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Throwback Thursday: The West Collection 2010

The West Collection: A Quay Vision – 2010

Some nice photos of the exhibition and activity around the show here in the public folder: public/Event Photos/Event photos 2012 and earlier/Event Photos 2010/Exhibition and other Photos by Georgia 2010/2010/The West Gallery/The West Collection 2010 Workshops and Summer School photos and openings

There is a film on this whole project but its on a cd at the Quay so I can’t access it. Might not be needed. Lots of heritage stuff here you could link with – most of which is here one our website: http://www.quayarts.org/about-us/heritage/

The title of this ground-breaking exhibition held in 2010, ‘The West Collection: A Quay Vision’, begs the question, ‘whose vision?’ There are many perspectives: you could say, that one Sunday afternoon in 1975, Anne Lewington had the vision when she spotted a disused 19th century brewery warehouse on Newport’s quay; or perhaps it was when Christine and Michael West initiated a fundraiser in their Bembridge home ‘The Garland’; or maybe it was when Anne Toms instigated the £1,100,500 Lottery grant which completely transformed Quay Arts in 1997. You could also say that the vision is happening today, with ideas being passionately pulled together by the next generation of committed Quay Arts team members. Many people should be thanked for their vision and energy in bringing Quay Arts into being and this project celebrated them all. 

Christine and Michael West played a huge part in this exhibition, they loved the visual arts and formed a notable collection of modern British art throughout key their lives together. The Wests’ only daughter, Carinthia, generously loaned her parents’ collection for this exhibition, providing an intimate and valuable insight into the lives of her parents; two fascinating individuals who contributed immensely to the creative arts on the Isle of Wight over forty years ago.

The personal revelation of how the Quay Arts building functioned in the 19th century to what it now has become has been an incredible journey. Our goal was to bring these findings to the public; in a way that was never been done before at Quay Arts. Combined with a truly inspiring art collection which belonged to a truly inspiring couple, through this we aimed to enrich peoples understanding of the history of the local area and the story of how Quay Arts came into being through community involvement.

Before Quay Arts existed, there were no venues to hold art exhibitions, a venue to allow the public to peruse and engage with contemporary art, nor artists’ studios to create work or workshops for the public to get involved. But what did exist was the desire and spirit within the hearts and minds of many artists who lived on the Isle of Wight. They had a collective passion and the drive and determination to create a hub for artists and like-minded individuals to explore art and allow the public to engage with it in a way that was unachievable elsewhere on the Isle of Wight.

With special thanks to Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting this project.