Saturday, 30 May 2009

on the wall

Lovely summery yellow paint job complete. But yet more painting and finishing touches to the gallery itself in preparation for hanging photos for the Photoradar 5degrees exhibition. It's all slowly coming together with three up on the wall. The dark, intriguing tones of these three photos juxtaposed against the brilliantly dazzling white gallery walls and sunshine leaking in through the open doors.
I've been printing off application forms for our Open Show (on at the end of July) - pick one up if you for the chance to exhibit your wares here at Surface! And small posters advertising our new space on the 2nd floor for any photographers in search of copious amounts of natural light...
Volunteers and the Photoradar team sporadically skip off to sneinton market to stock up on fruit and veg in between vital moments of creating, constructing, sanding, painting, hanging, sanding, framing, sunbathing...
Exciting time ahoy: Photoradar - the first exhibition I've been involved in as a new volunteer! See you there, Eve

Friday, 29 May 2009


.. The Gallery foyer, that is. How very strange..

..except it isn't.
In anticipation and preparation of the upcoming Photoradar show, the Gallery is going through yet another makeover. Gone is the white foyer, and replacing it is a beautifully light lemon colour. Very summery indeed, which is becoming, knowing the weather in Nottingham at the moment!

Inside, it's all systems go. Paint, walls being altered, various DIY implements all over the place, banging and controlled chaos..roll on the opening day, the 2nd of June.

Typically it's been a bit hectic so it has been a while since the last update, apologies for that. And maybe one day we will actually manage to post some more pictures to this blog too - a lot of them are on the Gallery computer, it's all a question of digging the out of the right folders and posting them ;-).
Sadly my own technological expertise is not enough to be able to post anything from my own phone (that's what you get for being to smart and getting a phone that is a bit too clever for you!).

However, we now have a Flickr- account - find us at


Adios for now!


Saturday, 9 May 2009


It saturday at the Surface Gallery and as usual there's lots going on. Sam and Gemma have been busy giving interviews and inducting new volunteers. It's exciting meeting new voles, and as the expanding network of volunteers grows so will the gallery which as an exciting new space has heaps of room for development and new opportunities. 

Meanwhile I'm manning the gallery space. Its a penultimate day of Banalarama and we've had a few people in seeing the exhibition. I am currently feeling inspired and putting some thoughts and notes together for a review type piece of writing on the show. 

It's getting to that time of year again where degree shows are nearly upon us. It's scary to think that just this time last year I was busy wrapping up three years of creative work into one final exhibition, and even more scary how quickly the time has gone by since then! I'm sure that any final year students reading this will be feeling the pressure right now..
Here at surface gallery we are all also excited about 2009's up and coming degree shows. First of all we will ourselves be hosting one of the Nottingham Trent's Photography BA exhibitions. PHOTORADAR is this years festival and marks the 13th year of these annual shows and promises to be just as exciting as last years. This exhibition will be on from the 1st - 12th June, make sure you check out the surface gallery for further information on the exhibition and the artists involved.
Also here at Surface Gallery we have an exciting new idea in the pipeline for an exhibition in the summer which will showcase some of the best work and talent coming out of the East Midlands. It's all very exciting stuff!


Tuesday, 5 May 2009

The hills are alive with the sound of music..

..and so is the Surface Gallery. That meaning, the music is blaring from the player and people are running about, doing the set-up the new exhibition starting this week.
For the casual listener is may sound like someone is pulling a wall down at the moment (but I am optimistic the roof will not fall on me whilst I am writing this blog at the downstairs office).

So, it is finally time for Banalarama. The private view is tonight, and all this week, the doors will be open for anyone wanting to see the work. Well worth the effort, I will say, having had a sneak peak at the stuff on display.

That is all from me - I will be going upstairs and contribute my non-existent DIY skills to the exhibition effort before rushing off to work. Hope to see you here, my dear reader!


Saturday, 2 May 2009

The Vole, that 'running force' behind it all

A short posting from me - a Vole who's just done a 12 hour shift at work, and is missing the first days of the setting up of Banalarama because of the joys of work.

The casual 'stumbler-upon-ner' might not know that the Surface Gallery is run wholly by volunteers, also know as Voles.
That's right - no paid workers, no full-time staff, just people who have lives, commitments and jobs outside the Gallery.

We don't get expenses paid - our reward is getting things done, seeing things progress and seeing other people enjoy what we have done, meeting people, talking to them, spreading the word that art is accessible and enjoyable to all.

That's where it gets interesting.
Fitting in the Gallery with 'the other life' can be a bit tricky at times. You snatch an hour here, and hour there, invigilate for half a day then rush off to the bank to pay bills.
Study, work, spend time with the friends, family, loved ones. Go shopping for food, relax, do stuff at the Gallery - it all has to fit in there somewhere in the 24 hours.
When you are involved in something like the Gallery, the satisfaction comes from every little hole filled with polyfiller, every wall painted, every day invigilated.
But it also brings with in hands-on experience in how to deal with a business and put up an exhibition, a chance to speak to artists and art students, visitors to the Gallery.
At the moment three Voles (myself including) have started working towards NVQs in various areas of business, all linked with the Gallery. Undoubtably they will be beneficial in the future - so it is not all about the more 'abstract' satisfaction that you get from being a Vole!

But ultimately, when being asked 'why do we do it', I am sure I can speak on the behalf of my fellow Voles when I say 'because it's great'!
(And because we really love polyfiller ;-).)


Friday, 1 May 2009


Another day at Surface Gallery. This post is coming to you from the cold dark basement depths below the surface gallery where all the behind the scenes workings take place. Event of the day would be Hannah from fly FM ( coming in to interview us about the Gallery and all the new goings on in the new building. Sandra was the lucky vole who was around to take the interview. Look out for podcasts of the interview coming on the fly FM over the next week.
Today is also the last day of the Kate Walters exhibition, so if you haven't made it over the last two weeks this is your last chance (well you've got one hour until we close anyway!). There's lots going on here next week, the next exhibition Banalarama, which is co-curated by one of our own Voles, is happening straight away. The private view is on Tuesday 6 - 9pm, but the exhibition is only on for one week so make sure you check it out...