Together! 2019 Open Exhibition

Open Exhibition artists at the Meet the Artist event.

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?

colour photograph of seagulls pecking at other animals

Peck Your Own by Sarah Hughes. Acrylic on paper and plastic. 2m x 2m.

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.

Beckton Globe Library, 1 Kingsford Way, London E6 5JQ. Nearest station (accessible): Beckton (DLR). 020 3373 0853. Bus routes include: 101, 173, 262, 300, 366, 376, 474.


Exhibiting Artists and Groups

Annie A
Sharifa Acchodi
Daksha Amin
Domingo Annani
John B
Dawn Barber
Sean Bedminster
Nashima Begum
Lee Brooker
Dwain Bryan
John Bull
Carol Burley
Jill C
Pauline C
Brenda Cohen
George Cooper
Julie Cordell
Philip Crangle
Felicia Danquar
William Davey
Erdigan Davulcouglu
Tina Denby
Donald Dunn
David Elton
Kirwin Gibson
David Goldman
Ju Gosling aka ju90
Tasadg H
Geoff Hayes
Ella Higginbottom
Carol Howell
Sarah Hughes
Morshed Murad Hussain
Asifha K
Parvin Khoshdel
Harvey L
Tony Lawrence
Jason Lennon
Herminio Lopes
Irfan Malik
Asha Mohammed Mniammud
August Newman
Julie Newman
Itunu Olatunbosun
Fem Omage
Kevin Otudeko
June Owe
Pritesh Patel
Crystal Peasy
Sandra Pink
Sterre Ploeger
Pamela R
John S
Shifa S
Glory Sengo
Reg Tucker
Paul Wright

Work is from individuals and members of the following groups:

Art Recovery Group
East End Hamlets
Flying Angel Art Group
McGrath Centre
Perfect Community Care
St Mark’s Art Group
The Good Support Group
Together! 2012 Art Club