be preserved in a digital archive and artists can host streamed studio tours and talks about their work - Credit: Halesworth Cut

One of Suffolk’s leading arts centres, The Cut in Halesworth, has successfully fundraised £16,000 for new streaming equipment and training.

It also has funds for a resource for a visual art project bolstered with grants from the East Suffolk Communities Bounce Back Fund and Arts Council England (ACE). 

The Cut Digital Archive will be an online resource for Suffolk audiences to engage with the gallery spaces and artists in the region during times when they can’t visit The Cut, or the building is closed.

More than 200 artists have shown at The Cut and there have been 15 group shows since it opened in 2003. Not all of them have adequate archiving.

The Cut hope to develop and produce a comprehensive archive and build on it with the continual addition of upcoming artists and exhibitions. The Cut will acquire images, articles and publications of previous exhibitions, to create an online digital archive.

Ten local artists will have online interviews and have the opportunity to host live streamed tours of their studios.

These will sit on The Cut website with provision within the ACE funding to further update the site.

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Artists Gina Medcalf, Mary Webb, Coco Crampton, Fabian Peake, Charles Hewlings, and Johann Don-Daniel are confirmed for the project along with Bill Jackson, the last artist to exhibit at The Cut before this latest lockdown.

Kasia Posen, local artist and lead on the project said: “It will be exciting to begin collating an accessible record of the exhibitions that have taken place at The Cut over the years, and also have the chance to explore past and present exhibitors current studio practice through our online interviews and studio tours.”

The Bounce Back Fund also provides training for The Cut staff and volunteers and it’s hoped that the camera equipment will allow live events to be streamed to people that feel uncomfortable attending indoor events or those that can’t make a particular evening.

The Cut has curated three online exhibitions since the first lockdown, with the latest, Figuratively Speaking, online now and the fourth, A Sense of Place, online end of February.

Over the past year The Cut have successfully funded the website with further applications pending with ACE, Peter Sowerby Foundation, Adnams and British Council.

In addition, the building has been repainted, and successfully applied for funding to install solar panels and upgrade the theatre lighting to LED. The first phases of a new theatrical sound system has also been installed.