private view 09/09/16 mettricks guildhall


on friday 09/09/16 we had the private view at mettricks guildhall of our summer salon 2016 exhibition. our work has been touring the 3 southampton mettricks cafes since mid may and is now at its final location until 21st september.

a good time was had by all! the wine and conversation flowed, we received some lovely feedback and some sales were made.

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open studios


This August we took part in Hampshire Open Studios for the 3rd time and had our most successful year yet.

We opened for the first weekend only and had around 30 visitors over the two days. It was lovely to have people milling about the studio and asking us questions about our work. 2 of us ‘manned’ the studio on Saturday and another 2 covered the Sunday. As some of us work full time we couldn’t open up during the week but we’re hoping to take part again next year and open for longer.

Some sales were made and much networking took place!


Summer Salon 2016 Private View

Join us on Friday 9th September for the Private View of our Summer Salon 2016 exhibition.

Our show has been touring the Mettricks cafes this summer, starting in Mettricks Old Town, then Mettricks Bargate and finally Mettricks Guildhall where it will be until 21st September.

Meet the artists this Friday and maybe buy a beautiful original artwork.




unit11studios crit on 6.30pm 20th January 2015

subjects :

  1. report back / learning points from halina’s show at picture house Southampton November 2014.
  2. absorbing new influences – some comments and learning points after malcolm’s trip to india.


halina gave an account of her recent show at the picture house. generally a great success with a well attended private view, lots of interest and good level of sales. very pleased especially because it was her first art show with an almost unique theme.


  • discussion before the show and comments from unit11 members was very useful.
  • given that the work illustrated aspects of micro biology (in a rather unique way using fabrics and hand made felt) a key issue was the value of the work as an artistic image as opposed to its value as an illustration of something living seen through a microscope. captions and explanation was ultimately included and felt to be appropriate given levels of interest in this aspect.
  • take all materials needed with you when the show is being set up otherwise delays occur while materials are purchased. picture house space should have chairs and tables removed to allow space for hanging and private view.
  • provide a comments book and make it easy to indentify. include space for email addresses.
  • on pricing – get all the costs and make sure they are included. don’t sell yourself short.
  • wine and nibbles important at private view.
  • website important to support your show and provide info to interested parties.
  • provide flyers in advance to create interest and help explanation.
  • get a good photographer to create images of the work and make a record of the private view.
  • get advertising right and undertake well in advance of the shows start date.
  • think about commissions and how to respond to requests.



malcolm talked briefly about his trip to india in November 2014 and showed a few images he considered might influence his artistic practice. malcolm’s work already draws on travels abroad and incorporates dramatic and subtle reflections of seeing different places and people. there was discussion as to how new influences are absorbed as his work progresses.


  • consider, research (if necessary) and discuss influences and impressions but stay ‘cool’ about the work. past experience shows that influences manifest themselves in different ways. there is no point in forcing things.
  • there are two kinds of impressions. the first is about the visual. people, streets, architecture, colour. particular things such as a chaos of wires, piles of litter, land forms, camels…..the taj mahal, which might appear in work in as yet undefined ways. Also emotional reactions for example to the human condition in a very different place, to sights of wealth or poverty, to religious devotions (ganges at varanasi), and to conversations with people while away and afterwards.
  • so, its just About waiting and seeing. Colours Are already changing in recent paintings. there are hints of india already!


‘support’ joint exhibition with the arches @ orb gallery 29th nov – 14th dec

unitllstudios and The Arches are pleased to announce the inaugural exhibition of their collaborative project ‘Support’. Taking place at the newly opened Orb Gallery on Northam Road, the show will run from 30th November – 14th December with a private view on Saturday 29th November, 6-8pm.

Over the past few months unitllstudios and The Arches have been exploring how to support the development of individual practice and the contribution this makes to the local artistic community as a whole. Support began with both studio groups committing to attend fortnightly critiques of each other’s work and to an on going conversation about how this could assist in the realisation of a group exhibition. Intended as a long-term collaborative project the aim was to develop a working relationship between the artists and studios located less than two miles apart. What results is an interrogation of support structures and the necessity to bring creative practice to finite conclusions.

Participating artists: Scott Bradley, Malcolm Crocker, Christopher Cudlip, Jilly Evans, Sarah Filmer, Lydia Heath, Celeste Ingrams, Liz Jones, Helen Marland, Pauline Pratt & Steve White.


The Arches, located under the historic Central Bridge in Southampton, is one of many creative projects run by a space arts, offering local artists affordable studio space and assistance since 2004.
10 & 08 Captains Place, Terminus Terrace, Southampton
S014 3FE,, Tel: 023 80 338 778

Orb Gallery is a new contemporary art gallery, located on the historic Old Northam Road in Southampton, at the heart of Southampton’s grassroots cultural quarter. 90 Old Northam Road, St Marys, Southampton, SO14 0NZ, Tel: 07922 911 591

Support opens at Orb Gallery with a Private View on Friday 29th November, 6-8pm. The show will continue until Sunday 14th December. Gallery opening hours are Friday 3-7pm, Saturday & Sunday 12-4pm. 20% of all sales will go towards the newly formed Artists Union England.

what do we call ribbon people when we draw them?

‘hi – you don’t know us, but we did this (show pics of ribbon people on hoardings) – please can we come and take all the pictures off your cafe walls, and draw on them?’


‘in chocolate?’


‘and draw in pen and electrical tape on the inside and outside of your windows?’


