You can say the word live in two ways. live is an initiative that will bring both definitions together, in a series of exhibitions, installations and performances in the heritage city of Bath. live is planned as a key element of FaB18, next year’s manifestation of the city’s celebrated festival of contemporary visual art. It is scheduled for the two weeks May 25 – June 10, 2018.


As well as a series of exhibitions of arresting and original artworks -some of them made from living materials-  there will live interventions, involving performance artists, poets, musicians, film and video makers. This list of potential participants is not exclusive. We are also encouraging the participation of thinkers, scientists, activists and other kinds of specialist, who can lead conversations in unexpected directions.


Like the word live, the themes of growth and decay can be addressed in different ways: seen through the lenses of philosophy, science, politics and humankind’s troubled relationship with the rest of nature – at the level of the globe, society or the individual person. The creators of live sense the need for an inclusive and diverse approach when addressing matters so urgent and essential. We intend this initiative to be provocative and surprising, beautiful and inspiring.


The core venue for live will be Walcot Chapel, in central Bath, the tree-filled cemetery which surrounds it and the intimate park alongside. The Tardis-like chapel has been a welcoming venue for memorable exhibitions and events for several decades now. On this occasion, we intend that it should take on something of the form of a living, growing (and possibly decaying) organism. And this sense of growth and decay will spread out into the surroundings… into the graveyard, the park and along Walcot Street into the heart of the city. We wish to explore ways of using growth and decay as the medium as well as the message, but this does not preclude other media, whether established or exploratory.


Transformed by inventive visual art, Walcot Chapel will also be used for intimate performances (of various kinds) and open conversations, led by people with something to say, and with open ears and minds.


We expect live to pop up in several other venues across Bath and beyond. And we are working to establish productive relationships with kindred organisations. FaB has been successfully organising exhibitions in an extraordinary range of venues for a dozen years now. And, over time, it has built up positive relationships with hundreds of curators and thousands of artists, as well as scores of institutions. This is a tradition we are determined to help grow.


Curated by Geoff Dunlop, submit via live@fringeartsbath.co.uk