by Miranda Charalambous
The Museum of Everything is a touring institution, founded by Jeremy Brett that exhibits and curates the work of private art-makers and non-academic artists. Recently, the museum opened The Gallery of Everything, the first space for outsider art in London. The new venture enables artists to sell their work and reach a wider audience. The gallery opens with a new show, Journeys into the Outside which takes its name from the title of a Channel Four documentary made in 1998 which focused on a handful of eccentric artmakers. Jarvis Cocker, the researcher of the series explained,
“A decade ago I’d seen something in these places. Now it was time to find out exactly what that something was.”
Curated in a suitably random fashion, this show brings to light the phenomenal achievements of the artists featured in the series. It displays a selection of their lesser known artwork coupled with some insightful film footage. The exhibition begins with Harold Finster, a born again bicycle repairer who built an amazing sculpture park which he covered completely with pictures and narratives. His lively brushwork also graced the surfaces of album covers, including one for Talking Heads. All over his fantastical mirror paintings, aliens, spaceships and ghouls float between pockets of biblical annotations. According to Finster, God had requested 5,000 works of art, so he numbered each one to keep a tally.
The French outsider, Chomo trained as an artist but chose to reject art’s conventions. For fifty years, he embarked on an experimental art project in the woods near Fontainebleau. Using the materials around him, he sculpted strange creatures with sightless eyes and charred paintings daubed with silver paint.
The motley collection of wooden crosses were crudely hewn by W.C. Rice, a self-ordained preacher who received a calling from God to get creative. These priceless relics were once homed at his famed Cross Garden in Alabama. This vast allotment of rusty car parts, fridges and washing machines was painted throughout with holy rants. Although now, divorced from their eccentric maker and roadside setting, his defamatory crosses seem more like grisly souvenirs.
“Journeys Into The Outside” opens from 25th September to 20th November 2016 at
The Gallery of Everything
4 Chiltern Street