A couple of weeks ago I had the fortune of photographing UWIC students who were putting on a degree show in an empty shop in the Morgan Arcade.
As part of a guided tour I was giving to a visiting friend (people be warned, if you visit me I will no doubt enforce a walking tour of the arcades on you) I noticed that a new show had started this week!
I can’t emphasise enough how important I think it is for the empty shops to be used for something, and art exhibitions are a particularly brilliant way to make use of them.
We wandered into the shop and I got chatting to one of the artists exhibiting, Christine Marfleet, who very kindly took some time out to explain more about her piece and the others on show and encouraged me to take photos. A photoshoot like this is always a lot of fun as just 5 minutes before I didn’t know I’d be doing one!
Her piece, one of the most striking in the show, thanks to its size, tells the story of coat manufacture in a recently closed factory in Pontypridd. Each of the pieces represents the different person that was required to make it, with nobody ever having the knowledge to make an entire coat.
This exhibition is over 3 floors, with both the basement and the upper level of the shop available for exploration. The show feels particularly suited to an empty shop as its aim is to critique aspects of consumer culture.
Chris was extremely excited about the space and is hoping to use the space again in the future for more shows, and further, would love to be the curator of it should it be a permanent exhibition space – something that would surely be a very welcome addition to the arcades, adding “exhibition venue” to fantastic architectural interest, independent niche shops, boutiques and fantastic coffee house would be, to my mind, another great tick in the box.
You can read more about the show on the University of Glamorgan website. Nothing to Declare runs until Saturday 26th February 2011, and is open between 10 o’clock and 5 o’clock. A few more photos of the exhibition can be found in the Nothing to Declare set on Flickr.
More pictures can be seen from the exhibition in the Nothing to Declare Flickr set, as usual, any feedback very gratefully received in the comments box.