BORDERLINES – GALERIA BIELSKA BWA; BIELSKO-BIALA & GALERIA SUKKIENNICE, KRAKOW,POLAND; WREXHAM ARTS CENTRE
This series of curatorial exhibition projects promotes collaboration across physical and conceptual boundaries through examination and discussion about the nature of the frame or border of an artwork, and how this ‘zone’ between the artwork and the real world might form a new and fertile territory for creative enquiry. Two exhibitions were held in Poland, with a third touring in the UK. “Borderlines” was at Galeria Bielska BWA, Bielsko-Biala, Poland; “On the Brink” at Galeria Sukiennice, Krakow, Poland (both in 2005); and “Border Crossing” at Wrexham Arts Centre, Wales, during 2007. The exhibitions, funded by the Arts Council of Wales, and Galeria Bielska BWA, Poland, were curated by Shepley and accompanied by trilingual catalogues which were authored by Shepley.
Shepley also exhibited three of the total of 106 exhibits which included digital video projections, digital sound installation, sculpture, photography, drawing, painting and printmaking. These demonstrate artists testing their own conventions in terms of the material and conceptual ‘limits’ of art practice; and how this can often alter radically the outcome and the ‘appreciative systems’ developed and adopted by artists engaged in testing the conventions and boundaries of their practice. The UK exhibition comprises 13 Polish artists from Bielsko-Biala, whose work crosses different artistic disciplines, conventions and methodologies. The series reflects the notion that art practice consists of not only ‘looking within’ practice and the artworks, but also ‘beyond’ them. This ‘reaching out’ included reaching out to different media, new audiences and new connections with other artists and other disciplines. “Border Crossing” referenced the previous exhibitions and the two regions’ shared issues associated with national and international borders. The curatorial project continues as a touring show and as a two year artists exchange programme between NEWI and Galeria Bielska, with funding from EU sources.