Thursday, May 30th, 2013
With hindsight last Autumn’s REGROUPING show feels like a glorious compromise between everything that BendInTheRiver did before it and everything it might do after it. Seven months on we perhaps ought to be announcing what does come after it but that will have to wait. Many of you will know that BITR’s directors also set up the Slumgothic project at x-church. REGROUPING at x-church was a tremendous success and has triggered an intense period of fundraising. As a result although BendInTheRiver continues to sell work it is not able to stage any exhibitions because most of our energy is going into x-church.
Early in June Slumgothic Ltd will sign a ten year lease on x-church triggering funding from CAN and we will set about properly establishing x-church as a significant visual arts venue driven in large part by the energies and enthusiasms of a new audience that has grown up around the building. Slumgothic Teenage Art Project has been meeting for over five years now and has approximately 150 members. An exciting dynamic is developing out of overlapping Slumgothic’s core visual arts activities with the music driven arts appetites of Gainsborough’s youth. When Peter Rollins performed with his Experimental Sonic Machines at the x-church REGROUPING opening he brought the two audiences together in a way that definitely pointed to a new future for a building that Pevsner described as ‘a place prepared for ritual’.
2013 then is a development year with more change and lots of building work. The funds from CAN will refurbish the schoolroom giving the building a warm comfortable antidote to the main space. We will also build x-box, a proper band practice space. The program will be necessarily limited but resident artist Sophie Lee will show ‘A Partial History’ in the autumn and we are very pleased to be able to invite you to Graham Lewinton’s Slumgothic exhibition ‘If You Choose The Right Path You’ve Got a Job For Life’. The show’s centrepiece will be a very long floor piece listing five hundred jobs written in blood. Accompanying paintings will mostly focus on areas of unrest, injustice and conflict with subjects such as Aung San Suu Kyi and the Arab Spring.Top of Page
Friday, September 28th, 2012
40+ artists, 5 venues
WowTop of Page
Monday, April 16th, 2012Top of Page
Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
x-church, Gainsborough = 8 Sept – 6 Oct, Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sat, 11am – 5pm
Workstation, Sheffield = 10 Sept – 27 Sept, Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri, 9am – 8pm
Primary, Nottingham = 7 Sept – 16 Sept, Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun, 11am – 4pm
Decimal Place, 10 Burton Road, Lincoln = 29 Sept – 6 Oct (see Future for specific times)
Usher, Lincoln = 6 Oct – 27 Oct , Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun, 10am – 4pm
To reorganise for renewed effort, as after a temporary setback
When BendInTheRiver closed at 54 Bridge St, Gainsborough it forced us to reflect on what our group of artists was without a regular showing space. Up to that point we had mostly staged solo exhibitions and things had been relatively straightforward – find an artist, find a show title, stage a show. Closure changed all that and the thinking around what has become REGROUPING started to take shape.
Our initial thoughts had to do with showing the group to itself, some kind of physical embodiment of our question about what a group is. Then we thought it might be really interesting to ask each of our core group of artists to invite one other artist into the show. Some artists simply invited a guest in, others have built collaborations. A whole range of interaction and negotiation is shaping what will be one of the biggest gambles BendInTheRiver has taken. Nearly half of the biggest show the gallery has ever staged is, to a great extent, beyond our control.
Issues and ideas around control have become increasingly important to the gallery. Certainly the predominance of solo shows had much to do with singularity, with bucking against shackling artists to theories and justifications. We have always struggled to find words to put with visual art. Our 2010 publication “and the quick witted animals knew long ago that we are not securely at home in the interpreted world” mostly found oblique, sideways, reluctant words. Too many group shows are all about the words with the artworks standing in as props.
Working intermittently during the last six years in the vast x-church space has taught us a great deal about the value of adjacency. The building is in a deprived area and the gulf between the world of visual art and the lives of residents of the South West Ward is immense but Slumgothic Ltd, proprietors of x-church, have developed a knack of putting one thing next to another. Gainsborough’s X Factor was staged in amongst a sculpture exhibition. Slumgothic Teenage Art Project is dominated by metal music but is deliberately clashed with art shows like Steve Dutton and Neil Webb’s BITR Project 3, End of Ends. In essence REGROUPING will be no different, one artwork next to another.
BendInTheRiver has always tried to play a part in the wider project of vitalizing visual arts activity in our area and it is very exciting that the dynamic of REGROUPING has spread the show into other regional venues. Helen Barff and Chloe Briggs are making drawing tools, swapping them and will be leading instructed drawing sessions at The Usher Gallery in Lincoln as part of the Big Draw . Frank Kent is making a site specific painting out of the façade of a disused building at Primary studios in Nottingham. The showing of ‘Building Two Collage’ coincides with World Event Young Artists, one thousand artists in one week in the city! And REGROUPING at Workstation in Sheffield is a prelude to BendInTheRiver taking up permanent residence in the building as of January 2013. So the story has come full circle - no gallery, REGROUPING, new gallery.
BITR artist/guest artist:
Helen Barff (London)/Chloe Briggs (Paris)
Collaborative interactive drawing project
Bob Billington (Norfolk)/Paul Aston(Forest of Dean)
Shaped paintings/Shaped paintings
Michael Bowdidge(Glasgow)/Mirja Koponen (Edinburgh).
