Exhibition comes to Newtown, virtually until gallery re-opens

A new, national touring exhibition, which shows how shared processes, skills and values associated with creative making contribute to thriving commons neighbourhoods, is set to be launched in Newtown when galleries are allowed to reopen.

Rewilding at the Clootie Tree  by Pinkie Maclure
Rewilding at the Clootie Tree by Pinkie Maclure

“The commons means: Things we share, Places we share, Systems we share, Ideas we share and Culture we share,” said Peter Barnes, On the Commons co-founder.

The thought-provoking Craftspace exhibition will run at the Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown until June 26. In the meantime, plans are underway to provide a virtual tour of the exhibition via the Craftspace website craftspace.co.uk.

The exhibition highlights ‘acts of commoning’ which are shaping the way communities work together to share and steward commonly owned assets and resources.

Through 16 loans and new commissions, artists will bring attention to the issues, contribute their thought leadership and participate in a call to action. These artists provide a powerful commentary on what society stands to gain from acting to protect and reclaim our global commons.

Featuring both UK based and international artists, the exhibition reflects a commons-based shift in thinking from ‘you’re on your own’ to ‘we’re in this together.’ It will investigate how creativity, making and materials can highlight how acts of commoning are creating thriving communities.

“In a time of extreme disruption from COVID-19, this exhibition provides a mutual resource to find and process meaning out of trauma and loss, to aid recovery,” said Deirdre Figueiredo MBE, director of Craftspace.

“Lockdown has seen a surge in purchase of craft equipment and materials. People have turned to age-old craft skills and making to get by, boost their resilience and engage in acts of collective creativity.

“Increasing privatisation in cities has eroded the commons and local authorities are hard pressed to steward commonly owned spaces and assets. Now more than ever we need commons thinking to rebalance our ways of being, living, working and imagining a more collectively-made and owned future.”

Exhibition themes range from work influenced by historical land based commons, such as the Common Ground Peckham Rye Token project by Alice McLean and Justine Boussard and stained glass ‘Rewilding at the Clootie Tree’ by Pinkie Maclure to fashion commons where Amy Twigger Holroyd shares stitch hacking techniques in Re:Knit Revolution.

We are Commoners will tour the UK until September next year. The exhibition will be free to visit. More details at commoners.craftspace.co.uk.

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