Friday, 27 March 2015

Exhibit B Presents: Out Of The Bag

EXHIBIT B presents
curated by Rachel Ballard & Josie Mottram

The Resource Room at AirSpace

PUBLIC PREVIEW - Monday 30th March, 6-9pm

Exhibiting Artists - Laura Smith, Laura Cartlidge, Gary Plant, Tom Bailey, Matt Doyle, Charlotte Mycock, Josh Woodward, Tom Graham, Poppy Edwards, Stein Pointon, Jess Jones, Shannon Downward, Amy Stanway, Becky Sherratt, Tara Sewell, Ash Carr, Tom Bourne, Hana Gregorova, Matt Chetwynd, Maisie Taylor, Steph Machin, Dannie Sharrat, Ian Brigham, Ginny Hughes,
Sam Dean & Aiden Jones.

AirSpace Gallery is happy to host Out Of The Bag, a short exhibition by current Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) students.

Out of the Bag is the first in a series of exhibitions put on by Exhibit B who are a collective group of contemporary art practice and graphic design practitioners. Comprising works of 28 students, this exhibition has been entirely produced by them, from an initial approach to AirSpace to secure exhibition space, through to design, branding and promotion, fundraising and hanging the work.

Curators Rachel Ballard and Josie Mottram say
Exhibit B is a collective of students studying Foundation Degrees in Contemporary Art Practice and Graphics and Digital Design at Newcastle under Lyme College. As part of our final degree show we were asked to consider the phrase“ Out of the bag”. This has conjured up a multitude of responses, bags are everywhere and closely linked with travel and journeys but they can be linked to personal change and possessions or consumer society.

As an initial response to the brief we have created 28 works to be displayed in the Resource Room at AirSpace Gallery. We have explored ideas ranging from the concept of homelessness to the current environmental problems caused by consumerism today, using photography, video, textiles, mixed Media and sculpture, to create the first of three exciting new exhibitions. The exhibition opens on the 30th of March and runs until the 1st of April

The second smaller exhibition will take place at Middleport Pottery (date to be confirmed) followed by the third and final show taking place at Newcastle under Lyme College on the 20th of June.

Exhibit B would like to thank Joyce Iwaszko for initiating the setup of the first two exhibitions at Airspace and Middleport Pottery.

It's been great to see this level of self-initiated endeavour - no sense that anyone is waiting for things to be done for them - the approach is "How Can I Do?...." rather than "Can You Do?..." - which is really refreshing to see and will definitely be a great starting point for these new practitioners' careers in the arts.

The exhibition showcases works of students on the Contemporary Art Practice and Graphics & Digital Design Foundation Degrees, and early signs are that it's going to be an interesting mix of 2d, sculptural, film and photographic works.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Spode Rose Garden - Stage Two gets underway

After a short hiatus at the Spode Rose Garden, we returned this month to start on Stage Two ahead of this September's British Ceramics Biennial.

Since 2013, and the identification of the Spode China Rose, Gareth Fryer has been growing the Rose on and in December we took the first 10 of the plants to send to the kind donors of the original crowdfunding campaign.

Excitingly, this week Gareth supplied us with the remaining 60 plants which will populate not only the Spode Rose Garden, but also several other greenspace projects AirSpace has coming up.

Stage Two of the Spode Rose Garden sees us select a new portion of the garden to focus our attention. Overlooked by the historic and iconic Spode branding, we have selected a rectangular section stretching from the front railings to the China hall wall.

Initially, we pruned some overgrown Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) and cleared away some errant brambles, and accumulated mud and moss, exposing a sizeable flower bed, in which we introduced some ornamental grasses along with 5 Spode china Roses.

We cleared a section of the flower bed in front of the outer railings, which had been engulfed by overgrown grasses and ploughed the thick claggy but nutrient rich clay soil.

And we constructed the centrepiece - a bespoke new circular flower bed to complement the one we built in 2013. This time, instead of Spode brickware, we designed a gabion-style structure, with strong mesh encasing a hoard of rescued biscuit-ware from the Spode site. The result is a structure  made of old unused and unpurposed, broken and battered ceramica, which appears to be rising from the earth and housing in its middle five Spode China Roses. At once a symbol of the history of Spode and the City's ceramic past and an emblem of its bright future.

There is much still to be done on site before the BCB opens its doors for its next instalment in September. Lots of hard landscaping, brushing scraping and clearing to spruce up this section to a gleaming condition. But the early signs are that it will look great.

The next step is to introduce some companion planting for the newly introduced Spode China Roses. We are in the research stage for this, but early reading suggests non-aggressive groundcovers for covering up the bare lower stems of hybrid teas, such as Alyssum, Lobelia, Lantana, Petunias. Pest control plants such as Marigolds, Geraniums, Basil, and Mint and for attractiveness in the space, Echinacea, Alchemilla, Salvia and Lavendula.

To fund the companion planting, AirSpace Gallery are offering for sale 10 Spode China Roses. Currently there are only 10 others in private ownership and so for the great price of £35.00 you could get a really rare Rose of your own, plus a piece of future Spode history and help us reinvigorate and reanimate a beautiful but neglected City Space. 

Click here to buy your Spode China Rose.