Opening up to the arts
Construction Gallery in tooting opened its doors on 18 January with an ambitious site-responsive work by Alistair McClymont, and works by the project’s first residency artists Sam Robinson and Rebecca Lucraft. the pop-up space will be running until March in a council-owned commercial unit, showcasing locally-based talent across the fields of visual art, live art, music and literature.
McClymont’s large-scale installation After the Rain conjures the smell of rain on a hot summer’s day. Using infra-red heaters, dripping water and large tarmac road surfaces, the RCA Sculpture graduate creates a powerful visual and sensory experience in the gallery’s main, 40 square metre project space.
Sam Robinson graduated from Wimbledon College of Art in 2011. his practice explores the dichotomies of image and object as he works across painting and sculpture. Robinson’s residency at Construction Gallery is split into two parts allowing him to create two interconnecting bodies of work. RCA Mixed Media textiles graduate Rebecca Lucraft specialises in installation designs for shop windows. For Construction she has created an intricate cut-out landscape for the unit window in response to the project’s café-in-residence tea Party Cakes.
Construction Gallery has been financed by a grant from the Outer London Fund, set up to regenerate town centres. Wandsworth council applied for the grant as part of the tooting together initiative, which as well as cleaning up streets and improving security measures in the borough is supporting the new tooting Arts Network, bringing together local artists, residents and businesses to ‘open up’ buildings to the arts.
Fiona Long is Construction Gallery’s co-director: “What is exciting for me as an artist-curator is having the chance to meet all the creative people in the area where I live. tooting is a really vibrant area – it just needed something to bring everyone together.”