When I took up this role as curator a few years ago I inherited an email list for an artist’s development programme for which the funding had run out. Polly Gifford, then time Head of Education emplored me “to keep it going somehow”. I had neither the skills or experience to provide professional artist development. What I have learned from attending art college was that a rigorous and critical environment within which to explore one’s artistic practice was key to producing good work.
So this was my approach to the Pavilion’s Artist’s Critique Group. We usually meet on the last Thursday of the month at the Studio here at the Pavilion and sometimes at exhibitions or artist’s studios. Participants volunteer to show and discuss their work to the group. There is a core of around fifteen that regularly attend and a larger circle that dip in and out throughout the year. We’re open to new participants and I’ve recently approached the local colleges to encourage student artists to attend.
The tone of the evenings vary wildly and can be challenging for both the artists presenting and those discussing their work. I can’t promise any easy ride. What I can offer is an open and rigorous dialogue through which artists may sharpen their practises. It’s one of the most important things that I do at Pavilion.
I was recently approached by a couple of members of the group for advice on showing their work in alternative spaces and coincidentally the Pavilion had the opportunity to use an empty shop in Bexhill town centre as ‘pop-up’ artist’s project space. The upshot is that in six weeks from December 1st twelve members of the group will stage a rolling programme of their work on Western Road entitled twelve by six. The project will co-ordinated and manned by the artists themselves.
twelve by six runs from December 1 2012 – January 12 2013
More detailswill be available on dlwp.com soon
David Rhodes is a curator at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, East Sussex. David has a career working behind the scenes at art galleries that spans fifteen years and includes time at the BritishMuseum.