‘S for Southend 2023’ – Focal Point Gallery

‘S for Southend 2023’ – Focal Point Gallery

Childrens Art Club, Contemporary Elders, Creative Open Day, Digifest, Expecting Art, Small Kids Big Ideas, Southend City Youth Council, Damien Robinson FPG Sounds Commission and Benjamin Andreas.

Wed 18th Jan to Sun 19th Feb 2023 Launch Saturday 21st Jan 2023 12pm to 6pm. All Welcome!

‘S for Southend’ is back for our community exhibition showcasing artworks made by local residents and artists of all ages during 2022.

We are delighted to share works made by participants across our ongoing learning programme, including artworks created by our Children’s Art Club, led by local artists, Sarah Ward and Fern Worsley. The aim of our regular free Creative Open Days is to encourage all members of families to get creative! On display, a mural of graffiti work that was collaboratively made by over 40 participants in a Creative Open Day led by Graffiti Artist, Karl Sims. In addition, a slideshow showing in-action photographs of participants creating digital art that was produced in this year’s Digifest celebrations. You’ll also see the results of workshops which included animation, photography and game design. Accompanied by pieces of work made in our monthly Contemporary Elders programme include poetry, architecture mood boards and contact microphones.

Expecting Art, a partnership project with A Better Start Southend, presents casts of pregnant forms individually telling their stories and finding their identities through a collaborative display. Led by artist Alison Garner, with Hazel Sankey these artworks have been created through a series of workshops with participants as they explored their experiences and expectations of forthcoming parenthood.

‘S for Southend’ also features a short film ‘Sign/Sound/Southend’, produced and edited by Damien Robinson and Gabrielle Milanese. For this FPG Sounds commission, artist Damien Robinson has been working with local D/deaf people and BSL users to explore how sound is more than hearing.

The Southend City Youth Council have been considering the environment as a topic of main concern for this academic year. Following an art competition open to all schools in Southend, the winning entries will be chosen to display their artwork in ‘S for Southend’.

A project by Small Kids Big Ideas called ‘This is Me’ that has been co- produced by Children in Care resulting in a wonderful display of artworks produced by talented individuals. This collection shows their individual identities for each unique quality and not just a young person in care.

Paintings and sketches by local artist Benjamin Andreas (1991-2022) who has been described as an “real Essex lad” took inspiration from his surroundings growing up and living in Southend-on-Sea. With Benjamin’s family we have selected just some of his celebrated artworks to exhibit.

‘S for Southend 2023’ opens to the public on Wednesday 18 January 2023. With a public launch event being held at the gallery on Saturday 21 January 2023, 12 to 6pm. All are welcome!

An accompanying programme of artist moving image by Essex-based practitioners including Elleana Chapman, Folk Projects (Rosie Pedlow and Joe King) Laura Jane Healy and David Valentine and Laura Jane Healy will be presented on Big Screen Southend, located adjacent to the gallery in Elmer Square. These films play daily between 11am and 5pm.

On Saturday 18th February 2023, to coincide with the celebrations of Luminocity returning to our city again, we are delivering a FREE Creative Open Day to explore the creativity and wonder of lights! Join us from 12pm to 4pm to be a part of the magic then complete your magical day with a visit around the Luminocity trail in the evening.

About Focal Point Gallery

Focal Point Gallery is wheelchair accessible and there are additional materials available to enhance your visit, e.g. large print information sheets, family activity sheets and dedicated quiet times. The team will be happy to support your needs and more information can be found on our website at www.fpg.org.uk or phone us on 01702 534108 or email us at focalpointgallery@southend.gov.uk

Focal Point Gallery supports the production and presentation of new and recent contemporary art that challenges us to think and feel differently about locality, our sense of self and the importance of communities. Our wide-ranging and pioneering artistic programme is relevant to local and national audiences alike, through exploring current concerns that also resonate internationally. Based in Southend-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary, FPG’s activities take place in locations across the region with our reach extended by working collaboratively with like-minded partners. FPG is located on the ground floor of The Forum building in Elmer Square, 100 metres from Southend Central Station. (Trains are every fifteen minutes from London Fenchurch Street, journey time fifty minutes.) As south Essex’s only public funded gallery for contemporary art, FPG receives regular funding from Arts Council England as a National Portfolio Organisation and is part of Southend-on-Sea City Council from which it receives ongoing support.

FPG is located on the ground floor of The Forum in Elmer Square, 100 metres from Southend Central Station.

Opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday 11.00am to 5.00pm, Sunday 11.00am to 4.00pm.

For further information, please contact 01702 534108 or email focalpointgallery@southend.gov.uk

Jamie Langstone