Due to the life-altering events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant collapse of national art selling exhibitions, I wanted to find a way to safely exhibit artworks once more in the real world. Following on from the support and encouragement given by artists and buyers for PROSEED Summer 2020, I wanted to provide a further opportunity to showcase more of the incredible artistic talent in the north of Cumbria. Hence, PRESENCE Winter 2020 was born and ran from the 11th to the 23rd of December.
Thanks to Ben Hislop of Landmark Street Art, I was been generously provided with an unused gallery in the heart of Carlisle City Centre which meant I was able to invite more than 60 Cumbria-based artists and makers to exhibit. I was keen to represent work by some of Cumbria's top award winning and Internationally exhibited artists including Alison Critchlow, Brian Shields, Alan Stones and Malcolm Wilson, alongside new and emerging local talent, some of whom had never shown their work in public.
As a result of gracious promotion by local television, radio and printed media outlets and generous public support, PRESENCE
2020 sold more than £11,000 of paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics and jewellery. Many individual pieces were sold for less than £200 each under the Artists Support Pledge Scheme which means artists further afield have also benefitted through purchases made by participating scheme
members and I'm delighted to have been able to personally support this great initiative.
I'm indebted to the appreciative visitors who visited with total respect for the challenges brought about by staging an exhibition during the COVID-19 pandemic and especially for the support of the contributors who helped make this event a shining showcase of Cumbrian artistic talent. A huge thank you goes out to all the customers who have thrown a financial lifeline to local artists and makers during a period of ongoing financial uncertainty.
Please follow @proseed2020 on Instagram for details of the participating artists and for news of future events.
Last but not least, I'd like to say a huge thank you to local artist Andrew Watson of Watsigns for his amazing graphic design work and sign making talents.