A blazing orange arrow points the way to the entrance, while on the south façade of the building, neon pink letters spell out F O R E V E R. These flourishes are the work of Curious Space, the Brighton-based design studio renowned for creating unique and inspiring spaces for public spaces around the world. They are part of the revamp of Phoenix Brighton’s entrance, which also includes new, fully accessible doors and a welcoming foyer. All manner of visitors, from the very young to the elderly, are now made to feel welcome as they flock to see the current exhibition, The New Immortals, curated by Eastbourne local Judith Alder.
Alder has put together an ingenious roster of events alongside this exhibition, which runs until the 20th March. Each Saturday, she joins representatives from the worlds of science and technology for informal conversations around the intersections of art and science, as well as the troubling question of immortality. Visitors are encouraged to drop in and engage in stimulating, thought-provoking discussions and demonstrations, while there will be a children’s activity table to distract the little ones.
The New Immortals marks the start of a fantastic line-up of exhibitions and events taking place at Phoenix Brighton in 2016. One not-to-be-missed date for your diary is May 6-8th, when the building hosts the annual Open Studios. This is a unique chance for art-lovers see behind the doors of professional artists’ studios, gaining insights into the everyday practice, technique and craft of creative work. Work on view will encompass everything from the cutting-edge to the traditional, with painting, installation, photography, textiles, ceramics, sculpture, jewellery, illustration and much more on show. In previous years, visitors have been amazed at the breadth of work going on at Phoenix Brighton – ‘‘I had no idea there was so much going on here at Phoenix Brighton” gushed a previous visitor.
120 artists currently work in the building, including Curious Space. They are responsible for designing Press and Release, the artists’ books exhibition that will form part of this year’s May Festival. This exhibition, curated by Brooklyn-based curator Maddy Rosenberg, will run from 30 April – 12 June, and is the latest in a long line of artists’ books exhibitions that have been shown at Phoenix Brighton over the past decade, granting the gallery an international reputation for promoting this distinct art form.
These are just a taste of the events coming up in 2016 – Phoenix Brighton Forever!