ONCA GALLERY Opens
After successful shows in Liverpool and London in 2011, the Ghosts of Gone Birds project arrives in Brighton this week as the first exhibition to be hosted in the brand new ONCA Gallery – an art space set up by Laura Coleman in Brighton to work with local and national conservation projects, giving artists and communities a platform through which to engage with our changing environment. The charitable trust will run themed exhibitions, creative writing courses, workshops and outdoor education events in coordination with each new project.
“It’s a perfect fit for us,” says Ghosts of Gone Birds creator and creative director, Chris Aldhous. “It gives the Ghosts project a permanent base for three months so that we can really stretch out and develop a lot of new ideas and involve a lot of new artists – as well as some of the familiar work from last year’s show at the Rochelle School. But the idea remains exactly the same: inviting people to use their creativity to breathe life back into the birds we have lost – so we don’t lose any more.”
The trust’s founder and director, Laura Coleman, is a Ditchling-born artist who had been working at an animal refuge centre in the Bolivian jungle. She returned to Sussex to start the ONCA project (One Network for Conservation and the Arts) and says, “I wanted to find a way to use creativity to connect with and preserve the wild, both inside and out.”
The first phase of Ghosts in Brighton will feature new art by Stephen Melton, Patrick St. Paul, Victoria Foster, Deborah Moon, George Law, Jenny Hooper, Eduardo Fuentes – to name just a few. There will also be performance events in collaboration with Feral Theatre, live poetry with WordPLAY and the return of the Ghosts Night Out live music event featuring a range of local musicians and bands.
For the first time the project will feature photography – by Carolyn Drake – and the campaigning side
of the show will focus on raising awareness and funds to fight the illegal trapping of endangered birds
in Cyprus through the barbaric use of mist-nets and lime sticks.
Chris Aldhous added, “Ghosts is about raising a creative army for conservation – and finding the most
powerful way to tell the story of what has happened in the past, so that people can understand and
chose to get involved in preventing extinctions in the future.”
Venue: ONCA GALLERY, 14 St George’s Place, Brighton, BN1 4GB