Monday, 20 April 2009

Brighton Art & Design Guide - IO Gallery

Brighton Art and Design Map
IO Gallery

io gallery – is a small gallery owned by 6 Brighton designers and artists;
Tania Corbett (Painter), Cath Laffan(jewellery and metal sculpture), Sebastian Pedley (fine artist and cabinet maker), Julian Stephens (jeweller), Dermot Kennedy (jeweller) and Michael Seal (design work – lighting, games, and fine art installations)

Tania Corbett says that the location is important because "Brighton has plenty of artists and craftspeople looking for places in which to show their work, and also attracts a wide selection of people – both resident and visitors, who are keen to purchase locally produced artworks"

The gallery is situated in Sydney street in the North Laine part of the city.
"It’s an excellent location for us because the people who shop in this area are normally looking for things which they probably wouldn’t find in the high street – and enjoy exploring the wide range of independent shops which make this part of town special"

The owners were all practicing artists or makers who felt it would be good to have some kind of more direct control over the retailing of their work. As a group, their range of skills was pretty diverse and all useful when they first converted and opened the gallery.

IO have invited many other local artists to show their work, and eventually have built up a list of around 140 artists. The gallery pay the artists regularly each month for all of their sales, so good administrative systems and enthusiastic helpers in the gallery are essential. Being so firmly grounded with the local arts community is important in enabling customers to get exactly what they are looking for - "we do make a strong point of organizing individual commissions, and can get all sorts of local work made to specification."

IO prioritizes showcasing locally produced, high quality but affordable arts and crafts. They have a wide range of work in different mediums – jewellery, painting, ceramics, glasswork, textiles etc…
IO also have themed exhibitions in the basement gallery space.

The gallery has a colourful, bright and funky feel. IO show a lot of work in a relatively small space so it has always been important to find the right balance between diversity and an overall cohesiveness.The wall mounted 2D work tends towards the abstract, semi abstract or decorative, and this harmonizes well with the exuberant shapes and colours of the glass and ceramics and jewellery.

IO currently show the work of about 40 jewellers, the majority of whom live within about five miles of the gallery.
Jewellers include Anne Schilk, Emma Wilcocks, Julian Stephens and Cath Laffan.
Paintings by Sebastian Pedley and Tania Corbett.
Prints by Helen Brown who produces beautiful images of the South Downs.
Guy Holder produces a constantly popular range of ceramic birds.
Richard P J Ray shows a variety of glassworks, many of which take images of Brighton and Hove as a starting point for his imagery.

The next themed exhibition is an exploration of the idea of ‘Deity’ and will incorporate the work of five local artists working in various media from metalwork to painting to poetry.
This show is scheduled to run through May‘09 as part of Brighton Fringe Festival.

"our customers are probably about 50% local and 50 % visitors to Brighton.
We are fortunate to have many very loyal customers, who come specifically to us when they want to find a special gift for a birthday or wedding or suchlike.
We do make a strong point of organizing individual commissions, and can get all sorts of local work made to specification."

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