The life and times of Pope & Guthrie
Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie met whilst at Edinburgh College of Art before they completed MA's in London and began working together in 1995. Their early career was marked by technological innovation combined with a socially-engaged and inclusive sensibility - for example, their live online travelogue A Hypertext Journal (1996) which was an experimental precursor to 'blogging'.
In 2001 they formalised their collaboration as the not-for-profit arts practice Somewhere. Their current work spans public art and film-making, and their focus remains on the widest possible application of creativity to enrich and inform public life.
Nina taught part-time for 20 years at the Royal College of Art in the influential Design Interactions department. Both artists now free-lance as visiting tutors, in arts advisory roles and in professional development for artists. Karen works in diverse roles in public art, including many projects and initiatives with Grizedale Arts, including their website and land / garden development.
In 2008 they won the first Northern Art Prize and in 2014 a retrospective of their practice Past, Present, Somewhere was shown at Kettles Yard in Cambridge.
In 2015 their fourth feature film The Closer We Get was broadcast on the BBC, winning Best International Feature Film at Hot Docs and Best UK Film at Open City Documentary Festival, going on to screening 15 countries worldwide. Somewhere distributes the film, and in 2016/17 delivered extensive impact & engagement work based on the film across the UK to many health and social care workers, supported by an award from the Bertha BRITDOC Connect Fund.
Alongside their artistic practice, as Somewhere Karen and Nina work in creative consultancy roles and professional development for clients including the National Trust and UCL.
'The Closer We Get' (2015). Premiered at Hot Docs with international festivals including Edinburgh, Galway, Zagreb (Opening Night Selection), Chicago, Washington & Taiwan. Picturehouse Cinema UK theatrical release.
'Jaywick Escapes' (2012, 48mins, HD). Funded by Arts Council England, RCA Research Fund & Science Museum (London). Premiered at Sheffield Doc Fest 2012. Also screened at East End Film Festival & Colchester Film Festival.
'Living with the Tudors' (2007/8 83mins, HD). Funded by the Channel 4 Britdoc Documentary Film Foundation.
Screened at Britdoc Film Festival & premiered at SXSW Film Festival, Austin, Texas, March 08. DVD released by Soda Pictures. US distribution by Indiepix. TV broadcast BETV (Belgium).
Researched, wrote, fund-raised, produced and directed.
'Little Deluxe Living' (2007 12mins, HDV)
Shot in Japan and England.
Screened as part of winning exhibition at Northern Art Prize, Leeds City Art Gallery 2007/8
Researched, wrote, produced and directed.
'Bata-ville: We are not afraid of the future' (2005 93mins, Digibeta)
Feature film commissioned by Commissions East. Selected film festivals screenings: Edinburgh International Film Festival 2005, SXSW 2005 (Texas), Rooftop Films (New York City) plus gallery screenings including Tate Britain, Cornerhouse (Manchester) & Arnolfini (Bristol). DVD (CZ & Eng.) Directed, produced and distributed internationally.
Commissions, Exhibitions & Other Creative Projects
The Land We Live In, The Land We Left Behind 2018
Group show, Hauser & Wirth Somerset
Radical Essex 2016
Group show, Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea
Collaboration with public works, 'A Fair Land', Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
Ripples On The Pond 2015
Group Show, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow
Birmingham Show 2015
Group Show, Eastside Projects, Birmingham
The Nuisance of Landscape: Grizedale Arts - The Sequel, 2014
Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal
Past, Present, Somewhere 2014
Retrospective solo show, Kettles Yard, Cambridge
University of Cambridge 2013 - 2014
NW Cambridge Artists Residency with Dept. of Archaeology
Jaywick Escapes 2012 - 2013
Science Museum (London) - part of Climate Stories commissions - film excerpt & archive memorabilia installation
The Floating Cinema 2011 - 2015
Lead artists / curators in collaboration with Up Projects for this ongoing project. A cinema barge that navigates the waterways primarily in East London, re-commissioned by the Legacy List for 2013 onwards.
Role included executive production of doc 'Can House' by Maxy Bianco (2013)
Abbey Gardens / What Will The Harvest Be? 2009 - ongoing
Commissioned by London Borough of Newham. The re-visioning of a historic but derelict garden in East London as a public 'harvest' garden.
Art Lending Library 2012 - 2015
Contributing artists to project by Walker & Bromwich, Glasgow International Festival, Market Gallery & touring nationally
The Garden of Forking Paths 2010 - 2012
An Exhibition of Historic and Contemporary Artists' Computer GamesDLux, Loop Space, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia & touring
A Circle of Happiness 2009
Commissioned by Essex County Council to develop ideas for the re-invigoration of public space in coastal Essex. With an installation at Jaywick Martello Tower, Sept / Oct 2009
Can Art Save Us? 2010
Millennium Galleries, Sheffield. Multiple 'Titchy/Kitschy' shown in Grizedale Arts contribution
Schnucken, Elefanten und andere Gastgeschenke 2009
Kunstverein Springhornhof, Germany. Multiple 'Titchy/Kitschy' shown in myvillages.org
Commissioned by A Foundation & Grizedale Arts for Rochelle School, London. Two projects - Karen Guthrie's 'The Grotto' (postponed indefinitely) and a musical collaboration 'A Song for a Circus' between Nina Pope and Tim Olden.
