To promote an exhibition created in collaboration with 3 other artists I had arranged an interview on local radio along with my collaborator, Kate. In a quick recording session we talked about our art and, in particular, the venue. This was to be the incredibly atmospheric 13th century crypt under the church of St John the Baptist, built into the last remaining section of the wall that once surrounded old Bristol. Neither of us had seen the crypt until about 4 weeks previously and had immediately been affected by the old stonework and realised its potential for housing an exhibition of nature inspired art. In the interview Art Post didn’t get a single mention.
The truth is that the exhibition, which has been titled, ‘Art in the Crypt’, probably wouldn’t have have come about without Art Post. Kate had seen the ‘posts’ in use at my previous exhibition in St Stephen’s church, also in the centre of Bristol (see the earlier post, ‘Art Post Launched’), and upon discovering the crypt imaginatively put the two together. Art Post made the prospect of exhibiting within the confines of a historic building practical while both displaying the art at its best and having a minimal affect on the surrounding architecture.
Art Post does its job
Now the exhibition is underway and from a presentation point of view has exceeded expectation. Fortunately, at our well attended preview I was able to draw attention, when appropriate, to my display system. It seemed that most people hadn’t noticed the Art Posts sited throughout the space and that is exactly as it should be. Art Post was doing its job showing off the artwork and not obscuring the environment it was in.
Us artists have a great, atmospheric space to show our work but what about the property itself. The Churches Conservation Trust is responsible for the maintenance of this and many such unused ecclesiastical buildings up and down the country. It relies on volunteers to be able to fulfil one of their remits which is to open them up to the public. With our exhibition in residence the crypt is open 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, for the two week run. The statistics on footfall in the first two days have been tremendous. The first Saturday alone saw 320 people visiting and most of them came through the tiny arched doorway just because it was open and that doesn’t appear to happen very often. A common comment is, ‘I always wondered what was in here’. Even though our artwork is occupying the space visitors can still admire and explore the building with its vaulted roof, tombs and stone covered graves. The ‘Trust’ is benefitting from the many people leaving donations and being able to get their message across about the need to conserve these places. Art Post is doing what it was designed to do and doing it very well, stylishly and anonymously, which is why it was entirely appropriate that it didn’t get a mention on the radio.