On Friday myself and Sharon Mossbeck hosted the open evening for UNITY – our open -call exhibition at Exchange Place Studios, Sheffield, that looks at the theme of Unity following Britain’s decision to leave the EU. We’re still amazed by the turnout, which was 132 people.
A reflection of our hard work? Well, maybe. But then we always put hard work into our exhibitions, and we’ve never had an opening quite like this. Perhaps UNITY offered more than simply an exhibition. It provided artists with a space to vent, to place their thoughts towards our divided nation onto a piece of work as a means of meditation, or reflection, or a means to comprehend or reinforce their position among the complexities leaving the EU represents. It instigated a process of healing, of re-building bridges and of finding connections between people and communities.
This was not only reflected in the work received but also in the visitors that attended. They too want to bear witness to how creative action can be a strong moral, social and political force. They too want to feel re-united following divisive political events, and understand that art has the capacity to do that.
In short, it’s an exhibition that people wanted and needed. It inspired those that don’t normally consider themselves artists to take action. It re-ignited passion and it provided people with the opportunity to express their thoughts with meaning and relevance directly applicable to current events.
It was certainly a meditative process for me personally. I feel – and I’m sure Sharon does too – that we have created a positive force for good.
UNITY is an exhibition celebrating togetherness following the recent EU referendum. The exhibition is a chance for people to come together in a positive way, and share their own interpretation of what unity means to them. It has been devised and curated by Michael Borkowsky and Sharon Mossbeck.
50 artists from around the UK have submitted work, making for an exciting and diverse exhibition. Refreshments available during the open evening and you will have the chance to meet many of the artists involved.
Other than the open evening, the exhibition runs from Thursday 18th August – Thursday 25th August 2016. Our opening times are: 10am – 4pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri; 11am – 4pm Thurs, Sat Sun
UNITY is an open-call exhibition devised and curated by myself and fellow artist Sharon Mossbeck. It uses art and creative action as a means to highlight the things that unite us and the things we have in common.
Unity runs from 18th – 25 August at Exchange Place Studios, Sheffield. An open-evening will run on Friday 19th August from 6-8pm. Refreshments are available and you will have a chance to meet several of the artists involved. All welcome.
My piece, simply entitled ‘First Aid’, is a re-imagining of the first aid kit. it’s contents are specifically designed to aid the healing process post-Brexit, which has divided a nation.
The first aid kit’s contents will promote recovery by provoking the inspiration, thought processes, and means of interpretation needed to instigate creativity and as such, help establish connections with other people and other communities. They will also prevent the divisive nature of Brexit from worsening by evoking shared memories, utilising aromatherapy and highlighting our collective history.
Here, I will share one of the First Aid Kit’s contents:
Unity First Aid Contents #1 – Smelling Salts. (lavender and sweet almond oil on cotton and rope)
An instant means of provoking inspiration, memory, thought and creative action.
Right, enough of the Brexit hangover. Time for action!
Me and fellow artist Sharon Mossbeck are preparing an open call exhibition under the theme of UNITY. Exact times are TBC but it will be at Exchange Place Studios mid/late August. Everyone will be invited to submit work and pretty much all work will be included as long as the theme of UNITY is present. Whether you voted in or out, the fact is we are in this together, so lets seek constructive ways of uniting.
Like many, I have spent the majority of today coming to terms with Britain’s departure from the European Union and the divisions it has imposed both nationally and internationally. I have harboured feelings of shock, anger and sadness regarding what it means for the humble UK based contemporary artist but, although the dust is far from settled, I am now beginning to feel more reflective.
Funding and freedom of movement may become rather compromised over the upcoming years but art has a vigorous ability to adapt, be flexible and survive. And in the light of such limitations us UK artists must lead by example and unite – providing supportive platforms for each other as a progressive alternative to the divided nation that stands before us. Art often illuminates alternative realities and, through the spirit of community and support from each other we artists could become pioneers of our future.