Chichester 'full of talented folk' as pop-up gallery appears in city

Dolly with one of his works.
Dolly with one of his works.

A vacant space in the city has been turned into a gallery to show a community 'packed full of talented folk'.

The exhibition is taking place in a former office space above the Job Centre in Avenue de Chartre and is featuring a number of artists from the area.

Some of the works displayed at the exhibition

Some of the works displayed at the exhibition

The pop-up was the idea of former businessman Dolly who is now doing his second year at the University of Chichester where he studies fine art. The vacant space is due to be turned into flats but Dolly, who is friends with the developers, had something different in mind.

After meeting them for lunch in the city, the Southsea artist said he only had to ask once, and he was allowed access to 11,000 square feet of space.

He said: "They said they have been trying to negotiate the purchase of the building. I begged once, and they gave me the window."

As much as 11,000 square feet of space was made available to Dolly from Wednesday to Saturday (June 29).

A range of artists exhibiting their work resulting in a varied exhibition

A range of artists exhibiting their work resulting in a varied exhibition

"Within days we pulled in 19 artists and then the other 7 just kept coming along. Some are friends who practise art, some are friends who finished their art degree in 2002 and a good majority are from Chichester University fine art department, same as me," he said.

Dolly said he was 'very impressed' with how quickly artists were able to put forward work the exhibition.

"It's been great and we have had great feedback. We've have tutors come along and today the head of the department came along. They were all really impressed with what we have actually done and the way we have laid it out.

"It's so mixed media, it goes from sculptures to painting to print making."

One of the works being shown by Le Roi Des Nuls

One of the works being shown by Le Roi Des Nuls

'Not a penny' was spent on the space, Dolly said, just on liability insurance and a few bottles of wine.

"We want to progress from here. This is the start. Lots more opportunities. I'm a communicator and I do have that entrepreneurial spirit. "

Another artist who exhibited at the event, Maxwell Gunning, said: "For an event above the Job Centre, preconceived notions of a stale collection of works might come to mind. But the event had to of had one of the most eclectic range of art forms. From glass shaping, oils, sculptures, watercolour, social art and even stage settings that took you back to the 40s!

"I got involved through sitting at my local haunt, Coffeelab. Dolly was sat outside with Le Roi Des Nuls asking if he knew of any other artists in the area. So I put what I had up, big boards with big questions and lots of colourful post it notes. Ask anyone, Dolly, is a hoot.

One of Dolly's works

One of Dolly's works

"Chichester is packed full of talented folk, let them perform and exhibit wherever. Whether it's burlesque an art show or hip hop - it's not going to tear the walls of Chichester down and who knows, people may even enjoy.

"What did your mum say at the dinner table 'you don't know if you don't try it'