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  • Writer's pictureGayle Rogers

Group Exhibitions – Do they help us all?

Installing the new Ordinary/Extraordinary show at the Workers Gallery, resident artist shares her hopes for the show - for everyone exhibiting

I’ve been involved in a lot of group shows. As I finished installing my latest group show – Ordinary/Extraordinary at the Workers Gallery in South Wales, I wondered will it help? Because it seems over and over that is what people are asking for and what many need more of. Will it help the artists? the gallery? the visitors?

Of course extra funds or sales would be a great help. The Welsh valleys have only last week been struck another blow with closures at the TATA Steel Works announced yesterday. This will put 2800 jobs at risk in an area where the

communities are already extremely challenged.

The show brings together 12 artists, comic creators and zine makers at different stages in their careers and from different countries. It is a wonderfully eclectic mix of themes – from zombies to GPs, from football historians (me) to fossil hunters. The exhibitors all responded to a call out for work and supplied A4 prints and samples of books and zines for exhibition. There was no entry fee (this is the gallery policy). After it’s run in the gallery, the show will be toured to non-art venues by volunteers on a cargo e-bike. The A4 format makes it’s easier to pack the show into viewing folders and to travel with. The work doesn’t then need walls to be shown – just a decent sized table. So there is no doubt that the work will reach new audiences. In fact most exhibitors have not shown their work in Wales before.

In turn the show will raise the profile of the Workers Gallery to a wider audience, as exhibitors share the news of the show to their networks and beyond. I hope those new audiences will then engage and support the artists and gallery.

So does that help us all? Well…

Looking at the show it visualises 12 individual and distinct voices that speak of what it is to dream a little, to reflect on what is good and bad, to tell of difficult and wonderful human interactions and explorations of this complex thing we call life. To be ‘seen’ and ‘heard’ and to listen and see – that’s got to help us all surely? 


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