SpodeWorks, Stoke-on-Trent
North West England

It’s opening night and I’m not sure what to expect. I have been aware that something has been going on at the studio regarding installation. I have met the artist prior to the event, she seems nice. I was in the process of moving studio at the time so I wasn’t directly involved with the project. It’s well attended, it occurs to me that there are lots of people here from different organisations within the city. Organisations that don’t always necessarily see eye-to-eye.

I enter the room via the service lift, there is a wall opposite containing probably a hundred or so small pictures. On close inspection each image is of an artist/creative at work or doing something interesting. Each image is like a small window into the often private world of creative people. To the immediate left there is a large illustrative map representing the cultural landscape of the Stoke-upon-Trent region.  The rest of the exhibition is composed of various documentary pieces relating the Artist to the wider creative community. It’s obvious that a lot of work has gone into this project.

The artist has set up a ‘hashtag’ for the purpose of uniting Stoke-on-Trent based creatives. Each individual or group now has a common purpose, contributing to the wider community. The documentation is the art itself. My first impression was correct, as I notice interaction between various artistic and creative groups, everyone is positive and united. This is a fantastic start to our aspirations towards the city of culture bid.

This exhibition combines two elements which, in my opinion, are incredibly hard to execute well: community based art and documentary. This exhibition handles both in an interesting and insightful way.