20 July - 29 September 2013

Outside In: West celebrated the extraordinary creativity of 21 artists outside the mainstream.  It was arranged in partnership with the Museum of Somerset in Taunton, and showcased artists who have remained at the margins either because of health issues, disability, or social circumstances.

In selecting the powerful and often exuberant work, the exhibition centred on gesture, narrative, expression and vitality. On the surface the work seems wonderfully diverse, but delve deeper and two themes emerge.

The exhibition was curated by Tim Martin who presented the work thematically under two headings.

‘From within and from without’

‘There is no surer way of evading the world than by Art; and no surer way of uniting with it than by Art.’ Goethe

This section of the exhibition gathered works that expressed personal thoughts and inner feelings as well as perceptions of the contemporary world. Since the Romantic Movement began artists such as Constable, Delacroix, Goya and later Jean Dubuffet and Edvard Munch have all expressed their individuality and concerns through paint. Currently Tracey Emin, Yinka Shonibare and graffiti artist Banksy push the boundaries of how art can confront, challenge and provoke.

‘Self and other portraits’

Portraiture, and in particular the self-portrait, is a constant in art practice. Some believe that it wasn’t until the Middle Ages, when mirrors were readily available, that self-portraits were made; others believe that self-portraiture dates back to Ancient Egypt and beyond when people first saw their reflections in still water. While Albrecht Dürer reflected his physical appearance, artists such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh and later Frida Kahlo and Lucian Freud portrayed their inner selves. More recently Gerhard Richter and Marc Quinn continue to challenge this tradition.  As Oscar Wilde said ‘every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter’.

This exhibition was selected from artists’ submissions by:

Tim Martin – Independent Artist and Curator
Stuart Rosamond – Visual Arts Educator
Jennifer Gilbert – Outside In Co-ordinator
Tom Mayberry – Head of Heritage at Museum of Somerset
Helen Mansfield – Heritage Learning Manager at Museum of Somerset

The selected artists were: Joolz Cave Berry, Marjana Wjasnova, Mo Rudling, Regina Lafay, Ideapathic, Benjamin Fish, Brian Gibson, Keith Davies, John Slator, Peter Fox, Roger Davison, Grade One, Vivi-Mari Carpelan, Tina Kelly, Derek Keeping, Nicholas Selway, Liz Lane, Stephen Canby, Stacey Fish, Arron Kuiper. 

Originally this exhibition was to be shown across two venues, with the Brewhouse Arts Centre being the second. Unfortunately, the Brewhouse went into administration and closed earlier this year. However, we were lucky to still have Tim Martin from the Brewhouse working with the Museum of Somerset on this exhibition. We are appreciative of the events the Brewhouse held in the past as part of Outside In.

Address: The Museum of Somerset, Taunton Castle, Castle Green, Taunton, TA1 4AA

Image: Marjana Wjasnova