In Conversation with Karl Bielik.
BE: This is the 9th installment of the Terrace Annual show. Could you explain how the Terrace
Annual differs from a more traditional gallery show?
KB: Terrace started out in 2005 as a much more traditional gallery in the East End of London, at a time when Hackney was first seeing a major influx of artists in to the area. Terrace Gallery ran for three years during which time we put on a show every month and had the opening group show and two annual shows during this time. In May 2008 the Gallery stumbled to a halt and as a parting gesture I asked the owner of the building (a certain Mr Cowboy) if I could clear all the rubbish from an unused nearby outdoor space and put on one final show of the artists and other selected contemporaries. This was the Terrace 3rd Annual ‘Never was there so much wasted wine, so many dead flowers’. It was going to be just the once but as interest grew in adding to the existing show I decided to carry on.
BE: Why install a show outside in the elements only to rot away? Do you find it challenging to install such an enormous amount of work in such a space? Have you been surprised with the quality of the work that you receive? Has the quality of the work changed over the years?
KB: The show has gained in popularity each year and I am looking at around 80 entrants this year, which is a good but is hell of a lot of work – not only on the emailing front but as the show attracts many overseas entries this involves going to the Post Office a lot and because it is outside and on brick walls it requires a good drill, many tubes of silicone to make sure the works don’t get blown off the walls, PVA to paste and give some protection to works on paper, a good set of double ladders, around five days to hang all the work and obviously decent weather to do it in. The space can look a little insane, to some I’d guess a little dog on a string but the hang and the selection of work is considered and hard to put together -I don’t take it lightly. The more you look the more you get out of the show, there are some real gems and it takes more than one walk around to spot everything. The quality of the work has become better with time and as I get more known artists submitting this then in turn attracts the kind of artists that that encourages. Artists come back for more once they have taken part, I tend to get a high number of reoffenders.
BE: Has any artist asked for their work to be returned? For whatever reason, be it for fear of dying a slow death on the cold and dirty ground or thievery.
KB: Things have sold on the opening, two to my recollection. Aside from that no one has taken their work out once installed. There has been one or two situations but those people didn’t get their work back and ended up understanding the show and have since resubmitted year after year.
BE: The show is gaining popularity. Do you foresee a point when you will run out of space? Have many of the works become unrecognizable or decompose in some manner? How often do works just disappear?
KB: Work gets installed over pieces that have disappeared, work falls off the walls and is then installed in a different location, photographs fade quickly and they end up being white rectangles on the wall. We have had work made specifically to decay, a bird made out of bird food, an installation of different coloured post-it notes and a pillar of salt spring to mind. The titles of each show relate obviously to decay, and also have a musical and literary reference point from Tom Waits via Raymond Radiguet and back to Michael Jackson to name three. I could run out of space and this is something that has become more apparent this year and may lead to a size restriction next year or an even more stringent selection process. So long as I am allowed to keep putting the show on then I will and want to, it would be good to do a ten year show.
Full list of Terrace Open Shows.
(The first three shows were in the original Gallery)
The Terrace Opening Show 2005 ‘Is Somewhere’
The 1st Terrace Open 2006 ‘Time Flies’
The 2ND Terrace Open 2007 ‘Appetite for Decoration’
(The indoor Gallery closed in May 2008)
The 3rd Terrace Open 2008 ‘Never was there so much wasted wine, so many dead flowers’
The 4th Terrace Open 2009 ‘And it’s time, time, time and it’s time, time, time and it’s time, time, time that you love and it’s time, time, time.
The 5th Terrace Open 2010 ‘Hang then decay, it says something to me about my life’
The 6th Terrace Open 2011 ‘A heap of broken images where the sun beats’
The 7th Terrace Open 2012 ‘The Art is falling apart’
The 8th Terrace Open 2013 ‘Now you see it, now you don’t’
Over the last seven years 215 different artists have shown over 400 pieces of work in this now transformed, former wasteland. Exposed to the elements the works have shifted, faded, broken, rotted, remained and in some cases, disappeared. This year 80 artists have added new work to this unique yearly one day only show.
