Following the inaugural run of Hearth art space in September 2020, we launched our second instalment this year from February to March. The aim of Hearth was to share the value of our office space in Gillman Barracks with the art community. We selected 7 projects from an open call and were especially thrilled to be able to support several collaborative projects that were organised by young emerging artists.
Geology of Memory by Hélène Le Chatelier
Our first artist kicking off the second edition was Hélène Le Chatelier, a French artist based in Singapore. She held a solo exhibition Geology of Memory, which focused on creating abstract territories and landscapes evoking fragmented views and reflections of the inner-self, while exploring the influence of memory and social context on intimate spaces. Through a variety of mediums, the artist questioned revisiting our memories. In her hands, paper became a material to be sculpted, while paintings on smooth and flat canvases created an illusion of the relief.
Left: Green Zeng. Right: Sun Yat-Sen: 3 Principles (Chinese School Lesson), 2021
We then shared our space with local artist Green Zeng for his retrospective Notes for the Future, which showcased a selection of prints, paintings, video installations and films he created in the past 10 years. The exhibition was organised in conjunction the launch of a book containing essays by curators and writers Ho Rui An, Adam Knee, Lim Cheng Tju, Lawrence Chin, Sam I-Shan and Eva McGovern, which celebrates Zeng’s milestone in the art scene as he looks forward to making more art in the future.
“I really appreciate the generous support and help, as it was increasingly difficult for independent artists to find a space to exhibit their projects. Your support of space also greatly helped to reduce my financial pressure and allowed me to focus on what really matters - putting up a good exhibition.“ - Green Zeng
Our third artist, Joshua Tan, is an art psychotherapist and self-identified “third culture kid”. He used the space as an open studio to explore loss, hope, and liminal states in a project entitled Lost in Transition. This project invited visitors to take part in collaborative paper making, where they were encouraged to bring their own materials to repurpose and through the process engage in meaningful conversations with the artists and other participants. Joshua shared a story of a visitor who came to turn his old examination certificates into paper pulp, hoping to finally let go of what seemed to be important many years ago but might not be as valuable now.
“The value of a space like HEARTH is priceless. As therapists, we often talk about having the importance of having a safe space for oneself, especially in times of duress or transition. HEARTH provides a crucial space to make art, and the firm permission to create in a time of so much uncertainty.” - Joshua Tan
An Artist's Market
The next project was led by artist Gloria Rossi, a vibrant group exhibition under the banner of An Artist’s Market, which was first launched in December 2020 on Instagram to support fellow artists through the exhibition and sale of works on an online marketplace. This was the second edition of the collaborative initiative, with HEARTH lending space to mount a physical exhibition as accompaniment to the online gallery. The exhibition occupied the space between an intimate gallery show and traditional art fair, displaying works by 11 different artists.
Fluid Spaces by The Starving Artists
The following week saw yet another collaborative project led by Rachel Loh, the founder of The Starving Artists, which was founded as an inclusive community for under-represented artists that exist outside of traditional galleries and institutional spaces. The space was used for the exhibition, Fluid Spaces, which invites artists to showcase their works in a flexible salon-style space, without limitations of time or space. The initiative featured a diverse range of works from paintings, installations, performance art, and many others by over 50 young artists!
Metamorphsis by Christina Yew
The sixth artist to showcase at Hearth was Christina Yew, who presented a solo exhibition titled Metamorphsis. The exhibition entices audiences into a surreal world of polarity and imitation. By transforming and elevating the beauty of natural forms, her work aims to tap into the creative and inquisitive nature of the human mind.
The In-between by Mirror Art Duo
Finally in the last few days of our second edition, we hosted the talented MIRROR ART DUO comprising Isabella Teng and Pierre Pourville. The space was turned into a pop-up exhibition titled The In-between, featuring works that were birthed out of daily observations, personal reflection, and a re-thinking of old means of expression during the pandemic.
“The HEARTH space is perfect, and well-equipped for display of artwork. We appreciate very much the opportunity to exhibit our work at Gillman Barracks, because we received a walk-in crowd of art appreciators who were also in the area for other events or shows.” -Isabella Teng
The overwhelming response to our second edition of HEARTH only strengthens our belief in the importance of affordable space for the art ecosystem. In May 2021, an expanded edition of HEARTH will be launched with the support of the Sands Cares Accelerator Program, a three-year nonprofit mentorship program by Las Vegas Sands Corp., designed to catalyse the community impact of member organisations.
Art Outreach is the first Singapore member of the Sands Cares Accelerator Program, which offers deeper corporate support through extended funding, in-kind services and structured mentorship that will enable us to build HEARTH into a more formalised, year-round art space to incubate new art practices and support the art ecosystem.
As a first step in this journey, we will be running an open call for an extended 4-month run of HEARTH taking place from July to October 2021. A peer review panel consisting of emerging local practitioners who are involved and engaged in the local scene has been established, to institute a layer of accountability to the selection of proposals, with the aim of supporting more diverse projects under the HEARTH banner.