Independent artists in the inner west will soon have another option to display their wares, with ESP Gallery in Marrickville set to open this weekend, alongside the Marrickville Street Festival, with a group show titled Hello, a major group show of contemporary and emerging artists.
A glass sculptor based in the inner west, Mark Wotherspoon is President of ESProjects, an artist-run initiative. Originally from the Edith Street studio (from where ESP derives its name), Mr Wotherspoon said the project had its beginnings over a year and a half ago, when the group formed its art studio in 2006 with assistance from Marrickville Council, including subsidised rent.
“Council had a building available and put it out for commercial use,” he said. “”We’re trying to keep costs as low as possible for artists by passing on our savings to artists. The aim is to create a professional space – in many respects it’s work that wouldn’t be exhibited in other galleries. The ideal is contemporary art, but with all exclusion of commercial imperatives.”
ESProjects is not the only artist-run gallery in Sydney, nor even in the inner west. SNO (Sydney Non Objective) Contemporary Art Projects is likewise located in Marrickville, while firstdraft gallery in Surry Hills was incorporated in 1985 as a non-profit, artist-managed organisation. Mr Wotherspoon regards ESP as unique, however, “in terms of purely being an exhibition space”.
ESP Gallery’s grand opening is on Saturday, September 26, between 6pm and 8pm; all are welcome to attend.