future firstsite

firstsite has finally announced details of the next exhibition that will be staged at the Golden Goose.

It’s a two-pronged attack, incorporating Carla Zaccagnini with Elements of Beauty, and the Parliament of Things – a collective exhibition featuring eight different artists.

Both shows will open on 14 March, running through until 31 May.

That’s a helluva break given that the main gallery space is now empty for a Christmas ‘re-think.’

Many decent events still take place pretty much behind the scenes at firstsite. These often aren’t given the community credit that they deserve.

But you need a big peg in which to hang your bold statements on.

Or even some wonky pretty pictures for the wonky golden walls.

The two new exhibitions will be the first new work curated since the crushing Colchester Borough Council motion about firstsite that was unanimously passed earlier this month.

Conservative Cllr Will Quince managed to get Full Council to endorse the following motion:

“This Council, noting that The Arts Council Plan for 2011-15 sets a goal to become more audience focused, and an objective to develop arts support for people and places with the least engagement, calls upon the Arts Council to broaden the programme at Firstsite to include a popular wide range of Colchester’s own contemporary artistic achievements.”

This basically tell the Arts Council to ‘ave a word with firstsite and make the art more relevant for the people of Sunny Colch.

Elements of Beauty and the Parliament of Things have probably been long in the planning, way before the CBC politicos got to become very amateur art critics. There simply wasn’t time to change things around overnight.

Or even as far ahead as March…

Don’t judge a book by its cover etc, but we can’t see anything connecting the two new exhibits to Colchester.

The firstsite press release states:

“firstsite announces two exhibitions that explore our understanding of objects and how their purpose, value and significance shift over time.

A solo exhibition of new work by Carla Zaccagnini will open alongside a group exhibition that features new and recent work by eight contemporary artists.”

A little more detail is added on Elements of Beauty and the Parliament of Things:

“Elements of Beauty revisits the campaign for women’s suffrage in Britain a century ago, examining a series of actions that took place in British museums.”

A valid topic, but not one where we can see the obvious Colchester connection.

The eight artists exhibiting in the Parliament of Things have a wide geographical background, taking in Almanda, Mexico City, Krakow, Cheshire, Rotterdam, Limassol, Los Angeles, Buenos Airies and Cambridge.

But not Colchester.

The press release also adds:

“From 1913 to 1914 over 20 artworks and artefacts were attacked by Suffragettes.”


The struggle [arf] for art for Colchester isn’t nearly as worthy as the Suffragettes movement.

But, y’know.

Meanwhile, next door at The Minories…

“I’m really excited to tell you about our latest exhibitions Handles on Romance & Other Girls also Common Tongue, Knitting Fever and Colne and Colchester Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild which all open at The Minories on Saturday 10th January 2015.”