Gobbledegook THEATRE | Lorna Rees
A DIY gallery of curious things
When all the galleries, museums, theatres and festivals were closed to audiences throughout the lockdown in 2021 in the UK - we didn't want non-digital culture to disappear entirely from our town.
We noticed lots of people walk down our road during permitted daily exercise and, as we’re in the middle of our street, we thought we’d set up a tiny outdoor temporary gallery. This was a community board where *you* generated the content. We re-curated it (and had a tidy) every week or so.
We live on a road in Christchurch ending in a couple of cul-de-sacs, which comprise around 100 homes. From the first lockdown on the 23rd March 2020 life hasn’t been quite the same, and for many it’s been particularly tough and isolating. So we have tried our best to bring art and joy to our street. We have held socially-distanced celebrations, formed a family lockdown band and given concerts, organised doorstep Light Switch-Ons (with Santa in a pedicab) and created Christmas Caroloke. We helped the children of the street to produce two special newspapers which will be accessioned into the main museum archive, and in January 2021, when all art galleries, theatres and museums were closed, just as we were recovering from having Covid, we hosted our 5-month community-created gallery installation on our driveway.
The Notice Board was conceived as a DIY gallery of curious things, a tiny temporary space where friends and neighbours created work as a response to the provocation: ‘please generate content’.
To post, people simply pinned their content up. They didn’t need to ask for permission and we had a new theme every few weeks – things would appear or even arrive in the post most days. Over the 5 months of the third lockdown we’ve had submissions from all ages, international artists exhibiting alongside the brilliant 7-year old twins over the road. We’ve also had online submissions from all over the UK and, during April, we made the street into a designated cloud-gazing area. The Mayor of Christchurch herself even cut the ribbon for the opening of one exhibition fortnight whilst out on her permitted daily exercise walk.
From Friday June 11th 2021 an exhibition of the work of the 80+ artists who created work for The Notice Board will be open to the public at The Red House Museum
We consider all of the works of art in the exhibition to be artefacts and, if they appear a little rough round the edges or weather-beaten or made of wood from a skip - it’s because they have been. We've made everything on no budget and with the kind support from our community.
We’re utterly thrilled that The Red House invited us to host this exhibition on its public re-opening – and we’re thrilled that our community (our neighbourhood and beyond) gets to see the wonderful work they made in this lovely space. A huge thank you to all these generous, talented artists for their beautiful, brilliant work.