Discover the journeys of award-winning charity Outside In and the artists it supports in a ground-breaking exhibition at London Sotheby’s in January 2018.
Crufts Dog Show, by Michelle Roberts, brush pen on canvas, 2015: Michelle Roberts has drawn and painted throughout her life. As a young girl, she accompanied her grandfather, a landscape painter, creating artworks outdoors. Carrying around a sketchbook at all times, Michelle has refined a dense and highly personalized approach to image making. Working methodically across each canvas, section by section, she creates colourful and complex worlds – each with a distinct logic and meaning. Highly focussed attention has enabled her to communicate detailed narratives about these worlds and how they connect to her own life. Volunteering in a charity shop and assisting in a nursery, Michelle directly translates many of the people and experiences around her into her work.
Michelle attends Project Art Works’ Supported Studios which enables adults with complex needs to develop their creative practice alongside an Artist Mentor and explore their potential as artists. The studio promotes a group ethos, with participants’ developing their personal practice and adaptive skills whilst supporting and encouraging their peers.
Michelle’s painting Musicians was one of six Award Winning works selected by art historian Roger Cardinal, performance artist Bobby Baker, CEO of Shape Tony Heaton and ex-Director of Pallant House Gallery, Stefan van Raay as part of Outside In: National in 2012. The six winners were selected from 80 pieces in the show and each was awarded a solo show at Pallant House Gallery as their prize. Michele has also exhibited her work at Phoenix, Brighton, in ‘Intuitive Visions: Shifting the Margins’ an exhibition in partnership with HOUSE in 2015.
Since its founding over a decade ago at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, Outside In has worked to provide a platform for artists who find it difficult to access the art world due to health, disability, social circumstances or isolation. Providing opportunities for its artists to show their work at national and international exhibitions, an active online community and professional development, the growing charity now supports over 2500 artists.
Outside In: Journeys brings together the diverse work and stories of a number of artists involved in Outside In – from James Lake’s life-size figure of a runner about to take off, made entirely of cardboard, commissioned for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, to Rakibul Chowdhury’s energetic paintings that incorporate popular culture into depictions of modern life. The exhibition epitomises the charity’s objective to create a fairer art world – challenging traditional values and institutional judgements about whose artworks can and should be displayed.
Marc Steene, Director of Outside In:
“As Outside In looks to the future our exhibition celebrates some of the 5,000 artists we have worked with, over the past eleven years. It points to a new and exciting future, where the charity will be able to continue and expand its vital work bringing to light and celebrating the talent of artists too often ignored and on the margins of society and the art world.”
Exhaust Dog, by Jacob Rock, 2011.
Outside In: Journeys is on display at Sotheby’s, Bond St, London from the 11th – 19th January 2018, open 9am – 4.30pm Monday-Friday. For more information, see http://outsidein.org.uk/OutsideIn-Journeys.
Tour of the exhibition with Outside In Director, Marc Steene – 2pm, Fri 12th January (free, no booking required)
Running Figure, by James Lake, cardboard, 2012 (photo by Andy Hood)James Lake chooses to make his impressive large-scale sculptures of cardboard and paper, not only because they are easy to manipulate and inexpensive but also because this media blurs the boundary between high art and low art, which he believes : makes his work more accessible.
Running Figure is an original commission for Gold Run, an Arts Council England funded project celebrating the London 2012 Paralympic Games. To deliver the project, Outside In worked in partnership with Glyndebourne, recognised globally as one of the best opera houses, and Carousel, an award-winning learning disability charity. The artwork, which James created with mentoring support from Turner-Prize-nominated artist Richard Wilson, explored the reintroduction of learning-disabled athletes into the Paralympic games after a twelve-year ban. It toured to several venues across the country including The Lightbox in Woking, Chapel Arts Studios in Andover, Pallant House Gallery in Chichester and Shape Pop Up Gallery in London.
James Lake, the artist: ‘The running track doesn’t have an end point. ‘What’s next’ was at the back of my mind when I was making it.’
About Outside In
Founded in 2006 at Pallant House Gallery in West Sussex, Outside In became an independent charity in 2016 and joined Arts Council England’s National Portfolio in 2017.
Since its inception, Outside In has engaged more than 5,000 artists traditionally excluded from the mainstream art world, over a quarter million audience members and over 80 partner organisations nationally. It has held over 50 exhibitions and currently support 2,600 artists. www.outsidein.org.uk.