curated by C.A.Halpin
Touchbase Gallery, 15 Tontine Street, Folkestone, CT201RN
25-28th November 2021
The Outside World AllStars are coming to town, showing at Touchbase Gallery, Folkestone. This group of artists have been brought together by artist/curator C.A.Halpin, for a flash mob of a show, with an all-new line up of internationally acclaimed and established artists, exhibiting alongside some rising stars, for a long weekend of art, by the sea.
This Is Not A Toy, is taking place right at the heart of Folkestone’s Creative Quarter and will feature an eclectic group of artists who are taking up residency at the gallery, which forms part of Touchbase Care, community arts organisation. The show is bringing together several South Coast based artists namely, Sadie Hennessy and Julia Maddison, with some Londoners, Antony Buonomo, Kelly-Anne Davitt, Maria Teresa Gavazzi, Doug Haywood, Julie Goldsmith, Julieta H-Adame, Alice Herrick and Toby Holmes, with the Folkestone contingent well represented by Kate Knight, Charlotte Chapman and Touchbase Care resident artist Thomas Sharrock. Halpin says that her aim is to create a show that will be a moment of togetherness and fun as artists get back into the real world, after two years exhibiting in the ‘virtual’ wilderness.
‘Folkestone was the natural choice for me when thinking of this show, taking the artists out of their space and some out of their town to the seaside, to meet each other, a new audience and blow away the cobwebs that self-isolation brought’.
This Is Not A Toy began with warnings of threatened shortages this Christmas ‘no pickers, no pluckers, no petrol, no presents’ resulting in more misery, sprinkled with seasonal sadness. The AllStars have just the answer to all your aesthetic contemplations and gift buying needs, with affordable, portable works of art. ‘Basically it’s going to be a gift shop, with an art exhibition included, embracing the commodification of art with the intimacy of the hand made in a post lockdown world’, says the curator. Behind the fun there lies Halpin’s passion for making accessible, inclusive works and exhibitions that can be afforded and enjoyed as a positive experience, for visitors, the artists, their audience and the wider community. The artists who are physically able to attend, will be on hand to talk about their work at selected times throughout the weekend, with a Private View as part of the Folkestone Final Friday event.
Many of the artists have shown together in the past as The Outside World AllStars as well as in virtual and live events such as the bi-annual and currently online Art Car Boot Fair. Most have long histories of group and solo shows nationally and internationally at museums such as the Pompidou Centre, The Museè D’Orsay, The Oscars Ceremony, the V&A, The Royal Academy and the Turner Contemporary and many private galleries and institutions.
Antony Buonomo is an Anglo-Italian Emmy award-winning digital designer, who makes visual art and written works. He has worked on Oscar-winning films, designing the opening and closing titles for 12 Years A Slave, as well as for many prestigious film and television clients including the BBC. Antony is a member of BAFTA. He is a wheelchair user, who because of his disability exclusively makes digital art.
Charlotte Chapman has been working in Arts Participation and Engagement for over fifteen years. She is fascinated by how we interact with the arts, as a means of expression and inter-connectedness. Her focus is on participatory research, she was lead artist on ‘Dead & Buried’, recording young people’s responses to Natural Burial Methods. ‘Perceptions of Death’, was an installation for Chale Wote Street Arts Festival, Accra, Ghana. Her solo show at The Stables Gallery, was an installation quoting the experiences of 250 residents about lockdown and the pandemic, mounted alongside her own work, acquired by Folkestone Museum. Her most recent work is a digital archive documenting the practices of Aylesham’s Carnival Queens and Princesses highlighting the group’s fragility as they navigate an ever-changing world. Charlotte is a university lecturer and is currently South East Development Officer for Creative Lives.
Kelly-Anne Davitt is known for hyper-real virtuoso painting style in vibrant pop tones, and her humorous and provocative light-sculptures. Her electrifyingly immaculate canvases fuse traditional still life and portraiture with a contemporary approach, inspired by advertising imagery, pop culture, nostalgic childhood memories and feminist themes. She has exhibited widely across the UK from Cork Street to The Potteries. She recently made her curatorial debut with ‘The Most Powerful Woman In The Universe’, a show of groundbreaking feminist art.
Maria Teresa Gavazzi is Italian, born in 1950, grew up in Sao Paolo, now living in London. She has an MA in Painting from the Brera Fine Arts Academy in Milan. In 2018 she gained an MA in Social Anthropology (Migration and Diaspora Studies) from SOAS, London. In 2019 she walked from Rome to London and has published a book of her encounters on the via Francigena. Over the years, she has embraced painting, collage, photography, installations, videos, performances and interactive projects. Gavazzi’s work has been exhibited in Europe, Great Britain and Japan.
Julie Goldsmith makes seemingly ‘innocent’ paintings and ceramics, yet has been called ‘Angela Carter on a Plate’, playing with the notion of fable and domesticity. A ‘Skull n Crossbones’ bowl – there may be nothing for dinner. Haunted children and hungry dolls. Figures viewed from the corner of your eye, making the darkness bearable, lurking in bowls and plates, said to dispel household trauma. She creates ritual objects for dark times.
