So, the first international exhibition to grace miss annabel dee* has been and gone - and what a success it was!
My friend and fellow ceramicist Alia Pialtos attended Central Saint Martins for a term. It was here we met, and three years later, we decide to curate a small show over here in the UK.
8 graduates from the ceramic program at the University of Massachusetts exhibited small works at the gallery last week. It was a breath of fresh air to see what people my age who were studying ceramics were making across the pond
See the images below for a taster of the exhibition.
This is it! we are now officially open! THREE CHEERS HIPHIP.. HOORAY! After months and months of saying we'd be open next week we are finally up and trading!
The opening party was held last night, and if i dont mind saying so myself was a rip roaring success! I have a few photos, but I had a professional team come along and film the night to make an advert promoting the gallery and they took photos as well.
Here we go.. a little bit about the gallery etc...
The gallery will be showcasing an example of Annabel's work which has been exhibited in places such as Sotheby's London as well as New York and early next year at No. 10 Downing Street. Annabel has had many a prestigious client commissioning her for a unique ceramic piece for their home or office. Alongside Annabel there will be a permanent retail area which will sell prints, jewellery and homewares from other emerging and established artists.
Annabel an ex Southend High School student graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martins 2 years ago before embarking on a long and hard renovation project of the shop along Leigh Road to change it into an art gallery and studio spaces for fellow like minded artists: "I couldn't believe the interest in the studio areas. Obviously Leigh has a hidden army of creative people waiting to be exposed! I hope the appearance of my gallery and others such as Studio 3 and the White Wall Space in Leigh and gallery 11 in Westcliff will encourage others to take a look at some art and get involved somehow. Infact I cant believe the interest in the whole project, from day one we've had people putting their heads through the door asking to builders what's going on, and still i get people stopping and peering through the windows!" The studios have a kiln available to rent for those who need access to one at very reasonable rates. A glazing facility (compressor and glaze gun) is also available to use, and so it a small teaching space if anybody is interested in sharing their knowledge of a craft with others, Miss Annabel Dee* is able to accommodate 3 adults (5 children), again at very reasonable rates.
Whilst clearing the very over grown garden and cutting down a rather large and unruly 'bush' the gardeners come back to me and asked me if I knew I had a two storey building at the back of the garden!
We were very suprised to say the least, it was like the crooked house once they'd pulled all the vines away, all lopsided and looking very sorry for itself. However it worked out in our favour, because it meant I could have a few more studio spaces, and these ones are self contained!
Here are some photos of the two story building before it got finished. Well, its half way through. I didnt even think about taken photos in the beginning, scatterbrain!
A local newspaper article covering the opening of my gallery
I was quite lucky when it came to getting a piece in the local paper about the gallery finally opening. You may remember I had a Pop-Up Shop in the same space a few months back during the Leigh Art Trail and the paper covered the story then. Ever since the journalist, Hannah Marsh has been walking passed peeking in the windows to watch my progress.. So when I emailed her the details of the opening she was more than happy to oblige.
We had a lovely chat, she actually came to the gallery to talk to me which was really nice rather than a telephone interview and her being there, really gave her a feel for the place.
Its finally arrived! The grand opening of my gallery and studios! ta daaaaaaa! This is predominantly the reason I havent been blogging for a while, I've had so much to do, I just havent had time to sit and write anything - which is a shame because I havent kept you all updated! boo!.. Well here it is in the next couple of posts, whats been happening.