BRG Collective

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Lobster Trap
In September 2013, BRG completed a residency at the OSR Projects. The successful proposal for 'The Lobster Trap' was to invent the BRG studio; to realise a hypothetical environment for BRG collaboration. As well as build the studio, BRG made attempts to use their new 'studio'. Dubbed a space to meet, think and play, the installation hosted two workshops with local cub scout groups and a BRG quiz night. We wanted to see what a BRG studio would look like, how it would operate and what would happen to inform ourselves from focusing fully on a two week project.
The initial plan was to transform the exhibition space into a working studio. We found that as soon as we began to inhabit the location and began the construction of tables, surfaces, chairs, this gave us an early grounding of how an audience could engage with an open studio.

Commissioned by Elbow Room for their ‘Intercourse’ project, ODC aimed to practically investigate the nature of participation in the public realm through collaboration. BRG invited members of the public to join them for a day via an open call for participants. Six people signed up and through the course of a windy Sunday in March the expanded group walked across Cardiff. BRG had set activities that were imposed upon the six participants throughout the day; each designed to accelerate the consideration of collaboration. As the day progressed the six formed a bound and cohesion that inevitably led to the formation off a separate group: the One Day Collective. To see BRG's ODC film, click here

Snakes and Ladders

Z Shed, Spike Island, Bristol, BS1 6UT, 17th November 2012
BRG attended Interplay, a one-day event, social exchange and celebration of artist-led practice and collaboration from artist-led groups, spaces and initiatives from around the UK. At the request of the organisers, Hand in Glove, BRG were to take a slightly different approach to the event. So in contrast to the performances and presentations, the 'non geo-specific' collective moved around Z Shed (Bristol) challenging other collectives and organisations to a game of Snakes and Ladders with a twist: a) There were questions involved, b) The board was designed and made by BRG and c) The challengers could keep their board as a souvenir!
Image courtesy of Tom Ketteringham

Spacial Development Think Tank
"Today we are holding a special focus group to make plans and discuss ideas for the future development of a site roughly the size of the paved area that sits at the front of Chapter.Feel free to take a seat and get involved in our latest exercise in public collaboration.” BRG – 28/07/12
At Chapter's festival of failure in July '12 BRG set out to engage the public in another collaborative effort. This time anyone and everyone were invited to draw and discuss plans for a fictional site development. It's amazing what can happen with people sat around a table and a flipchart, felt tip pens also helped!

Car Boot-ique 2012
BRG returned to Chapter in 2012 for the second Art Car Boot-ique. This instalment saw a gazebo equipped with a number of props including an umbrella, a lounge chair, a rug, bucket of water, a spade, a high-vis vest, headphones and electrical tape. The aim was to instigate a series of collaborations with members of the public and so a simple format was devised. Proposal forms were handed out to be taken away by individuals. BRG invited people to propose, in drawing or text, an installation or action to be carried out by the collective with the use of the props available. Each piece was photographed and returned to it's instigator by email the following week. Around 50 new works were made. Click on the image for a slideshow.

Ffotogallery Book Art Fair
The annual event held faire at PhotoGallery, Cardiff; is an opportunity for artist and arts organisations to flog their beautifully crafted, bespoke publications to the public; as well as an opportunity to meet and talk with other interested parties. BRG took this chance to explore some new ideas in the wake of their new direction – under the new title of collaborative research group BRG set about considering the notion of synergy. This took the form of a simple process made difficult by multiple participants: How do five artist make a cup of tea? The resulting activity formed the base material for a small colour pamphlet that documented three outcomes of the attempted task. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this document for £2 please email with 'Cuppa tea' as the subject.

BRG Mailout

In February 2012 BRG met to evaluate the successes and failings of its 7 projects to date and to discuss future objectives and strategy as an Arts Collective. Through this meeting BRG agreed to focus its efforts into acting as a practical investigation and research group into collaborative processes. To initiate and promote this new way of working BRG designed and hand printed a limited edition of double-sided posters that were sent to arts organisations throughout the UK.

