Artists join forces for a Show of Hands
By David Wood
A new collective of artists and makers from across the South West has been launched in Stroud.
'Show of Hands' is planning a launch show in December at SVA Gallery in Stroud.
Heidi Hockenjos, fine jewellery designer and co-founder of Show of Hands, said: "We are working really hard to make this, the first of a series of events, a big success. We need all the help we can get to make sure our artists have the most successful post-Covid selling event possible. We are determined to bring some amazing artists to Gloucestershire high streets and to play our part to help the UK move away from a London centric art scene.
"It's clear that times have changed and that many consumers want beautiful, locally made, one of a kind, hand made products and artworks and we hope to be able to provide that for Stroud and the South West.
"The show offers a range of disciplines - from fine jewellery to fine art work available to buy and is an opportunity for high end, high quality gift buying in the lead-up to Christmas. The artists selected range from undiscovered talent to those with more established followings.
"The home-town of the collective is Stroud, which has recently been named by the Sunday Times as the best place to live in 2021. As residents, we of course agree with this and feel strongly that there is no better place to launch."
Clare Bonnet, painter and co-founder of Show of Hands, added: "We are thrilled to mark the launch of 'Show of Hands' with an artist-led group exhibition showcasing the finest artists and makers from the South West.
"The exhibition will be an eclectic offering of high quality, professional art and craftsmanship that showcases a positive step towards the light.
"The past 18 months have tested all people in all places. The ripple effect of the pandemic remains an inhibiting factor for the growth of artists.
"The Show of Hands collective is formed of emerging artists and craftspeople who wish to redefine this moment in time - not as a point of struggle for their practice but as a moment of clarity and ingenuity. Rather than fold up and pack practices away, now is the time to collaborate, join hands and devise new opportunities for fellow makers.
"Our collaboration is quite literally a show of hands - an example of strength in numbers and a testament to the power of solidarity of a time separated by Covid."
Further plans for the collective include temporarily repurposing disused buildings and businesses which have fallen victim to Covid's reach in towns all over the South West.
The Show of Hands launch party is on Friday, December 3rd, with show dates from Saturday, December 4th to Thursday, December 23rd at the SVA Gallery, John Street, Stroud.
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