January 9, 2020

Galaxy Art Project (GAP)

The Galaxy Art Project (GAP) is a site-specific, temporary public art that will enliven the Galaxy and surrounding area.  The Art will be incisive, surprising, and unique visual and installation art of all forms, including media-based works (walkway only for media-based work).

The art installations involve projects that connect visitors to the location, buildings, park landscapes, community and/or history of the Luton. Art installations will prompt visitors to return multiple times to experience changes in the installations and exhibitions.

GAP will provide a space for local visual artists, sculptors, sound artists, performing artists, photographers, filmmakers, and others to exhibit in The Galaxy Walkway and other Galaxy areas, including pop up art and performances in the Galaxy external spaces. 

Galaxy Art Project (GAP) Project Overview

GAP is a town-wide project designed to create a 3- 5 year programme of site-specific, temporary public art that enliven the Galaxy and surrounding area.  Creating art and cultural experiences that can help improve health and wellbeing and can result in benefits that range from the physiological to the emotional.  GAP is a project ran by NINE RED Presents… (CIC) (NRP) and The Galaxy Centre working in partnership with local artists, individuals, businesses and other local organisations.

The name Galaxy Art Project (GAP) and acronym are central to the projects desire to raise awareness of local art and the Galaxy Centre as a venue.

Firstly, the word GAP has cascading layers of meaning:-

  1. For the Galaxy – The Galaxy Leisure Centre was built in 1998  and served to provide a venue in the heart of Luton town centre to meet a variety of leisure needs from restaurants, bars and entertainment.  In this way The Galaxy filled a gap in service provision that existed in the town centre.
  2. For Residents – Luton residents enjoy all forms of art, but are limited by service provision that highlights local artists and art reflective of Luton talent.  This public art project, is ran for and by the local community and seeks to bridge the gap between local artists and local people.
  3. For Artists – Luton artists feel marginalised.  For decades much of the art provided in Luton are by artists airdropped in from other national and international towns and cities.  This project fills the gap in available spaces for local artists to exhibit and develop work.  True art development occurs when exposed to audiences, it provides a platform to test work as much as just displaying it.   
  4. For Young Children and Families – Immersive experiences for young children connected to arts, education and entertainment.
  5. Business within the Galaxy – For local businesses, this project provides a new demographic, leading to increased exposure and footfall.  This falls in line with the priorities of Luton Bid – “The dramatic redevelopment of Luton town centre, with stunning changes to public areas.”  The GAP project is underpinned by creating a great visitor experience, encouraging not only local residents, but also out of town guests to view exciting and vibrant artwork. 
  6. Luton Investment Framework – GAP is in line with the LIF’s strategic priorities by creating opportunities for residents, raising aspirations and enhancing prosperity across the town and through the Art Therapy strands will also help provide improvements to health and wellbeing.
  7. Celebrating Diversity – GAP provides a platform for all forms of diversity, Race, Religion, Culture, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Ability etc.  However, more than this GAP celebrates what diversity means when many different people from many different backgrounds come together.   Luton has a unique art, a unique voice and a unique sound that has been forged from the fusion of many cultures occupying the same space.  GAP gives a platform for that “This is Luton” art form and allows us to define ourselves, rather than have the “This is Art”  imposed on us.
  8. Art & Wellbeing – Scientific studies tell us that art heals by changing a person’s physiology and attitude. The body’s physiology changes from one of stress to one of deep relaxation, from one of fear to one of creativity and inspiration.
  9. GAP Walkway will have two intentions:-
    1. To give local artists the opportunity to envision, produce, and exhibit in the space.
    2. To provide immersive experiences for young children.

Secondly, the projects delivery also serves to fill a gap by:-

  • Creating a committee of local artists and individuals from cultural organisations. 
    • This makes the project locally owned, by individuals, organisations and institutions with a proven track record of success. 
  • Creating an exhibition in the walkway “Spotlight on …..” which will feature local up and coming artists
    • Provides a space for artists to display
    • Creates a viable purpose for the Walkway.
  • Creating child focused immersive experiences in the walkway
    • In addition to activities, these immersive experiences provide opportunities for young children to get involved with diverse art in new and innovative ways
  • Making use of the open spaces inside and outside the galaxy to display art both physical and visual art using light and projection as well as physical installations.
    • Creates innovation.  The uniqueness of the space provides opportunities to be create and unique with the design and concepts of art installations.
  • Pop up street festivals and performances outside
    • Locally ran outdoor art space
  • Ariel displays and projections outside the walkway to attract public to the space.
    • Opportunities for Fringe and diverse arts.