Thursday, October 14, 2010

Deptford X Madness and New Formations

Wow, so it has been nearly a month since I have written a blogpost! There is so much to tell but where to begin. It has been dizzyingly busy.

Since my last post we had the Deptford X fortnight. South East London’s foremost contemporary arts festival
Our open submission exhibition was absolutely superb, the artists a delight to meet. Alliances have been formed and an exhibition seed planted for 2011 with Tom Butler, Alyson Helyer and Marion Michell who won the other prize we ran of a 2011 exhibition with Core Gallery

We had over 900 visitors in 2 weeks, including Lewisham College our local adult education who took part in our community drawing day event ( that is called engaging with the arts Sir! ) . We had open studios as well which was fantastic. Art talks and events, Arnold Borgerth and I both ran an art talk and ended up selling work afterwards to our new audiences! Many interesting and new connections were made.

Pretty exhausting too. I thought my brain might just might break at times. I also had a 30th birthday to celebrate somewhere along the way too. My present was a brand new shiny bicycle, a result of many new friends and studio colleagues all chipping in. The bike seems to symbolise to me what I have been blogging about, I have become part of something……

Anyway , I am going to be writing about the benefits of open submission competition in defence of quite a lot of negativity about them ( rightfully so in some cases) . I feel I need to justify and balance the arguments a little as we have just run one ourselves at the gallery and pretty darn successfully too and it was quite the opposite of a swindle!

There is also another new and exciting development . Core Gallery has a new member, an overseas associate , Jane Boyer who I met through our blogs here: Jane’s fantastic and thought provoking blog about working in isolation is here

Jane is coming on board to assist us and we are most grateful and lucky for this.
Jane is going to help us on a variety of levels and we are planning to make the gallery more sustainable and we are all going to work on a funding strategy so we can implement a proper educational programme; at the moment, we run art talks, engine chatchat ( peer on peer critiques etc ).

It seems to me that we are beginning to forge a new model of gallery , with people inputting, maintaining contact and assisting us outside of the studios ( ex studio member Chantelle who runs the wonderful Core Gallery Interviews).
Even our friends who are art lovers are ready to help. We have an Art Kibbutz!

In response to this momentum our final exhibition of the year is going to be Relay. Each artist in our studios invites an external artist to exhibit with them. Jane shall be joining in as will Josie our intern, a new graduate from Newcastle , who we wish to thank for her endless help by giving her an opportunity to exhibit. Its going to be a smasher !

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