Crowd Show is an exhibition at NN Contemporary that uses advertising methods to start conversations about the meaning and value of art and the art world. The show began with Sarah Taylor Silverwood placing a roadside billboard advertisement in Northampton bearing the phrase ‘artist seeking artists’ – effectively an open call, soliciting anyone visually creative to submit work for exhibition. This very deliberate act of ‘random curation’ has drawn together a disparate group of artists whose work will be exhibited at Crowd Show, the only common denominator being that each of them responded to the initial, enigmatic billboard advert.
Alongside this work, Sarah’s show includes other, similar adverts, introducing further ways of playfully reaching out to artists and gallery visitors, inviting them to participate in a public programme of events that interrogate the world of art and culture, asking questions around representation, diversity, how artists are paid, the role of regional art spaces and more, all of it ultimately addressing the status of art in the context of everyday modern life. The work seeks to form new networks and friendships, in the process considering broader ethical questions surrounding the curation and value of art itself.
Throughout the exhibition run, Sarah will continue to hand-make adverts that range in scale and form, from roadside billboards to bespoke ads made in response to visitors to the exhibition and participants in gallery events. Each of these events will be supported by its own call out to artists, allowing the exhibition to respond fluidly to the contribution of others so that Crowd Show is continually developing and evolving.
NN’s previous Artistic Director, Catherine Hemelryk, invited artist Sarah Taylor Silverwood to collaborate after seeing the artist’s 2016 project, Small Ads, based on a similarly random, open-call premise, and the exhibition and supporting events have been devised by Sarah and NN’s current Artistic Director, Louise Clarke.
New Multiple to Purchase:
Sarah Taylor Silverwood will also be making a multiple, in the form of ceramics, which will be available to buy at NN. The ceramics will be produced throughout the exhibition period, taking their inspiration from conversations with visitors to and issues arising from Crowd Show. They will be placed in the gallery throughout the exhibition.
The public programme for Crowd Show will include:
6-8 pm Friday 7 September 2018
Join us to celebrate the opening of the Crowd Show exhibition – speak to the artist, find out about all our programmed events running over the coming months and, of course, share a drink.
Urban Sketchers Sit-In
7-9 pm Thursday 27 September 2018
Everyone is welcome to this free event, with light refreshments provided, followed by a social in the Maule Bar. NN, along with Jean Edwards from the infamous and dedicated Northampton branch of local drawing group Urban Sketchers, would like to invite you to join them at the gallery. You may have previously seen Urban Sketchers working en plein air, like visual archaeologists, around Northampton. We are pleased to host this friendly, energetic and all-inclusive group of local talent at NN, and extend the invitation, and encourage anyone that would like to join in, to meet, sketch and socialise.
12-2 pm Friday 5 October 2018
All are welcome to this free communal potluck lunch.
Come along to share a meal, over which we can discuss ways of restructuring and reconfiguring the art world, with a particular eye on Northampton and its environs, in relation to the current exhibition, Crowd Show. If you can, bring some food to share, but it isn’t obligatory – just come along and join in!
Revert Advert/s: Art Workshop
11 am-1 pm Saturday 13 October 2018
Free workshop for both adults and children over 10yrs. Children under 12yrs must be accompanied by an adult. Inspired by Sarah Taylor Silverwood's exhibition, Crowd Show, participants will work with artist Emma Davies and become Art Directors for the day, investigating ways to promote the value of art and artists to the public in a changing world. Through re-assembling commercial adverts from magazines and newspapers, designing fonts, using Letraset, selecting colours, layouts, collage and a variety of design techniques, participants can invent and design their own slogans, campaigns and adverts. Participants will also have the chance to include their work in the Crowd Show publication, to be produced later this year.
This workshop is perfect for any budding artists, graphic or art designers, protest artists and
campaigners! ART IS SMART!
Making Art in Northampton: Work in Progress
2-4 pm Saturday 27 October 2018
A free event open to artists and makers at all stages of their careers, as well as anyone more generally interested in art. This session’s Work in Progress begins with a presentation by Sarah Taylor Silverwood (the artist leading current exhibition Crowd Show), followed by an open discussion about the backdrop and ecology of making art in Northampton. There will be a short opportunity at the end to discuss participants’ own work-in-progress in a friendly and supportive peer review, facilitated by Luke Harby.
Monday 22–Sunday 28 October 2018
Artist Sarah Taylor Silverwood will be taking over our Twitter account! She will be posting a series of images of new work inspired by the gallery events and conversations arising from the current exhibition, Crowd Show.
A New Constitution for Northampton: Participatory Event and Closing Party
2-5 pm Saturday 3 November 2018
A drop-in event, free to everyone.
Whether you simply have a passing interest in art, you are an artist/maker, you work in the creative or cultural sector, or simply live locally and want to know what’s going on, you are cordially invited to drop into this event, where you can contribute to the discussion and help map the recent political and social changes in Northampton and what they mean for us. Based on this input, Sarah Taylor Silverwood will draw up a new constitution for Northampton, redefining the principles by which it could be governed.