7 - 26 June 2022

On a wet weekend in February, I started to compile all the posters, invitation cards and catalogue covers made for the gallery’s exhibitions over the last thirty years. It took all weekend, and well into the following week, by which time I had logged a respectable 168 exhibitions and thought that was probably enough.


I was also left wondering why exhibitions are so important and how they became the central purpose of the modern gallery. Raphael, Rembrandt and Goya managed perfectly well without exhibitions and even when the art market emerged in the 18th century, artists could only exhibit publicly with individual works submitted to the crowded Academies or the various artists’ societies. It is said that the first ‘solo exhibition’ in the modern sense took place in 1880, when the Fine Art Society commissioned Whistler to create his Venice etchings and held an exhibition to sell the resulting prints in a single show.


Today exhibitions are considered the defining markers in an artist’s career, as essential to the artist as a new publication is to a writer. In helping to stage those exhibitions, galleries undertook a more creative and collaborative role with the artist, not unlike that of a book editor or record producer. The work for each exhibition starts many months in advance and my urge to work through those 168 posters was partly fuelled by the delight in remembering each one of those shows so clearly. Studio visits, discussions, design, installation, opening nights all play a part in the story of those exhibitions. Being part of that process, to work so closely with so many incredible artists, makes this the most compelling and exhilarating of pursuits. In a year celebrating far more significant anniversaries, an ‘Interlude’ therefore seemed a more appropriate name to mark 30

years of the gallery; a brief pause, and then quickly on with Act 2. For the exhibition we have brought together work from many of the artists exhibited over the last three decades. For some we have found a few earlier works, or the artists have revisited ideas

from previous exhibitions. I am enormously grateful to the artists for taking a detour from ongoing exhibitions and, as always, to my colleagues Tara Whelan, Laura Campbell and James Wildgoose for their ideas and help, especially to James who has also managed

to rebuild the website from scratch in time for the opening. Finally, I would like to give a special thanks to John Thompson, who set me on this path thirty years ago, trusting my enthusiasm over any experience, and to Kate, who has shared in the fun and shouldered

the burdens, ever since we started.


There is more work in the exhibition than illustrated here. All can be found on the website, including special selections of earlier work chosen by each artist.