So many things have happened since the last update including viewing four buildings, three for temporary homes and one for a long-term home, plus working on our big project for the end of the month but firstly we’ll update you on our long-term home, the studios.
The future studios building is the Old British School on Southampton Street, “At a meeting held at the house of Mr Letchworth to consider a plan submitted by Mr Lancaster for the education of poor children held this 27th August 1809. Resolved that such a school be established and that the same be a free school.” Reading Lancastrian School Minute Book 1809.
The Grade 2 Listed Old British School on Southampton Street was built in 1810. It is the only surviving building in the United Kingdom of its type from the period and in the Winter of 2000/2001 a competition run by the BBC decided that it is one of the most important buildings in the country.
jelly has been fortunate enough to be working with an individual who is putting time and care into returning the building to its former glory. Eventually it will be part of a larger residential development but the main studios will have their own street facing entrance with small network/ exhibition space plus space for about 10 artists in the main studio. The brickwork has been re-pointed, the roof replaced and a major clear up of the interior which had been left to home the pigeons for many years has been undertaken.
Here are some glorious interior shots:
entrance to studios/ network/ exhibition space
sneak preview of main studio area
We could bore you with photos all day, and we are currently fighting the urge to post more and more of this lovely space. This is a long drawn out job of painstaking, built by hand and last week when we visited individual bricks were being marked that needed extra care.
The front aspect of the building shows an upper floor, that will be a flat available for rent (not from jelly) – how fantastic to live there. We used their stairs to take this image looking down into the main studio area.
View from the upper floor
The studios will be home for 15 years, we will keep you updated here on where we are at with them (and maybe even post some more photos!).
We are also in negotiations on another temporary space in Reading to be used for exhibitions – the property is currently victim of the economic climate and is in administration but thanks to the jelly’s 16 year love affair with using short term properties and the recent Government public announcement for supporting artists in empty shops we are working towards something fantastic. It will be run like Gallery 10 and will be an exhibition space for many groups and artists in the area. It is 7,00sq ft of space right in the middle of town.
sneaky peek, Floor 2, jelly2 space
The other two buildings are only for 2 weeks and will be used as part of
Changing Reading for the Day: Town Centre Day Friday 29 May 11am – 4pm; Exhibition from 4-5.30pm.
jelly, with the help of Reading artists, will be helping anyone and everyone who wants to become an Artist for the day.
To celebrate 20 years of the Children’s Festival jelly wants to create a town full of artists and artists in the making for the day – it is a hugely ambitious project, with many artists already signed up to help. jelly is providing materials, the expertise and anyone will have the opportunity to be creative. The event is free and will take place in Town Hall Square ~ we are looking to recreate the Freeze exhibition of 1988 and create our own stars of the future, culminating in a mass art exhibition and changing the face of Reading for the day.
The exhibition of works created on the day will take place using the railings around Town Hall Square and the John Soane monument. Alongside this there will be window exhibitions of works by the artists helping us. The works will be housed in 27/28 Market Place (opposite the Post Office) and 173 Friar Street (in Town Hall Square) from Friday 22 May until Friday 5 June inc. All this has been made possible by the generous help and support of Reading artists, Reading people and businesses, including Sainsbury’s, Haslams, Fryer Holt.
Come along and join us on the day and help us Change the face of Reading.