Brighton is certainly not short of arts spaces and events – you only have to wander down any central street to confirm that the city really is a hub for creative energy, talent and showcases. But as many a creative graduate will tell you, breaking into the art world and exhibiting one’s work to the public can be a terrifying, time-consuming and quite often costly feat.
Independent eyewear brand Ollie Quinn has launched a series of artist takeovers at its Bond Street boutique, giving local and emerging artists the use of the shop space to exhibit their work for a month at a time. The brand’s tagline, ‘Create Your Own Vision’, seems especially apt given its commitment to helping creatives turn their visions into reality. The takeovers were dreamt up by employee and recent Brighton fine art graduate Zarya Austin-Fell, who has found a way to tie-in her workplace with her interest in curating.
“Organising exhibitions has been an interest of mine since graduating from Brighton University, and after I saw the space at Ollie Quinn it gave me an incentive to start… I’m hoping that they will give the artist a chance to exhibit their work in a space that they can use freely, giving the artist exposure and creating an exciting atmosphere in the shop.”
The first artist takeover, which opened to the public on 26th January, showcases London and Brighton-based painter Oriele Steiner. Steiner uses pastels and oil paints to marry colour and shape in a way that comments on the human experience and emotion. Steiner graduated from University of Brighton in 2015 after studying fine art, and was selected for the 2016 Bloomberg New Contemporaries.
The exhibition takes full advantage of the clean, minimalist decor of the shop, and features a window mural alongside “over 50 original paintings displayed in an explosive way across the walls of the exhibition space”.
These takeovers will not only provide an accessible, free and friendly space for emerging creatives to exhibit their work, but also encourage the collaborative and community spirit of Brighton to grow further. The first show may be coming to an end in a couple of weeks, but Zarya Austin-Fell wants to host as many as possible this year. Artists interested in using the space at Ollie Quinn for a takeover can email directly with five images of their work and a statement – “it doesn’t have to be a serious proposal, just enough to get a gist” – of their ideas and how they’d like to use the space.
‘Complex & Partial’ runs until Tuesday 26th February 2019
Ollie Quinn, 42 Bond Street, BN1 1RD
Proposals can be emailed to email@example.com
Words by Holly Eliza Temple
Photos by Lydia Cole