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Imperial War Museum North invites student artists to join scratch event

Student artists are being called to perform scratch acts at the Wyndham Lewis exhibition in November


The Imperial War Museum (IWM) North is inviting artist submissions for a chance to participate in a scratch performance event titled ‘Responding to a Rebel,’ scheduled for 21 November.

Scratch performances use audience feedback to inform and develop a piece of theatre.

Each performance should be inspired by British modernist Wyndham Lewis. The museum’s current special exhibition about the artist and writer, Wyndham Lewis: Life, Art, War, will run until the end of 2017.

Lewis was the founder of Vorticism, Britain’s only avant-garde movement. 100 years ago, Lewis was hired as an official war artist for Britain and Canada in World War One. Upon his return, he painted his most recognisable work, A Battery Shelled (1919).

Lewis has been a contentious figure in literature, his writing including support for Adolf Hitler and derogatory descriptions of Jews and homosexuals.

IWM representative Angela Kirk explained in a written statement: “Lewis was a controversial figure, whose ideas, opinions and personality inspired, enticed and repelled in equal measure. When it came to his work, he chose to produce unpopular and even antagonistic critiques of society and his contemporaries.”

Scratch performances at the ‘Responding to a Rebel’ event should respond to any of the following themes: art and war, Lewis and Vorticism, self-image, or marginalised genius. They should work with minimal set and props, and total 10 minutes in length.

Kirk continued, “In the spirit of Wyndham Lewis, IWM North is looking for rebel creatives from all performance art-forms, including comedy, theatre, live art and music for an evening of work-in-progress performances and the chance to share new ideas with other artists and audience members.”

Anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to apply. Successful acts will be offered £50 towards materials and development, and free tickets to the exhibition Wyndham Lewis: Life, Art, War for research.
To apply, artists should email with the following: a brief artist biography, a 150 word synopsis explaining your submission, up to 3 images of current or previous work, and up to 2 minutes of video footage.

The event, and the exhibition, mark the centenary of the IWM. Other special exhibitions featuring World War One artists are being held across the country at Imperial War Museums.