Outside In: Step Up Showcase Past

Photograph of artist making a puppet

Celebrating 7 Years of Step Up

Outside In and Pallant House Gallery are delighted to announce the opening of Outside In: Step Up Showcase – Celebrating 7 Years of Step Up, in the Studio at the Gallery. The exhibition will celebrate the experiences of over 70 artists who have been trained through Step Up’s two courses: Workshop Leaders and Interpreting Collections.

Step Up is the training and professional development arm of Outside In, a project founded by Pallant House Gallery in 2006 to support artists who see themselves as facing barriers to the art world due to health, disability, social circumstance or isolation. Both courses provide artists with a unique opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and expertise in a gallery setting led by expert tutors.

The interactive exhibition, curated by Step Up participant Julia Oak, will include photographs documenting the process of the programme, a wall of past participants, audio tours, poetry and film, as well as a ‘doodle-board’ for creative responses, inspired by the inclusion of works by Frank Auerbach and Scottie Wilson from the collection at Pallant House Gallery, and a work by Jean Dubuffet on loan to the Gallery for the duration of the exhibition.

As part of the process, curator Julia has been meeting with staff at the Gallery, learning about each step involved in putting on an exhibition in a major national space. She says: “There is a responsibility in curating a ‘showcase’ exhibition; in presenting something at its best, in the best possible way. That’s a massive responsibility even with all the input from the specialists. I hope there can be a balance in the learning, and I hope that – even though 70 people have passed through the Step Up courses in the last seven years – that I still have something to offer from my lived experience.”

‘Outside In: Step Up Showcase’ will reflect the ‘participatory’ nature of the Step Up courses, guiding viewers around the space with a range of sounds, visuals and words, before eventually guiding them out to experience the rest of the Gallery. 

The showcase exhibition comes just as Outside In is applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund to roll the programme out across the country, with regional and national organisations taking on the outline of the scheme to train their artistic community to research into their own collections or facilitate creative workshops.

Outside In: Step Up Showcase – Celebrating 7 Years of Step Up will be in the Studio at Pallant House Gallery from 29 September – 22 November 2015.

Pallant House Gallery
9 North Pallant
PO19 1TJ

Private View: Thursday 5 November, 6 – 8pm

Image: Nek Chand Step Up workshop, image courtesy of Andy Hood