Amanda Westbury writes about Gatehouse Arts; Art, Community and Friendship coming together in the heart of Harlow
many friendships formed through people working together to realise an idea or concept, through a joint venture putting on a show or event, or by just having a shared interest.
Gatehouse Arts first emerged in Harlow Town centre in July 2010 as part of the redevelopment plan for the Westgate area. At the time it consisted of 22 studio spaces and a gallery which made use of a floor of empty offices and an empty shop unit. In the past year the project has grown and now has 12 more studio’s and a window gallery in Eastgate, allowing affordable work spaces for 36 local and emerging artists and the opportunity to promotion and exhibit the diversity of artistic talent that exists in the local art community.
Resident artists in the studios include graphic designers, painters, sculptures, printers, illustrators, installation artists, photographers , public artists and designer makers specialising in ceramic, mosaic, contemporary basket weaving, origami, leather work, floral art to mention a few. Gatehouse Arts hold an open Weekend in October every year, allowing the public a unique chance to visit the studio’s, speak to the artists, ask questions and see what they do.
Gatehouse Art in the few years of its existence has achieved many things to be proud of. It is a place that anyone can visit and be welcomed as part of a group which is helping to regenerate and encourage exciting new and diverse work in Harlow . It works with other local trusts and groups to promote and drive forward the Arts in the Town and promote Harlow’s rich cultural interests to a wider national and international audience. But it is also a place that allows individuals a space to concentrate on their own creative practice in a supporting and nurturing environment.
Open Studio Event – Hung Voong’s studio
There is a vibrant art community developing amongst the individuals in the studio’s, where the wealth of creative knowledge can be shared by the group, offering its members first hand guidance, support and advice in all aspects of artistic and creative practice. There have also been many friendships formed through people working together to realise an idea or concept, through a joint venture putting on a show or event or by just having a shared interest.
The development of Gatehouse Arts has helped to bring new vitality into the shopping parades of the town centre by providing in the gallery spaces a constantly changing visual window of new, exciting and sometimes challenging art works. The gallery has also been a popular local venue provided a free welcoming space for the local community to experience interesting and professionally presented art exhibitions and events, and for them to voice their own interest in the arts and culture that Harlow is proud of.
Details of the artists work, and current and planned events, can be found on the Gatehouse Arts website