For its third annual open call exhibition, things we didn’t have before, Pump House Gallery transforms into a cabinet of curiosities. Each of the gallery’s floors serve as different compartments, a treasure trove of wondrous artworks and objects that await discovery.
Supported by curator Hannah Conroy, local recovery group CDS Wandsworth have selected artworks and objects to form a new public collection that tells the unique and unexpected stories behind objects and their creators or collectors.
Over 100 arts practitioners and collectors submitted their unusual and intriguing objects and artworks for consideration. Over six sessions, the curatorial group made its final selection of pieces by 20 artists and collectors and determined how to present these within the gallery’s setting.
The group found significant resonance with this year’s submission theme of ‘curious objects’, as many people in recovery are given a token to represent their abstinence. As part of this process, the token object becomes hugely symbolic, and begins to represent relationships, experiences and journeys in ways far beyond its original design. things we didn’t have before is an exhibition that presents both a collection of objects and a collection of the stories that accompany them, and how these are read is unique to each gallery visitor.
About the curators
Each year the gallery works with a different Wandsworth community-based group for its annual open call exhibition, with the aim of providing contemporary art experience, knowledge and practice through the development of a public exhibition. This year’s curatorial team is made up of members of CDS Wandsworth, a Recovery Group: Miro, Liam, Dodger, Steve, Brandon, Julian, Jane, Gary, Irene, Chris, Sam and Michelle.
Hannah Conroy is curator of Folkestone Artworks - a collection of permanent public sculptures across the coastal town. Recent projects include Tide and Time Flow Wide (2015) Folkestone; The Trouble with Painting Today (2014), Pump House Gallery; Reassembling Past Futures (2014), Austrian Cultural Forum London; co-curated exhibition No one lives here (2013), Royal College of Art.
Gallery design is by Alastair Osborn. Osborn will interpret CDS group ideas to create a system of exhibition displays to house the objects.