Art critic Verity Babbs wrote an afterword for the show:
Opening less than a week ahead of London’s Frieze, ‘Boundless: Transitions’ represented a sense of community, inclusion, and accessibility that the behemoth fair is often criticised for lacking. The art world (especially in the capital) can feel like it’s moving ever-further away from its audiences, with sterile white cube spaces designed to be navigated in intellectual silence. ‘Boundless: Transitions’ was born out of a mission to bring meaningful interactions with art to the people of Deptford, and it did so by breaking down our assumptions of what happens in the gallery space.
The A-Maze Collective filled every corner of A.P.T. Gallery with art of all mediums, transforming the space into a veritable visual sweetshop for visitors of all ages. Many of the displays were interactive, and clever use of QR-code and Augmented Reality technology added new depth to work, elevating the art beyond its physical form. The creation of an interactive art trail through Deptford brought ‘Boundless: Transitions’ outside of the gallery and into people’s daily lives, highlighting A-Maze’s message that this was an exhibition for everyone. Deptford was at the heart of the project, and ‘Boundless: Transitions’ was curated with real purpose.
The A-Maze Collective understood that art does not happen in a vacuum; that art should not wait in silence to be found but rather should call out and invite us in. The extensive outreach programme scheduled for this exhibition demonstrated the artists’ dedication to bringing meaningful artistic experiences to the Deptford community. Over the course of its 4 week run, ‘Boundless: Transitions’ hosted 7 public evening events, daily tours led by artists, weekend public and workshops school students and activist groups, and 4 live streamed of their evening events online.
Perhaps the most impactful aspect of ‘Boundless: Transitions’ was the A-Maze Collective’s unwavering dedication to audience experience. Artists from the collective took their places in the gallery space each day, guiding visitors through the exhibition, answering questions, and making sure that every visit was valuable to each individual viewer. It is rare to see this level of forethought and commitment to outreach, especially for an exhibition which lasted just 25 days.
What was also clear was the coherence of the collective. The work on display by the 12 artists hung together with the thematic throughline “how do we address the crises in the world as communities and individuals?”, whilst also representing a huge variety of styles and showcasing each artist’s individual focuses and approaches. This is what great collectives do: they function as a united community but each member is highlighted as a solo-maker in the process, creating shows which are remembered long after the work is deinstalled.
In the end, it was not actually the “boundlessness” that struck audiences, but the sense of the ways in which - knowingly or unknowingly - we are all inextricably bound to one another and the world around us. As the A-Maze Collective reminds us, this is a bond that we must cling to in the face of crisis and catastrophe. ‘Boundless: Transitions’ was a perfect example of the projects for which it is crucial continue to receive public and charity funding, as they show up for their audiences in a way that even the largest institutions so often fail to do.
To keep up to date with the A-Maze Collective and their next endeavours, follow them on Instagram and visit the website, or get in touch via email.
A-Maze Artists: Fion Gunn, Chen Mei-Tsen, Alan Hudson, Ardern Hulme-Beaman, Shoran Jiang, Maureen Kendal, Audrey Mullins, Nazia Parvez, Freddie Sanders
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and sponsored by the Greenwings Project.
Boundless: Transitions Exhibition 5 - 29 October 2023
at A.P.T. Gallery, Deptford
This is a bird's eye view of the A.P.T Gallery, an amazing space just 5 minutes walk from Deptford and Deptford Bridge Stations. I can't help feeling that all those explorers (adventurers really!) would have given their right arms for a chance to see the earth like this and not to have to set sail just guessing when they would next hit land! Our exhibition will look at the complicated history of all of us - the movement of peoples, wildlife, ideas and cultures across the globe.
Instagram - @a_maze_artists
I'm working on my ‘Spice Ship’ with sails of recipes at the moment, when finished it will be piled much higher with cinnamon and pull nets with pepper and cloves. This will be part of ‘Fleet’ my installation in the Boundless: Transitions exhibition. The sails of the ship are covered in 15th century European recipes that uses cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, pepper and cloves - they were worth their weight in gold as the Portuguese opened up the maritime trade routes. Much as this benefitted wealthy Europeans who enjoyed food that tasted much more interesting and delicious, European adventurers predated on their trading partners and were quick to see the opportunity of expanding into the Slave trade and causing centuries of misery and exploitation. 'Sugar and spice and all things nice' goes the nursery rhyme - no so much though.....
The ship measures 66cm x 56cm x 11cm.
Fion Gunn July 2023
Fion needed birdsong for her piece ‘The Dreams of City Dwellers’. I dug into my drawers of electronics and found an old Raspberry Pi micro-processor, a very small amplifier, batteries, a speaker cone, jack plug, and a toggle switch. All I needed then was a box to put them in. A neighbour had given me crystallised ginger boxes to burn, but they were far too good to burn so had sat on the kitchen table since Christmas.
After juggling around I made them fit.
Then a quick bit of soldering to connect the components followed by quite a few hours of programming to make it work by only flicking on the toggle switch.
As always, the programming should have taken half an hour but actually took a few days of fiddling, a lot of googling and then Yay! It works. To operate just switch the toggle switch on and after 1 minute 17 seconds you hear beautiful bird song.
Drilling the holes through the box to mount the toggle switch and amplifier took far longer than it should, but in the end the result was quite neat.
Alan Hudson July 2023
From the left: Maureen Kendal, Fion Gunn and Ardern Hulme-Beaman presenting at the Electronic Visualisation in the Arts (EVA) Conference in London yesterday. We will be uploading all of the papers on which we have collaborated to the site shortly.
We are so delighted to have great partners on board for our exhibition and events in Deptford this October 5 - 29. The gallery will be open Wed-Sunday inclusive and throughout that time we will host panel discussions, a writers' evening, participatory guided tours and public workshops. The full schedule will be published on this site in early September - keep watching!
A-Maze Artists Collective are delighted to participate in an exhibition by the Computer Arts Society, 25 Copthall Avenue, London EC2. The exhibition is curated by Sean Clark and will open on 10 July and run until December. computer-arts-society.com/exhibitions/cas-members-2023.html
This is one of the many great AI generated images on Nazia Parvez's new website - it's from a series called Desert Nautilus and explores the themes of climate change and resilience.
Ardern has been looking at footprints more and reflecting on "how we leave impressions, some temporary, some long, some ancient, but none permanent (on the geological time scale at least!)."
He has collected images of prints in mud - some pigeon, fennec fox and lizard footprints (images above) and says " I'm thinking about how we're moving away from having footprints at all, contemplating new technological developments, from trackless modes of transport like seafaring to digital technologies which leave little physical trace. Considerations of carbon footprints and how we can get to a stage where we leave none of those either"