Winners of the first Northern Art Prize 2007
With an installation exhibited at Leeds City Art Gallery
Broadcast Yourself 2007
TV swansong archive exhibited as part of group show at Hatton Gallery (Newcastle) and Cornerhouse (Manchester)
Public art commission for the redevelopment of Cinema City in Norwich, launched on their new digital projection system October 2007. Almanac commemorates the history of cinema as well as looking to its digital future. We developed a bespoke dynamic database of one year's time-lapse footage shot at East Anglian sites made famous as film locations.
Living with the Tudors 2007
Documentary feature film part-funded by Britdoc Channel 4 Documentary Film Foundation, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation & Arts Council England. Premiered at SXSW Film Festival, March 2008.
Odysseus Web Project 2007
Pilot 3 2007
Selected for archive for artists & curators, shown at Atelier Bevilacqua, Venice Biennale (Italy)
Seven Samurai & Return of the Seven Samurai 2006/7
Site-specific project for Echigo-Tsumari Triennale, Japan - curated by Grizedale Arts and developing into the exhibition 'Virtually Grizedale' at A Foundation, Liverpool Biennale 2006, and Return of the Seven Samurai at Gallery Lucy Mackintosh, Lausanne, Switzerland 2006.
Sometime Later 2006
Short films / photography works documenting time spent amongst historical re-enactors. Website commissioned for 'Private View' by BBC & Arts Council England.
Bata-ville: We are not afraid of the future 2005
Feature length film, produced by Somewhere, with Commissions East & Illumina Digital Ltd
See website for more info. Extensive screenings & official selection of Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Romantic Detachment 2004
Video work, group show, PS1, New York City, USA & touring to Q (Derby), Folly (Lancaster) & Chapter (Cardiff, UK)
London Underground Platform for Art 2003
It's an East End Knockout 2003
Bow Festival / Space commissioned live event, London, UK
Live Culture 2003
Curators / exhibitors, video programme, Tate Modern, London, UK
@rt.net.uk now 2002
British Council group show, Sarai, Delhi, India
Art For Networks 2002/3
Group show, Chapter, Cardiff; Fruitmarket, Edinburgh & touring
TV swansong 2002
Nationwide public art / site-specific webcast project commissioning 8 artists
(artists / curators)
Group show, Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham, UK
Game On 2002/3/4
Commission, Barbican Gallery, London & touring internationally
It Rocks, But Gently 2002
Group show, Folly, Lancaster
A Fair Place 2001
British Council Group show, Nouvelles Peripheries, Istanbul, Turkey
Public Spaces, Private Reveries 2001/2
Proboscis, prototype commission
Lo-Fi Net Art Locator 2001
http://www.low-fi.org.uk - invited Guest List curators
Grizedale Show 2001
Group show, Q Arts, Derby, UK
People from Off 2001
Solo show with Anna Best & Simon Poulter; Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, UK
Art in Motion 2001
Festival, Museum of Santa Monica & U.S.C, USA
The Idea of North 2000/1
(Group show), Leeds City Art Gallery, UK
Limo Day 2000
Live event & video work with Anna Best & Simon Poulter; Grizedale Show, Cumbria, UK
David Shuttleworth (Rally Hopeful) 2000
Live project & installation with Anna Best & Simon Poulter; Grizedale Show, Cumbria, UK
The Festival of Lying 2000
Live event & web cast with Anna Best & Simon Poulter; Grizedale Show, Cumbria, UK
Additional Footage 2000
Live project & installation (Group show), East / Riverside; Norwich Gallery, UK
Somewhere offers occasional bespoke consultancy to projects and commissioners working in the public realm mainly. Clients have included Essex County Council (Jaywick Green Spaces) the National Trust (Sutton Hoo) & Groundwork London (Chobham Manor).
Selected Reviews & Publications
'TV Like Us' 2012
The Finnish Institute (Ed. Hanna Harris & Suvi Kukkonen) with essay by Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope on 10th anniversary of TV swansong live webcast
'Cat Fancy Club' 2011
Contributors to a review by Regine Debatty on We Make Money Not Art
'A Utopia of Modernity: Zlin' 2009
Contributors (A book by Zipp - German-Czech Cultural Projects ISBN978-3-86859-034-0)
'Hothaus Papers: Perspectives and Paradigms in media arts' 2006
Contributors (Ed. Joan Gibbons & Kaye Winwood) VIVID / Article Press ISBN 1873352247
Artforum - May 2005
Review of 'Bata-ville' by Rachel Withers
'New Media Art: Practice & Context in the UK 1994-2004' 2004
Featured artists (Ed. Arts Council England) Cornerhouse Publications ISBN 0948797886
Contemporary - No.55 / 2003
Duncan McLaren reviews Grizedale Arts
'Tell it like it is ....on being Curated' 2002
Artists' essay 'Curating New Media' (Ed. Sarah Cook, Beryl Graham & Sarah Martin, BALTIC ISBN 1-903655-06-4)
Art Monthly no. 256 2002
Review of TV swansong
Frieze - July issue 2002
Review of TV swansong by Dan Fox
[a-n] - April & May issues 2002
Reviews of TV swansong
Financial Times - March 16/17 2002
Preview of TV swansong by Lucy Kimbell
Contemporary - March issue 2002
Art & TV Preview of TV swansong by Duncan McLaren
TV swansong 2002
Editors / contributors ARTicle Press, ISBN 1 873352 58 1
Public Art Journal 2001
Spring / summer issue
Art Monthly - no. 242 2000/01
Review of 'The Idea of North', Leeds, UK