Metro Arts is a contemporary arts space that celebrates risk, agitates form, heralds the ‘new’ and keeps artists connected to contexts both within and without their work. Artists are the core of what we do. Artists working with Metro Arts are practitioners who are discerning; challenge prescription and respond with an openess to thinking and doing differently. They are relational, reading and understanding key movements in their form emerging locally, nationally and internationally. They are curious, not asking ‘what now’ but ‘what next’. They can recognise and articulate the context in which they are working: they build dialogue around how their ideas connect to history, invention, with what they’ve made before and what they’re creating tomorrow, next year and in the future.
It is a place that encourages risk and stimulates ideas shaped and molded by forms, across forms and in forms that we don’t even have words for yet. Highly conducive to exploration and development, Metro Arts’ role in the artist’s investigation is to support and enable, tease-out and hold-onto, keep beholden and push onwards. It’s a facilitator of process; often hands-on but always working with careful intuition. We enable artists to extend, experiment, exchange and debate within the context of diverse creative inputs and consistent peer review.
Committed to operating in an Open Platform, as defined by Charles Leadbeater, its structure is rigorous, supportive, challenging and most importantly secure to give artists the confidence to develop new work on their own terms. This structure offers the opportunity for increased diversity of parallel experiments, faster learning, shared development and an efficient, adaptive and responsible environment where artists can build momentum, scale and collaborations between artists and art forms, and between ideas and infrastructure.
Metro Arts is dynamic and flexible. In a landscape that is shifting daily, there is an understanding that to stay still is to be irrelevant. The diverse flow of artists through the facility gives us immediacy and feeds our currency. We are always listening to and looking for ways to respond within the means available – often leveraging relationships with like-minded organisations to do so.
Metro Arts’ role in supporting emerging artists is established but equally it offers continuous support throughout the development of artists’ careers. The dialogue between ideas, form and market over time gives mid-career and established artists the same opportunity to extend and consolidate their practice into new areas. The Open Platform model creates a deeper exchange between people, their work, industry and audiences. While artists work to create their own transient marks on our spaces, we are involved, constantly looking outwards creating roads from this node to others – here and overseas.
Metro Arts is a fertile and multi-faceted platform – we are a launch pad, a base camp, a departure point and a neutral space for reflection, consideration – we are ready for engagement with artists, then audiences. Our role in this relationship is to give the latter an insight into the former. As such, those who cross our threshold enter floors teeming with activity that might be educational or informative, but is never tired and rarely predictable.
With the neutrality that comes from a long history of operating as an Open Platform for the development of people and ideas with organisational and infrastructure flexibility that is trusted, respected and above all rigorously professional; Metro Arts engages across a range of arts practices enabling ideas, debate, connection and the time and space to make work and appropriately position it in the market.
Image: Opening: Tension 17 – T.K. Edser, March 2013. Photographer Carl Warner.