History of TheGallery — 2003–2010
TheGallery was originally established in 1998, with the appointment of a part-time Exhibitions Officer under the management of The School of Art. TheGallery was then reopened in 2003 under the concept of text+work, as created by TheGallery Committee.
Its first exhibition presented under the concept of text + work was ‘Four Quartet Series’ by Ian McKeever + David Miller. It has since hosted 38 exhibitions (November 2003-April 2010), including three student Summer shows. Since October 2008, TheGallery has added Music to its repertoire, including the Goldberg Variations, performed by David Wright, and From Experimentalism to Minimalism, performed by Kokoro, as part of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
A recent collaborative approach with ArtSway, a contemporary art gallery in the New Forest, has also resulted in a presence from text+work at the international art exhibition, the Venice Biennale (2007 and 2009), when text+work hosted the seminars ‘Word Matters’, which explored the relation between the written word and contemporary art.
In 2007, TheGallery worked in partnership with the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth, on the exhibition ‘MEETING PLACE: Contemporary Art and the Museum.’
How it was conceived and developed
The text+work concept was developed in 2003 by TheGallery’s Group as a need was identified for the then Arts University College’s community to discuss the theoretical contexts surrounding different art practices. It was recognised that the majority of the audience attending the exhibitions at the Gallery formed a small demography: the University’s and the local community.
The creative practice exhibited within the text+work concept is thus made available to a wider audience, many of whom may never visit the gallery, through the sharing of critical and creative texts, both as publications distributed to the Gallery’s database (approximately 3000) and made available as e-publications downloadable for free via the text+work website.
The formal Gallery reopening
V&A director Sir Mark Jones, FRSE, reopened TheGallery on the 3rd December 2010 during the CRAB BY THE SEA Exhibition by Sir Peter Cook.