ON SUBSIDIARY PROJECTS.

Natalia González Martín, February 2019

Subsidiary Projects is an alternative to the established gallery space. Established in 2017 in a domestic space in south London, it offers artists and curators the opportunity to test new ideas and present them to an audience.

After I graduated from my BA in Fine Art, I was left with a set of skills but did not quite know how to apply them to anything apart from a canvas. I was constantly looking for opportunities to show my work, but those were hard to find; the demand is always too high and the offer very low.

 

I got together with two friends who were going through the same agony and we decided to set up our own exhibition. I had just moved to a new flat which had a living room, a privilege in a city like London, and we decided to use it as a gallery space. Visitors had the chance to discuss the exhibited work over a cup of tea. It was the perfect mix between an art crit (so missed from university days) and an exhibition.

 

I decided to go on curating exhibitions in my living room under the name Subsidiary Projects. Soon we had a lineup of exhibitions, one each month for about six months. We exhibited the work of emerging artists such as Maria Positano, Emmanuelle Loiselle, Seth Stewart-Brown, Millie Layton, Garth Gratrix; the work of artist collectives such as IKO and several group shows.

Mere Monads, Millie Layton, 2018. 

© Courtesy of Subsidiary Projects. 

Picnic, Group Exhibition, 2018. 

© Courtesy of Subsidiary Projects. 

Over the last two years, different curators and collectives have taken over the space. Curators Billy Fraser and Nelle Gevers took over the gallery for the presentation of the third part of their curatorial project "Extended Call". The show featured the work of 33 artists – how everything fitted into a small living room is still a mystery to all of us!

 

One of the most exciting moments for the gallery was when our collaboration with curator Georgia Stephenson was selected for Art Night 2018 – we were the youngest gallery to ever have participated in the event.

Extended Call, Group Exhibition, 2018. 

© Courtesy of Subsidiary Projects. 

Art Night Installation, 2018. 

© Courtesy of Subsidiary Projects. 

The latest collaboration that took place was with DATEAGLE ART, for the exhibition ‘Darlings of the Underground’, showcasing the work of 7 emerging and established artists, accompanied by an essay by Anna Souter. The exhibition sought to bring overlooked and sidelined relationships to the forefront, drawing attention to human encounters with organisms designated ‘other’.

 

The future of Subsidiary Projects is bright; it was born as a temporary solution to an everlasting problem, but it got carried away. We will continue putting on exhibitions for emerging artists and providing a space for young curators.

Darlings of the Underground, Group Exhibition, 2019. 

© DATEAGLE ART 

For the purpose of incentivising alternative modes of exhibiting, I have gathered a small (and completely non-representative) list of different organisations and spaces in London that are doing similar things:

 

Zero Corners supports international artists with a research-based practice. It is a creative muscle, breaking and building itself through collaborative exchange. The independent nomadic art space facilitates exhibitions, workshops, and lectures in all corners of the world. It was founded by American artist and curator, Ashley Middleton.

 

Shipment is a new, moving, artist-led gallery that occupies a trail of liminal locations to present site-specific, creative projects. Its main goals are to create irreproducible audience experiences and to develop its participants. Shipment produces projects made by people with boundary-pushing ideas who work in contemporary art, performance, writing, design and technology.
 

The London Arts Board is a dis-used municipal notice board on the corner of Peckham Road and Vestry Road, Camberwell. It is now a gallery dedicated to giving emerging artists the chance to have a solo exhibition in London.

¨I can ask an artist anywhere in the world to send me a high-resolution image of their work, I print it out, paste it up on the Board and promote it as you would any other exhibition.¨ - Liberty Rowley
 

Soft Opening has developed a program of exhibitions that each respond idiosyncratically - often in both content and display - to the gallery’s unique location in Piccadilly Circus Underground Station. Functioning essentially as a window display, Soft Opening offers artists a space in a neighbourhood associated with tourism, consumerism and commerce, where their work can engage with, situate itself within and confront this context from a self-aware and critical perspective.

 

The Rectory Projects in Poplar, East London, is run by artists Sammy Sinibaldi, Emma Sheehy, Louise Hildreth and James Randell. It is a not-for-profit space set in a Georgian oasis in the shadow of Canary Wharf. They have been running a series of two-person shows, group critiques, sales and events since late 2016.

 

Picnic is a contemporary art space, occupying a long window in the Aylesham Centre in Peckham, South London. It offers artists a unique space and opportunity to develop works in relation to a wider public audience.

 

Take Courage Gallery is an arts platform based in New Cross that puts on regular exhibitions and acts as a support structure for early career artists. The gallery is building a series of events, shows and seminars for artists who are at the early to mid level of their practice, in association with Exchange Project. Curator Joshua Freddie Vaughan has recently taken over management of Take Courage, and works with both local and international artists, exploring notions such as novelty, craft, and inter-disciplinary arts practices.

 

isthisit? is a platform for contemporary art. Online, it operates as a gallery producing monthly exhibitions showcasing emerging to mid-career artists, hosting a roster of guest curators experimenting with the medium of the internet. The website also hosts monthly residencies, where artists are given a web page to create new work that exists on the internet as a piece of net art. Offline, it has held exhibitions nationally and internationally and is the publisher of isthisit?, a book series released on a tri-annual basis.

© 2019 by Assemblage Magazine.

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