The latest from our clubhouse; branches; and art, music, and education projects

Works from the First Look exhibition, clockwise from top left: Inez Fernandez de Cordova Arriba (2020), Diane Bresson, Untitled -3 (2020), Eden Hawkins, Maruseppu, Tokyo 2 (2019), Mara Gajic Muscle Beach (2020)

ROSL welcomes new Visual Arts Coordinator Robin Footitt

ROSL’s longstanding commitment to the arts and education are being combined in a new role at ROSL and Riverley Primary School, which is generously funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund

I studied MA Painting at Royal College of Art, exhibiting most recently solo exhibitions in London, Lisbon and New York. I’ve always kept a dialogue with co-ordinating and curating contemporary art – I managed an artists’ project space in Fitzrovia, organised group exhibitions in office blocks and built installations in unconventional locations. Most recently, I have worked in art logistics for Design Museum and Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, installing exhibitions such as Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition, Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers, and a solo show of recent work by British artist Julian Opie.

What interests me most about developing the Visual Arts Coordinator role at ROSL is the breadth of opportunities to promote and support young and emerging talent. I am currently working with our Artist-in-Residence Nisha Duggal on realising an arts heritage project supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund across the ROSL Clubhouse and Year 5 pupils at Riverley Primary School in Leyton, East London. Arts education workshops like this can have such a positive impact on children’s understanding and development and it was a pleasure to see that first-hand as I led a virtual (COVID-friendly) class tour of ROSL via video link from the assembly hall!

Indeed, when I first arrived in early June, ROSL was in the process of reopening and the exhibitions programme needed to reflect this. From July, across two floors of the Clubhouse is a group exhibition titled First Look which introduces the work of six artists whose plans to display recent work has been “waiting for you to return”. Presenting a selection of photography, printmaking, textiles, and ceramics by Diane Bresson, Ines Fernandez de Cordova, Mara Gajic, Eden Hawkins, Ruth O’Reilly, and Felicity Royce, First Look can be seen as an opportunity to reimagine our freshly opened surroundings. This idea grew from a short paragraph I wrote about changing how we perceive things at a glance in light of the past 18 months:

The breadth of opportunities to promote and support young and emerging talent

“So many relationships and personal stories, which we have formed from spontaneous contact throughout our lives had to be paused over the past year. First sight turned into overfamiliarity with our close environment followed by a desire to be outside and experience living all over again. As doors reopen and we pass through, perhaps each new experience will resonate longer than an instant and love at first sight will span more than a glance.” – Robin Footitt, First Look press release.

The exhibition programme will continue this September with Ecologies of Change, a environmentally themed collaboration between UK Printmakers Council and the Print Council of Australia. I have also launched Brabourne Room | Artist Focus, whereby an artist will have a longer exhibiting period displayed in the dining room. Francis Martin, who contributed online remote art classes for members during lockdown is on view with recent still life paintings until December.

Possibly the most exciting news is the confirmation of our judging panel for ROSL Photography Competition 2021, which includes Sunil Gupta amongst our London panel. He is an artist I have tremendous respect and admiration for, I can’t wait to see how the judges will interpret the entries that come in for this year’s theme: “International Friendship”.