2005 Menier Gallery
LOOP started from two small group shows by recent Camberwell MA printmakers, in 2003 at the RK Burt Gallery and in 2004 at the Sheridan Russell Gallery, off Baker Street, then run by Paintings in Hospitals.
In 2004 Paintings in Hospitals took over the Menier Gallery in the old Menier Chocolate Factory in Bankside, and we were offered a show there, Sunday 30th October to Sunday 20th November 2005 – three weeks, and we had to invigilate. It cost £2,400, an introductory rate. That was £200 each for 12 participants, with printing, publicity and Private View costs extra. I’d recently spent a year working at the nearby Printspace Gallery, run by artist printmakers Brenda Hartill and Trevor Price, and I’d seen how people could visit two or even three times before deciding to buy, so it seemed worth keeping the show open for three weeks.
In early June we met in the Royal Festival Hall to discuss arrangements. A vital question was a name for the show. ‘Why don’t we call it Loop?’ asked Katherine Jones. & so it’s been ever since.
Some guidelines became clear. I thought artists can and should curate, organise and promote their own shows successfully. We decided the work should be new – to exclude reshowing degree-show work which had already been seen. Media could not be specified – we’d just left college and hadn’t all managed to arrange working space or access to printmaking facilities, so new work was often painting and drawing. In any case it seems wrong to exclude work on grounds of media or subject, which artists should be free to choose. So although LOOP came out of the Camberwell print studios, it has shown drawing, painting, photography, stop-frame animation, 3-D work, video and ceramics – but mainly print. There was no pre-selection of work so the artists themselves chose what they would display. Making it all fit together at the hang remains a group improvisation. Lastly, we chose artists by personal recommendation, which is simpler than open submission. These guidelines were practical decisions at the time but they’ve stuck with us. We choose artists, and we show their most recent work.
The show looked good and was well-attended. Our receipt book for 2005 shows sales of £1,840 from that 3-week show.