I want to write about something very close to my heart, and am asking for people’s help. Some readers will know that a good friend of mine, Kim Fielding, passed away very suddenly early this year. Kim was an artist, curator and a real force of nature (powered in part by notoriously strong coffee…), whose energy and passion for experimental arts and artist-led activity had a huge impact on me.
Kim was co-founder of tactileBOSCH, an artist-run studio and gallery space with which I’ve been involved since my first arrival in Cardiff in 2002. I performed some of my earliest work there, was given the chance to curate projects, and met some amazing artists who remained close friends and collaborators. Kim was one of these – an incredible friend and an ongoing mentor and inspiration to me. He is one of a handful of people who I can name as being pivotal in the development of my art and life. He taught me the importance of humour, of camaraderie, of generosity of spirit and of not giving a flying f**k. He was one of a kind, and without him I would not be the artist I am today. Kim and I collaborated on a number of performance and photo projects, most recently a year ago with Clare Thornton in Bristol. With a band of other artists, I worked with Kim on exhibitions in Wales, Moscow, NYC, and at the time of his death Kim was organising a group project in Berlin.
In the weeks and months following Kim’s death, a group of close friends – sharing so many similar stories to my own – were moved to do something. Kim did so much for so many of us that we wanted to keep that energy alive and find a way of stewarding his legacy. The Kim Fielding Award was born, a small charity that will provide opportunity for those with an interest in innovation and creativity, through the provision of resources and support. This might take the form of studio space, of a grant, of professional mentoring, of international networking, of a curatorial project, etc. The KFA aims to move people forward, wherever they are.
In September, I became the inaugural chair of the KFA, alongside a board of trustees and an association of members. All have been working tirelessly to make this vision a reality. A few weeks ago, we officially launched the charity at Paradise Lost, an incredible international exhibition curated by tactileBOSCH as a tribute to Kim. We have been running a crowd funding to raise £5000 to deliver the inaugural award in 2015. We have currently raised nearly £4000, and the campaign runs until next Saturday 15th November.
I’m asking if you will consider contributing to the KFA campaign, as much or as little as you can afford. We’re offering gifts to every donor – from a free single download for donations of £5 to an original artwork from Paradise Lost for donations of £100 or more. And it’s not just about the money – everyone who donates is a part of the KFA and essential to its future.
This weekend I’m back in Cardiff to perform ‘I fall to pieces‘ at Experimentica Festival, Chapter Arts Centre. It’s a four-hour dance inspired by grief, and will be dedicated to Kim. If you can make it, it’d be lovely to see you.
With much love and many thanks, Paul x