2-30 November 2019 (not Sundays): Together! 2019 Open Exhibition, bringing together work by amateur, community, emerging and mid-career Disabled artists with a local connection. Meet the Artists Tuesday 19 November 3-5pm. Beckton Globe Library. FREE. All welcome.
Click here to watch a short video of the exhibition on Twitter.
Artistic Director Dr Ju Gosling talks to exhibition curator Sarah Hughes about ‘Peck Your Own’ and the Open Exhibition.
JG: You’ve gone from assisting with the hang of the Open Exhibition 2012 to being the sole curator for the past two years. This year I chose your work, Peck Your Own, as the exhibition image for the first time. When did you paint it?
SH: About two months ago.
JG: What is it about?
SH: It is about the growing wealth divide in the UK. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer.
JG: Are you concerned about this?
SH: Yes. I see the wealth divide getting bigger and bigger and those who can do something about it are ignoring it or in denial.
JG: What do the creatures and the colours signify?
SH: The sea gulls set upon the defenceless turtles trying to reach the sea, trying to get on with their lives. The big aggressive seagulls represent those with money and power and the turtles are the poorer and vulnerable people and families trying to get on with their lives but to some extent being exploited by those with more influence and power. The colours in the sky are the colours of Brexit — the Union Jack, the French flag etc. I am questioning the reality of what is happening under the process of Brexit — who is being ignored, forgotten or trodden on in the relentless pursuit of Brexit or Remain in Parliament.
JG: What does the title signify?
SH: The title ‘Peck Your Own’ is a play on words for the phrase ‘pick your own’ which is used for picking fruit on the fruit farms in the summer. I feel we should be harvesting all the talent, the educated, the skillful the creative and celebrating the contributions. This should come from all our diverse multi-ethnic communities no matter what economic group they fall into. We need to celebrate and encourage particularly the youth and the vulnerable.
In addition, my first job as a teenager was picking strawberries. I bought myself a bicycle from this summer’s work. That bike was very, very special to me. I think fruit picking is a good first job. That first job situation is a very important step up into the future for young people.
JG: As well as individual artists, we have work from a number of artists from Newham-based groups in the exhibition, and you’ve been cycling around the borough for the past few weeks making contact and liaising with them to include their work.
SH: Yes. One of the most long-standing contributors to the show are East End Hamlets, who are a group of artists who attended the Greenhill Day Centre before it closed and are now independent. They have entered work every year since 2012. Sadly three have died this year, they are Carol Burley, Brenda Cohen and Reg Tucker. Carol and Brenda contributed to the large silk painting ‘Famous People from Newham’ which is shown here. We have also lost an artist from another group in very sad circumstances, so for all sorts of reasons, this year’s Open Exhibition is very special to me.
Exhibiting Artists and Groups
Ju Gosling aka ju90
Morshed Murad Hussain
Asha Mohammed Mniammud
Work is from individuals and members of the following groups:
Art Recovery Group
East End Hamlets
Flying Angel Art Group
Perfect Community Care
St Mark’s Art Group
The Good Support Group
Together! 2012 Art Club