In this post, Outside In artist Anthony Stevens writes about his experience of having his work included in a recent group exhibition in Frankfurt.
I recently had the good fortune of being invited to Frankfurt to take part in a group exhibition and micro residency called Raw Threads alongside fellow Outside In artist Annika Malmqvist and Raw Art Foundation artist, Joy Ful. The invitation and idea for the group show came from Lizzie Coleman-Link; the founder of the Raw Art Foundation and curator of the exhibition.
I flew out to Germany the day before the show and after having met with Annika and her friend at Frankfurt airport (Annika had travelled from Stockholm and I from Brighton) we all made our way to the Raw Art Foundation studio where we were met by Lizzie, who showed us the wonderful job she had made of curating our work. It felt extremely strange and exciting to see months of work hanging in an environment other than my own home. We also met with Joy Ful, a Swiss artist based in Frankfurt, who was also exhibiting in Raw Threads, before tucking into some delicious savoury pastries that Lizzie had provided. There was lots of chat and admiring of each others work, questions of how and why we started working with textiles and stitching…so much common ground!
After lunch, I stayed on at the studio to participate in a workshop that Lizzie was running and meet some of the other R.A.F artists. Again, although language was a bit of a barrier – my German is not very good – it was the art and the appreciation of the work that provided the dialogue between us. Who needs words when you can create beautiful objects together! After the workshop I decided to call it a day and head back to the hotel for a much needed sleep.
On the morning of the show, we all decided to meet at a local flea market that runs every two weeks. This was no ordinary flea market, it was HUGE, spanning two very long streets. It sold everything you could possibly imagine and was very vibrant, full of life and inspiration. A definite recommendation if you ever find yourself in Frankfurt. As the time for the show edged ever nearer, we all headed off to the studio to prepare.
The show itself seemed to go by extremely quickly, in fact it didn’t feel like a show at all. We all sat around a table together working on pieces we had brought, laughing, joking and exchanging stories. The atmosphere felt light and happy and it appeared that our works went down very well with those who dropped by. Again, Lizzie had provided some delicious refreshments to keep everyone going. Before we knew it, the day was over and it was time to pack up. A group of us decided to head along the river to a new gallery and bar that had just opened up for a beer. The installation here was remarkable, a huge wall of individual works from a call out which I decided had earned itself the name ‘Art Tsunami’. We then headed further down the river to a pop up cocktail bar where I had my very first ‘caipirinha’ before settling down on the river side where we all chatted till dark. At this point it was time to depart and I was treated to the highlight of my trip…a tour of the city on the back of a push bike! I can’t remember the last time I laughed so long and hard. It took ten years off me in the best possible way and I’m sure my laughter could be heard all over Frankfurt!
Having been back in the U.K for a week now, what strikes me most about this wonderful art adventure is how the commonality of our art, amongst other things, enabled us all to come together for a brief time and form what I feel will be lasting friendships. Also, Lizzie, Annika and I have plans to collaborate together on a postal project which we hope to exhibit in another city perhaps a year from now…a chance to make more treasured memories I hope.
Many thanks to everyone for such a wonderful experience!
Click here to visit the R.A.F blog where you can see some pictures from Raw Threads which will be running till the end of July.
Anthony also has an upcoming exhibition at Prick Your Finger in London from 13 June – 10 July 2014. Click here for more information.