Aspex Portsmouth

Big Ten

In response to the 10th anniversary of Art Space Portsmouth, the artists and members created Big Ten – a diverse and imaginative challenge of remaking what a gallery does. Across three weeks, the gallery was fully open to the public (even when changing between one set of showings to next) with consecutive performances, live art and events. Each artist re-thought presentation, advertising, lighting, opening times and the possible response of ‘the public’. 

The breadth of this exciting and energetically charged project included:

24 hour paint-in where Neil Taylor and local students from Bay House School Gosport produced a large-scale collective drawing. 

A body traces workshop by John Mcpherson in which he used photo-sensitive paper to create works to be exhibited.

Issues of great public concern approached in a radical manner by

Bridget Lloyd (who showed work dealing with environmental issues);

Ann Shaw (produced a painting from a projected image)

Live sculpture including a piece by David Leefe Kendon, which he produced along one wall over the period of five days, and a suspended wire sculpture in the form of a dress created in the gallery space by Sara Brooker.

Exhibited works by Michael Pegler (showing drawings and sculptures investigating profile);

John Mynott (showing a number of low-relief constructions);

Richard Crabbe (showing drawings and paintings based on sketches of Southsea Common from the spring and early summer)

Kate Teale (showing a number of wax sculptures in boxes and running a stall selling some of her sculptural wares);

A midnight performance of light, fire, wind, water, and burning ropes from Mark Gaynor taking the form of an installation. 

Private Views of Jan Williams showing works produced in France in the spring of 1990; Neil Taylor and his students’ work – these were accompanied by Live Jazz Improv by Morris Owen and ‘Time’. 

A special fundraising event was held across the final week in the form of an exhibition, live auction, and raffle to raise funds and consciousness for Zambezia Province. This event was created by John Thomson who joined forces with Oxfam and its director Frank Judd. (You can read more in-depth about Front Line as part of our 40 Stories, with week 14 written by previous Aspex Director Les Buckingham)

With the high-packed schedule of events, visitors were encouraged to return to the gallery three or four times a week to experience as much as a full programme that the 10th anniversary celebration had to offer.