Featured Image: Martin Phillimore, All the Fun at the Fair
Two new exhibitions opening in Brighton this weekend illustrate the fantastic work being created by artists represented on the Outside In website. Both exhibitions are taking place during May – famously ‘Brighton Festival’ month. One is in partnership with HOUSE Festival 2015; the visual arts arm of Brighton Festival, and the other in collaboration with Brighton’s Artists Open Houses, another Festival related endeavour which sees artists of Brighton and Hove throw open the front doors of their homes.
‘Intuitive Visions: Shifting the Margins’
‘Intuitive Visions: Shifting the Margins’, in collaboration with HOUSE 2015, will take place at Phoenix Brighton from 3 – 31 May, showcasing the work of nine Outside In artists: Aradne, Blair McCormick, John Ackhurst, Jonathan Kenneth William Pettitt, Luc Raesmith, Martin Phillimore, Michelle Roberts, Paul Bellingham and Sally Ward. Curated by Katy Norris, curator at Pallant House Gallery, the exhibition includes a host of intuitive works, including Paul Bellingham’s ‘blind drawings’, which he creates by closing his eyes and drawing a head, before opening his eyes and filling any extraneous space with colour.
The utilisation of found objects and materials is common in the show, with Luc Raesmith working quickly and intuitively with available recycled and found materials: “I am a colour obsessive, as well as a ‘magpie’ for images, textiles and metals, plus beach and street plastic flotsam.” Similarly, Sally Ward will often pick up materials from charity shops; fabrics that already have a history of their own, before stamping, spraying and sewing them to give them a new lease of life.
Colour is abundant in the exhibition, with the likes of Jonathan Kenneth William Pettitt’s ‘Love Tears’ and ‘Pee Thrips,’ and Martin Phillimore’s untitled doodles. Similarly, Michelle Roberts’ colourful and complex worlds have a distinct logic and meaning that connect to her own life. Working methodically across each canvas, Michelle starts by building layers of patterns, working from left to right and top to bottom, before selectively filling the shapes with colour.
The exhibition is a culmination of a burgeoning relationship between Outside In and HOUSE 2015 – something that will undoubtedly benefit both the public and the two organisations by offering new audiences the opportunity to engage with exciting contemporary work.
‘Being Creative is Good For You!’
‘Being Creative is Good For You!’ sees Outside In and The Wellbeing Gallery – based at Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre – collaborate for the second time as part of Brighton’s Artists Open Houses. Showcasing work by four Outside In artists: Aradne, Annika Malmqvist, Anthony Stevens and Valerie Potter, the exhibition aims to highlight how these four artists have discovered their own personal fabric-based techniques to channel their creativity and improve their wellbeing.
From Aradne’s technique of utilising a sewing machine as a drawing implement, to Anthony Stevens’ textiles imbued with deep, symbolic meanings, this exhibition pivots around the notion that using your hands and creating can be incredibly beneficial to health and wellbeing. Anthony says: “To create is one of the fundamental experiences of being human. It feels so much more invigorating to create from the nuts and bolts of our own lives, than to just stagnate and consume what is made available to us.”
The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of related events, including an interactive, creative workshop led by artist and curator Jude Hart, as well as mini-workshops led by exhibiting artists Aradne and Anthony Stevens. In these mini-workshops, participants will have the chance to learn a new technique or simply enjoy being creative.
About Outside In
Founded by Pallant House Gallery in 2006, Outside In provides a platform for those who define themselves as facing barriers to the art world due to health, disability, social circumstance or isolation. The goal of the project is to create a fairer art world which rejects traditional values and institutional judgements about whose work can and should be displayed.