C.A.Halpin lives in London and works across a broad spectrum of media, drawing, painting and glitter, often seizing moments in time, reflecting popular culture and politics, to explore the human condition. She has an MARCA in Illustration and has worked internationally as an animator, director and illustrator. Her commissioned portraits are collected around the world. She also works as a writer and curator, having run galleries and artist led spaces and salons. She has a chihuahua.
Doug Haywood originally from the rural idyll that is the Isle of Wight, to the badlands of Whitechapel, east London, via a Fine Art degree at St Albans and Winchester. He has become influenced by contemporary popular culture, waste and consumerism, addressing local and urban aesthetics, graffiti, signage, construction, regeneration and public interaction. Highlighting the often-overlooked elements of contemporary life, he uses materials sourced within his immediate environment; from the ubiquitous colours and shapes of street art and graffiti, to discarded broken furniture, outgrown toys, defaced signage and more recently the by-products of creativity and detritus discarded by society.
Sadie Hennessy is a multi-disciplinary artist whose roots lie in collage, but who has expanded her idea of collage to encompass the third and fourth dimensions, to create immersive environments and events, examining the world around her as perceived through her somewhat unique view-finder. Everything she does is tinged with melancholia, mixed with a dark humour, that comes from the blacker end of the comedy spectrum. She has an MA Fine Art from Central St. Martins and was Screen Print Fellow at the Royal Academy of Arts, 2016-19.
Julieta H-Adame is a graduate of Camberwell School of Art. Her passion is language, how we understand it, how we read it, and how it affects our judgement is a constant presence in her work. Her work can be interpreted on many levels, some viewers will just relate to the forms or the beauty of the setting, but for those who choose to read, there’s more to discover about the human condition and how we relate to others.
Alice Herrick uses drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, photography, film and performance to explore and celebrate human expression, bodies in motion, dance, dynamics and patterns. Her work is sensual, playful and theatrical, fuelled with dramatic tension and deeply felt passions. She has an MA in Painting from Chelsea College of Art and a 1st class Fine Art degree from Kingston University. Alice has worked in film design, arts education, live arts & exhibition curation and founded two artist-run gallery spaces in Shoreditch and Mayfair. Alice has always lived in London, but is just at home beachcombing by the sea.
Toby Holmes AKA Little Fish Design, creates playful and humorous ‘Pop-Surrealist’ sculptures and prints that combine images drawn from a wide variety of sources from classical art to contemporary packaging and advertising. He likes to combine disparate imagery and materials to create eclectic and amusing pieces. Often using discarded sweet wrappers and packaging to achieve an enjoyably disarming effect. The artist has also worked as a graphic designer who plays with the overlap of art, graphic and visual design. The works are part of an ongoing series ‘The Product Placement Project’, inserting contemporary, often familiar products and packaging into Old Masters paintings, with a wry nod to subliminal advertising found in modern films. They explore the connections and boundaries between art and advertising, whilst reflecting on the functions of fashion & clothing.
Kate Knight is inspired by the vital role that craft and tradition have historically played in establishing the feminine psyche, and it is these motifs that inform and traverse her practice. The use of mediums made from scratch, expose the female psyche through the practice of hand crafting all aspects of her paintings, for example watercolours and pastels manufactured from raw materials such as pigments, wax and clay which make up the very fabric of her work. She recently graduated with a Distinction in MA Fine Art at City and Guilds of London School of Art.
Julia Maddison‘s work revolves around sickness, sex, lies and loss. Collecting, reworking and subverting the flotsam of forgotten lives, she is gradually piecing together a museum of domestic misery. It is her long held ambition to have a shop like Bagpuss’, full of lost, misplaced and forgotten ephemera, none of which is for sale.
Thomas Sharrock has been making art since he was 14 and holds a BA in Visual Arts. His work employs caricature that takes a surreal and satirical swipe at politics and politicians as well as making a sharp commentary on current world events. He draws and sketches, using marker pens to colour his humorous and very accurate portraits, news stories and illustrations. He is a member of Touchbase Care and is one of two artists in residence at the centre. Thomas has learning difficulties and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).
‘”This Is Not A Toy, brings together ‘The Outside World AllStars’ showing at Touchbase Gallery, Folkestone. It is a cool mix of painting, drawing, printmaking and mixed media work by some of the UK’s best known overlooked makers.” – Paul Carter Robinson, Artlyst Editor
“This is Not A Toy, exhibition is what the gallery is about. A shared space between local artists and national as well as a platform for our member residents to show work. We have some incredibly talented members, including resident artists who are often overlooked in the arts world. It’s great that they can show alongside such acclaimed artists on their doorstep and that other members can come and see the work”. Trish Bishop, CEO Touchbase Care
Beat a hasty path to This is Not a Toy with its fabulously imaginative, cheeky and occasionally downright bawdy line-up! Art as it should be enjoyed. Karen Ashton, Art Car Boot Fair