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Join the ONCA Gallery in turning a hope into a reality – creating a unique space to explore ecology and the arts.
113 backers pledged £15,272 to help bring this project to life.

About

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£15,272

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We need companions on our journey...

The ONCA Gallery began as an empty shop, and now eighteen months later it is a busy and vibrant contemporary arts venue in Brighton. In the heart of the city, ONCA is a place to learn about, engage with, and help safeguard the living world, through exhibitions, workshops, film nights, creative writing, storytelling, parades, puppet shows and more. 

We are the only inner-city gallery for combined arts and ecology and we act as a hub, bringing the wild into the city, to new people, different people and brilliant people. 

Since our launch in 2012, ONCA has hosted over ten exhibitions. We are constantly expanding our network and forging new links with universities, businesses, cultural facilities and conservation groups. Our patrons are Brighton's Green MP Caroline Lucas, artist Chris Drury, writer Robert MacFarlane and illustrator John Vernon Lord

We have worked with Ghosts of Gone Birds, Cape FarewellThe Marine Conservation Society, Plymouth UniversityBrighton University, the Sussex Wildlife Trust, BBC Earth Unplugged, many local schools, and the Uummannaq Children's Home in Greenland, among other amazing organisations.   

Our team of volunteers, artists, scientists and performers work tirelessly, giving their time to make ONCA the vibrant and inviting place that it is today.

But we need your help to keep this dynamic space open and evolving.

  • Together we can explore the role of the arts in our changing world.
  • Together we can learn, educate and inspire, stirring both creative thought and positive action.
  • Together we can provide high quality, powerful and exciting exhibitions, and we can support conservation projects around the globe.

We need support to keep our doors open.  Help us to produce a new model for an environmental, inner-city art gallery, and we will bring you an exciting programme of summer exhibitions - and work towards becoming a permanent fixture in Brighton and the UK.  

Over the next six months...

  • We will deliver packed programmes of exhibitions and events that offer new and exciting opportunities.
  • We will work with frontline conservation groups, developing this interaction between art and ecology that we are only just beginning to see the possibilities of.
  • We will form a network for artists, scientists, innovators, conservationists and everyone in between.
  • We will bring communities together, inspiring hope and a much needed belief in change.

The ONCA Trust and Gallery was established in 2012, a registered charity that links art with ecological projects. We rely on funding, donations, collaborations, partnerships, and our fantastic, incredible and dedicated team of volunteers. 

“I’m very proud that Brighton is home to ONCA – a unique and inspiring gallery that acts both as a showcase for our relationship with the natural world, and as a spur to protecting and enhancing it.”  

- Caroline Lucas, ONCA patron

“ONCA is an inspiring organisation: passionate, energetic and agile. It brings together communities and creativity in open-hearted and mind-altering ways. The great American essayist and agrarianist, Wendell Berry, reminds us that technological fixes for global problems will only get us part of the way; cultural change is, eventually, far more powerful and far-reaching. But cultural change is also, of course, mysterious in its origins and unpredictable in its outcomes. Organisations such as ONCA help to stimulate and shape such change for the good.”  

- Robert Macfarlane, ONCA patron

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Our Director, Laura Coleman, had the idea for ONCA because of her friendship with an incredible rescued puma, called Wayra, who lives at Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi in Bolivia.  

"Once upon a time, in the far away jungles of Bolivia, lived a puma. She moved as swiftly as the wind through the forests of her home.

Once upon a time there was a girl, who went on a journey to find what she was looking for and discovered, in one leafy jungle far away, a puma. The puma was much faster than her, and much more wild.  But over time they began to trust one another. They became friends.

But the jungle was changing. It rained and flooded. It was hot, turned dry and burnt. The trees were cut down… jungles made ever smaller by giants neither the girl nor puma could understand. The girl shouted and cried, but her voice was so very tiny. One day, with huge sadness in her heart, the girl knew she had to say goodbye. She had to go back, to the land of the giants. And along the way she saw many things. Pieces of plastic floating in blue oceans, snowy islands where polar bear footprints melted into warm seas, and birds fading into nothingness.

As she travelled she met new friends, artists, storytellers, musicians, poets, sculptors and other adventurers. Together they created a place, a laboratory, a gallery, a sanctuary, a senate, and a possibility. They filled it with paintings of what they had seen, stories and songs of the creatures they had met, and sculptures of incredible insects and towering trees. Then they invited their friends, and their friends’ friends, to join in this celebration and preservation of the wild." 

- Abbie Palache, ONCA Resident Storyteller

  • Our summer programme of exhibitions and events themed around home and habitat.
  • Core costs, enabling us to keep our doors open, whilst also giving us the breathing room to grow. These costs cover rent, utilities, business rates, insurance and the core salary of our gallery manager.
  • The development of our network, an online resource and tool for professional development, providing artists and collaborators with opportunities to learn, engage and connect.     
Artists John Ives and James Eddy making work in the ONCA courtyard
Artists John Ives and James Eddy making work in the ONCA courtyard

100: An open submission exhibition for visual artists working in all mediums. The brief is simple, represent a tree in any way you choose. There is one restriction – the dimensions must fit within 20cm cubed. For each artwork a tree will be planted in a local conservation area, creating an artistic forest within the gallery and a real forest outside. In time this forest will become a space for workshops and performances, building on this opportunity for new and established artists and nurturing talent for future generations.

