Local Artist Adam Skidmore reviews OpenDoors Exhibition SW9

4245813The last exhibition I went to was at 354 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, in a disused pub called The Angel. The art group affiliated as ‘The Brick Box’ have temporarily occupied the pub, and a couple of weeks ago hosted a gala show called ‘Exhibition SW9’ Including a diverse selection of artworks, installations and performance theatre created by artists from all over the world as well as locally.

I guess the relevance of the exhibition was underlined by the fact that HRH Prince Charles himself visited with numerous other local luminaries.

The Open Doors art group have a statement.

‘Open Doors is a nomadic gallery that curates art exhibitions based around the postcode the gallery is in. Open Doors was set up in June 2011 with two aims in mind: promoting artists and making more people interested in art. By curating exhibitions inspired by the area we aim to encourage more people to come in and be interested by what they see on the walls.’

A noble intention, in practice the whole affair was lot of fun, paradoxically highlighting the fact that although community issues can seem serious, the general idea is to enjoy life.

The theme for the third postcode gallery ‘SW9’ was the game of consequences, with several artists creating text-based art and poetry.

Access to the yard in the pub meant space for installations. Local student Morris Wild, built a hidmo out of re-cycled materials (bricks and beer kegs) and created an Eritrean hut, which Betty, supplied with proper Eritrean coffee and njira, a delicious meal  for everyone to sample a taste of Africa. .

Other refreshments were available and Sibylla Macgregor created an ice cream sculpture with free ices for the public. In fact the mood of sharing and supporting each other permeated the whole three day extravaganza.

The feeling that the whole was greater than the sum of the many diverse parts.

My studio in the barn contained paintings of Brixton, Jacob Joyce also exhibited paintings with an African narrative and will soon be curating his own event ‘Ori’ on the first weekend of August.

One other important artists involved is Quincey Garcia, a local filmmaker whose media company ‘Roadworks’ made a film about the family of mark Duggan, the unfortunate young man whose death sparked the London Riots last summer and the disharmony that followed in their wake. Roadworks Magazine Launch will take place at The Brick Box on the 9th of August.

Running Open Doors as a postcode project has brought communities to the forefront of our minds. In London a community can mean so many different things; ideas, beliefs, routines, jobs and hobbies. The Riots highlighted that communities need to be recognised and celebrated and we aim to start that through art.’

This reflects the main character of the group. So many people in responsible positions of local council working hard, volunteering, sincerely concerned with the future world state of affairs. I think I felt lucky to be sponsored by the group as an older person.as the youth come to terms with the world around them

Thanks to Eleanor Barrett, Rosie Freeman, Imwen Eke and Jessie Curnow at The Brick Box.

For a full list of the artist’s in the SW9 Exhibitio please look at the open door website page on blogger.

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Posted on 23 Jul 2012, under Blog.

Bantos at The Brick Box

Bantos is a multi-purpose word I co-invented during a Ladz holiday onthe Greek island of Zakynthos. It’s an adjective – ‘I had a totally bantos time with that fella last night,’ but also a noun ‘I decided to move to London without a job; for the bantos.’ That’s right, one day I packed nothing but a suitcase of ideas, a box of Nurofen Express, a spare pair of pants and went to London to start interning at The Brick Box.

From a life in Stroud cavorting around under hay wagons, I exchanged my cheese rolling escapades to making Pokemon sculptures out of ice cream, enjoying organic artistic amusements (vegetable printing,) and painting wigwams at the SW9 Exhibition. I’ve gotten lost and confused in Brixton Village market; entering with excitement and leaving with a panic-purchased string vest, I’ve shabbied the chic out of a old stable and orchestrated a semi-pornographic photoshoot at Sexy Art and Rude Food– forcing strangers out of their comfort zone, and into a poorly-made lettuce bikini.

I’ve had too much fun to call it work and am already excited about our up and coming events. From Spice To Ice is a cultural culmination that will showcase exciting new work from two artistically brilliant Brazilians as part Rio Occupation London, in cool contrast The Peskimos will treat us to their ingenious Inuit installations.

And if that wasn’t enough artistic amusement, we are also hosting Magpie in August, an eclectic nest of artistic, photographic, musical and poetic treasures. At just £5 for entry, that’s frankly a steal! Magpie will include pop up poetry, a promenade performance by Crow Theatre and Aerial Sparks’ unnervingly meta installation; a dollhouse made out of dolls. Don’t toy with me!

Posted on 05 Jul 2012, under Blog.