Graduate artists find new ways of exhibiting during lockdown

Graduate artists find new ways of exhibiting during lockdown

Led by arts organisation, ’a space’ arts, Homemade Mango Chutney is a virtual exhibition of new work by graduate artists in Southampton. 

Previously titled Mango Chutney, the exhibition was originally intended to showcase the work of ten artists who currently occupy studio spaces at the Alfred Arcade and the Hidden Wardrobe on Old Northam Road. These spaces were offered to the current residents last year as part of ‘a space’ arts’ RIPE Graduate Programme. As well as using the spaces as studios, the artists have met regularly for crit sessions and evolved their ideas through this exchange and experimentation; forming networks and friendships that will help them sustain a fruitful visual arts practice in Southampton. 

In these unusual and unprecedented times it felt important to expand the project, and take advantage of new digital ways of working, to include RIPE artists who have since left Old Northam Road and are now working and living in other places, on other projects. Homemade Mango Chutney provides all the participating artists with the opportunity to remain connected and optimistic in this new, difficult and digital time. 

RIPE is a graduate programme led by ‘a space’ arts, in partnership with Solent University (SU) and Winchester School of Art (WSA), part of University of Southampton; all RIPE artists are SU and WSA graduates. The virtual gallery, which hosts Homemade Mango Chutney is modelled on the Alfred Arcade and was created by WSA alumni and artist, George Thom.

Since long before lockdown George has been running a virtual gallery called Groocks Gallery. Artists from around the world have been submitting their work for inclusion in the gallery, which can then be accessed online. 

He said: “Although I have been interested in digital space and abstract ideas since I was young, Winchester School of Art was where I found my practice in digital art. Coming from a background in drawing and portrait painting, I took a direction in Sculpture then followed by New Media which led me to experiment with digital software such as Blender, 3D scanning and printing technologies.”

The exhibition gives audiences the chance to visit a digital version of the Alfred Arcade without leaving their homes. Imagine visiting an exhibition within a computer game and you’ll have some idea of what this unique, surreal version of the Alfred Arcade will be like.

To celebrate the exhibition opening, ‘a space’ arts are hosting a virtual launch party at 7pm on Friday 29th May via Zoom, which will include an artist led tour, live art and a Q&A session. 

Link to register on eventbrite:

Link to George Thom and Groocks Gallery: