airspaceprojects

COMING UP FOR AIR - Campbell Works

EXHIBITION
September 12th to October 18th 2014


Coming Up For Air re-examines what constitutes an ‘artwork’ and peruses the idea that an artwork is ‘the final manifestation of a multitude of elements drawn together from external sources and re-formatted into new and unexpected configurations’, enabling alternative understandings to be drawn from the original elements.

Acting as a ‘time slice’ through the past curatorial programme and studio practices at Airspace, Coming Up For Air aims to celebrate the commitment and dedication of the people, both past and present that have made Airspace a nationally respected organization, while also pointing towards future challenges, possibilities and its longer term sustainability.

Coming Up For Air is a new project by Campbell Works, an in-depth exploration of AirSpace, from the directors and the studio artists to the intricate fabric of the building and
the surrounding locality. It poses the possibility that collectively they can become both the subject matter and material for a new gallery installation.
In preparation, Campbell Works has been given free reign to audit, collect and collate objects, ideas, conversations, dust, dead animals and miscellany from anywhere in the building and explore the intricate relationships between these objects, the people and the ideas they unearth.

The physicality of this majestic building stands proud at 4 Broad Street, built
in 1874 it has been both, witness to huge changes within the city, and experienced numerous uses from a gas light emporium, a Catholic women’s refuge, a co-operative bank and is now home to a complex ‘hive’
of creative activity. Inspired by findings and conversations with the ’residents’, including a rather touchy mis-shapen black cat, this new installation is born of the sedimentary essence of exchange. In addition, members of AirSpace completed a questionnaire that sought to extract their aspirations which were re-configured into new constellations and altered gravitational fields. This collage approach to the curatorial process acts as a mirror ball celebrating the achievements of this nationally respected artists led space.

In examining the local geography, it is apparent that AirSpace sits within the curiously named Cultural ‘Quarter’ which in turn sits in the centre of a conurbation of towns wrestling with ideas and notions of identity. The gallery, through its consistently exciting exhibition programme and supported by the dedication and passion that it inspires, has become an organisation sensitive to the delicate balance of ingredients that is needed to establish a thriving creative heart that beats at the very centre of the ‘organism’ that is Stoke-on-Trent.

Through this process of fermentation and the distillation of expectations, desires, fears and day to day niggles, one can begin to identify the various levels of commitment exuding from this organisation that steadfastly
clings to its existence in a city poised
on a precarious knife edge, balancing somewhere between the industrial legacy of its past, and the huge potential of possibilities of its imminent future.

- Neil Taylor & Harriet Murray

As part of a commitment to offering opportunities to curators as well as artists, AirSpace Gallery offers the chance for curators to respond to the interests of the gallery, build exhibitions and test new ideas in its gallery spaces. Campbell Works’ Coming Up For Air is part of this commitment and was selected from an open call.














Campbell Works is among other things the collaborative curatorial practice of artists Harriet Murray and Neil Taylor. One of their on-going interests is exploring the physicality of the exhibition space and the relationships created within and between the associated elements of audience, artists, exhibits and exhibition space. They have, over the past 10 years, been experimenting with the established constraints associated with the ‘exhibition’, the curatorial framework and the physicality of the final ‘object’ of the exhibition. They have played with audience manipulation, removing artist provenance and redirecting focus from the individual to the collective. They have created exhibitions through a process of interactive live events where they’ve replaced ‘curatorial selection’ with random input, while at the same time attempting to maintain a level curation with the object of the exhibition as a whole. They pay attention too, and have deep respect for, the individuals involved with each project, never asking more of those involved than they are prepared to give; this said those involved often travel a route that is new and not always easy, but one that triggers new juxtapositions of meaning and possibilities.

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Coming Up For Air re-examines what constitutes an ‘artwork’ and peruses the idea that an artwork is ‘the final manifestation of a multitude of elements drawn together from external sources and re-formatted into new and unexpected configurations’, enabling alternative understandings to be drawn from the original elements.

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AirSpace Gallery is a collaborative, artist led project in Stoke-on-Trent, providing professional development opportunities, studio and exhibiting space and support for artists.

Through a dynamic and evolving programme of exhibitions, events and activities AirSpace Gallery brings critical, high quality contemporary art to the region and provides opportunities for a broad range of artists.

Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in England and Wales No. 0653043

Visit AirSpace Gallery

4 Broad Street
City Centre
Stoke-on-Trent
ST1 4HL

Open during exhibitions

Thursday to Saturday
11:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesdays and Wednesdays
by appointment


+44(0)1782 26 12 21

     

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