Saturday, 11 September 2010

20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe

Last week I ventured south of the river Humber and visited the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe. Having entered an exhibition which was nearing the end of its run, I thought it was about time I took myself along to see where my creation was actually being displayed. I have been a fan of 20-21 on Facebook for a while now, but not known what the place was like really. Well, I can now safely say that it is a lovely venue. Easy to get to, very friendly staff and a well-stocked cafe as well as a gift shop (where I couldn't resist buying myself a lovely little brooch) - and on top of all that, the exhibition spaces are varied enough that several different exhibitions can run simultaneously with ease.

After a look at the Throwaway World exhibition, which I had entered (artists were asked to use a single paper cup as a starting point for a new artwork) with this creation of an African drum:

I was surprised and somewhat disappointed to see that there were only 19 entries in total for this exhibition - although the variety was wide, I'd expected many more creations! Here's the full display on the Facebook page dedicated to the 20-21 Centre: Throwaway World. The whole display was in a glass fronted display case set within one of the walls of the exhibition space.

On the opposite side to this was an exhibition of photographs by Alison Walker Smith - an arresting artist who creates some stunning images which are created using digital photography with different focal depths. They have to be seen to be appreciated, but if you click here you will find at least one example of her work. Having seen her work, my husband has been inspired to start a new project with his digital camera. I was particularly impressed with the exhibition by David Hancock - his portraits of young people playing computer games were very striking. I've seen David's work online before, here, but not seen anything in the flesh until I visited the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, so I was very pleasantly surprised to find some of his work there! You can see his work until November 6th, so still plenty of time to pop along.

In the largest exhibition space, which is the former St Johns Church building, was an exhibition entitled "Art With A Pulse II: Tattoo Exhibitionism". I am not a fan of tattoos, although I can see the artistic merits of them, when done well. however, this exhibition was really interesting and I could have spent longer - but we'd only got an hour on the car park so time was short! I was particularly impressed with the work of Paula Hardy Kangelos whose intricately detailed bead collages were fantastic. I also liked Jo Harrison's paintings here. I think the environment really helped to show off all these works of art and I have made a promise to myself that I shall be visiting again before too long. In the meantime, I plan to spread the word about the centre, as I believe it is a refreshingly friendly gallery with excellent facilities, plenty of activities throughout the year (and more during the holidays for children) and an obviously wide range of exhibitions and shows. The cafe sells freshly prepared baguettes, toasted sandwiches, paninis and jacket potatoes to name a few. I had a coffee and a piece of home-made date square, which took me back to my childhood when my Nanna used to make them regularly - although I'm sure my Nanna (who baked lots of delicious buns and scones, etc) didn't fill the squares she made with quite as many dates as I discovered each time I bit into my purchase at 20-21.

The centre operate the "Own Art" scheme, which is supported by Arts Council England, whereby interest free loans are available to anyone wishing to purchase artworks priced between £100 and £2000.

The centre is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Entrance is free.  Oh, and the gift shop is excellent. I bought myself a beautiful little hand-crafted brooch from Sky Moon Designs:

You can see more of her work on Facebook here.

If all this is not enough to tempt you to pay a visit to the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, then I have obviously failed in my attempt! I just like to spread the word whenever I experience some thing or place that has had an impact on me. So there you go.I've started spreading the word.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great place. I wish we had an arts centre in Chelmsford. I also wish I had known about the paper cup comp - I would have entered! Maybe next year. I love the brooch too. I can never resist buying things like that myself!


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