The joy of visiting small art galleries

INDEPENDENT galleries are potentially the very best way to view art in a small town. Where the council funded contemporary art spaces rely on WOW factor, and likeability ratings, economic return and cultural reward, small independents can show diverse, brilliantly talented, lesser-known artists.

These spaces are more open to provocative and unapologetic projects. Jarring uncomfortable subjects that send the viewer cowering and unsettled.

In the hands, and mind, of the right owner these spaces have the potential to bring poignant and intriguing new artworks to our towns without fear of upsetting sponsors and ultimately funding withdrawal.

In the coming month the blackShed gallery in Robertsbridge will be hosting Robert Sample’s collection of despairing figurative oils. Both dark and violently brilliant, they portray an unashamed loss of hope and disquieting perversions, rendered in fleshy hairy bodies.

Not for the faint hearted but certainly something that needs to be seen - ideas and impressions of human experience on this earth, it’s not always pretty and fanciful but the reality is that it lives amongst us and Sample does a grand job of bringing it into our present consciousness.