Merge is an annual festival curated by Illuminate Productions to encourage and promote a set of performances, events and happenings which draw on the rich heritage and contemporary culture of Bankside.
- Opens up London’s lost buildings before their regeneration, enabling artists to work in unusual and challenging contexts, whilst giving the public the opportunity to enjoy the history of the building for the last time.
- Brings together artists, performers, art organizations and collectives in experimental partnerships and in unusual venues and situations.
- Opens the way for discussion and fresh debate about contemporary art and culture. Local communities are also encouraged to take ownership of projects.
- Brings together local communities, workers and visitors as both participants and audiences - Taking art and music to the community.
- Promotes and nurtures emergent talent and gives artists the opportunity to show alongside high profile international artists. Artists are given room to develop without having commercial constraints.
The vast majority of exhibitions and events are free to all and will reach a wide audience.
Merge has been created by Better Bankside and Illuminate Productions and is supported by Bankside Mix , Land Securities, Tate Modern, the Arts Council England, the Dennis Rosen Trust, Impact and NEO Bankside.
Illuminate Productions is a not-for-profit organisation that presents contemporary art in unusual, yet accessible, environments. It stages shows in buildings of geographical or historical importance, as well as public outdoor spaces. Emerging and established artists are challenged to work in groundbreaking contexts so their work may be brought to community and international audiences. ILLUMINATE PRODUCTIONS takes contemporary art out of gallery-type situations and into the public domain where everyone may enjoy it. Educational programmes run alongside exhibitions to provide people with a unique opportunity to become involved in exploring contemporary art and culture, as well as creating their own artworks. Previous exhibitions and events staged to international acclaim include MERGE (2011), DRIFT10 (2010), DRIFT08 (2008), THE VISITORS (2007), EXIT (2007), CORE (2006), FLUX (2005), and Illuminate (2004). www.illuminateproductions.co.uk
Better Bankside is a company owned, funded and led by employers in the Bankside area of London. It aims to improve Bankside as a place to work, live and visit, as well as enhancing the competitiveness of its businesses. Better Bankside was the third BID in the UK, the second in London and the first south of the river. A Business Improvement District (BID) is an independent, business-owned and led company, which seeks to improve a given location for commercial activity. www.betterbankside.co.uk