‘Eight;’ an exhibition of paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture from artists who took part in Creative Future’s ‘Organising an Exhibition’ course, took place at Gallery 40 in Brighton from 7 – 9 December and included works by Charlie Devus, Sally Ward, Pat Gregson, tina tighe, LL Jordan, Tangerine, Josephine and Kim Shippham. On 9 December, Outside In Communications Officer Kate Davey visited the show. In this blog post, she writes about her visit, with input from exhibiting artists LL Jordan and Sally Ward, and course tutor Jake Spicer.
Gallery40 is a great space in central Brighton, right in the middle of the North Laines. As it was December, there were people milling about, starting – or finishing –their Christmas shopping, and there was a fun, festive feel in the air. On arriving, I was welcomed by bright lights, a great mix of work and the smiling faces of some of the exhibiting artists.
LL Jordan’s ‘No Man’s Land’ series saw rusted found objects fashioned into bleak landscapes and populated by miniature soldiers lining the window sills. The first thing visible in the exhibition, LL says of the series: “Soldiers can be seen as oppressors or liberators depending on how ‘other’ they are… They are emblematic of power with weapons that can kill but in this work it is brought into question by the scale as the witness has the situation reversed and the power to destroy all with the sweep of the hand.”
Work by Josephine and Charlie Devus offered a 2D, paper-based element to the exhibition. I came face to face with Josephine’s large scale pencil figures made up of jigsaws of A4 sheets in the basement of the gallery. One, calm and serene; almost meditative, surrounded by emerging rays of light, and the other – in stark comparison – much angrier; twisted and taut. Charlie’s smaller scale red and black works shared the basement space, offering something more intricate, encouraging you to move around the space to see each artists’ work from its deserved perspective.
Upstairs, Pat Gregson’s fantastical, almost magical collage sat in pride of place above the mantel piece and Sally Wards’ mosaic constructions looked like circuit boards from a distance, incorporating letters, numbers, shapes and a myriad of different materials. Sally said a few words about her involvement in the course and resulting exhibition: “I have enjoyed taking part in the course. I have learned so much about the different elements involved in organisation an exhibition. There were a lot of things to consider, but under Jake’s guidance, we covered a lot of ground. I feel more confident in having a go myself. It was good to meet the other artists and work as a team.”
Course tutor Jake Spicer, who helped curate the exhibition, said: “The exhibition was a culmination of months of hard work by the artists involved, showcasing the technical skill, creative passion and breadth of vision of the community of artists that Creative Future brings together.”
The exhibition was a brilliant mix of different materials, processes, styles and inspiration, and it was great to see it all brought together in such a cohesive way. Each piece in the show was interesting in its own way, and the exhibition was a great testament to the journey the artists must have been on during the course.
Creative Future is a Brighton-based charity providing training, mentoring and the chance to publish or exhibit to talented people who lack opportunities due to mental health issues, disability, health or social circumstance. For more information, please visit www.creativefuture.org.uk.