We spoke to the team behind the Pop Up Art Gallery to find out more about the organisation and the challenges they face.
What is your organisation called and what does it do?
1of1designis an online gallery which represents artists Kate Winskill & Raph Thomas. Previously owner of 1of1 permanent art gallery in Teddington, West London, Kate Winskill now also organises temporary pop up art shows with up to 14 artist participants. We want to break the mould of the elitist white wall gallery. The aim is to make art readily accessible to everyone , whilst supporting local artists, encouraging emerging talent and brightening up empty shop units. We ensure that the art represents a range of styles and is priced to be affordable to every pocket.
What are the biggest challenges your organisation faces – now and in the coming years?
Finding affordable space to show the work of contemporary artists is the major factor. Having run my own gallery, I know the costs bricks and mortar shops entail. But you cannot compare seeing art on a website with viewing a piece in the flesh- artworks have texture, weight and presence which cannot always be captured in a photograph.As more people buy online, we need to make it a great experience to buy art, by having artists on site to meet the customers and explain their work.
Please can you describe something that you’ve learnt or that has surprised you during the COVID-19 crisis, if anything?
In some ways, the Covid pandemic and related impact on the High Street, has represented an opportunity for 1of1 pop Up Galleries. There are more empty units available, which are often ideal for showing art. I had always suspected that situating a gallery in a bustling , everyday retail environment such as Ealing Broadway would be successful. However, I have been amazed at just how welcoming the local shoppers are, young and old.
Thinking beyond financial donations, how can Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre and the businesses based here best support you – now and longer term?
Ealing Broadway has been brilliant in bending over backwards to make this venture happen. They have been willing to take a chance on a bunch of creatives and collaborated with us to make the venture work. We are keen to get art initiatives out into the community and it has been great to brainstorm with British Land’s Community team.
What are your hopes for future?
I love the idea that someone can pick up a pint of milk at Tesco, then practically next door, buy an original painting ! We would love to stay in Ealing Broadway as long as feasible . We have half a dozen artists approach us everyday to show their art. Working as a cooperative, we are able to spread the costs amongst the group, making it possible for new work to reach a wider audience.With any luck we might be able to extend our pop up gallery far and wide in the UK, brightening up many more High Streets.
To find out more visit the 1 of 1 design website: https://www.1of1design.co.uk/