Everything is Now
An exhibition in collaboration with artist and writer, Stacey Heale
26 April - 11 June 2019
Featuring artists: Candy Chang, Greg Gilbert, Stacey Heale, The Fandangoe Kid, Life.Death.Whatever, and Brendan Walker
11am-5pm Tuesday to Saturday
Access via Artisan Cafe off Guildhall Square
Image credit: The Fandangoe Kid, Tides of Love and Loss, 2019
Can a traumatic event transform fear into growth?
Everything is Now looks to reconstruct our narrative of fear and regret; despite being seen as negative, both are one of many emotions that help shape our reality and work alongside love and gratitude in helping us come alive. The work here explores the exquisite agony and ecstasy of being human and living in the moment with particular focus on a moment of clarity born from trauma, risk, or fear that sparks a new way of thinking. It is an examination into how these moments can destroy but can also reinforce an urgency to live.
This exhibition is not about death, although its presence is an essential one. Without the humbling acknowledgement of death in its potent and non-abstract form, the ability to live in the moment - in the here and now - may not be possible. The artists here are very much exploring what it is to be alive, asking new questions, starting new journeys and articulating new experiences. They are examining how we might express fear, how we could embrace risk, how to throw off habitual patterns of behaviour and say what needs to be said.
Stacey Heale has co-collaborated this exhibition and will also be contributing via two special events:
The Silver Boots Supper Club
9 May 2019, 7-9.30pm (attendance through application only)
A one night only event with 15 people who were selected via an open application process in early April. Silver Boots Supper Club is an intimate event to eat, drink and discuss all the things we would do with our lives if we weren’t afraid. The evening aims to start a conversation about what we want to experience during our lives, to explore why we don’t act on these wants and to offer a safe space to discuss how to change this. While this kind of chat needs a vulnerable heart and mind, we hope it will be one of deep engagement, insight and empowerment. This isn’t a place for keeping up appearances; attendees are asked to engage whole-heartedly - it is a participatory event to share stories and ideas. See below for more information
The Time is Now
15 June 2019 (tbc), 10am-4pm
A free and open collective tattoo event held in Solent Showcase Gallery where members of the public can have a tattoo of the word 'now' done for free in the gallery.
The experience looks at how a medium often used for personal self expression and construction of identity can connect a group of strangers and opposing ideas of the transient nature of the present moment with the indelibility of a tattoo. The reasons for coming to get a tattoo may be intensely personal, yet the unity of the singular word will unite strangers in a shared experience forever.
Based on ideas from chaos theory, the intention is that participants will engage in a unifying action that can be amplified and produce larger effects elsewhere. The event will be documented, held from 10am-4pm and will be on a first come, first served basis. It is anticipated that the tattoo artist will work from several set fonts of the word ‘now’ and will be able to tattoo approximately 15-20 people over the course of the day. There is no charge.
Before I Die.... wall by Candy Chang.
April – June
In addition to a Candy Chang wall in the gallery itself, we also have an one off-site at Monty’s Community Hub in Montague Avenue, Sholing. They have volunteered to look after a large-scale installation of Candy Chang’s wall to explore with the local community what ideas and ambitions for living they may have. The wall is regularly photographed and sent to Candy Chang’s community project www.beforeidieproject.com
Before I Die is a global art project that invites people to contemplate mortality and share their personal aspirations in public. Through this exhibition, Southampton and Solent University becomes one of over 5,000 cities around the world to have participated in the project.
Workshops by The Fandangoe Kid
Artist, Annie Nicholson (The Fandangoe Kid) will be visiting Southampton to run a series of workshops with local communities. Her workshops offer young adults, schools, teachers and educators a breadth of immersive learning opportunities, tackling complex subject matters creatively and innovatively. Artwork produced by these workshops will be permanently installed around the city of Southampton.
Silver Boots Supper Club
What would you do if you weren't afraid?
9 May 2019, 7-9.30pm
Solent Showcase Gallery is delighted to be hosting the launch of The Silver Boots Supper Club, a special evening to eat, drink and discuss all the things we would do with our lives if we weren’t afraid.
The dinner table is the most forgiving place for conversation. The ritual of sharing a meal creates warmth and connection and puts us in touch with our humanity. The Silver Boots Supper Club will be installed in the Gallery for one evening only as part of Stacey Heale’s creative project for the exhibition Everything is Now. Its launch is the start of subsequent Silver Boots Suppers across the country.
The contribution by Stacey Heale to the exhibition aims to start a conversation about what we want to experience during our lives, to explore why we don’t act on these wants and to offer a safe space to discuss how to change this.
For the launch on 9 May, The Silver Boots Supper Club will be an intimate dinner for 15 people in the gallery with chef Clayton Burke preparing a three-course meal. The evening will include guest speakers, although this is not just a listening project - it is a participatory event to share stories and exchange ideas.
Stacey describes how the idea for The Silver Boots Supper Club began:
When my husband Greg was diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 bowel cancer, we talked about regret. I asked him if he regretted anything about his life and his reply was, "I wish I had dressed more like Marc Bolan. I can’t really understand now why I didn’t."
This realisation hit me hard. Why hadn’t he been living how he wanted? Was it because of fear, or to avoid ridicule or because it was just easier not to? This tallies with the number one regret of the dying - ‘I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me’. It made me question my own life and how I had been living. To support Greg, I immediately bought a pair of glam rock style silver boots.
Bolan would have been pleased.
When it comes to our own wishes, desires and regrets, we can give in to inertia. A year goes by, we don’t do anything. Two, three, 20 years go by and that small increment of negativity builds to a bigger feeling of regret when, unfortunately, many times it’s too late to actually do something. To make things worse, all the reasons that seemed compelling at the time for not taking action seem much less convincing later.
Through recent experience, I have learnt a lesson more valuable than all those learnt throughout the rest of my life put together. While my situation is dire, I am grateful for the chance to live more in the moment and drink in every drop of its multi-coloured brilliance.
I invite you to do the same and explore the lesson I learnt from both Greg and Marc Bolan - life is too short and glorious to not wear the silver boots.
The Silver Boots Supper Club is part of the Everything is Now exhibition at Solent Showcase Gallery running from 26 April - 22 June.
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