Phoenix patrons to focus on inclusivity and local artists

David Shrigley and Henry Normal SUS-180831-134736001
David Shrigley and Henry Normal SUS-180831-134736001

An art gallery has named its first two patrons: former Brighton Festival guest director and artist David Shrigley; and writer, poet and TV producer Henry Normal.

Phoenix Brighton is a gallery and artists’ studio at Waterloo Place, and is the creative home of more than 100 artists.

The two new patrons will celebrate their link with the gallery at the launch of a new exhibition curated by the Rocket Artists, which provides creative opportunities for artists who live with physical and learning disabilities.

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Henry Normal, who worked on The Trip, Gavin and Stacey and the The Mighty Boosh, initially collaborated with Phoenix on Art By Johnny, a Rocket Artists exhibition that showcased paintings by Mr Normal’s son, Johnny Carroll-Pell, who has autism.

He said: “Phoenix is more than just an ambitious organisation with great momentum and an ever growing reputation. In Brighton, it is a cultural landmark. I hope to help support its valuable work in the city in building stronger links for all inside Phoenix and the local community.”

Mr Normal is set to focus on inclusivity, which is a focus for the gallery, working with Rocket Artists, which rents a studio on the ground floor.

David Shrigley, a renowned international artist, said: “I am particularly pleased to be supporting artists in Brighton and the surrounding areas via my involvement with Phoenix.”

Mr Shrigley is set to work with artists in the region, sharing his insight and experience from the perspective of someone who has made it in the art world. In particular, he’s interested in encouraging younger and emerging artists.

Sarah Davies, executive director of Phoenix Brighton, said: “It is a pure privilege to work with such passionate and inspiring people and I know they both will help shape our vision to create a future proof organisation to champion the best in the visual arts.”

A Patrons Welcome event takes place at Phoenix on Friday, September 21, between 1pm and 3pm for the opening of Past Summers, an exhibition of paintings by three emerging artists who work in the Rockets supported studio. Visit: www.phoenixbrighton.org