To the Light exhibition is something that has been a year in the planning. A lovely lady called Heather came to visit me at my studio this time last year to see my works on the riots, she was intrigued by the subject matter as well as the materiality, the shatterings of glass. What transpired on this event was another interesting conversation. Heather works for a famous creative advertising agency Bartle Bogle and Hegarty http://www.bartleboglehegarty.com
BBH spearheaded by Heather and Mareka had been involved in a positive campaign after the riots. http://keepaaroncutting.blogspot.co.uk/
Aaron Biber had had his barbershop destroyed in the riots, even his barbershop chairs were stolen (see…the link to chairs also came from his story). The indefatigable Heather and Mareka Carter and their team helped raise £35, 000, working with Kay Horne and Businesses in the community to also distribute further the donations that came. An inspiring act of positivity as well as the Dan Thomson clean up riots. Heather (who also happily bought a piece) was passionate about me showing the riot paintings as a collection of work- a solo show. I had already toyed with the idea but had yet to start research into spaces but now with a supporter behind me I felt a greater sense of purpose and got down to some research and proposal writing.
The question of where and with who….The threads of this story based in socio-political sources meant it needed to be placed carefully and be in a place that had wider possibilities of engagement with the issues surrounding the work and it was clear that the exhibition should geographically be related to the places where the riots had occurred, (site-specific) and after not very long I discovered Bruce Castle Museum, a beautiful gem of a 16th Century Manor. I submitted a proposal and in a hop skip and meeting (which believe me isn’t usual) was offered a show with Bruce Castle for 4 months (what a luxury!) in 2013. On my way to the first meeting with the curator Deborah Hedgecock I had no inkling of what the Museum would be able to offer me in terms of support (financial and otherwise) and made a list of things I needed to ask; from transport to marketing, to opportunities to teach and grow which is all very essential to be prepared to ask about in any exhibition opportunity.
An overriding concern I had though with exhibiting Bruce Castle was that it is housed in Haringey Councils website – which of course has certain restrictions and with all council websites has a density of material and a limit on what can be put on the website. Bruce Castle is not allowed to do social media (because of council rules) which is so important for exhibitions and engagement. I want to get people involved in this exhibition in so many ways. I voiced my concerns to Heather and she was quick to come to my aid with her amazing team at BBH. Through their support I am having a website built especially for the exhibition. www.Tothelight.co.uk which is at its first stage at this point as well as assistance in marketing. Essentially the website is a landing page at this point, but with their genius team this website will grow and become interactive; there will be a podcast that I have recorded with them for the exhibition and there will be a way in which others can leave thoughts on the works and their wider concerns on the website so that what is being built is a rich tapestry of memories, emotions, thoughts about not just the riots, a legacy and archive about positive constructive ways to repair spaces, places and people. I don’t know what I did to get such a team of maverick angels on my side but I am thrilled. Massive thanks to Alex, Ali, Mareka, Ian, Adam, Isobel at BBH.
You can read a bit more about activities at To the Light show here, as we await the next release of the website here
And thank you to all those who have been reading so far- was rather surprised and delighted be in the top three bloggers! Next week I will be hanging the show…..