A collaborative, not-for-profit social arts project that values the conversations beyond the conventional art gallery. The 4 x m2 Gallery Pavilion is a structure / sculpture that offers an easy to assemble and affordable multiple artwork for everywhere. By commissioning artists to improvise on it and in it, a constant dynamism of creativity and dialogue will always be the outcome.... 

Objectives and Philosophy

Consolidating the original premise of ‘giving back to the street’, the vision at the heart of the original m2 Gallery, the 4 x m2 Gallery Pavilion moves the idea on. With its far reaching platform, the gallery has the clear potential to increase free and uncomplicated access to the visual arts in the public realm. As there is no “door to walk through”, as with a regular gallery, the format looks to occupy any space that will promote free access and debate.

This could be anywhere, and from a formal point of view the pavilion has the advantage of being the antithesis of the unanimated sculpture that is ‘plopped’ into a square. While having a strong sculptural presence the structure has a life of its own with its ‘interiority’ allowing artworks to change in the m2 windows. Equally, the whole look of the pavilion can be revamped occasionally, as the desire takes, with a new artist commission for ‘re-skinning’ its exterior.


Creative Opportunities

These compact galleries are designed in such a way to have four creative opportunities; 

1.    With its highly developed set of materials, instructions and drawings, the gallery is intended to be made locally, off site, into prefabricated components. This has good training potentials in basic carpentry and logistics for youth groups, colleges and intergenerational connections.

2.    A transit size van can be used to deliver the components to the site. Over a day these get assembled and fitted together, providing a collective event and satisfaction for all participants in contributing to the public realm.

3.    Responding to the specifics of the location, a commissioned artist is asked to come up with an invented narrative to inform a ‘skinning’ of the structure. Again, colleges, schools, local community groups or whoever could contribute with material collection or physical help in the event of making the “skin” with the artist.

4.    Finally the four, one meter square galleries, half a meter deep on each façade of the pavilion offer a unique 24/7 window to display art work in the public realm. All sorts of different artists organizations or individuals can thus become curators and exhibiting artists.

The Prefabricated Concept

After a couple of tentative enquiries in 2017 from arts organisations asking whether the 4 x m2 Gallery Pavilion could be reproduced, we realised that a workshop built, prefabricated version could be a possibility. This has the advantage of being able to be made more accurately and precisely in an internal, safe, warm environment. Equally, it allows the structure/sculpture to be reproduced as a multiple and erected in any number of locations.

The 4 x m2 Gallery Pavilion can be made in any professional and competent joinery workshop at a commercial rate. Equally with some basic power tools, a couple of tables in a dry working space, a 4 x m2 Gallery’s can be conjured up wherever. With its standardised and simple design there is the potential for it to be used as a vehicle for educational and socially advantageous outcomes.


The ‘Spire’

Inspired by the architect Le Corbusier’s Oratory at the La Tourette monastery, the pavilion is designed with a ‘spire’. These will always be slightly different and asymmetric, giving a secular aspirational marker to the art within, while animating the gallery from a distance.

The outline structure will have ambient up light through the translucent mono-pitched roof at night, while perhaps being a place to facilitate external projections. If the gallery is ‘off grid’ then the structure can support a wind turbine and photovoltaic panels, giving a secular symbolism of creating energy. These can feed into battery storage in the gallery below allowing simple LED strip lights to come on at dusk to give night time viewing of the galleries.

Commissioning Process

The essence of the commissioning process is to establish a healthy creative dialogue with all prospective pavilion partners. This can hopefully maximise the positive outcomes for all concerned in imaginatively selecting sites and getting the practicalities to work advantageously. From a curatorial perspective, the conversation can continue in the selecting of artists to ‘skin’ and install the first show, the ongoing gallery programming and finding good ways to procure and fund the 4 x m2 Gallery Pavilion structure.

Neville Gabie ‘skinning’ the 4 x m2 with a live performance / drawing.

Neville Gabie ‘skinning’ the 4 x m2 with a live performance / drawing.