Adorning the steps of the Calle Comedia on the evening of the 24th of November; a banner which read ‘Kitchen’ was not advertising the delicious food which is offered at The Kasbar. On this particular evening it was to mark the launch of a new incarnation of the popular communal art project which had once inhabited the Montagu Bastion back in 2015.
Brainchild of original founders and local artists Patrizia Imossi, Christopher Tavares and Stefano Blanca Sciacaluga, Kitchen was the name given to the project of transforming the once powerful military hulk into a temporary art studio space for all. Off the success of this idea and given its much welcomed reception from local artists, the ‘Kitchen Studios Association’ was formed.
According to the organisers, there is a need for creative people in our community to collaborate in creative projects and develop innovative self-expression. The association believes that as creative people they need a studio spaces to continue to develop their own artistic / creative practices. For them, Gibraltar does not currently cater for artists in this respect. There are currently 3 community Galleries: Mackintosh Hall, Gustavo Bacarisas Gallery and The Fine Arts Gallery, for artist to exhibit, but there is no spaces/art centre or studios spaces for artist to be able to work and create the works of art. y make the argument that theIt would be the same as if the GFA would have an incredible new football stadium, but no football grounds to train. The association firmly believes that it is their right as artists and Gibraltarians to have premises/ studio spaces/ art centre for all to be able to access, as other associations have. They feel that this is currently not happening.
A ‘pop-up’ exhibition which took place inside (and outside) the integral cultural refuge that is The Kasbar; of works from local artists of all disciplines and backgrounds, was swiftly organised and the association was launched. Information sheets printed alongside the exhibition read as follows:
Aims and Objectives
- To create wild, beautiful and magical artistic happenings created with the community at the heart of the experience.
- To offer a new perspective on the city by exploring unusual, forbidden and restricted access spaces.
- To foster the conditions for different community groups to come together in acts of social play, dialogue and exchange
- All events should be free to access and encourage a ‘pay it forward’ attitude in return
- To offer insights in how we can transform our day-to-day lives by challenging everyday behaviours and actions.
- To create lasting connections between individuals and community organisations.
- To welcome, invite and include those who don’t usually participate in artistic experiences.
- To welcome people who have studied art in the UK to collaborate in create projects.
- To have a common space to share good artistic practice. This could be an Art centre for all which will have studio spaces for practising artists and open spaces as drop in facilities.
The impressive range of art on show and the ease in which these artists have come together to create something like this suggests that there is a real hunger to continue the dialogue of how we approach art locally and what can be done to move it forward. If this is something that is of interest to you then please contact the association via: [email protected]