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Traversing the Open 2013

Sophie Currie's vessels on display at the Malt Cross gallery. Photo courtesy of Traverse Creatives

Sophie Currie’s vessels on display at the Malt Cross gallery. Photo courtesy of Traverse Creatives

No, not that Open, this is a creative blog, not a sporting one. And anyway, I’m a woman so they wouldn’t let me in. I was, however, welcomed with friendliness and wine to Traverse Creatives’ Open 2013 exhibition for artists at The Malt Cross Gallery on Wednesday.

I love the Malt Cross. My great grandfather was a music hall artiste so I feel an affinity there despite never being brave enough to consider standing up in front of an audience myself. I must admit the gallery is new to me though. The Malt Cross have promised (via Twitter) to ensure the gallery space is cooler than it was on Wednesday evening for you lot who visit the exhibition. Lucky for you as, aside from the heat, it was pretty interesting!

Traverse specialise in pop up events, including exhibitions, that promote the work of creatives. Although based in the East Midlands, they are interested in looking nationally and the Open exhibition aims to bring together a wide range of artists. The Open is billed as a multi-disciplinary art and design exhibition and contains painting, collage, film, jewellery, metalware, sculpture and furniture.

Traverse were interested in bringing together mid-career and emerging artists, in an attempt to mix it up and learn, to see how artists careers can develop and change. Some of the pieces are from a few years ago and others are brand new.

The highlight of the exhibition, for me, was Sophie Currie’s spun copper vessels. These were highly polished on the underside and sat on mirrors to reflect their shine and brilliance. But the inside of the bowls are decorated with fractal patterns, reflecting nature including trees in winter, the inside of a kiwi fruit and so on.

Photograph courtesy of Traverse Creatives

The gallery is small and the pieces are close to each other – with only one or two from each artist you move very quickly to contrast and compare. So film sits next to painting sits next to prints sits next to furniture and sculpture. Considering the focus of the event, however, I think I would have liked more explanation from each artist about where they were in their career. As it was, although the explanations of each piece were surprisingly informative (bearing in mind the usual art jargon on captions at these things) about the piece itself, it was unclear about how these sat in their career.

This is a small quibble, however, and I’d encourage you to go and make your own minds up. The exhibition runs until 29th July and the gallery is open every day. And of course you can combine the visit with a trip to the bar downstairs and some of their excellent onion rings…


Sue is one of our team of bloggers. When not sweating in hot art galleries she can be found writing a novel as part of the Ten to One collective. If you’d like to contact her about anything at all, she can be reached on sue AT creativenottingham.com and followed on Twitter @basfordian