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SHOALING at The Regency Town House with the Red Herring artists cooperative, 16th to 26th May, open everyday 10-6pm.

I’ve curated over 50 pieces from 15 different artists/designers/crafts people.

Whilst the idea of a cooperative of artists might sound like an oxymoron to some, SHOALING

proudly provides evidence of why artists working collectively can be such a worthwhile

enterprise. Bringing together in one display the work of such a disparate range of practitioners is

certainly a challenge, especially when the ambition is not only to spotlight and celebrate the skill,

uniqueness and ingenuity of each artist's output but also to create an integrated whole that is

more than the sum of the parts.

Much of the work on display has been created in direct, sometimes surprising, response to the

fascinating particularities of the Regency Town House, with its elegant features and fragmentary

palimpsests of a long history of usage. More than this, the exhibition seeks to conduct a

meaningful conversation between the different ‘voices’ that find articulation in the rich palette of

approaches on show.

The process of negotiating, organising and delivering a public outcome of this scale and kind, with

a programme of interpretive events, would present a challenge in any circumstances but where 15

different artistic perspectives are attempting to be individual and yet find congress, it's especially

complex. But the process is also rewarding, requiring new levels of interaction and understanding

between the exhibiting participants and a new collective seriousness of purpose.

The display, from the outset, has been built upon the desire to embody that art school cliché of

‘juxtaposition’, of artworks to context and between artworks. It represents for the viewer

an embodied discovery - of collisions of material contrast and echoes of resemblance and affinity.

It whispers and debates (and maybe even shouts?) of the shifting conceptual, cultural and historical

frames of reference. In the end, it offers a resonant experiential exploration of difference, working

in operation.


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