Award winning filmmaker Penny Woolcock was born in Buenes Aires. She started filmmaking when she was almost forty after a life on the margins as a painter, waitress and factory worker. She has worked extensively in both documentary and drama. Recently she completed two feature films, the John Adams opera The Death of Klinghoffer and Mischief Night. She’s concerned with making films from the inside and invests a lot of time with the all people she documents – people with learning difficulties in The Five of Us and street drinkers for The Wet House. A large proportion of her body of work has been concerned with social, cultural and political life on Britain’s toughest housing estates. From her first film When the Dog Bites, Shakespeare on the Estate and the dramas Tina Goes Shopping and Tina Takes a Break she has been fascinated with the humour, invention and resourcefulness required to survive on the margin.
Artangel has pioneered new ways of collaborating with artists and engaging audiences in an ambitious series of new commissions since the early 1990’s. animating different environments with compelling experiences for a large and disparate public. Through Artangel Media, these one-off events are given more permanent form as films for broadcast. Most recently these have included Imber for the BBC, charting Giya Kancheli’s commission for the disputed army training village on Salisbury Plain. Previous Artangel / Channel 4 co-commissions include The Battle Of Orgreave, artist Jeremy Deller’s re-enactment of the decisive 1984 stand-off between mounted police and striking miners and Because I Sing which excavated the hidden choirs of London, involving more than 600 singers from contrasting and unexpected communities.
Award-winning producer, Ruth Kenley-Letts spent a number of years working for BBC Drama before becoming an independent producer. She won an Academy Award and BAFTA for Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life, was nominated for The Carl Foreman BAFTA award for Strictly Sinatra and has recently completed Isolation for Film Four and Lionsgate Films due to be released in the UK in October 2006.
Throughout his career, the distinguished artist Antony Gormley has used his own body as the starting point to produce sculptures that investigate the body’s relation to architecture and to nature. He has created some of the most ambitious and memorable works of the past two decades including Field, The Angel of the North as well as Quantum Cloud situated in the River Thames at Greenwich. Gormley was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994 and the South Bank prize in 1999.
Director, Live Event weekend
Hilary Westlake trained for the theatre and formed Lumiere & Son Theatre Company with writer David Gale to create and present their own work. The company produced over fifty shows for theatres, ferry boats, botanic gardens, shopping centres, castles and swimming pools. In recent years Hilary has specialised in large scale site specific events as well as directing existing texts, music theatre productions and opera. She was commissioned to create the Parade of Fifty Years for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and from 2003 to early 2006 was the Creative Director of Entertainment at Disneyland Resort Paris.
Mary King is a successful singer and voice coach. She has performed with the Royal National Theatre, the London Sinfonietta, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and at this years Proms, and taught at the English National Opera and the Royal Academy of Music. She has been the voice coach for acclaimed musical theatre productions, and was a panelist and voice coach on the Channel 4 series’ Operatunity and Musicality.
David Coulter (Music Director, Plague Songs) has been a freelance musician, composer and performer since 1983. He has been involved in numerous live and studio collaborations with a diverse range of international artists including Hal Willner, Tom Waits, The Pogues, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Nick Cave, Marianne Faithfull and Rufus Wainwright.
The Margate Exodus is commissioned and produced by Artangel who have over the past two decades forged a reputation as one of the most individual and innovative arts organisations in the world.
Artangel commissions and produces exceptional projects by international contemporary artists. Every Artangel project is a new commission — an opportunity for an artist to realise a project which might otherwise never happen.
Consistently ambitious and surprising in both idea and scale, they are the kinds of projects that could not be realised by most institutions or organisations. An Artangel commission shifts expectations and generates excitement whenever and wherever it is revealed. Since the early 1990s Artangel has produced over fifty major new commissions, often extraordinary and occasionally highly contentious. Several are amongst the most high-profile public events of recent years.
Commissioned artists have transformed places as varied as a vacant department store on Oxford Street, a ‘ghost’ village on Salisbury Plain, a Victorian terraced house in the East End of London, a Georgian Gentlemen’s Club and a subterranean Sixties cinema in the West End.
For further information please see www.artangel.org.uk.
Artangel is supported by Arts Council England London, The Company of Angels, the International Circle and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Since it launched 25 years ago Channel 4 has been at the forefront of arts television, creating original and award-winning programmes. Across its broad range of arts output the channel has developed the genre of performance on film. From Penny Woolcock’s film version of John Adam’s opera The Death Of Klinghoffer which won the Priz Italia, to Loyd Newson’s DV8: The Cost of Living. In recent years it has also consistently supported opera on film, making seven films, of which four were new commissions, including Jonathan Dove’s Rose d’Or-winning Man on the Moon.
Channel 4 has been developing art films with Artangel for six years, creating four projects for the screen so far, including Exodus, and The Battle of Orgreave, a film and event collaboration by Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller and filmmaker Mike Figgis.
Arts programming for autumn 2008 includes Matt Collings following in Kenneth Clarke’s footsteps with his new series This is Civilisation while the Ballet Boyz follow Chris Wheeldon for his debut at the Bolshoi. In production during 2007 is the Big Art Project, a long term programming initiative involving the public in major commissions for art across the UK and due for transmission in 2008.
Creative Partnerships is a programme managed by Arts Council England, the national development agency for the arts in England. It gives young people in 36 disadvantaged areas across England the opportunity to develop their creativity and their ambition by building partnerships between schools and creative organisations, businesses and individuals. Creative Partnerships aims to demonstrate the pivotal role creativity and creative people can play in transforming education in every curriculum subject for children of all ages and abilities. For more information, visit: www.creative-partnerships.com.