A myriad of works ; celebrating painting, sculpture, print, ceramic and photography by household names and emerging talent.
This show is always a highlight of our exhibition programme. It brings together every aspect of contemporary art, from all corners of creation. Works trickle through our unassuming green door, having arrived from Barcelona and Bradford, Deptford and Dublin, studios within walking distance and time zone difference. With careful consideration, thought and a large bucket of screws, the gallery transforms itself into a beacon of colour and texture, pattern and image, scale and three dimensionalities, offering a plethora of things to see, and more importantly a myriad of works for our viewers to respond too.
As a gallery, we were always aware that this year's exhibition was going to be harder than any other to pull together, with impending lockdowns, isolations and every day the goal posts of what is safe, appropriate or 'necessary' ever changing. After much thought and seafront pondering, we decided to push forward - and put together the biggest group show we have ever held at the gallery; a full-on celebration, featuring works by household names and emerging talent.
There is so much to comment on this year, and many things to take and learn from our collective experience. After such a tumultuous few months, it was really very moving to see the hundreds and hundreds of applications we received for our selected open submission. Many of these works having been made during this period of uncertainty offering my team and I a deep insight into many people's reactions and individual creative impulses to the new world around them.
The one thing that has stuck with me this year is the rumination upon what is necessary, with many of my peers understandably having to close their doors, leaving open only the 'necessary' food and water providers. Well, necessity for living and the necessities for being a living, active participant in the human condition are two very different insights, and the escapism and solace provided by the visual language could not be singing louder. Who knows what the future holds. In the dark and turbulent days ahead, the cultural pathos of creation is now needed more than ever. It says - I made this, I was here and this is what I think, feel and see.
To the artists sharing your thoughts with us, I thank you.
To the viewers coming to see the show, I welcome you back.