Since its inception in 2009 CAS has successfully embedded itself within its local community through a programme of workshops, events and educational residencies. After four years, our activity had grown and was becoming difficult to manage. While we were reforming and considering what would work as a more directed and focussed approach, the original 19th century blueprints were discovered, showing the chapel marked as a ‘Dissenters’ Chapel’. This has inspired a focus for critical and creative enquiry, and provided CAS with an over-arching methodology of engagement.
The Dissenters were a group of religious splittists that can trace their origins to the 16th/17th century. Essentially they refused the imposed authority of the Church of England and desired to follow there own path. Dissent, however need not be confined to a religious outlook or political rejection. It is simply a sentiment or philosophy of non-agreement or opposition to a prevailing idea.
Chapel of Dissent II
The CAS Dissent program seeks to contextualise the activities of CAS and place them within a critical framework. Collaboration, pedagogy, social engagement, curation are all to be re-examined and considered in light of current debates within the art world. Using creative dissent as a working methodology the programme explores arts unique capacity to challenge, question and offer alternative ways of seeing.
CAS intends to undergo a two year period of R&D developing the following threads, and the question “how do artists interact and relate to the social realm?”. Using the Dissent program we will involve national and international partners in a dialogue about dissent using events, exhibitions, and a variety of media. It will seek to examine the common ground between studio art practice and a social output.