One summer afternoon about five months ago we, Anna and Holly, were contemplating the need artists have to show their work to others, a need which we both felt strongly. This need often is satisfied by having an exhibition hence, having an exhibition together seemed like the logical solution. The next few months were spent researching galleries, brainstorming exhibition themes, writing the proposal and submitting it to the chosen Surface Gallery, in Nottingham, UK.
The reason why we found Surface Gallery so appealing was because it is a gallery that is keen to facilitate experimental and innovative work, encouraging artists to explore new avenues in their practice. This made it seem like the perfect place for a bit of impertinent simplicity.
Now, five months later we find ourselves in the very exciting place of having been accepted to Surface Gallery's exhibition line-up for Spring 2013. In order to make our exhibition happen we need to raise funds to cover the costs of gallery hire, flyer and exhibition guide printing and transportation expenses (for more detailed cost breakdown please see below).
While brainstorming for the exhibition theme and title, we had a close look at our work and realised that 'impertinence' and 'simplicity' were two traits our approaches share.
Impertinence is important to both of us because we rejoice in making work which does not always take itself, its subject matter and its audience with the conventional degree of seriousness. We explore the freedom to create pieces that can be cheeky, joyous, critical and rude.
The idea of simplicity is equally if not more important to our practices. We feel that aesthetic simplicity is the key to breaking down the barrier between artist and audience, intention and understanding. We wish to offer our audiences strong, focused pieces of art which are not cluttered with esoteric references or tenuous links.
The exhibition Pert & Simple will showcase new photographs, videos, screen-prints and textiles by Anna and Holly. It will be held from 12th March - 23rd March 2013, with the private view being on the evening of the 11th at 18:00-20:00. All invited!
A Little Bit About Us
We are Anna Salmane, 32, and Holly James, 23, who met while sharing a studio together at Goldsmiths College, University of London last year.
Anna is in her second year of BA Art Practice at Goldsmiths College. She has participated in eight group shows and has also had three solo shows. The most recent solo show took place at the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, in Riga, Latvia. Anna uses photography, video, readymades and handcrafted objects. Anna draws inspiration from personal experiences, combined with her layman interest in philosophy, sciences and trivial facts.
Holly graduated this summer with a BA in Art Practice and she is about to launch her own screen printed T-shirt business in the coming months. Her previous art work has included text, performance, drawing and game design, although at the moment her interest lies in textiles. She enjoys experimenting with unconventional methods of display, that jar with the preconceived associations of the materials being used.
£1 A telepathic hug.
£5 A virtual hug and photos from installing the exhibition. The photos you'll get may be something akin to the photos of us used above, which were taken while putting up Holly's degree show exhibition. We don't always look that worn out though!
£8 Together with our thanks, exhibition photos, flyers and exhibition guide you will also receive 6 postcards with envelopes printed with Holly's "I Don't Know How It Happened" image. This is an artwork that involved Holly using a pen to place a dot of ink in every square on an A4 page of graph paper. However, somehow, the page got rained on despite never being exposed to the elements or even being near a window. She literally doesn't know how it happened.
£18 Together with our thanks, exhibition photos, flyers, exhibition guide, 6 postcards of Holly's "I Don't Know How It Happened" with envelopes, you will also receive a practical SCREEN PRINTED TOTE BAG with a cheeky design.
£30 In addition to all the goodies and our hearty thanks that you receive for supporting us with £18, you will also get an A3 size SCREEN PRINT.
£50 Supporting us with £50 will get you two screen prints, both limited edition and signed! As well as our thanks and photos and cards and tote bag. Hang the prints on the wall next to each other or separately, give one to a friend or keep them in a cool, dry place 'til we are rich and famous and they'll be worth more than they are now.
£125 Together with a hearty personal thank you note, photos from exhibition installation, Holly's cards, tote bag and two A3 screen prints you also get the limited edition original artwork 'Book of Sleeplessness' dreamt up and executed by Anna. The book is of hand-cut sheep silhouettes to be read during sleepless nights.
£125 Please find yourself in receipt of this signed and very limited edition original 'Diligence' artwork by Holly James. The piece is a 6"x4" photograph of a hand-woven textile which, for two whole days, will have been cut into with a scalpel knife by hand*. The photo is presented in a transparent perspex Muji frame. You'll also get a package containing: a personal thank you note, photos from the exhibition installation,
Holly's cards, a tote bag and two signed, limited edition screen prints.
*Holly went to the trouble of checking with an optician that making more versions of this work wouldn't make her blind.
Funds and Maths
Here's a breakdown of what your money is going towards
(the cost was worked out in £, so the equivalent in US$ is shown as a rough guide only):
£550 / $885 gallery space hire for 2 weeks
£90 / $145 electrical equipment hire for 2 weeks
£80 / $130 printing cost for 1,000 flyers
£125 / $200 printing cost for 250 exhibition guides
£30 / $50 travel expenses
£20 / $30 paint
£40 / $65 paper, tote bags, screen printing and ink
£35 / $55 packaging
£95 / $150 Kickstarter fees
= £1,065 / $1,700 Total funds needed
Why Did We Decide to Use Kickstarter?
As the theme of this exhibition is largely the unconventional, we decided not to apply for the usual Arts funding from local or national councils. Mainly because the application process for such funding is, essentially, boring.
We much prefer the idea of using Kickstarter to make the funding experience not only more exciting for ourselves, but also to actually involve our audience by making the exhibition process transparent and by offering things in return for helping us on our way to a successful exhibition.
Risks and challenges
Organizing an exhibition is fraught with risks and challenges. From designing and printing the publicity material in time for distribution, to mastering the necessary electrical equipment and leaving enough time for painted walls and plinths to dry. However, we are certain we will rise to the challenge especially since Anna has the experience of organizing her three solo shows and Holly has taken part in organizing a couple of group exhibitions.
The time until Christmas will be spent:
• designing and printing publicity materials such as flyers and catalogues
• having a meeting with the gallery to discuss the exhibition layout, technical equipment requirements and marketing strategy
• while continuing our work on exhibition pieces
In January, February and March we will:
• help the gallery volunteers market the exhibition
• finish our exhibition art works
• screen print 'Pert & Simple' posters for our supporters
• put up the work in the gallery space with the help and technical knowledge of the gallery volunteers and curators
• open the exhibition doors to its visitors and send out our thanks and goodies to you!
- (30 days)