80 artists come together for major London exhibition that addresses ’Environments’

Beatles at Smethwick Baths 1962 by IRSTEV (Ivan Stevens)
Beatles at Smethwick Baths 1962 by IRSTEV (Ivan Stevens)

A major exhibition of over 80 works by 80 artists exploring the theme of ‘Environments’ – from the personal to the political and from landscapes to alternative worlds – is set to go on show in London this autumn.

The exhibition, run by Outside In, an award-winning national charity which provides a platform for artists facing barriers to the art world, takes place at Piano Nobile Gallery, at London’s Kings Place. The organisation’s last major exhibition was at Sotheby’s in 2018.

More than 900 artworks were submitted for the exhibition from across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The successful works were then selected by a panel comprised of Outside In artist James Lake, artist Laura Ford and ActionSpace director and Outside In trustee Sheryll Catto.

Outside In artist and Environments judge, James Lake, whose work was included in the 2012 Paralympic Gold Run project and has exhibited at Sotheby’s with Outside In, commented, “The art works that I rated most highly come from large and diverse range of visual outcomes; some are immediate in evoking a heartfelt response, others require the accompanying narrative to completely and fully appreciate the work. I would sum up the selected works as highly diverse and emotive responses to the theme of environment, place and location.”

Later in the year, judges Grayson Perry, Cathie Pilkington and gallery director Robert Travers will announce three prizes from the selected artworks at a special event on November 8, 2019. Outside In are pleased to reveal that a first prize will be a solo exhibition in 2020 at Phoenix, one of Brighton’s major arts institutions, whilst a second and third prize of art material funds will also be awarded.

A call out this summer asked for artists to respond to the theme. Works could be in any form or materials and the artists could explore ‘Environments’ via their own perspectives on space, place and location. Inspiration could come from artists’ immediate environment; such as the city or the countryside, the impact of climate change locally or globally, or ideas about what future environments might look like, or how they might be experienced.

Works chosen range from digital print, photography, embroidery, assemblage and clay sculpture to works created with pen, pencil, chalk, oil paint, watercolour and charcoal. They include views of the countryside and inner-city landscape, from New York City to the Scottish Highlands to the South Coast. Also chosen are perspectives on daily life, from dancing in a party to taking the Tube, plus a wide range of abstract impressions and imagery inspired by nature and popular culture; cats, monkeys and The Beatles.

Outside In director, Marc Steene, said,

“My continuing amazement and awe at the many talented artists in the Outside In community grows with each national call out. We are privileged to be trusted with such astonishing work produced by artists often overlooked and hidden from view. As a charity we act as a bridge, a means to enable the cultural landscape to be enriched by artists and art that needs to be seen and celebrated and our National exhibition is surely the epitome of what we seek to achieve.”

False Promise - from the community care series by Alex Horswood

Outside In: Environments (28 October 2019 – 1 January 2020, Private View 8 November) Piano Nobile Gallery, Kings Place, London, 90 York Way, N1 9AG.

Outside In is a catalyst for change. Founded in 2006, it is now an established national charity that aims to provide a platform for artists who face significant barriers to the art world due to health, disability, social circumstance or isolation. Outside In’s work covers three main areas: Artist development, exhibitions and training. These activities, supported by fundraising and communications, all aim to create a fairer art world by supporting artists, creating opportunities and educating organisations. Since its inception, Outside In has engaged with artists traditionally excluded from the mainstream art world, it now provides opportunities and support for more than 3,000 artists. It has also gained more than 80 partner organisations nationally and held more than 80 exhibitions to date.

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine Founder and co-publisher Art of Conversation and founder of the platform @worldoffad