Exeter’s oldest shopping streets to become a walkthrough gallery in Stowage exhibition

Some of Exeter’s oldest shopping streets will be transformed into a walk-through gallery this spring. Independent traders in the city’s Fore Street and New Bridge Street are hosting small-scale works by more than 20 artists from across the UK.

The project aims to give artists new audiences for their work and West Quarter traders a much-needed boost for their businesses. “We’re hoping Stowage will increase the number of visitors to the area: art lovers could discover new shops and shoppers may discover new art,” curators Felicity Shillingford and Gabrielle Hoad told Arts+Culture.

Clustered over a compact quarter-mile stretch, most works can be viewed from the street 24-hours a day. Each work is built in or around an old-fashioned sweet jar and themes include everything from the area’s rich trading history to representations of online culture.

Artists include Jill Randall, who explores the assertion of personal territory through ad hoc structures such as garden sheds, which she reconstructs in miniature.

Ben Cook finds a new outlet for his interest in surf culture and the Cornish landscape in an outdoor sports shop, while Andrea Zapp examines the modern infrastructure of surveillance and control in the window of a computer shop.

Devon artists Ben Langworthy and Scott Daniels are linking Otto Retro and Exeter Peace Shop with a Morse code communication, best viewed after dark.

Stowage features the work of 24 artists from the South West, North West and North East of England. A guide to the art and its locations will be available from participating shops and can be downloaded once the exhibition opens from the Found Space website.

Stowage takes place on Fore Street and New Bridge Street, West Quarter, Exeter from Saturday, April 17 – Friday, May 14

Participating artists:
Andrea Zapp
Ben Cook
Bill Longshaw
Buff Lancaster-Thomas
Chris Knight
Chrissie Morgan
David Chatton Barker
Felicity Shillingford
Fiona Hamilton & Jane Lawrence
Gabrielle Hoad
Hilary Jack
Janet Griffiths
Jill Randall
John Goodwin
Kwong Lee
Laurel Coxon
Maddy Pethick
Megan Calver
Scott Daniels & Ben Langworthy
Steven Paige
The Grimm North

Participating traders:
Brian Fowler Computers
Exeter Peace Shop
Fantasy World
Feathers of Isca
Heavenly Yarns
Holly Hemmings Herbalist
Isca Models
Langans Foam Tools DIY
Make Art
Moorland Rambler
Off The Hook
Otto Retro
Read & Return Bookshop
Rochelle’s Curtains
Shaker Maker