Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Highs and Lows of 2011

Highs and lows of 2011

My last blog outlined some of these things but to follow the a-n blogging way as inspired by Emily Speed I shall also make a little list


  • Core Gallery: launching in April: working with over 100 artists and curators, forging partnerships, giving exposure and support to artists and curators.
  • Input from Jane Boyer, Gillian Best Powell and Elizabeth Murton as team mates for the gallery who have been splendid.
  • Having Graham Crowley as a supporter for Core, a mentor and Relay exhibition Partner
  • Hosting an AIR Activist meeting !
  • In general being on a-n and all the wonderful people I have met through it
  • People’s generosity and support such as Matt Roberts, Andrew Bryant and Nick Kaplony
  • Chantelle’s Core Gallery Interviews:
  • A successful chair appeal for the Gallery :
  • Launching DIY Educate
  • Meeting Amy Mckenny at Coexist ( with whom we shall be having a collaborative exhibition in 2011)

Me ( personal achievements as an artist )

  • Learning so much from the artists and curators I have worked with
  • Being elected to the AIR Council ( very exciting! )
  • Exhibiting and being in Derby for the UKYA events, selected for the ING Discerning Eye, Lynn Painters Stainers Prize and having a solo show in Regent St London as well as Wilderness Exhibition and talk.
  • Being blog of the month in June on a-n.
  • Teaching at West Dean College, Brighton Phoenix and University of the Arts
  • Having a new extended family made up of my cor blimey studio mates and wider members and being part of the Deptford Art Scene
  • Having a commissioned articled published in a-n in July as well as a letter in their magazine in November 2011
  • Getting some very nice press regards of Becky Hunter, AIR’s Jack Hutchinson and doing my first radio interview with Reprezent and really enjoying it
  • Exhibitions outside of Core: Gauguin, Phylidda Barlow and Fiona Mcdonald at Coexist, Fade Away at Transition Gallery , The Crash Open Salon at Charlie Dutton Gallery, Vicky Wright at Josh Lilley Gallery

  • Lows:
  • Overworked and underpaid!Being so tired that I thought my brain would snap at times.
  • Having to be an uneducated web developer for our website because the guy who did it has abandoned us to his unfinished job!
  • Not having enough work to quit my part time job yet as admin bunny
  • The government
  • The A3 laminator breaking

To look forward to:

  • Exhibitions at Core Gallery in 2011; including curating exhibitions with Jane Boyer and Annabel Tilley
  • DIY educate in action working with lots of DIY educators
  • Having my work exhibited in India
  • More teaching
  • Hopefully getting out of my part time job as admin bunny
  • Restored hearing in my ear so I am not quite so hard of hearing.
  • Being asked to be a judge for Xhibit , a University of The Arts Exhibitions

Overall though and to reiterate, I am so very happy this has all been wonderful way to be part of something and thank everyone for their input throughout the year
Happy New Year !

Monday, December 13, 2010

Reap What You Sow

This week has been a new surge of energy and inspiration. Planning the 2011 exhibition and education programme are reminders of how thrilling running the gallery is and the possibilities that can occur.

Jane Boyer commented on wondering how I keep all the threads of the many different demands on my time, I am not entirely sure myself at times. However I realise how extremely lucky and privileged I am to be an artist. To be doing that which I love even if it can be sometimes a painful and frustrating path exemplifies in all of us artists; we are extraordinary in our own ways.

I also realise that sometimes these skills are innate in us and we just need a chance to make more of them. It is something many of us as the teachers and mentors that we are, try to bring out in others, teasing out the skills, harnessing them.

Running the gallery has been a steep learning curve for us all here at Core Gallery and of course at times, extremely stressful but endlessly rewarding . we have done our very best for the artists and curators that exhibit with us. I see artists such as Andrew Bryant and Nick Kaplony who have curated in the gallery, their confidence in their own skills and vision building. It has been an honour to sit by them and learn. To occasionally be able to contribute because they are kind enough to value me as well, asking my opinion and calling upon my judgement. I see they have quite brilliant careers ahead of them.

A result of all of these lessons is my role as a curator for a show in April co-curating with Jane Boyer for our DX 2010 Open Submission winners and then a show in November 2011 with Annabel Tilley which is growing and strengthening. The lessons I have learnt these last few months are deep and wide. I am very excited to be thinking about applying these new skills to a personally curated exhibition.

I see also how important our space has become to others who seek us out.

An example of one of the kindest things that has happened to me in the last year through all our engagement with others was a present from Kate Murdoch.

Kate is a local artist and her work I find very beautiful, intelligent and powerful Following on from one of Elizabeth’s engine chat chat where we discussed the importance of an artists statement I spoke to Kate about hers and helped her edit and strengthen her statement. I came into the gallery one day and Kate had left me a bag of goodies: a bottle of wine, a chocolate bar, Vogue and lavender bubble bath: an indulgence kit. Thinking of that kindness from her even now brings tears to my eyes, after months of working so terribly hard it was very much needed as a symbol that somehow we were doing well in our mission.

see her statement here's_statement.html

I see how important the advice was to Kate and I know it has brought her confidence. That we can help other artist’s career, is why we began, why we continue and why we are launching DIY educate.

If someone had told me that 18 months ago I would be running a gallery and would have worked with over 100 artists and curators, that I would be elected to the AIR council as a recognition somehow of a journey so far, of harnessing a collective's beliefs and desire to help artists , I would have been shocked. I had not realised that writing a blog about ‘becoming part of something’ and my desire for that would grow so much.

You reap what you sow and although it is winter, the harvest is golden and bountiful.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Selection for the AIR Council, step forward Councillor Davis

Image courtesy of Edd Pearman and Ceal Warnants.

Relay,our exhibition at Core came together beautifully in the end. A lot of people worked extremely hard. As suspected, assocations were created throughout the show as Jane eloquently puts it

‘The first part of the show is loosely based in structure as container, containment, imprisonment; house as metaphor for the body. It is this structure which houses and holds the potential to distort the soul.
As one moves through Relay, structure as metaphor gives way to the actual body/psychology which confronts its physicality and the force of time and limitations. The translation of physicality upwards to the resonant sounds of the soul gives way to charms imbued with meaning, mythology and spirituality.’ Jane Boyer

Jane Boyer came from France for the show and it was a delight to meet her in person and spend time with her and her works. The more we talk the more solutions we find.

One of the ideas that came out over supper before the show was a chair appeal – a much needed resource for our space for our DIY Educate next year and on the private view we got 10 chairs! Contributions came from many of our friends and supporters at the gallery including from the lovely Jane, Annabel Tilley and Rob Turner all a-n bloggers. See more about our chair appeal on

There was in addition an open studios this weekend as well for us at Cor Blimey which was good fun as always but very exhausting ( I have been working at least 12 hours a day on average , for 7 days for I don’t know how long- last weekend I was teaching at the Phoenix in Brighton). Also a couple of weeks ago I had a fantastic crit with Graham Crowley who has given me a solution to the age old problem of ‘ how do I move my practice forward…’
We will be opening up these crits from Graham and other artists to other artists in order for them to get much needing practical and conceptual feedback into work. The bare essentials of the DIY educate are now online,so you can seem more there.

I also have some other very good news ; I have been elected to the AIR Council!

I am very excited about being part of a new something. Already I have ideas about how AIR could harness more exposure to our causes as artists. I cant wait to get started.

We also have the great delight to be hosting an AIR Activists event at Core Gallery on Weds 8th December and all are welcome to come, see the AIR page or

See you there I hope , and dont forget to buy a chair!