All Change at Art Junction


All Change at Art Junction

The Traditional Art Academy Experience – Now Online

The art world is no exception to the ‘new normal’. With people social distancing, and leveraging the benefits of technology, it is to be expected that established art institutions are reinventing their practices and protocols. In a time of change we all need to be flexible – but we also need to embrace the new opportunities change presents.

Amongst stalwarts of the Sussex art scene, Billingshurst-based Sussex Sculpture Studios is a perfect example of a community that is quickly reinventing itself for the digital world. With an obligation for social distancing, meaning fewer people can access studio facilities at any one time, curator and well-respected sculptor Marji Talbot has renamed, repurposed and repositioned the studio’s offering.

“The moment lockdown started we realised that it would be difficult for things to ever be the same,” she says. “In quickly deciding to move our offering online we realised at the same time that we had the opportunity to broaden our offering to include 2D as well as 3D art, allowing our established tutors to reach a much wider online audience.” Welcome then a newly rebranded business ‘Art Junction’ – named partly as a place where different art disciplines conjoin, partly as a nod to the fact that this epicentre of creativity sits next to platform two on Billingshurst Station!

The emphasis of Art Junction will be ‘courses and resources’ for online learning via a range of ‘masterclasses’ from a team of expert tutors, delivered via Zoom sessions and a range of ‘how to’ videos. One particular feature will be live-streamed life and portrait classes. “As Sussex Sculpture Studios we had a thriving community of life and portraiture artists,” Marji Talbot explains. “Now, to be fair to our life models and tutors, whilst complying with social distancing restraints, we simply don’t have enough studio space to keep it Covid safe and at the same time commercially viable. Luckily however the world seems to have embraced Zoom technology, so we are planning to run livestream Zoom sessions, complete with a tutor, for both 2D and 3D workshops.”

However, the studios will remain accessible for makers who want to get hands-on with 3D work. Every Tuesday Marji welcomes sculptors at any level, who have pre-booked bench space to sculpt and cast projects. In addition, Art Junction will offer ‘hot benching’ for practising sculptors who have a project they want to create and make.

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