New Defence is a grass-roots based arts organisation founded by artists Laurynas Karmalavicius and Michael Whelan. Our aim is to work with various underused UK based locations using art and education programmes to activate local areas and communities.
The New Defence team aims to bring to life the rich cultural artefacts that are held in storage by Thurrock council by digitising these objects and making them available for the public, artists and for educational use and to activate Coalhouse Forts unique exhibition potential. The project has been made possible with the generous support of Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Thurrock Council.
In April 2018, we are having an exhibition showing work from artists that is either inspired by the digitised artefacts, site responsive, or within the New Defence theme. Following on from the exhibition, there will be a summer of residencies, further education events, pop-up exhibitions and screenings.