Inch by IN:CH: A Travelling Project

Inch by IN:CH is an artist-led travelling suitcase exhibition, bringing contemporary art out of galleries and into community areas across South West UK. Considering transition, interchange and the transportation of ideas, 11 artists will tour their work in an outwardly mobile spiral, engaging the public through talks, workshops, performances, demos, residencies. Starting at Fringe Arts Bath (28 May) and ending at Somerset Open Studios (3 Oct ‘21).

With less than two months to go until the tour sets off, the Inch by IN:CH team is busy. Working together, the group of artists is developing plans for the journey and, individually, the suitcase works are taking shape. This travelling exhibition is picking up speed and getting prepared.

An artist-led project, Inch by IN:CH is bringing contemporary art out of the gallery and into the communal arena by showing work in alternative public spaces around the South West of England. The artists will transport their work in travel cases (a diverse collection of suitcases) from one place to the next. The sites will be plotted as an outwardly mobile spiral - a metaphor for the migration of ideas, connections and hope.

More venues have also been confirmed! The latest being Bishops Lydeard Station on the West Somerset Railway, the longest heritage railway in England. The work will be shown in the newly restored Gauge Museum, in their unique Victorian Sleeping car, with artworks spilling out onto the platform. Other venues include Found Outdoors, a beautiful woodland in Erlstoke, Wiltshire, pop ups at Frome Festival and Bristol docks, and East Somerset Railway, a heritage Brunel steam railway station, part of the Strawberry line.

Generous financial and venue support has been secured from sponsors. These include The Arts Society Wessex, Somerset Art Works, Gane Trust, Fringe Arts Bath, East and West Somerset Railways, Found Outdoors, and individuals. This crucial support will bring the free programme of events to public audiences. Further donations would be extremely helpful and much appreciated in order to extend the programme.

Each case has its own character. Some are very large and extend well beyond their frames; others are smaller, more intimate; and one is even cast. The cases are still developing, and will continue to grow and expand in ambition as well as in size and content. Various common themes are emerging across the individual works. These include: repair and regeneration; refuge and transformation; perception; colour and light.

"The cases are artworks in themselves. I took a long time sourcing mine and the trunk I am working with was eventually found in an auction. It has a military history and has travelled from Dar es Salam." Fiona Campbell.

"I found my suitcase online. After visiting many websites and scrolling through many possible options, as soon as this one popped up on screen, I knew it was right - the right size, shape, material and colour. My blank 'canvas' for this project; small, adaptable, just perfect." Suze Adams.

"The past year has been so isolating for many people, including the artists, and I believe that sharing our work will foster connection and community. Conversations are so important in the wake of our losses and that is something that art can facilitate for everyone." Vicky McKay

"The artists and practices forming Inch by IN:CH are complex, but also convivial and generous... They create works that enable audiences to think but also feel and emotionally reflect. What seems generous in the project is how the artists collectively aim to engage locally with audiences… connecting people and place in ways amicable and meaningful." Robert Luzar, artist, writer, senior lecturer in fine art, Bath Spa Uni

The group has been delighted by the encouraging responses and support of all involved, whether financial or in-kind. They would like to say a big thank you to all donors (listed on their website).

Inch by IN:CH starts at Fringe Arts Bath (28 May) and ends at The Gauge Museum during Somerset Open Studios (3 October). The artists involved include Suze Adams, Linda Ashe, Fiona Campbell, Philippa Edwards, Angel Greenham, Anna Kot, Ally McGinn, Vicky McKay, Kelly M O’Brien, Shirley Sharp, and James Thornton.

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