Well, as a downright enthusiast of fresh, inspiring art, it comes in handy to live so close to East London’s creative powerhouses Shoreditch, Hoxton or Hackney Wick. However pleasant it may be to roam these neighbourhoods on the hunt for new ideas and artists on a regular basis, the creative-self craves for variation – both of conceptual and geographic nature – every once in a while. So, where to turn to? Shush, »Chiswick« is the magic word. Trust me, there is a real stroke of luck that radiates the organic-libertine spirit of East End galleries, far from the prevailing elitist and highly exclusive art circuit of West London: ‘The Unit’. In many respects, it is not the average gallery start-up you’d expect these days. And the rather unusual location – clearly not an epicentre of the capital’s art sphere – is only one reason, why the artist-run project of Jonny Burt and Joe Kennedy sets itself apart from the mass. Unwilling to bow to the rules and methods of traditional art businesses, the collective advocates a more inclusive and liberated relation between artist and observer/customer:
‘It exists as a dynamic creative platform that shifts the focus from ‘reputation’ onto where it should be: the unbridled celebration of art, for U: U the enthusiast, U the artist, U the individual. We seek to give voice to artists everywhere.’
Thus it’s no wonder that the brilliant launch exhibition ‘Looking for U’, which showcases and celebrates cutting-edge contemporary art from every corner of London, bears great testimony to The Unit’s agenda. Thrilling new art by established and yet undiscovered artists such as Daniel Stepanek, George Morton-Clark, Januz Miralles, Carlos Martyn Burgos, Snik or co-founder Jonny Burt are assembled side by side and introduced to new audiences in a vibrant, new part of the city – tangible and undivided.
Whilst admitting to be quite overwhelmed by the sublime response to their concept, the young duo seems definitely far from floating with their heads in the clouds, but rather grounded in their future ambitions. Initially planned as a pop-up art venture, the collective is already working step-by-step to screen and approach new, promising talent for the first few solo shows and to turn this terrific creative space into a permanent and long-lasting part of the London art world.
‘Looking for U’ runs until 14th September 2013 at The Unit London, 46 Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick, W4 1QP London, UK.