So This Happened at Leigh Art Trail…

SEVEN Show Leigh Art Trail 2017“Like looking through a window into beautiful inner landscapes…” That was just one of the reactions SEVEN’s first Leigh Art Trail show inspired.

So, five months after the SEVEN collective formed, at table seven of The Railway Hotel, we had arrived. We were number three (Planet Leasing) in the 20th Leigh Art Trail.

SEVEN’s first show

To be honest, we weren’t sure what to expect. Just how Leigh Art Trailers would react to sketchbooks as artwork was uncharted territory – plus, we were the first collective to show on the Trail.

Our journey, as some may know, started at Heidi Wigmore’s Creative Journal courses held at Chalkwell Park’s Metal. SEVEN took that premise – using tried and tested artistic techniques (or processes) to kick start creative exploration – and plumbed its potential depths.

Fortunately Heidi attended our late night showing and told us she was “…blown away…” by what we’d achieved. Phew!

From the sea to Planet Leasing

Our LAT odyssey started with the sea – it is Leigh-on-Sea after all. This loose theme, a connective thread if you will, ebbed and flowed throughout the sketchbooks.

From there, we’d come together to share in the processes and explore them individually (get the techniques we used here). The results? Often unexpected. Always wildly different.

Once finished the journals were presented on a special table – trestle legs supplied by Metal – and held in place with striped ribbon, ready for public perusing. People were invited to turn and touch the pages. We encouraged questions. Kids could have a go in our community sketchbook.

What Leigh Art Trailers said

Many were drawn to a particular book or technique. Others were hurriedly box-ticking their way round the Trail. And a few left befuddled.

Other visitors became immersed in the depth and breadth the books had to offer. One or two said they felt as if they were looking through our personal thoughts. At least one person reckoned someone’s shell sketches were a bit Freudian…

Some even took the time to leave a comment in our book or on social media:

“This is absolutely fantastic – I love the connection between each of the books, yet there is so much diversity within them, as well.” – Cat

“Like looking through a window into beautiful inner landscapes. Totally joyful.” – Jen & Xian

“Fantastic, inspiring show.” – Heidi Wigmore

Thank you…

We thoroughly enjoyed our #LAT2017 experience. Thank you to everyone who came to see our sketchbooks, we loved having the opportunity to share our work with you.

But some special thanks must go to:

  • The dedicated and enthusiastic Leigh Art Trail organisers (all volunteers)
  • Planet Leasing for being so welcoming (and making us tea and staying late)
  • The lovely people at Metal who let us use their space (and their trestles)
  • The inspiring and supportive Heidi Wigmore
  • And, Amanda’s husband, Andrew, for his carpentry skills

Keep up with SEVEN

Remember to check out our latest art work and follow our creative adventures over on Instagram.

You can also sign up to our mailing list to keep in the SEVEN loop. We’re not sure what’s happening next, but we’ll let you know when we do!

Day Trip to Margate

SEVEN went on a day trip to Margate to see the exhibition Entangled: Threads & Making at the Turner Contemporary gallery. It was a very blustery day!

Entangled: Threads & Making poster

The exhibition included sculpture, installation, tapestry, textiles and jewellery from the early 20th century to the present day. It featured work from over 40 female artists, from different cultures and generations, who challenge established categories of craft, design and fine art.

Here’s a small example of what we enjoyed:

Margate Knot – Anna Ray
You are a Lady – Ghada Amer
Erotic Cases – Rivane Neuenschwander
Penguins – Laura Ford
Sky – Kiki Smith

Exhibiting artists: Anni Albers; Caroline Achaintre; Ghada Amer; Paola Anziché; Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter; Phyllida Barlow; Marion Baruch; Karla Black; Margrét H Blöndal; Regina Bogat; Louise Bourgeois; Geta Brătescu; Sonia Delaunay; Sonia Gomes; Ximena Garrido-Lecca; Eva Hesse; Ann Cathrin November Høibo; Laura Ford; Mona Hatoum; Marianne Heske; Sheila Hicks; Susan Hiller; Maureen Hodge; Christiane Löhr; Kate MccGwire; Annette Messager; Rivane Neuenschwander; Lucy + Jorge Orta; Arna Óttarsdottir; Sidsel Paaske; Maria Papadimitriou; Anna Ray; Maria Roosen; Ursula von Rydingsvard; Hannah Ryggen; Betye Saar; Judith Scott; Samara Scott; Kiki Smith; Aiko Tezuka; Rosemarie Trockel; Tatiana Trouvé; Frances Upritchard and Joana Vasconcelos.

The exhibition runs from Sat 28 Jan – Sun 7 May 2017 @ Turner Contemporary

Leigh Art Trail 2017

We’re very excited to announce that SEVEN will be taking part in the 20th anniversary of the Leigh Art Trail in June 2017.

Over the coming months, SEVEN will be exploring the challenges of working collectively, using seven processes within themed parameters, to create seven sketchbooks based around the theme of the sea. The resulting body of work will be tactile and our intention is for it to be inspiring and visceral, both to ourselves and to our wider audience.

We’ll be posting regular updates here and on Twitter and Instagram of our journey.

Village Green Festival 2016

For the second year running we were given the fabulous opportunity to exhibit our creative sketchbooks and altered books at the Village Green Festival, organised by Metal@Southend.

This year the event took place on Saturday 16th July and our work was displayed in the Metal Art School.

The group has over time created a significant body of work; when the books are all displayed together they make an impressive and exciting spectacle!

Its also refreshing to allow the public to handle and interact directly with the sketchbooks and both the audience and artist seemed to benefit from the experience.

Each artist took turns to invigilate the exhibition throughout the day and we all received very positive feedback from the visitors.

Village Green Festival 2015

Having attended a Creative Journal course at Metal@Southend, we were given the opportunity to display our journals and altered books at the Village Green Festival on 11 July 2015 in Chalkwell Park. We jumped at the chance.

Metal had recently renovated an old stable block in Chalkwell Park into an art school. Located in the centre of the park, with views of the gardens and the estuary beyond is where our exhibition was to be held. We visited the venue a few days earlier to drop off our sketchbooks and to check out the space. Each artist was allocated a one or two hour slot in which to invigilate the exhibition and explain the project and work to visitors.

On the morning of the event, we set out the sketchbooks and altered books on tables that would encourage visitors to handle them. The work is very tactile and we wanted this to be a fundamental part of the user experience.

The festival only opened at 11am and the exhibition was quiet to begin with, but as the park began to fill with people we soon had a regular flow of visitors wandering in to have a look. The festival is a family event and we had visitors of all ages dropping in…

We all thought the exhibition was a huge success and everyone who took part really enjoyed the experience.