Exile: Can we enter a forest through animal eyes? Can we value a woodland through paws, claws, furs and feathers? From a wild perspective, what does flooding and burning, felling and falling mean? An open call to visual artists, poets and performers, this exhibition is an opportunity to become animal and reconceive our changing woodland habitats.

Our goal is £15,000. If we receive more, we will be more secure, more impactful, and we will have a greater chance of success. Given the chance, we will keep on bringing you exhibitions that not only offer amazing opportunities for artists and the local community, but also make a positive impact on our natural environment. We will expand these exhibitions, offering opportunities to collaborators on a much greater scale. We will widen our programmes, growing our hub to bring in more projects and collaborations, more artists, scientists and explorers, more paintings, performances and stories…

  • With an extra £1,000 - £5,000, we will focus on our network, aiming to widen it by over 5000 contributors within a six-month period.
  • With £5,000 - £15,000 more, we will develop our 2015 theme, cementing artists, projects and partnerships that focus on 'Inside Ourselves – Ingesting, absorbing and all consuming: a programme of exhibitions exploring the food we eat, the products we use and the environments we live in'.
  • With an extra £15,000 plus, this amount of support would ensure we were able to continue The ONCA Gallery at 14 St George’s Place, Brighton until at least 2015. If we were granted this opportunity, we would seize it by employing a larger team, including a part-time fundraiser and outreach officer. We would stretch our limbs, concentrating not just on our roots but also on our branches, making them thick, lush and as wide reaching as possible.
          
           
            
     

Risks and challenges

What are the risks of supporting ONCA?

1) This is a new, unique venture and no one knows exactly what’s going to happen…

2) Our team may choose an exhibition theme you don’t like. Maybe you would prefer a show about cats rather than dogs, biodiversity rather than pollution, fungus over ferns. This is why we are always open to ideas, and if you don’t like what we propose, just let us know. And maybe we’ll try your exhibition idea next time!

3) We may choose art that isn’t to your taste. But we always bring in experienced guest curators for our shows, and have a team of artistic advisors on board to help us make the right decisions.

4) We may not receive enough submissions for our scheduled shows over the summer. However, ‘100’ has already launched and we’ve received so many fantastic responses already. We aren’t worried!

5) ONCA may grow and grow and grow until it takes over the world, one environmentally conscious gallery at a time. Beware!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.22

    For everyone out there who just likes the sound of what we're doing, we’ll send you a personal message bursting with thanks.

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    Pledge £5 or more About $6

    Be an ONCA FAN - We'll add you to our mailing list to be updated with all the amazing things you have helped us to achieve PLUS we’ll include your name on our website wall of thanks (optional).

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    Pledge £10 or more About $12

    Be an ONCA SUPPORTER - We will shout your name to the stars, thanking you for your generosity, and we’ll send you a video record of this! You will also receive updates about all the exciting things ONCA is doing, and we'll put your name on our website wall of thanks (optional).

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    Pledge £25 or more About $30

    Be an ONCA GOLD SUPPORTER - All the perks of being a Supporter, plus a beautiful (and planet friendly) goodie bag full of creative possibilities.

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    Pledge £50 or more About $61

    Be an ONCA FRIEND - It would be our honour to invite you to all our private views for the next 6 months, PLUS your name on our website (optional), a personalised thank you video, updates about our work and an amazing planet-friendly goodie bag.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £75 or more About $91

    Be an ONCA CHAMPION - As a special thank you, we would love you to meet the team at an exclusive tree planting ceremony with some of our patrons including MP Caroline Lucas, artists, and partners. You will also get all the perks of being an ONCA Friend.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $122

    A beautiful hand-designed CD by Nick Hunt, inspired by his walk from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul, PLUS you will be an ONCA Champion with all the perks (an invite to our tree planting ceremony, exclusive access to our private views for 6 months, your name on our website, a special video thank you, a goodie bag and email updates about our work).

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $182

    Exclusive free access to all ONCA events (artist talks, workshops, private views, performances, parties) for the next 6 months for you and a guest, PLUS the very wonderful status of ONCA Champion, with all the extras.

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    Pledge £150 or more About $182

    ONCA Founder Laura Coleman will take you out for an afternoon treat of tea and cake, for lively conversations talking about anything from entrepreneurship, volunteering, gallery management, curating and creativity, PLUS our special thanks and all the perks of being an ONCA Champion.

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    Pledge £200 or more About $243

    An hour long personal portfolio review with ONCA staff and special guests, PLUS an invite to our tree planting ceremony, exclusive access for you and a guest to all of our private views for 6 months, and our special thanks as you become an ONCA Champion.

