Myself and co-founders (Jerzy Mazur, Julien Masson) of Southampton Ceramics (find website link below) group spoke of holding an exhibition to showcase some of our recently made ceramics work. Jerzy the owner of The Studio/ My Pottery was in the beginning of making an addition to his shop which would be the now UNIT 8 Gallery in Southampton The Marlands Shopping center.
After 4 weeks of planning and building the gallery was nearly there. In this time a lady called Qi Sun had been working in the pottery shop, she was a graduate from Southampton University and had just finished her MA in Commnication Design. She had not used clay as an art form before and picked it up very quickly with guidance from Jerzy. We asked if she would join our exhibition and also our Southampton Ceramics group, she was delighted and began making a piece for the show. I was happy to have another female on board and I enjoyed working with her very much.
Qi Sun work below
So we now have Polish, English, French and Chinese artists. A variety of cultures coming together in Southampton to share ideas and be creative. Collaboration in art is important as is to accept others opinions and ways of working which can then reflect in your own work. When you become open to ideas and let in new ways of thinking you allow yourself to expand and grow.
The gallery has been made after some late nights (mainly Jerzy building) we have been promoting around Southampton however now the exhibition is over I feel more promotion is due for future exhibitions. A lot of time was spent building the gallery and making sure our sculptures were finished and ready to display meant our promotion lacked slightly, but a lesson learnt for the beginning of our Southampton Ceramics voyage.
The exhibition went on for a month and we held open private view where wine was on the ready as well as the artists to answer any questions people may have, however being that I had consumed a large amount of alcohol the previous night meant I was not exactly on form for this event. I think I spilled more wine on the floor than getting it in my mouth. Another lesson learnt for future exhibitions – self-control.
Marlands becoming more creative?
Over all the space looks great and perfect for individual or group exhibitions. I can see many ceramic exhibitions being held in this space and The Marlands Shopping center seems to be attracting lots of creative new projects, such as the Solent University art students shop RE:SO which is a platform for the students to sell and promote their work, catch them here:
On the second Saturday of every month there is a craft, art and vintage market upstairs. I saw around 20-25 stalls there with the capacity of 40 so a good move made on the Marlands to hold this indoor market and bringing even more attention the shopping center, see info about Bert & Gerts markets on their website:
Go See for yourself
Some work from the exhibition is for sale and on display in UNIT 8 Gallery it has been rotated so there is also new work from Jerzy Mazur. Go and check it out if your ever in Southampton and pick yourself up one of the free exhibition brochures which are an art work in themselves, Julian Masson – freelance artist and founder of Southampton Ceramics group kindly spent the time designing them.