The Outsiders was an event I curated back in June 1998.

A madly ambitious Art show of 20 Artists from 14 countries, in 10 mediums coming together with the sole purpose of USURPING THE WHITE WALL GALLERY PLOT.

the outsiders

If it sounds like a manifesto blurb, or a political campaign then you'd be pretty close to the ideal of it. Art represents a basic human need for self expression and communication that we all have and can all relate to on some level. The Outsiders show was an attempt to give equal power to the onlooker by the sheer variety of Art featured.

Choosing to site the show in such an unconventional and unpretentious space, and so achieving the very antithesis of the 'white wall gallery', with its reverential atmosphere that it often induces. Instead, the pure joy of 'Art' was celebrated and enjoyed, tapping into some universal shared memory of 'hazy confident crayon days'.

Why 'The Outsiders'? you ask, well maybe I watched too many cowboy films when I was younger, but really it was to celebrate diversity, in all its forms, be it cultural, political, geographical, religious, sexual or otherwise.

So 'The Outsiders', seemed an apt title. All the Artists that participated embraced the DIY spirit and laughable punk rock aesthetic that it took to use a building that fundamentally had little wall space to speak of. Ostensibly we utilised bits of industrial machinery within the building, as well as stairwells, and dramatically occupied internal roof and air space. The aim being not to use the space as a mere passive host structure but instead, to embrace interactively the everyday workings of the building.

A flexible and imaginative approach was adopted by creating floating aerial corridors of paintings; artworks suspended from the rafters, sculpture, design and installation work, perched on the corners of every internal roof.

The Outsiders represented a genuine discontent with Art being kidnapped by a minority cultural establishment who's primary aim seems to be making contemporary Art inaccessible, culture bound and reduced to nothing more than a mere commodity.