AirSpace is Stoke-on-Trent’s first Contemporary Art Gallery. As a newlyformed arts organisation, based in Stoke-on-Trent our initative is tohelp develop the contemporary arts culture within the city. Our firstobjective was to utilise one of the many derelict buildings in order tocreate a contemporary arts venue. Exhibiting professional artists aswell as developing artists, the project caters for a range ofcontemporary art forms and artists, and aims to engage with thecommunity.Alongside this we will develop studio spaces at the samesite, in order to build a base for an artists community in the city.AirSpace’s main focus is to regenerate the Contemporary art scene andto assist in developingStoke-on-Trent’s cultural outlook.
As a group we are interested in exploring the notion of value exchange. We have made works in response to the Sunday Car Boot Fair that happens weekly in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, on the same street as the AirSpace Gallery. There are all types of people to be found at the fair, and as a group we infiltrated the site and made work in response to the people, objects and conversations to be found there. The finished pieces highlight themes of resourcefulness (working with available resources), and the fact that other peoples junk and waste can be re-used and made into something useful, that can be appreciated once again and put back on the market. Other themes include ideas of trade, waste, environmental concerns, the importance of exchange in its broadest sense and the ability to make and sell products in the recession. Questions about the value of objects come to mind i.e how antiques and art are valued (what makes something precious and valuable- it's age, the artist/maker, the materials it's made from?), and whether rubbish/ found materials can become more valuable when put in the context of 'art'.