By Lizzie Glendinning, Dir. Brocket Gallery & Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair
The nature of my work means no day is the same. I'm in the project space in central London 2-3 days a week sorting out the exhibition programme and admin or meeting artists,the rest of the time I spend in meetings, studios, writing proposals for the gallery or working on my own curatorial and written work. It's 7 days a week but alwaysworthwhile.
More recently we have been getting things in place for the inaugural Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair which is set to be the largest solely contemporary print fair in the UK which takes place in an incredible old carriage factory in the Royal Arsenal Riverside, London.
Soon to be linked by Crossrail to make the area minutes from central London, we are working with the cultural regeneration of the Arsenal to be at the fore of the emerging art scene establishing itself in the abandoned factories and dockyard buildings. While hosting an engaging art fair focussing on the craft, innovation and processes of contemporary original printmaking, we will be providing advice for potential collectors on the benefits of collecting these unique works of art and living with contemporary art.
We are therefore working with a number of companies and individuals to make this happen. Here I meet a few of them.....
Early morning meeting with Peggy, Berkeley Home's new Events Coordinator for RARE! Haven't met Peggy before and things get off to a great start as she works with our curatorial ideas and fits them within the boundaries and health & safety aspects of this incredible space. We are very lucky that RARE have offered us this building to undertake what we expect to be an annual event! We held an installation over 4 days here in July so we're aware of many of the obstacles we face. Tape measures & a lot of pacing and pointing involved!
Next, a quick hello and catch up with the Mikaël, the wonderful Frenchman heading up The Guard House, a gorgeous restaurant/bar within in the Arsenal. The Guard House generously provided drinks for the preview of Samuele Sinibaldi's Arc of Knowledge back in July and will be setting up a pop-up cocktail lounge within the fair to look after our guests and introduce their new cocktail menu!
FYI: Not only is Mikaël a great guy to want to work with us again...he's also the Absolute Vodka Espresso Martini International Champion!!! BEST news I heard all year!
Onwards to see our printing partner, Gary, at Diamond Digital in the Royal Arsenal Trading Estate. He's so ahead of the game and talks me through paper choices and layout for the catalogues, postcards, invitations, posters, the works. He produced such great printed literature for our last exhibition in the Arsenal and was so delightful to work with that we were thrilled he wanted to keep the relationship going!
One of our exhibition partners for WCPF, presenting some of their talented studio artists. I was given a very enjoyable tour by Director, Carolyn, taking in the fantastic range of printing facilities they make available to their artists. From etching and lithograph, to screen-printing and woodblock prints, Thames-Side have the most impressive industrial presses, and who could not be inspired by the ongoing activity of that ever-changing river view!!!
We happily sampled the on-site café for lunch - recommended!
A short walk around the corner...
The excitement when next and final Woolwich call of the day took me to meet Phil at Phramed, who brought along Phoebe, his beautiful French Bulldog companion. We spoke a little about the framing, his stand and providing guests of the fair with great prices and a great service...but then mostly stroked the dog & took pictures of her!
Now... To Covent Garden!!
Private members club and quiet retreat on the boundaries of Soho and Covent Garden. Brocket Gallery will be providing work for their walls next year! Here I was meeting James Elwes, Art Producer and Director of the Whithurst Park Art Fair that we were part of last week. So much fun! Jack, my business partner and coincidentally, my husband, meets us there for the meeting (and to scope the current work on display).
We are meeting to discuss Jamie's involvement as Fundraising Director for the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair. We are so lucky to have him on board with this, our fourth collaboration in the past 18 months. Whithurst, Woolwich...the World!!
It's 6.30 now and I'm tired. My best pal meets me here for catch-up apéritifs after the guys make an exit. Then I'm off for supper, copious red wine and wholesome board games as my brother-in-law is in town and we're so looking forward to catching up with him!