Plan 9

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About

Plan 9 was an contemporary art initiative run by artists, curators and writers between 2005 to 2010.

Plan 9 members have included Chris Barr, Kayle Brandon, Rachel Butcher, Rob Chavasse, Nim-Jo Chung, Julian Claxton, Rachel Connelly, Karen Di Franco, Anton Goldenstein, Mark Harris, Toby Huddlestone, Tom Johnson, Ali Jones, John Lawrence, Julie MacCalden, Natasha MacVoy, Sophie Mellor, Anouk Mercier, Sarah Tulloch, Lucie Red and Zoe Williams.

History

Plan 9 was established in 2004 by Sophie Mellor and Julian Claxton, with Toby Huddlestone joining in March 2005. Taking advantage of the redevelopment of Bristol's city centre, Plan 9's first site was in an empty shop unit in Broadmead - the city's shopping precinct. With the support of Bristol City Council, Broadmead Alliance and the estate agents Hartnell, Taylor and Cook, Plan 9 secured the unit for a period of one year, rent free.

Plan 9's programme was formulated to support the careers of emerging artists and curators, with four main exhibitions curated by Plan 9 (Industry & Idleness, Gatsobyter, Generation Games  and BRSLAXVAA). An open call was also sent out nationally, which resulted in another five exhibitions/events being curated/organised by artists and curators outside Plan 9.

In 2006, Plan 9 organised 'Wig Wam Bam!' as part of the British Art Show 6 in Bristol. Interested in working within a building already open to the public, Plan 9 formed a partnership with The Red Lodge, an Elizabethan house run the Bristol City Council Museums and Art Galleries as an example of a period home. The Red Lodge is owned (and leased to the city council) by The Bristol Savages, an all male artists' group started in 1904 and modeled along the lines of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. They still hold weekly meetings and an annual exhibition in the 'Wig Wam' - and outbuilding in the grounds of The Red Lodge.

Plan 9 invited British Art Show 6 artists Claire Barclay and Marcus Coates, and the president of the Bristol Savages, Geoff Molyneux to form the selection panel for 'Wig Wam Bam!'. Fourteen Bristol based artists were selected on the basis of both proposals for new work in relation to the site and existing work. Claire Barclay and Marcus Coates also attended a series of studio visits with the selected artists, furthering the links between the British Art Show 6 and providing an opportunity for discussion around the proposed work and the site.

At the end of 2006, Plan 9 invited Karen Di Franco to join the core group.  In 2007, Plan 9 expanded the group inviting Chris Barr, Kayle Brandon, Nim-Jo Chung, Rachel Connelly, Anton Goldenstein, Julie McCalden, Tom Johnson, Ali Jones, John Lawrence and Sarah Tulloch to join. Taking on a unit at the back of Spike Island - Plan 9 presented one event (All our Worst Work) and two exhibitions (Utstallruum, and, Martin Kippenburger with fries and a shake) curated by Plan 9 members.

In 2008, working with Bristol City Council, Artspace Lifespace and Urban Splash, Plan 9 took on new premises - a former police station in Bristol's city centre, Bridewell Island - creating a gallery, project space and studios.  In 2008/09 Plan 9's membership changed around again and comprised of Chris Barr, Rachel Butcher, Rob Chavasse, Nim-Jo Chung, Karen Di Franco, Anton Goldenstein, Mark Harris, Toby Huddlestone, Tom Johnson, Ali Jones, Natasha MacVoy, Sophie Mellor, Anouk Mercier, Lucie Red and Zoe Williams. During 2008 and 2009, Plan 9 ran a programme of exhibitions, events and international residencies initiated by Plan 9 members.

In November 2009, Plan 9 moved out of Bridewell Island and ceased its activities.