We were fortunate to be given a full tour of the a-foundation’s Greenland Street complex recently.
Everyone is working flat out to get all the building work and art installations finished in time for the opening on September 16th. There still seemed an awful lot to do but its going to look great when its completed, I’m really excited about this as I remember how good it was in this Independents area in 2004 and the a-foundation have got some really cool stuff lined up.
The first thing to point out is that all this is here to stay. The a-foundation have invested a lot into this area and are determined to see it grow to support artist residencies, studios, commissioning works and artist-led projects.
The space is currently undergoing a two-phase redevelopment, which includes improved access, the creation of three major exhibition spaces, a central reception area with an arts bookshop, cafe and hospitality area.
So the three spaces are The Coach Shed, The Furnace and The Blade Factory.
The Coach Shed, as in 2004, will house the Bloomberg New Contemporaries. It has recently been confirmed that the New Contemporaries will continue to launch at this venue during future Biennials.
New Contemporaries gives people still at, or just after, art school the opportunity to show their work in the context of a professional art gallery. It is important in that it takes the work out of the educational context and into the real.
The annual exhibition is selected from slide, film, video, cd, proposal, and then at a second stage from a shortlist of the work itself. New Contemporaries is one of only two open exhibitions in the country. The importance of testing, looking, judging without knowledge of school, age, works both ways. The selection of selector is, therefore, key. As a principle it is important to convey a very basic sense of possibility to every art school student or recent graduate considering applying.
Although there is no limit put on the number of artists to be shown each year, the number chosen from out of over 1,200 applicants has averaged almost uncannily, at around thirty-five. Independent of place, New Contemporaries is an annual exhibition without a building, has had beneficial relationships with many important galleries.
2006 Selectors: Angus Fairhurst, Paul Noble, Alison Wilding
Artists: Holly Antrum, Salvatore Arancio, Athanasios Argianas, Joshua Balgos, Dafni Barbageorgopoulou, Becky Beasley, Terence Besmirch, Kiran Kaur Brar, Sarah Bridgland, Andrea Buttner, Youngmi Chun, Stephen Connolly, Susan Ellery, Jennifer Evans, Jessie Flood Paddock, John Hughes, Andy Jackson, Chiho Kato, Morag Keil, Katherine Kicinski, Edwin Li, Neil McNally, Nicholas Mobbs, Katy Moran, Laura Morrison, Yuko Nasu, Tom Price, Florian Roithmayr, Lois Rowe, Robert Rush, Henrietta Simson, Matthew Smith, Akiko and Masako Takada, Akiko Takizawa, Douglas White, Jeremy Willett.
At The Coach Shed, Greenland St, Sept 16th – Oct 22nd 2006.
Opening times: Wed-Sun 12.00 – 18.00
Thurs 12.00 – 20.00