17.3.09

Temporary Art Show review in the Huddersfield Examiner

Huddersfield artists host free exhibition at Halifax Piece Hall
Mar 13 2009 Huddersfield Daily Examiner


HUDDERSFIELD artists are bringing art for art’s sake to the people – without funding or any interest in selling their work.

The Temporary Art Group’s second show is a riot of Sellotaped sticks and tiny wheelchairs.

Plenty of artists whine about not being offered lucrative exhibitions or lavish grants. Not Paddock couple Kevin and Georgia Boniface, though.

They decided they weren’t going to wait to be invited to show off – and didn’t expect to make any money from their art, either.

The pair and their pals – Alice Bradshaw, Bob Milner and Tom Senior – staged their first three-day Temporary Art Show at Bates’ Mill in Queen Street South, Huddersfield last May, covering costs between them.

And they were so staggered by its success that they’ve gleefully set about doing it all over again, only this time in a six-month slot in empty units at Halifax Piece Hall – now up and running.

Their credit crunch-ignoring, DIY ethic is an industrial-strength blast of fresh air for West Yorkshire’s art scene.

Georgia, 37, a full-time mum-of-two, who adores pinning button badges and images of butterflies, planes and pop stars to canvas, says: “You can spend loads of time filling in funding applications that might not even be successful.

“Instead, we spent our time and energy sourcing free stuff, and loved the process.

“We were given furniture and stuck a note up in the Piece Hall toilets appealing for the loan of a tea urn.

“We even got a trolley to go with it. People are volunteering their time to staff the exhibition for us. It’s good.”

The group – who all do ordinary jobs, including Kevin, a Huddersfield postman and Tom from Golcar who works in Marks and Spencer – will probably end up forking out a few hundred pounds in expenses between them to stage their show.

But they think the creative freedom their autonomy gives them will be worth the outlay.

“It really is art for art’s sake,” says Georgia, “We just want people to come and have a look. There are lots of galleries full of traditional art, but nothing locally that showcases contemporary work like ours.

“We’re not even calling our space a ‘gallery’, we think that sounds elitist.”

The Temporary Art Space at numbers 34 and 35 in the Piece Hall will host six separate exhibitions during the timescale up to the end of August.

The first show, which finishes on Friday, March 27, is a spirited selection from 15 artists.

Work includes a collection of freaky, “found” mannequins, a motorised drawing device that happily drags a pen around paper all day, Sellotaped sticks and tiny wheelchairs.

Meanings of these are relevant only if you particularly want to know the whys and wherefores. They should just be enjoyed at face value.

Georgia continues: “None of us were particularly interested in selling work, but we wanted the public to see it.

“When we put on our first show we were worried that people wouldn’t ‘get’ it.

“But because there were five of us, it gave us confidence and we just egged each other on and on.”

Bob – who works together with Tom under the name Milk, Two Sugars – echoes Georgia’s ethos that artists should just get on with it.

He says: “It’s too easy to blame other bodies and the state of the economy for what is essentially a lack of drive and ambition.

“We all have bills to pay. In a project like this, commitment and energy are more important than money.”

The group’s sheer, unbridled enthusiasm is infectious and they have been inundated with artists from all over the UK and further afield wanting to join the Temporary Art Space party.

Their reputation has been further enhanced by Kevin’s rise to prominence last year with the publication of his leftfield diary-of-a-postman, Lost In The Post.

Things, as they say, can only get better – in a home-made, lo-fi sort of way.

Now that the Temporary Art Group has an army of allied artists – together, of course, with their loaned tea urn – their challenge is to turn more of the people of Huddersfield and Halifax on to their work.

Georgia admits many can find cutting-edge art a bit intimidating, but says: “There’s nothing to be scared of.

“People worry that there’s some big secret with art that they’re not getting, but the truth is, there isn’t.

“Just come and see what you think.”

To find out more, go to http://www.temporaryartspace.co.uk/

http://www.examiner.co.uk/leisure-and-entertainment/arts-news/2009/03/13/huddersfield-artists-host-free-exhibition-at-halifax-piece-hall-86081-23133762/


Temporary Art Space continues until Friday 27th March 2009.

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