Monday, 18 February 2013

Bring Colour presents Handsome Gentlemen

Throughout last summer we worked with Paul Taylor from the Fargo Team at trying to bring some colour to Far Gosford Street and the soon to be Fargo Village. We had mentioned to Paul that we had been planning an empty shop project, transforming a run down, empty shop into a gallery space for a pop-up exhibition showcasing the work of Coventry artists.

Paul liked the sound of our project and suggested we use an empty unit in the village, he showed us around unit 7,  previously Backbeat rehearsal rooms. Unit 7 had been damaged by fire, Fargo had the roof replaced, the electrics sorted out and new strip lights fitted. The toilets and water supply didn't work and the place was full of rubbish, pallets and dirt. 

We didn't commit to anything right there and then, although the space at Fargo had fantastic potential it also had a lot of work that needed doing to bring it up-to scratch for us to open up to the public as a gallery. We came away from unit 7 excited with the space but slightly overwhelmed with the workload and decided that it wasn't something we could tackle alone.


We had previously contacted Coventry council's Arts Development Service seeking some help, advise and information on possible funding sources for our pop-up gallery project, but we were unsuccessful and were just left waiting. Fed up of waiting we decided that the opportunity at unit 7 was too good to let slip through our fingers so arranged a meeting between Bring Colour and the Hearts Gang.

We asked the Hearts Gang lads if they wanted to work together on the project and put on a Hearts Gang group exhibition, everyone liked the idea and seemed keen. We explained that we'll be doing it on a budget of £0.00 and the response was "who cares?"

We got the keys to Unit 7 and things got hectic. Dedicated volunteers, the HG lads and Bring Colour all rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in.


We emptied the unit of rubbish and started on the walls, brushing off the flakey paint and cleaning them up ready for white washing.  We boxed in the electrics, hung a new toilet door, even had a plumber come in and fix the "un-fixable" toilet.  After a good few layers of white emulsion and the building of a counter the gallery was taking shape and was ready for Artwork to be brought in and hung on the walls. 


The Handsome Gentlemen exhibition included artworks from HG members, Abel, Andrew John Smith, Body Odour, James Mewett, Kevin Donnelly, Pecks and Vel.

To celebrate the launch of the Exhibition and the completed transformation from a grotty warehouse to a white gallery, we threw a party. We invited everyone to come down, check out the artwork, listen to some tunes and have a drink with the gang. The launch party featured a live performance from HG members Idyllic and Ricta as well as a super selection of tunes from Eddie Goodtimes, KI Groover and Saul. The launch party was a success and the gallery was well and truly open for business.

The Exhibition ran for a 11 days and we had over 543 visitors to gallery, the feedback that we had from visitors was fantastic, a few of our favourite comments in the guest book were:

"Not enough of this in Coventry - A must see"    Johnny

"Excellent show of local artists with a unique style"    Joel

"Brilliant effort, very welcoming. Hope you are working on the next one!"   Ellie

"G ♥ D !"  Fred

When we closed the door to the public for the final time the work hadnt finished, we wanted to leave the unit in a much better state than it was in when we first entered. After taking down the artwork, touching up the white and clearing all of our belongings we were ready to hand back the keys.


If you would like to purchase a Handsome Gentlemen T-Shirt, a limited number are available from the Bring Colour shop.

Thank You to everyone that came to the gallery and supported the Handsome Gentlemen exhibition.

Special Thanks to Paul Taylor, Andrew Smith, Body Odour,
Amelia Cook, Fredrock, Batch O'Neill, Russel Bristow, Joe Marshall, Abel, Tanith Smith, Zeth Johnson, Ricky Wyeth, Vel, James Mewett, Pecks, Idyllic, Andy Slattery, Ricta, Kevin Donnelly, Imogen Cook, Hipp Dogg, Eliza Cook, Jake Montgomery, Jessica Pinson, Saul Adams, Eddie Goodtimes, KI Groover, Auto Bodyworx, Tandy, The Baginton Oak, Fargo and everyone else that helped to make Handsome Gentlemen possible.

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