A good catch…
itstable’s art scene is rich and varied and its talented creatives often draw upon our town’s industrial and fishing heritage. Few galleries can actually lay claim to exhibiting their paintings in a former fish shop though but Fishslab can. The original marble fish slab which was integral to the gallery’s former incarnation stands in the window and has done since it opened with art on its menu in 2008.
Many artists who exhibit here are interested in works that reflect coastal themes and estuary interests. But the artists are not just Whitstable based – Londoners get a look in too. And as Carey Still, Fishslab’s committee secretary explains it’s a very popular place for artists to exhibit.
‘Once a year we open the phone line to artists groups of artists,’ she says of this busy time.
Why is it so busy ? She explains:
‘Artists pay a week’s rent which we need to maintain the building. They then have the space for that week to exhibit their works.’
“ They take a full cut of the profit so no commission fees. . .]
This is both good for the artist and the collector and unusual in the competitive and commercial world of modern art.
With such flexible terms Carey says that it the space is nearly always booked up.
A popular space
‘We are very rarely empty,’ she says.
As for those who exhibit she adds:
‘We have all sorts of artists – I’m a collage artist she says and we look for original artists.’
Featured exhibitions include a sea sculpture presentation and the work of an artist who has collected sea defence off cuts in order to produce his work.
‘We devote space to those just starting out that we have also hosted a week of art created from people organised by a homeless charity.’
As the gallery looks set to re-establish itself safely after the Covid 19 outbreak Carey is convinced that the model her gallery offers is something that will represent Whitstable’s formidable and varied talent for many years to come.
(Photos by Cara MacNally)