About eight or nine years ago, not long after the Revolutionary Arts Group had started up in Worthing, one of our artists came to us with an idea. Debbie Zoutewelle, an excellent painter, had a past life as an estate agent and reckoned she could talk us into an empty shop for a couple of weeks. We set up our first temporary gallery.
A few years later, we worked with Caroline Brown and her Contemporary Gallery project, using empty shops in Brighton to curate edgy exhibitions.
And back in Worthing, we used a space in a shopping centre for a month to promote the Artists and Makers Festival, holding exhibitions, workshops, strange interventions and odd little happenings.
And then we noticed other people starting to do the same thing around the country. And the idea for the Empty Shops Network was born. We're just starting the network, but with more empty shops than ever it's getting easier (although it's never that easy).
Keep watching that empty space…