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    Pledge £200 or more About $243

    NEW!! A limited edition screen print by bird painter and printmaker Kittie Jones, PLUS you will be named as an ONCA Champion, which includes an invite to our tree planting ceremony, exclusive access to our private views for 6 months, and an ONCA goodie bag.

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    Pledge £250 or more About $304

    A one of a kind Jackie Clayton artwork - hand painted calligraphy, on a gouache background - especially for you, PLUS you will be named as an ONCA Champion, which includes an invite to our tree planting ceremony, exclusive access to our private views for 6 months, and an ONCA goodie bag.

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    Pledge £250 or more About $304

    A special workshop for you and your friends (max 10 people) with any one of our residents – creative writing, storytelling, performance or shadow puppetry. PLUS you will be named an ONCA Champion, with all the perks!

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    Pledge £250 or more About $304

    A one-off nature walk at a local conservation area. You will be guided by Eurik Gilar, ONCA’s world-class nature enthusiast, trained experiential educator and outdoorsman. PLUS the special status of ONCA Champion.

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    Pledge £500 or more About $608

    Spend the afternoon on the 23rd August with ONCA Patron and world-renowned land artist Chris Drury as he takes you for a walk around his work, the ‘Heart of Reeds’, in Lewes! This is a one-off event for all reward recipients. PLUS you will become an ONCA Champion, with all our amazing perks.

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    Pledge £500 or more About $608

    World famous illustrator and ONCA Patron John Vernon Lord is inviting you to spend an afternoon at his studio in Ditchling. Think ‘The Giant Jam Sandwich’ as you fall down the rabbit hole into John’s intricate world of tales and fables. PLUS you will receive the very special status of ONCA Champion.

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    Pledge £600 or more About $729

    We will send you a specially-commissioned, framed, mixed-media artwork (56 x 70 cm) by Sheffield-based artist and designer Deborah Moon (founder of Moonko), PLUS an invite to our tree planting ceremony, exclusive access for you and a guest to all of our private views for 6 months, and our special thanks as you become an ONCA Champion.

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    Pledge £750 or more About $912

    You will take home a specially commissioned A3 watercolour/ink on paper by Jennifer Hooper, ONCA artist and resident at Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi in Bolivia (www.jenniferhooper.co.uk) PLUS an invite to our tree planting ceremony, exclusive access for you and a guest to all of our private views for 6 months, and our special thanks as you become an ONCA Champion.

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    Pledge £750 or more About $912

    You will receive a specially-commission artwork by Elisha Enfield (www.elishaenfield.co.uk), local artist, film producer and ONCA volunteer, PLUS our special thanks as you become an ONCA Champion.

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    Pledge £750 or more About $912

    Take home a limited edition screen print (50 x 70cm), specially commissioned and inspired by ONCA's story, designed by Tribambuka a.k.a. Anastasia Beltyukova, amazing ONCA artist and illustrator (http://design.tribambuka.co.uk) PLUS our special thanks as you become an ONCA Champion.

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    Pledge £750 or more About $912

    Choose one of two limited edition Ghosts of Gone Birds prints - 'House Martin' and 'Dodo' (framed, 55 x 68 cm) by local artist Mark Greco. See Mark's website for images of his work - www.anaturalhistory.co.uk - This is on a first come, first served basis so click quickly! PLUS an invite to our tree planting ceremony, exclusive access for you and a guest to all of our private views for 6 months, and our special thanks as you become an ONCA Champion.

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    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,215

    Just for you, a specially donated artwork by local artist Tiffany Lynch (www.tiffanylynch.co.uk) PLUS our special thanks as you become an ONCA Champion (with all the perks).

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    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,215

    Take home a specially donated artwork by world-class painter Perdita Sinclair (www.perditasinclair.com) PLUS our special thanks as you become an ONCA Champion.

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    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,215

    You will have the opportunity to choose a piece of art from our 100 exhibition and have a tree named after you during our '100' tree planting ceremony, PLUS you will become an ONCA Champion and will receive our forever thanks!

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    Pledge £2,000 or more About $2,431

    James Eddy, magnificent Cornish artist, is going to create a fish-inspired sculpture especially for you. Have a look at James’ website to see examples of his work (www.james-eddy.com) PLUS an invite to our tree planting ceremony, exclusive access for you and a guest to all of our private views for 6 months, and our special thanks as you become an ONCA Champion.

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    Pledge £2,500 or more About $3,039

    Have you always wanted your own gallery exhibition? Here's your chance - we are offering the opportunity for you to put on a week long show in our space in late 2014. This will be fully staffed and promoted by ONCA. The theme of your exhibition must reflect ONCA’s ethos. PLUS (of course) our special thanks as you become an ONCA Champion.

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    Pledge £500 or more About $608

    You will spend the afternoon with local graffiti artist Sinna One (http://sinnaone.com) creating a work of art in our courtyard space, PLUS ONCA Champion status!

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Funding period

- (30 days)