M: Tell us about your business. What is your role?
18 Hewett Street is a versatile space that is endorsed by creative agency Protein. The gallery is a hireable venue but primarily it is a space where we have free reign to showcase the work of creatives that we admire. Alongside exhibitions the space is used to host talks, forums, screenings, workshops and even has it’s very own coffee shop in the reception area courtesy of coffee nerds/gurus DunneFrankowski. I am the gallery manager so I’m in charge of scheduling what happens in the space and am in the fortunate position of being able to choose some of the people we get to work with.
M: What is so innovative / unique about it?
The opportunity we have to support emerging artists who don’t necessarily have huge financial backing. The quick turn around policy (longest show lasts 10 days) meaning it is a constantly changing environment and I get to work with so many talented and interesting people. The integration of the coffee shop which really brings life to the space and creates a natural cross over of the people coming to see the shows or coming to have a coffee.
M: Why do you choose Shoreditch to run your business?
It’s a great location as is so easy to get to from all over London and there is creatively so much going on. The people in the area are a great audience and seem to be receptive to what we have going on in the space.
M: Tell us more about the latest exhibition at Hewett Street. What is the main inspiration behind it?
The latest show is an exhibition called Three Man Show and it is exactly that. London based Tim Head and Stephen Smith and Barcelona based Michael Swaney are three artists and friends who have come together to exhibit collectively for the first time. The show is a collection of abstract paintings that are slightly outside the parameters of the work they typically create. The exhibition is up until Monday 21st October so come check it out!
M: What would you say has been your most memorable experience while working there?
Hands down it was curating an exhibition of drawings by legendary outsider artist and musician Daniel Johnston. He happened to be in town at the time of the show and came to the gallery to have a look round. As one of my favourite artists it was such an honour to be in a position to put together an exhibition of his drawings – and then to meet him and have a chance to talk about the work was a wonderful experience.
M: What are the main challenges maintaining your business and how are you overcoming them?
Striking the right balance between hiring out the space for private events and having shows that we endorse.
Who are you favourite artists in Shoreditch?
I don’t know about people based in Shoreditch specifically but in terms of current favourite artists in London, all of which have exhibited in Shoreditch (and coincidentally at 18 Hewett Street!) i would say, artist and sculptor James Balmforth, cartoonist Joe Kessler and interactive digital artist/genius Chris Shen.
What does the future have in store for your business?
The opportunity to continue working with inspirational people and artists – so hopefully more of the same!