April at Focal Point Gallery

April at Focal Point Gallery

‘S for Southend’

What does the future of the high street look like? ‘S for Southend’ is a new film by Aaron Shrimpton commissioned by Historic England and produced by Focal Point Gallery, you can watchS Is For Southend’ on Youtube. Bringing together voices, memories and the inventive ideas of a local community in Southend-on-Sea, this short film catalogues the public consciousness around how we can learn to adapt and build a better future in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Exploring the importance for public space to be experienced and constructed collaboratively, the film takes as its subject the past and present condition of a high street in transition. In response to the film, arts and sociocultural writer Rose Cleary has also written a short essay. Rhythmsss: A Snake Eating It’s Tail.

Vanishing Point’ Mary Mattingly

We are delighted to announce a public art commission by US artist Mary Mattingly in partnership with Metal as part of Estuary 2021, 22 May to 13 June. ‘Vanishing Point’, an ambitious two part installation, comprising of a learning centre located on Southend Pier, and a floating sculpture moored in nearby waters considers how the plant life of the Thames Estuary has evolved and responded to a changing climate over millions of years, and how this knowledge might be used as a prediction for a nearing future. Read more information on Vanishing Point.

‘Made from this Land’ Southchurch Residents Call Out

Emma Edmondson is to create a public artwork in response to Southchurch’s rich brickfield history. As a local artist and resident, Edmondson is interested in land rights and agency over where we live. As part of the artwork Edmondson wants to change residents’ covenants, so that bricks and tiles can be produced from the clay-rich land. If you are interested in having your covenant changed or if you have any memories of brick making or brickfields in Southchurch. For contact details and more information on ‘Made from this Land.

Things You Never Got Taught…Unpicking Proposals #6

Proposals are a part of most artists’ daily life, so often needed for commissioning and funding. They have an ever changing set of requirements so this session isn’t a how to, but rather a discussion on approaches and the why’s and where’s. Joining us on Thursday 29 April 2021, 6.30pm to 8.00pm will be Gabrielle de la Puente and Zarina Muhammad, Shaun Badham and Mary Cork. The event is free to attend, but please register on Eventbrite to receive the Zoom link.

‘Imagining a New Future’ High Street Banners  

We are thrilled to announce that ‘Imagining a New Future’ will now be exhibited on 39 banners along the thoroughfare of Southend High Street from April to October. A joint project with Southend BID, the banners will present drawings, photos, and text, by local residents along with COVID safety messages. The project emerged after people of the town were invited to tell us about their activities or new experiences during the first lockdown, and to submit ideas for imagining a new positive future for Southend. See more information on ‘Imagining a New Future’.

Free Easter holiday courses

Southend YMCA are delighted to be offering free online activities, song writing, film production and song writing & music production. These courses are being offered throughout the Easter holidays and will cover an array of essential skills and techniques for young people aged 11-16 who are in receipt of free school meals. Please see more information on YMCA Easter courses.

‘Balance your Mind’ – Free Training

the hub have a new ‘Balance your Mind’ (so you can balance the books) mental health and wellbeing course for artists and creative freelancers/entrepreneurs. It’s designed to help creatives understand what helps them take care of their mental health, and identify tools and habits to improve it, all things needed to help take care of the business side of things too. Led by Julia Payne, Director of the hub and Andy Gibson founder of Mindapples, who will share a host of useful insights, resources, tips and tricks and real-life examples from the creative sector and beyond. Please find more information and how to apply for ‘Balance your Mind’ courses – deadline this Sunday 4th April.


FPG collect feedback using the Audience Finder survey. This feedback is provided to Arts Council England, and helps the gallery to continue receiving their regular support. It is also used to improve what we do, and further support the needs of the local community. If you have attended an FPG event or exhibition in the last six months, we would be grateful if you would complete a short questionnaire.

FPG Recommends

The Sculpture Park – Open during daylight hours

Sainsbury Centre

The Sculpture Park surrounds the award-winning Norman-Foster designed Sainsbury Centre building at the UEA campus. Set within the 350 acres of parkland featuring outstanding art, architecture and natural beauty, it is open daily during daylight for all visitors to enjoy.The Sculpture Park includes important works by notable artists such as Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink, Lynn Chadwick, Liliane Lijn and Antony Gormley. For more information on the Sculpture Park.

‘Female Voices of Latin America’ Until 2 May 2021

Online Exhibition

‘Female Voices of Latin América’ celebrates the work of 150 living female artists across the region. The show seeks to remedy the lack of historical representation of women from the region in the global art sphere. Available to view on the Vortic platform, the exhibition will include works from 1968 to the present day from artists including Liliana Porter, Beatriz Milhazes, Adriana Varejão, Ad Minoliti, Sol Calero and Valeska Soares. For more information on ‘Female Voices of Latin America’.

FPG’s office hours will be 10.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday, with staff working remotely. To get in contact with us, please email focalpointgallery@southend.gov.uk or DM us on our social media channels.

Jamie Langstone