- Identity Design,
- Design for Print,
A gallery in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent's Cultural Quarter
An exercise in project management and curation
Upstairs Gallery is a gallery space in the Cultural Quarter in Stoke–on–Trent’s city centre. The focus for the gallery is to showcase art from all over the world— from the graffiti, design, typography and photography sectors, including (and open to) many more. The space is also a place for lectures, talks, screenings and events, and is available for hire.
Since 2014, I led the curation effort which including writing and winning multiple Arts Council England bids, selecting an artist roster well in advance and managing artists throughout exhibition installation, pre, during and post-exhibitions. I also designed the visual identity for the gallery, every piece of promotion for every exhibition and produced moving image content showcasing key exhibitions.
Faust: June 2015
We brought world-renowned graffiti artist and typographer Faust to the UK for his debut solo show at Upstairs Gallery. After a successful Arts Council England bid, we were able to produce a mural as part of our New Horizons project, and Faust's first ever screen print run in our workshop.
‘Prevail’ was our message to the city, which has had to endure social and economic downturn after the collapse of the ceramic industry
45RPM: January 2016
Another successful Arts Council England bid saw us bring Bristol based graffiti artist 45RPM for a new year exhibition in the gallery—we also worked with him on two new screen prints for the show and a new ceramic piece in collaboration with local ceramicist Jasmine Simpson.
45RPM also produced a mural as part of his exhibition at the gallery
Darren John: September 2016
John’s new works aim to celebrate creativity and the liberated imagination through an action focussed approach that favours the stark contrast between the dark and the light. This approach to image-making nods towards a notion of the mind and hand acting as one entity and these horizontally applied works embrace an organic unpredictability, relinquishing a portion of control to gravity.
By creating these works with this first time approach, this series not only invites us to join John on his quest for unbound creative liberty, but also captures and lays bare the story of the physical process of the works, in three dimensional form.
Krek FMS: May 2015
Frankie Purple and TJ Dolan are Krek FMS. Going by multiple alter-egos, Krek’s work combines psychedelia, graffiti paraphernalia and much more in a mix of large and small scale paintings, water colours, screen prints, poetry, & photography. Krek gives the viewer a small insight to the way his mind works and the way he sees the world through it.
Toby Curtis: January 2017
Toby paints abstracts, a very old fashioned notion but one that he clings to out of nothing more than a pure enjoyment of painting and paintings. For a long time, some 28 years in fact, Toby expressed himself via graffiti writing.
Both graffiti and Toby have changed a lot over the years and no longer make each other happy — however Toby is compelled to paint and has been since he can remember — so it was obvious that he carried on once that relationship ran it’s course. Toby’s work is informed by a variety of sources and encompasses interest’s in music, hip hop culture, graffiti, quantum physics and an obsession with paradox.
FAMOUS WHEN DEAD: July 2016
FAMOUS WHEN DEAD blurs the boundaries between surrealist, abstract, pop, graffiti and urban art. Classically trained as a robot, he now works from his home studio that he shares with his wife and three young children. His highly original art is becoming increasingly sought after around the world and a following is beginning to grow with each new piece.
FWD is a creator of strange and intriguing artworks. His artworks are heavily influenced by popular culture, past and present. There are no obvious themes to his work — although the reoccurring subjects of fragile celebrity and fallen idols are noticeable in recent works.
- Rob Fenton
- Tom Edwards
- Ben Evans
- Gallery Manager
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