EPIPHANIES! Secrets of Outsider Art
was organised and curated by the wonderfully charismatic and colourful Sue Kreitzman and her partner in crime (and Arts Project Director at the hospital) Peter Herbert. It was held at The Conference Centre in St Pancras Hospital, London from 26 September – 28 November 2013 and my what a show it was!
EPIPHANIES! explored a range of different sources of Outsider Art, and was a wonderful insight into this fascinating world, bringing together up to 25 local and international Outsider Artists including Liz Parkinson, Judith McNicol, Valerie Potter, Joe Gagliano, Kate Bradbury, Manuel Bonifacio, Elton Darlo and many more.
From the insightful and often comical stitching of Valerie Potter, to the masking tape book of Nnena Kalu, to the ‘Goats’ made from found objects of Kate Bradbury, this exhibition did not disappoint. The corridor of St Pancras Hospital was alive in colour, sparkle and 3D objects galore, with something for everyone. The opening night was awash with colour, entertainment and friends. After John Maizels, Editor of Raw Vision, declared the show open, many an artist performed including Diego Brown and the Good Fairy (Kate Bradbury and her brother) with poetry read by Rosemary McLeish and a performance involving barbie dolls (you heard me right!!). I met with old friends including Elton Darlo who draws and paints on the streets of Manchester (and whose work was recently featured in The Big Issue) and Judith McNicol whose exquisite black and white drawings never fail to blow me away! I also met with new friends who I had only spoken with before via email including Mista Fig who creates magnificent and unusual figures – he had traveled many miles to exhibit his work for the first time!
Co-curator and artist herself Sue, picked these artists as they are people she has befriended over the years. For her, the most important thing is the art and getting it out there for people to see. She wants the artists to have a voice and for the duration of the exhibition Sue was there at least once a week to talk to visitors and give them an insight into the exhibited artists and this field of art in general. Sue’s passion for the art and the artists really shone through and her enthusiasm for this field of art is a pleasure to see. Long may Sue and Peter continue to organise exhibitions such as EPIPHANIES! and long may the artists she’s friends with joyfully create work for us to enjoy! I can’t wait to see what is next for Sue!
I will leave you with this uplifting quote from Sue Kreitzman: “If you hang out with us, you may experience epiphanies, revelations and visions. Visit us and you might burst into art, aflame with colour, exaltation and obsessive creativity. We are Outsider Artists, working far beyond the margins of the conventional art world. Untutored, obsessive, producing art for our own pleasure and therapy, inventing techniques, scavenging for unexpected materials, we are united in our need to express beliefs, angst, political and spiritual views, through art. View our passionate work and you may experience a strong urge to begin making art by any means possible. The streets are full of seductive rubbish. Inspiration is everywhere. Anyone can make art of anything! We are Outsider Artists. We will change your life.”
NB: A zine was created for this exhibition. Please contact me if you would like one and I will let Sue know.
Images: (top) Sue Kreitzman in her home, (middle) the work of John William, (bottom left) the work of Liz Parkinson and (bottom right) the work of Elton Darlo.