In late 2019 we announced that Fierce was one of 19 recipients of Jerwood Arts Development Programme Fund. The Development Programme Fund provided funding for arts organisations who, with vision and skill, could deliver transformational development opportunities for artists, curators and/or producers in their field. The programmes offered deep learning and tailor-made developmental support for individual artists, curators and/or producers at a critical moment in their career, launching new artistic voices.
Lilli Geissendorfer, Director, Jerwood Arts commented “Jerwood Arts is delighted to be funding Fierce, whose application stood out for its leaderships’ progressive pastoral approach to care for live artists, and the significant commissioning opportunity. Fierce Further has a sharp focus on addressing the need for live artists to be developing work for international markets, which provide a vital source of income towards more sustainable careers. Supporting live art and artists in this bespoke way reflects Jerwood Arts mission to create conditions for artists of all kinds to develop and thrive. We can’t wait to see the results.”
This fund allowed us to launch our Fierce Further: Jerwood Commissions programme. Fierce Further was a commissioning programme for 3 of the UK’s most promising early-career Live Artists over a 30-month period to catalyse a step change in their practice and career. Through a rigorous commissioning process our goal was to premiere three new works originally planned to premiere at Fierce 2021. The global pandemic delayed the festival, and so premieres were moved to Fierce 2022, with a view to establishing the artists within international touring circuits.
The scheme offered each artist a £6000 commission, a residency period, with options for an invited expert, an international research trip, and their premiere at Fierce. It also offered pragmatic mentoring to get the work ‘tour ready’ including brokering producer relationships and national and international partnerships. Fierce supported the artists to secure further funding and producing support to bring the work to full fruition.
The programme also allowed Fierce to test a new model of working as ‘agent’ of the three works for a six-month trial period. The programme utilises Fierce’s international reputation for presentation of high-quality commissions by UK artists whilst also enabling makers to think more ambitiously about the work they are making.
We were thrilled to work with 3 of the most exciting artists in the UK for our inaugural Fierce Further commissions – including Oozing Gloop and Freddie Wulf, who premiered new works at Fierce Festival 2022, as well as supporting Demi Nandhra‘s development of The Trauma Show through the programme. A further commission will be presented in 2024.