Feature: Review - Salon 1

A handful of art work, a room full of people and a cosy space creates quite a buzz for one night only. 

For one night only, a tiny room in the heart of Derbyshire came to life with local art and music. Tucked away behind a row of shops and houses, the studio turned gallery was our destination for one chance only art. At the top of the smooth stone steps we were greeted by a buzz of activity. Familiar city faces mixed with friendly countryside acquaintances, a swarm of smiles invited you in to a new idea of exhibiting.

Organised by local artists Rachael Pinks and Clay Smith the exhibition hosted a range of works from Ivan Smith, Deb Allitt and Jen Aitken to name a few. The artists featuring in the exhibition were selected through invite only with this pilot show featuring some familiar names; Clay and Rachael plan to develop this event idea quickly.

“We want to capture a mixture of local, regional and international artists to future events and make it a regular feature on the cultural calendar. Newer and bigger spaces are part of the next stages as well as inviting artists from further afield.”

The space used by both of the artists was transformed from practicing studio into rustic gallery within the afternoon. Complimentary drinks and a musical interlude made the space feel like any other private gallery view, they’re just a little more cosy in Cromford.

So why just one night?

“We wanted to create something that appealed to lots of people. Often when you go to an exhibition it’s just a one man show. The idea behind one night only is to make it into more of an event and create a buzz.”

The exhibition delivered a range of works from thick paintings, tonal illustration and collage. The nooks and crevices of the room not only charmed the audience but accommodated the mixture of works perfectly. A cluster of ceramics congregated comfortably in a creaky cove whilst the tall walls made ideal mounts for secretive curtain covered works.

The night provided treats for both the eyes and the ears, regional musical maestro Corey Mwumba completed the evening with a sample show of music from his vibraphone. Created purely through inspiration from the artwork surrounding him, Corey improvised to create his own interpretation of the art; beating, tapping and gliding with the instrument performing a soothing yet vibrant 20 minute piece.

I came away from the room feeling like I’d been to a secret gathering, as though I had to sneak out and not look back. Feeling privileged and inspired I realised that this one time opportunity really was over; this combination of art, space and faces would never come together again in this way. A strange but uplifting idea, presenting a programme just once, blink and you’ve missed it. If you did miss it, keep your eyes peeled, another will come around soon.