Freee Art Collective is made up of three artists, Dave Beech, Andy Hewitt and Mel Jordan, who work together on slogans, billboards and publications that challenge the commercial and bureaucratic colonization of the public sphere of opinion formation. Freee occupies the public sphere with works that take sides, speak their mind and divide opinion. Dave Beech is Professor of Art at Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden; Andy Hewitt is Senior Lecturer in Social Art Practice at The University of Northampton, UK and Mel Jordan is Reader in Art and the Public Sphere, at the Royal College of Art, London.
Slogans are used extensively in their work, emblazoning them across billboards, scarves, balloons, badges, placards, t-shirts, fireworks and more. The group are concerned with opinion formation and write deliberately antagonistic slogans in order that its readers might agree or disagree with them and in doing so consider their own stance and how they arrive at it.
Freee are using the space at NN Contemporary Art to present their new public kiosks. These brightly coloured kiosks will be active during the exhibition for a host of activity including badge-making, talks, design workshops and a starting point for walking tours. Freee have invited artists, designers, critics and theoreticians to create workshops and activities, available for all to join.
A panoply of drop-in activities will be popping up weekly at NN at Freee’s Public Kiosks. In addition, regular NN events will be taking place:
Thursday 24 November 2016, 2–3 pm
Thursday 22 December 2016, 2–3 pm
Bumps & Babes
Get messy with your baby or pre-schooler in these crayon-fuelled, finger painting sessions. Make sure you wear clothes that can handle paint!
Saturday 26 November 2016, 2–4 pm
For artists, by artists, the Crit Group invites artists to bring their work in progress for some friendly peer critique. Crit Group is led by Sayed Sattar Hasan.
Thursday 1 December 2016, 1–4 pm
More For Tea
Rebecca Herbert will present ‘More [for] Tea’ when visitors to the gallery will be invited to eat a cake made specially for the Freee-Carracci-Institute.
Friday 2 December 2016, 1–2 pm
Lunchtime Write Club
Do you want to brush up on your art writing skills? From CVs to artist statements, funding applications or letters of introduction, bring your writing questions and samples to Write Club for feedback with Artistic Director Catherine Hemelryk.
Friday 2 December 2016, 1–4 pm
Freee Public Kiosk
Sean Griffiths will work with Freee to think about the design and function of temporary structures such as Freee-Carracci-Institute public kiosk. Sean Griffiths is a director and co-founder of FAT. He has extensive project experience across numerous sectors including housing, education, leisure, arts, transport and master-planning. Sean is highly respected amongst his peers and is a prolific contributor to architectural debate through lectures, symposia and papers. Sean is the Louis I Kahn Visiting Professor of Architecture at Yale University.
Friday 2 December 2016, 4–7.30 pm
Freee Comedy Evening
Dave Green is a comedian who went to art school. He will be working with Freee’s texts and manifestos to make some new material that he will perform in the NN Cafe. Dave Green has been doing stand-up comedy since 2011. Since then, his surreal one-liners and deadpan delivery have fast proved popular with audiences and promoters alike. In 2013 he won the wild card vote in the BBC New Comedy Award securing him a place in the semi-final which was broadcast on BBC Radio 2. In 2014 he was nominated by a panel of industry professionals to take part in the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year.
Watch the set here.
Wednesday 7 December 2016, 7–9 pm
From Art to Commerce
These monthly sessions are for anyone running their creative business whether it is in its first steps or you are more established but want to develop. Topics covered include cash flow, business planning and marketing.
Friday 9 December 2016, 1–4 pm
Freee Public Kiosk on Market Square
Freee’s Public Kiosk will be in Northampton’s Market Square to work with passerby’s to use the kiosk as a focus for the collection of data and conversations. On this occasion, the kiosk will host research staff and students from politics, law and psychology. There is an urgent need to record the arguments that the public are making for and against leaving the EU. The aim is to capture this important information to inform public debate. It is intended that the project does not draw conclusions on the strength of the case for or against Brexit. Participants arguments will be used to create an argument map which comprehensively captures public discourse on the topic.
Saturday 10 December 2016, 2–3 pm
Motomi Kozaki is leading an origami workshop as part of the exhibition. Freee’s brightly coloured manifestos are transformed into origami shapes: transformable octagon shuriken aka Ninja stars. Suitable for ages 6 and up the workshop is free and no booking necessary, drop-in.
Friday 16 December 2016 from 12–2 pm
Slogan Badge Making
Pick a badge you agree with or make your own slogan on a badge. Drop-in between 12–2 pm or until stocks run out.