‘there might be ukuleles’


that is how open-minded and accommodating spencer and jade, of mettricks tea and coffee house, were. i think this already sits them apart from the average coffee house, as does the most delicious coffee and tea.

we spent a really lovely relaxed (ok, slightly frantic) sunday morning there, and revisited the ribbon people in a new format. obviously, this process was a development from the original guerrilla ribbon people – with them, we move in, do our work, and move out – no expectation of longevity, no time to think. the materials dictate the form and the aesthetic of the resulting people. this time we had a think in advance and devised a few ‘guidelines’ in an attempt to keep the relationships between the people apparent … or something. anyway, when the time came, we all did our thing, and here are some of the results:


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and here is a video of proceedings

unit11studios visit the site of southampton’s new arts centre

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the ribbon people are back. 56 of them grace the hoardings around the building site of southampton’s new arts centre, collected and imaged by 4 unit11studios artists and a couple of other staple gun wielding helpers during a couple of cold and rainy hours on sunday afternoon. this time, they are rendered in videotape and wool – the intention being to respond to the large white ‘paper’ with something like a pen/pencil drawing of passers-by.

one early participant later reported on facebook that ‘I just eschewed consumerism and was instead immortalised in wool. WIN.’

once again, it was clear that this is a great way to interact with people in a novel way – we do not have to coerce, beg, ask, or even suggest to people that they become subjects – they see what is going on and they flock – wanting to be part of this drawing, this testament to their being, and this group of disparate individuals – joined by place and time and line. in short, wanting to be part of a visible community. each drawing takes up to 15 minutes, during which time, we are up close and personal, meeting and talking to each person we image. it is a joy.

thanks to all friends who came and helped with photography, drawing and emergency requirements, and, of course, to all who stopped and became part of this rather beautiful drawing.









post script – added one week later by sarah filmer:

this is how the hoarding looked less than 24 hours later:



from about 10.30 am onwards throughout monday i received countless messages on multiple platforms reporting that one of the construction company workers was removing the work from the hoarding. several intrepid sorts spoke directly with both him, and the site manager. under instruction from the client, the construction company were keeping the hoardings ‘clean’.

when we leave ribbon people, we leave our contact details in the form of our business cards. we appreciate that we are operating in a hinterland between legal and illegal, acceptable and unacceptable. we take responsibility for this by proclaiming these works as ours.  an ongoing theme in recent unit11studios collaborative works is the notion of negotiating boundaries. these boundaries might be physical, philosophical, metaphorical … but negotiation is negotiation. and leaving our card is an invitation to dialogue. an invitation to reconsider a situation, once the parameters have shifted slightly …

the hoardings became the canvas for a work. let’s talk about what we do now.


we can only talk for ourselves, but we were not alone, and we have heard no conflicting responses, so i might take a slight liberty and say:

many felt that the astoundingly rapid response to the ribbon people was thoughtless, destructive, inflammatory, aggressive, ridiculous, and without basis in anything sensible, logical or rational – it felt like an assertion of power.


whilst this was keenly felt, we take a position that all of these events have something positive to offer:

– removing the work did not unmake the art, the moment, the joy, the pleasure, or the genuine moments experienced by all of those involved – artists, participants, viewers alike.

– southampton’s everyperson loved the work. once again, it was shown that southampton has an art soul that explodes out when offered the opportunity

– the voices of support, outrage and empathy rang loud and clear and wide – direct approaches to the guys removing the work, twitter campaigns to councillors, emails to grovesnor, mclaren and southampton city council, bloggers chimed in, someone went the following evening and drew a dot-to-dot using the staple holes as guides, a poem was written, a letter was posted on the board in (ironic) response, and facebook and twitter were aflame with indignation. thanks to you all – you know who you are

– we have been approached by the developers of the site – we are planning to meet and discuss future art projects. inevitably, there are layers of bureaucracy enmeshed with this approach, but any dialogue that explores the potential of different groups working together has to be ripe with possibility. we are seriously considering our position with regard to how we choose to work in advance of this meeting … again, an occurrence that necessitates serious self reflection and clarification of mode of practice, context of practice and potential manifestations of practice is a gift. as an artist, it is easy to avoid these issues once you are outwith an educational framework.

i made this video about the beauty of the day, using the words of matt west, southampton’s children’s poet laureate who was moved to respond to the temporary invasion of guildhall square by some of southampton’s citizens:

sarah filmer – ribbon people


here are some links to other responses  (and these are just the tip of the iceberg)

grant sharkey types a letter to the draconians

the letter

matt west’s poem

louise owen’s quiz


so unit11studios says thank you to everyone for their generosity of spirit, cementing this ephemeral beauty into the art history of our city.











Open Studios

So we are opening our doors to everybody who would fancy having a look around our space full creativeness in progress. As an excuse to be nosy and help us discover our space in a new way, we ask people to take close-up pictures while they are visiting the studios. In fact, I (Léa) will be starting a photo workshop in September and I thought this was a pleasant way of speaking about it, starting with pictures of details taken in the studes, then writing a small text about the importance of details in the history of Art (available soon 🙂 ). Everybody was quite enthusiastic and I thank them for the billions of pictures I have now! I edited some for this post. Maybe you couldn’t visit us, in this case, here it is a special tour pictured by our visitors. Maybe you did visit us and will try to remember where all these details where! We had a great time discovering the photos this morning!
Enjoy! (Although I’m trying hard, I guess I’m not perfectly literate in English and I apologise for any mistakes I may have made:) )