Imagine the archeologists of the future unearthing the atrefacts of our age. What will they find? And what will they make of them?
To partially answer the first question, they will find the most endurable of our possessions, but not necessarily the most important. What significance will they attach to the plastic trivia to which we give so little thought?
These are just a few of the questions posed by the work of Doug Selway – painter, multimedia artist and, I’m honoured to say, a damn fine friend. Doug has created The Silent Museum, a place (that is no place in particular) where he is displaying the relics of the future, incorporating the artefacts we’re carelessly consuming as we party our way to extinction.
This is a taste of what you will experience at the show:
And here’s the official blurb:
Weiss Gallery 10 are all active professional makers and artists who have found, selected and collaborated with each other to make this show happen. We are a broad, inclusive mix of methods, materials and purposes and we are all happy to be showing together in such a central and important art space. The Weiss Gallery has given us all a rare opportunity to curate and present our own and other peoples work in a way that makes sense to the people who make it. This is rare, and if you come to the show it gives you equally rare direct access to the to the makers and their work in the same space.
This show is curated by people who all trust each other to turn up with good work on the day. It wouldn’t work without trust. Exactly like every day in our own workshops, this commits the whole group to uncertainty, even jeopardy. This tolerance of risk is crucial if we are to nurture new work. Without it, artists and curators are just walking round in circles patting each other on the back. Artists and makers need to be trusted to make new work, but also need the eyes of their peers to identify and move on from the times when it doesn’t work. Without this jeopardy, and the expertise of our peers that we use to manage it, the art market turns into just a branch of retailing.
In the end, an individual artist studio is a smallholding. We have to take personal responsibility for nurturing, growing, pruning, composting, harvesting and producing our own work. Thats why the 10 of us are all actively working, because quality control is best kept as near to the farm as possible if you want the freshest, most nutritious work.
Factory farming our art ecosystem is spectacularly bad at fostering new work. Its lack of jeopardy removes the challenges and surprises for the artists and their visitors. In the end all of us know the difference between food that is prepared and presented with love and attention and food that isn’t. We all have that same sensual capacity to discriminate when looking as well as tasting. If we look carefully, any of us can tell the difference between work that’s good, and work that isn’t. We also all know the best place to shop for fresh, original work is as near to the farm as possible.
We don’t see the diversity, the lack of specialism in this group as a weakness. We hope there is something here for everybody, and if there isn’t we hope that you will tell us.