Queen Street, Swansea, 5th of November 2011. Elysium Gallery invited BRG to get involved in two hours of disruptive artistic activity on the busy street. Amongst the Performance Art, Ed Elliott, Jason Pinder and Shaun James wandered up and down trying to give away badges. The badges had a QR code on them, that when scanned on a smartphone would bring up a short text. The piece was arrived at through an online forum between BRG members. People avoided us, assuming that we were there to sell something that they did not want, so it took two hours on a very busy street for 3 people to give 90 badges away. The text was a nonsense, put together to highlight a confusion about the purpose of art and to, hopefully, stimulate some contemplation in the minds of a few unsuspecting iphone users in Swansea.

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Art Car Boot-ique
For Chapter Arts Centre's first car boot with a twist, BRG turned up with a car load of card, paper, pens, tape and glue. There was no plan really other than to make it up as we went along. The morning was spent building a huge banner, which managed to survive a few hours in the April breeze. A surprisingly sunny day for April, we gradually burnt to a crisp while trying various attempts at attracting people to our stall (also fabricated on the day) having nothing to sell. We finally found an activity that got people interested and kept us busy. A member of the group (and later pretty much everyone) would shout something out, and the members of BRG would have to draw it as quickly as possible. The 4 drawings would be collected and put into a card with a short statement about BRG then given away. For free. What a BARGAIN!

The TOYS project was an exercise in long distance, play based, collaboration.
A collection of images of disconnected objects. Empty packaging of recognisable products , postcards, books and barely legible scrawled upon scraps of paper to mention a few. At first glance seemingly decipherable, moments later apparently not so. There is no direct message, just numerous lines of arbitrary inquiry.
The latest BRG project has been worked on for several months, surprisingly the only obvious outcome has been this image.
The brainchild of BRG members Nigel Bowles and Matthew Skelley, ‘Toys’ has certainly stirred some debate in the ranks. Ideas of ‘Process over Product’ have been at the centre of the BRG identity crisis.
’TOYS’ suggests where the emphasis of process lay. These are the product of play.
Much ventured and what’s gained is unclear.
BRG have established intuition and ambiguity as key to both process and product.

Good evening, we are BRG

A two week residency at the Lombard Method, Birmingham. The residency was a rare opportunity for the members of BRG to be under one roof for a substantial length of time. The space became a place for play and discussion. This being the case, our original plans to end with an exhibition of the work we'd made were cast aside. Instead we hosted a social event, inviting all of the people we'd met, and some we hadn't, throughout our time in Birmingham to discuss the works in progress and to present our blog which documented our residenfrom start to finish. To read the blog go to

A collaborative work produced through an 'edit and pass it on' email process. The piece was produced for the December 11 event in Cardiff (2009) and was originally handed out in eight separate pieces to be collected and pieced together to reveal an image of Cardiff's iconic white bonneted tacsi. Following the event, the image was printed in full as a limited edition screen print.

September 17th: You are here
A small publication produced in two weeks upon request of Bristol Diving School in 2009. It was not quite what they were looking for, so we handed them out at Spike Island instead. The A5 booklet contained black and white photocopies of drawings, text and photographs made and taken in response to a last minute brief to engage with Bristol. Most of the engagement happened online, from memory and through photos taken by the one member of the collective who made a visit. It's not the prettiest of things, but we're proud of it.

The Judge
An exhibition held in 2009 at the Elysium Gallery, Swansea. The lead up to this show was where the BRG collective formed. Members at the time were Jason Pinder, Ed Elliott, Sam Aldridge, Matt Skelley and Samuel Hasler. There work was produced in response to a short story written for the project by author and English teacher, Tom Sinclair. The story was titled 'The Judge'. This was the first time the collective had worked together and tried to find a way of producing work independently but in a way that linked works together and formed a coherent exhibition. To read the story click here.

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