Sherpa Showdown

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Sherpa Showdown was presented by Neil Taylor & Harriet Murray.

During CollectingLiveArt as part of: Without You It’s Nothing
Curated by PaulMart and Laura Eldret.

Date: Saturday 11th October, 12 noon – 5 pm
Location:  Cockpit Arts

Responding to the brief

CollectingLiveArt invites you to observe, participate and affect the process as we strive to allocate, divide and give a cultural value to the fund of £500. Artists have been invited to pitch for a hand full of the coins with propositions to realise an act independent of Deptford X. These moments are to be played out in the following days, creating their own subsequent events. Without You It’s Nothing does not attempt to steal the moment, but to capture the performance of the pitch and to ask if this instance is enough? (Collecting Live Arts)

The Pitch

Campbell Works proposes to examine the relationship between the partners involved in a funded arts project. In particular, focusing on the balance between the artist, the funder, its practical implementation and the legacy of the project.


In order to proceed with our pitch, we request that all members of the panel sign a confidentiality agreement that acknowledges that the ideas contained within the pitch are the intellectual property of Campbell Works. These ideas may then be licensed to the ‘funders/ commissioners’ upon the allocation of funds to the pitch.

Manifestation of this enquiry:

Sherpa Showdown  (Lightening the Load)

Sherpa Showdown aims to explore the relationship between the artist and the funder and to identify the needs of both parties. We propose to lighten the load and ease the burden placed upon the artist by directly fulfilling the needs of the funder.

The burdens for the artist include:

The financial burden of purchasing art materials
The physical burden of transporting these materials
The intellectual burden involved in creating the artwork.

The needs of the funder include:

The need for visible exposure of their identity, (branding, logos)
The need to be genuinely supporting the ‘artist’
The need for the project to be achievable within the proposed budget.


The practical implementation.

 Sherpa Showdown will assist the artist, by transporting their chosen materials from the ‘supplier’ to their ‘studio’. This assistance will come in the form of a number of branded helium balloons attached to the materials purchased. The quantity of materials and their relationship with the amount of balloons needed would be directly dependent to the funds awarded. The more money allocated to Sherpa Showdown the more materials, the more balloons and the more visible the project.

 The balloons will be branded with the logos and/or brand identities of the project partners/ funders (which may be specified by them).

 Using thin lightweight nylon thread, a sufficient number of helium filled balloons will be attached to the ‘materials’ to achieve a ‘lift off’, so that the materials balance in mid air at about the artists waist height.

The artist will escort this floating parcel on its journey to the ‘studio’.

Benefits to The Artists

Sherpa Showdown not only assists the artist in the purchasing and transporting of their materials but also enables the artist to relinquish the responsibility of creating the artwork. The action of purchasing and then escorting the transportation of the materials constitutes the artwork and no further action will be required from the artist.

Benefits to The Funder

This proposal represents extraordinary value for money, as the branded balloons and the very public nature of the actions described offer maximum visibility for the funders. Furthermore, the artists are well remunerated for their delivery of the pitch, so fulfilling the funders needs to genuinely support artists.


If the panel decides to award funds for the pitch, they will be given a license agreement by Campbell Works that will allow them to act as producers for a single performance of Sherpa Showdown.

The confidentiality agreement, the creation and delivery of the pitch and the ideas contained within Sherpa Showdown and its license agreement constitute a single work of art.

 In allocating funds to Campbell Works, the panel will be paying a commission fee to artists Neil Taylor and Harriet Murray for their work of art.

 In return, Campbell Works will acknowledge the funders/panels support within their publicity and marketing of this artwork.


The pitch including the legal agreements aims to explore the complex dynamics associated with the production of a funded or commissioned artwork. Sherpa Showdown is available as an edition of ten, with each production requiring a separate numbered license agreement. Campbell Works retain the right to disassociate itself from productions that it feels do not fulfill the conceptual remit contained within its framework.

CollectingLiveArt, Without You It’s Nothing
Presented by CollectingLiveArt
Curated by PaulMart and Laura Eldret.

Contributing artists:

Phil Ashcroft, Alex Baker, Alex Bettler,David Brazier, Rachel Lois Clapham – Open Dialogues, Ilsa Colsell, David Raymond Conroy, Ben Cove, Richard Dedomenici,James Ferris, Kate Hawkins and Eloise Fornieles, The Hut Project, Dunstan James,Tania Koswycz, Matt & Ross, Jennifer Medwid, Marianne Mulvey, Harriet Murray & Neil Taylor, Lee Regan, Magali Reus, Nick Symes, Laurence Taylor, Ben Washington and Samuel Williams.

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