We are excited to announce our partnership with the Artichoke Trust to take 'The Gallery' Out-Of-Home. 10 powerful artworks will be displayed across the UK, including our network of digital billboards and bus shelters, responding to the theme ‘Straight White Male’.
Manspreading, Menstruation and Mansplaining – 10 artists respond to: ‘What does Straight White Male mean in 2022?’
The works which span photography, illustration and digital prints depict each artist’s individual take on this topical prompt. They will appear across the four nations reaching millions of people over a four-week period: from Bournemouth to Belfast and Margate to Manchester, including Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London.
Artichoke’s CEO and Creative Director, Helen Marriage, said: “Launching The Gallery with these three words could not be timelier. Taken together they could be thought to be incendiary, but the different artistic responses offer a much more interesting and nuanced view.
“Much has been said about masculinity and its toxicity, about who holds the power and whose voices are most heard. These ten very different responses reflect fresh approaches that will prompt debate and conversation. Blasted across outdoor advertising spaces, shopping malls and cinemas, The Gallery will be out and proud, in the streets of our four nations, for everyone to see. We’re setting out to break down traditional barriers to experiencing great art, connecting it to urgent themes that impact daily lives.
“Twice a year we’ll seek responses to some of the most critical topics and themes of the day, inspiring, provoking, and starting conversations. I think people will be surprised at both the quality and the variety of art that is produced.”
Works include a piece by Nicola Irvine, ’Anything you can do I can do bleeding’, It’s a bold illustration depicting women bleeding onto a pink background. The provocative title of the piece are the words of a teenage girl, painted on a piece of paper during a workshop that Irvine led for Alliance for Choice.
London-based graphic artist Nadina Ali’s work is centred on creating empowering messages around social justice and representation. Speaking about her bold piece for The Gallery ‘Hey Straight White Men, Pass The Power’ she said: “I want to challenge the idea that straight white men in positions of power is still an acceptable norm”.
Stevexoh is another artist featured. A self-taught “outsider” his cartoon is titled ‘I don’t want to be a cowboy anymore’ and comments on how patriarchal norms affect men.
Martin Firrell, Creative Director of The Gallery and Lead Artist for its first season said:
“We asked artists to respond to the theme Straight White Male in an open call - open, as the name suggests, to everyone regardless of age, experience or location. We wanted to hear from artists who had something to say about the theme, however they identify.
“The artists in our first season are diverse, plural, and strong-minded (as all artists worth the name tend to be). Each brings a different view to the table. Often the artworks disagree with each other. They demonstrate how wellexpressed and contradictory views can illuminate the heart and soul of an issue.”
The brainchild of arts producers Artichoke with Martin Firrell, The Gallery will challenge traditional models of viewing art with a programme that is bold, ambitious and unafraid. This is a revolutionary new model of public engagement that goes beyond the traditional art gallery, bringing art to everyone’s doorstep.
Founded on a belief that art should be democratic, accessible and engaging, The Gallery aims to reach millions of Brits, showing exciting new work by diverse artists on the streets, in shopping malls and cinemas across our four nations.
Bren O’Callaghan, Curator, The Gallery said:
“Our first and subsequent themes are intended as provocations to stimulate discussion. Democracy is something we must participate in, or we lose it. It's critical that we sit and wriggle in a place of discomfort, examining subjects and views that are not identical to our own.
We want to leverage the opportunity to meet somewhere in between; not in battle, but an open forum. Akin to lobbing a football into no-man's land during a pause in hostilities, only it happens to bounce right outside your front door.”
Launched in partnership with the Out-of-Home advertising industry, including Clear Channel and JCDecaux, the project aims to make art truly accessible through an outdoor gallery that thrusts thought-provoking pieces into the heart of public conversations.
Each biannual exhibition season will be produced by Arichoke and sets out to nurture and develop early and mid-career artists, giving them a platform and guidance on producing art in the public realm.
The public will have the opportunity to purchase their favourite artworks with prints available to buy with 60% of all profits going directly to the artists. The exhibitions and artists will be further supported by a nationwide media campaign, a dedicated website and digital archive.