Full List of Artists (this years in bold)
Julie Alexander, Sara Aisha Amido, Karen Ay, Uta Baldauf, Paul Behnke, Beard & Ferguson, Eleanor Bennett, Maxine Beuret, Diane Bielik, Karl Bielik, James Blackburn, Kiera Blakey, Claudia Boese, Anka Bogacz, Brigitte Boldy, Charlie Bonallack, Alex Booker, Ronan Bowes, Boyle&Shaw, Nina Branhauser, Valerie Brennan, Anna Bruinsma, Rebecca Byrne, Matt Cahill, Eve Campbell, Susan Carr, Julie Caves, Jana Charl, Edward Clayton, Lucy Mink Covello, Bimba Champion, Alicia Clarke, Joyce Conlon, Oliver Crowther, Roberta Cucuzza, Annabelle Dalby, Lawrence Daley, Annie Davey, Aster David, Rosie De Borman, Julia Defferary, Lisa Denyer, Ludovic Dervillez, Pravin Dewdhory, Maria Doohan, Tom Duimstra, Brian Edmonds, Terry Ekasala, John Elcock, Liz Elton, Robert Otto Epstein, Hanna Fadda, Anne-Marie Fairbrother, Rob Flowers, Sarajo Frieden, Ellie Fritz, Noelle Gallagher, Adrian Galpin, Patrick Galway, Yifat Gat, Sanna-Lisa Gesang-Gottowt, Matthew Neil Gehring, Mira Gerard, Jahan Gerrard, Max Gimson, Matthew Golden, Cyndy Goldman, Claire Graubner, Leslie Greene, Terry Greene, Gill Gregory, James Haggas, Philip Hall-Patch, Robert Hall, Julia Hamilton, Hans Hancock & Patrick Morrissey, Ross Hansen, Rupert Hartley, Emma Harvey, Michele Hemsoth, Aimie Herbert, Alex Hermon, Russell Heron, Gabriele Herzog, Dan Holliday, Jan Holtoff, Rebecca Hooper, George Horner, Christopher Hudson, Zarah Hunt, James Hutchinson, Jessica Jang, Helen Jarvis, Elina Jokipii, Philip Jones, Nica Junker, Eemyun Kang, Ralph Kietwitz, Susannah King, Yoonjung Kim, Josh Knowles, James Lambert, Lindsey Landfried, MP Landis, Evan Larson, William Lawler, David Leapman, Ron Levin, Caterina Lewis, Bonny Leibowitz, Meg Lipke, Andrea Lippet, Susan Lizotte, Jai Llewellyn, Heidi Locher, Vibeke Luther, Paula Macarthur, Matthew Macaulay, Stephen B. Maciniss, Nerys Mathias, Julia Maddison, Andrew Maughan, Katrin Maeurich, Tony Mcateer, Fay Mccloskey, Chrissy Mclaughlan, Dale Mcneil, Kathleen Mcshane, Andrea Medjesi-Jones, Derek Meier, Phillip J Mellen, Joan Mellon, Lorna Milburn, David T Miller, Julie Miranda, Katherine Mojzsis, Nicola Morrison, Andrea Muendelein, Ryan Muldowney, Hannah Murgatroyd, David Myrvold, Danka Nisevic, Emer O’Brien, Martin O’Neil, Susan Overell, Natalie Papageorgiadis, Melanie Parke, Andrew Parkinson, Cathleen Parra, Christopher Peabody, Joanna Peace, Lindall Pearce, Calvin Pennix, Grant Petrey, Caroline Piccioni, Klaus Pintar, Marion Piper, James Prez, Velvet Ramos, Steven Ratje, Shirome Ratne, Francesca Ricci, George Riley, Jon Riley, Dan Roach, Andy Robertson, Matthew Robinson, Will Robson-Scott, Kimberly Rowe, Anne Rusinoff, Rachel Russell, Cheryl Saunders, Matthew Saunders, Julie Schwartz, Gert Scheerlinck, Frances Scott, Andrew Seto, Ariane Severin, Jennifer Sheperd, Jason Shulman, Emma-Jane Spain, Lili Spain, Marianne Spurr, Janet Stafford, Fiona Stansbury, Nectarios Stamatopolous, Richard Stone, Madeleine Strindberg, Jack Sutherland, Martha Thorn, Sabine Tress, Sophie Tomlinson, Emily Trotter, Kale Tunnessen, Lee Tusman, Claire Undy, Katy Unger, Marijke Vasey, Georgina Vinsun, Maxwell Wade, Julian Wakelin, Hannah Weatherhead, Tobias Wenzel, Ian White Williams, Tess Williams, James White, Emma-Jane Whitton, Tarn Willers, Phil Wise, Doreen Wittenbols, Retts Wood, Sean Worrall, Katherine Worthington, Elizabeth Wright, Pier Wright, Stephen Wright, Rebecca Young, Blair Zaye and Mark Zimmermann.