Peter Cartwright (Notts)/Stephen McNeilly (London)
Frank Kent (Nottingham)/Simon Callery (London)
Site specific painting/Painting
Barbara Howey (Norfolk)/Molly Thompson (Norfolk)
Susan Michie (Devon)/Simon Lewty (Warks/Dorset)
Bernadette O’Toole (Liverpool)/Christopher Jones (Newcastle).
Claudia Pilsl (Bristol)/Pavel Buchler (Manchester)
James Quin (Liverpool)/Eleanor Moreton (London)
Derek Sprawson (Notts)/Sean Cummins (Notts)
Shaped paintings/Instructed drawing
Dex Tape Noise (Lincoln)/Peter Rollings (Lincoln)
Christopher Taylor (France)/Luo Yongjin (Shanghai)
Henry Tietzsch-Tyler (Sheffield/Berlin)/Marcus Hammond (Gainsborough)
Keith Hayman (Sheffield)
Social media project mapping train journey Gainsborough to Sheffield
Sophie Lee (Scunthorpe)
Photography from current Slumgothic resident artist
Leila Al-Yousuf (Nottingham)
@ Decimal Place
A.S.M.O. (Anti Social Music Order)
Hering und Seine Sieben Sachen
Komodo Haunts/Mt. Tjhris
REGROUPING is supported by Arts Council EnglandTop of Page
Friday, October 14th, 2011
Since graduating with a first from Nottingham Trent in 2010 Frank Kent’s progress has been impressive. His degree show paintings have recycled and re-sited through residencies with BendInTheRiver and Surface and will live again at The Carnival of Monsters in Chilwell next week. In the meantime he has won the Grand Prize at Nottingham Castle Open for his intervention in the Long Gallery. His £1500 prize will fund a timely research trip to Berlin.Top of Page
Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
Claustrophobia overtook us and we have now closed at 54 Bridge St. BendInTheRiver has never been just an exhibition space, it has always sought to build strong wider working relationships with artists and to have a positive social impact. The gallery at 54 staged some excellent exhibitions and it played a role in the regeneration of the town’s riverside. Our space in 54 has been taken by an alternative clinic and we are happy that the positive ethos of our building lives on but in Gainsborough we now feel compelled to focus our attention on x-church, where challenges to artists are greater and regeneration issues more urgent. More broadly we are looking at European fairs and intend to stage an ambitious painting show in Sheffield in 2012.
X-church is ostensibly derelict and is closed much more than it is open. It has none of the normal gallery attributes – white walls, bright lights etc. It is a was church, an ex church more than it is anything else. Some people call these buildings ‘meanwhile spaces’, places waiting for something definite to happen. We see it slightly differently and value the building for what it communicates as it is, as it now is – battered and bruised, largely abandoned by the transient community that has grown up around it. Tough as it is there is no doubt that artists value the challenge of working at x-church and residencies have demonstrably moved artists on. It is also true that the building can contribute to the regeneration of it’s neighborhood, but only if people are physically there, on the ground.
The building is unheated and this autumn/winter we will be working with Slumgothic to deliver a program of visual art events in the cold. A visit to x-church is wrong-footing and experience tells us that people are wary of the building and it’s lack of comfort so we are gambling that a less comfortable experience is potentially a more meaningful one. A tough offer in tough times. We don’t want people to casually drift by, we want them to see the work, witness it.
On reflection our involvement with Slumgothic has opened up an ongoing dialogue around location. It could be argued that at every level the visual arts is preoccupied with where to put things and for some time now BendInTheRiver has not known where to put itself. We have become mentally itinerant and the fixed address at 54 has sat heavily like an ill-digested meal.
When St John’s was a church the focus was on Sundays. Going forward x-church will focus on Saturdays. This season heralds a new era for BendInTheRiver. One in which we will work more incisively in more places.Top of Page
Saturday, March 26th, 2011
We will be installing a mixed exhibition at All Saints, Laughton for Churches Festival 2011. May 7/8, 11am – 5.30pmTop of Page
Saturday, March 26th, 2011
02 – 23 April. Upstairs at 54 Bridge St. Show of work concluding the Queen Elizabeth’s High School AS project that began with the show “the journey is more important than” at the gallery in 2010.Top of Page
Saturday, March 26th, 2011
We are proud to announce the sale of 20 drawings and 3 paintings by Peter Cartwright to the prestigious Corinthia Hotel, Whitehall Place, City of London, SW1A 2BDTop of Page
Wednesday, January 26th, 2011
In difficult and cagey economic times we did ok. The stand looked superb and attracted a great deal of attention. BITR hung like a show not a shop and LAF11 convinced us that we are in good shape to move forward. Bob Billington’s work in particular looked great and proved that slower, quieter work can more than hold its own amongst visual racket. Another big success was Susan Michie’s 14 drawing work ‘To the Edge’. Again this is a piece that might have suffered in a fair environment but her work has such clarity of purpose that it too received high praise. Peter Cartwright’s paintings looked as good as ever, images from the ‘Playtime’ series by Claudia Pilsl went down well and Bernadette O’Toole’s circular paintings stopped many people in their tracks. We looked very good!
Many thanks to ACE for helping us to prove once again that regional galleries can stand out. We’ll never forget Ricky Demarco on his knees hastily scribbling contact details at ten past closing on the last day. Onwards and upwards.Top of Page