Beacon Bureau is proactive, supportive and collaborative. Enabling artists and small arts organisations to develop and achieve their artistic ambitions.
Born out of the narrative arc created by Beacon Art Project (see below), Beacon Bureau is a framework in which the skills, knowledge and experience of John Plowman are utilised. Providing opportunities for him to work with others whose interests are congruent with his own. Led by John Plowman Beacon Bureau collaborates with individuals and organisations to advise and mentor, to curate exhibitions and events. His practice encompasses studio and curatorial activity through which he explores his interest in the production of art and the site(s) of its production and exhibition. He has exhibited in and curated one person and group exhibitions in this country and overseas.
John Plowman has over 37 years experience in the visual art sector in the UK, as a practitioner, writer and lecturer. https://johnplowman.com He has extensive knowledge of contemporary art practice that has informed his published writing, talks and lectures. He is well networked regionally, nationally and internationally. From 2010 -2015 he was a member of the CVAN-EM steering group part of the ACE funded national Contemporary Visual Art Network (CVAN) and is currently a trustee of Art in Romney Marsh http://www.artinromneymarsh.org.uk With good organisational and leadership skills and always approaches tasks with a positive can do approach. He is able to work with and within constraints and to find solutions that facilitate a way of working to achieve the desired aims and objectives, working with rather than against.
Beacon Art Project (http://beaconartproject.org) was established by John Plowman and Nicola Streeten in 2004, from then until 2016 John Plowman directed and curated its programme on a project-by-project basis. Curating, creating and connecting spaces for art, artists and audiences delivering high quality art on time and within budget. Beacon Art Project developed a model of commissioning artworks, working with heritage sites, artists and audiences to create social, non-hierarchical and discursive spaces in which to encounter contemporary art. As an outward facing organization, Beacon art project was committed to supporting artists at all stages of their career. Working regionally, nationally and internationally with audience engagement always at the forefront of its mission.
Over this period John Plowman successfully raised over £500,000 from a variety of funding sources. Overseeing each of the projects including dealing with budgets, artist contracts, procurement, health and safety, liaising with artists, partners and stakeholders. During this time he worked with audiences and artists of all ages to produce events and commission context specific artwork providing opportunities for people to experience contemporary visual art in non-gallery spaces, usually heritage sites. During this time he worked with a range of stakeholders including English Heritage, National Trust, local authorities, universities, schools and private landowners. Since 2004 he has commissioned work from and worked with over 100 artists including Bruce Asbestos, Phyllida Barlow, Catherine Bertola, Karla Black, Marcel Broodthaers, Jimmie Durham, Doug Fishbone, Roger Hiorns, Jack Strange, Jessica Voorsanger, Amanda Coogan and Bob and Roberta Smith. Beacon Art Project was one of the partners of EM15 a collaboration between artist-led organisations and institutions from the East Midlands http://em15venice.co.uk In 2015, EM15 presented the first East Midlands pavilion as a collateral event at the Venice Biennale of which I was co-curator. We presented Doug Fishbone’s Leisure Land Golf a fully playable mini golf course; with commissioned golf holes by the artists: John Akomfrah, Yara El Sherbini, Ellie Harrison, Candice Jacobs, Lindsey Seers, Yinka Shonibare, Eyal Weizman, Hetain Patel.