In-conversation Series: Ivan Clarke and Petra Schmidt

  • Online event
  • Wednesday, 14 July 2021
  • Live in-conversation event, starting at 6pm. Part of our Fabrication Research Season, looking at Public Commissions and Collaborations.

Ivan Clarke (Director, millimetre) and Petra Schmidt (Production Manager, Commissions, Tate Modern) will discuss their work on Kara Walker’s Fons Americanus, the 2019 Hyundai Turbine Hall Commission at Tate Modern, highlighting practices of sustainability in fabrication.


Tickets for this event are free, but booking is required. The in-conversation will take place on Zoom, starting at 6pm on Wednesday 14 July.

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About the speakers

Ivan Clarke has a mixed background, initially studying for an Ecology degree and then an Environmental Philosophy Masters. Subsequently he ran a recycling charity before moving towards his more vocational career for which he studied furniture crafts, welding and CAD and went on to establish his own sculptural lighting business. From there Ivan spent time at Brighton & Hove City Council working in regeneration, community and environmental arts programmes prior to moving to millimetre, where he has been a director for the past thirteen years. Ivan has a keen interest in sustainability in the context of art and architecture. Whilst acknowledging the ‘art for art’s sake’ sentiment, he finds the tension between the creation of objects and the associated environmental cost fascinating, challenging and distressing. He is no stranger to cognitive dissonance.

Petra Schmidt is a London based Creative Producer and currently the Production Manager for commissions at Tate Modern. She primarily oversees the delivery of large artworks created for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, including those by Kara Walker in 2019 and Anicka Yi, due to open in 2021. Before that, she worked on public art installations for the London Design Festival and in various operational roles at the Crafts Council, British Council, and at the Design Museum. With the help of an extensive network of skilled collaborators, professional competence, and passion, she makes the things happen that often at first seem impossible. Having worked in the Arts and Events for years, she has witnessed the often wasteful nature of these practices and believes it is our shared responsibility to drive positive change for people and planet through the use of ethical, sustainable, and advanced means of production.

Fabrication Research Season

The practicalities of how an artist approaches making a sculpture have often been shrouded in mystery. The relationship between artists and skilled fabricators is rarely acknowledged. Exploring the blurred lines between art, craft and industry, this Research Season will make visible the ways in which sculptors in both historical and contemporary contexts have realised their vision through processes of collaboration and exchange, and will examine ways in which making sculpture has changed, particularly in light of the recent coronavirus pandemic.

This Research Season is organised in collaboration with Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre and the Universities of Leeds, York and Sheffield.

See all Fabrication Research Season events

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