FRAC Grand Large



MAGNETIC is a Franco-British initiative launched in 2022 under the aegis of Fluxus Art Projects, bringing together 8 institutions in France and the UK in an 8-week artist residency program.


Tandem Frac Grand Large, Dunkirk, Hauts-de-France / Flax Art Studios, Belfast, Northern Ireland

In 2024, the MAGNETIC #2 program is structured in tandem. Each of the residencies in France is associated with a region of the UK. While Hauts-de-France-based artist Francisco Rodríguez Teare takes up a residency at Flax Art Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Frac Grand Large and ESÄ welcome Irish artist Charys Wilson to Dunkirk from January to March 2024.

Flax Art Studios has been based in Belfast for 31 years. The only structure dedicated to the practice of sculpture in Northern Ireland, Flax makes resources and studios available to artists and makes a significant contribution to the practice of visual arts in the region. Flax functions as a hub that promotes the professionalisation of artists, international networking and a better understanding of art by placing awareness and participation at the heart of its approach.

This residency is designed in collaboration with the CCA Derry~Londonderry art centre, which hosts the artist for a short period and provides artistic support.

The residency is run by the Frac Grand Large in partnership with the Ecole Supérieure d’art Dunkerque | Tourcoing. Located at a geographical and cultural crossroads (United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, etc.), the Frac Grand Large is the main player in a network of regional and European partners promoting the circulation of ideas, artists and works. Its artistic project is based on its collection, conceived as a tool for building relationships with local communities, and on guest artists and curators who anchor their thinking in a context marked by its industrial history and transformations.


Winner of MAGNETIC #1 in Dunkirk, is an artist and writer currently based in Nottingham. His interests and concerns include the relationship between financialisation, ecology and the art form.

Hugh Nicholson, whose work echoed that of the Art & Industry Triennial, was invited to carry out a 3-month residency at the art school. Interested in the circular economies of Dunkirk, he familiarised himself with the city and the industries that operate there by filming and documenting relevant sites. He visited the Musée Portuaire and the city’s libraries/archives, attended an industrial conference and a workshop on ‘decarbonisation’ in the region, and focused in particular on the activities of ArcelorMittal, conducting a number of interviews with current workers in the industry, former employees and a local environmentalist.

Throughout this process, Hugh Nicholson benefited from the artistic guidance and advice of Anna Colin, Hanna Alkema, Agnès Biro, Keren Detton and Anne Rivollet.

His research has led him to carry out studies for graphic works using text and image and to design a multimedia installation, The New Life, which was presented at the Frac Grand Large and produced as part of the Art & Industrie Triennial.

The New Life, Hugh Nicholson, 2023. Produced as part of the Art & Industry Triennial, with the support of the British Council and the Detroit Committee. Photo: Martin Argyroglo.

The MAGNETIC residency #1 gave rise to an educational extension that made it possible to continue the collaboration with Hugh Nicholson while developing cross-border relations with Great Britain. Winner of a grant from the Detroit Committee for its “Circulating Energies” project, Frac Grand Large is fostering a link between the ESA Dunkirk site and OSE (Open School East) in Margate. This 4-month artistic mentorship will culminate in a public conference organised at the FRAC in January 2024.


FR-Magnetic-2-Frac-Grand-Large.pdf UK-Magnetic-2-Flax-Art-Studios.pdf