Our Blog

Artist's creating opportunities

Posted on July 23, 2015

It can be difficult for artists to get their work seen. You can spend months laboring and researching new ideas and creating new work to then battle through rounds of selection and social media to have one slice of feedback. This is why, as a gallery we think it is important for the likes of Secret Art Prize to exist, as new and emerging artists will be seen, but what about beyond that? How do artists keep going? Well throughout my own art studies and artistic career I have always been given the same piece of advice- create your own opportunities. This may sound hard and difficult to swallow but it is true- it has been how artists have worked for generations. You must keep thinking of your own projects and how to share them, where to share them, how to present them, who to invite- all of this is up to you and that is very exciting.
Curious Duke Gallery artist Cherelle Sappleton tells how she has gone about creating her own opportunities after completing an MA in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins.
“I'm working in collaboration with Kathrin Bonnar on an artist led initiative called I'm not done. It’s a project which came from a restlessness to take charge of our careers and create opportunities for ourselves rather than relying on the usual channels and waiting to be selected for exhibitions, residencies etc. We started off with a show which involved 12 artists including ourselves that took place at Islington Arts Factory in Holloway last year and we are currently in the midst of organising I'm not done/2 which is part of Yinka Shonibare's Guest Projects residency opportunity just off Broadway Market in Hackney. 
After staging an open call, with the help of Katie Guggenheim (Exhibitions and & Events Curator at Chisenhale Gallery), we have invited further creative practitioners to participate in the project through consecutive, week long residencies. Practitioners selected are: Jane Francis Dunlop & Mira Loew, Meg Ferguson and Katerina Strasser.
Guest Projects will become a multi-faceted studio/ project/ performance/ exhibition space enabling collaboration, participation and experimentation. 
It’s been so beneficial having the opportunity to collaborate with other artists, stage shows and talks and generally have a reason to remain active in my practice. The nature of the project is to really experiment and challenge art making within an inclusive and 'safe' environment. I'm especially looking forward to the next show as we'll have ample room and time to use the space as a studio with artists from varied disciplines and different parts of the country. At the moment I'm focusing on creating objects and installations and thinking of collage and assemblage in a broader sense. I'm in a process of transition although I'm still focusing on ideas relating to identity, gender and representation, I am using them as a means to interrogate the images create, as well as challenge my own views on these subjects. I've also started to incorporate fabrics and ephemera, and I hope to produce work on a larger scale. The new work is a lot more personal than previous stuff so I'm excited but also nervous to see what the response is. 
Thanks Cherelle!
If you’re interested in attending please comment below or look out for more information on our Top 5 exhibitions in August and September.
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Written by Curious Duke Gallery blogger Sinéad Loftus.
Lover of all art and fluffy cats.