HARDWARE GALLERY , LONDON
1986 – 2003
Memories of a gallery
Hardware Gallery opened in 1986 on Hornsey Road, Islington, London N7; backed by a combination of dynamic artists with the good will & support of the Kelly family.
‘Hardware’ (a former builders merchants, hence the name) opened its doors on a space for works of art on paper, which encompassed printmaking and artist books in the widest sense. A gallery & a bookspace, a place for exhibitions, displays, readings & performance as well as means of distribution for selected publications.
Focusing on innovative contemporary printmaking, the gallery quickly became a meeting point for artists, designers, writers, poets, & musicians on the London art scene. As artists started to experience the ‘new’ technologies of the time, showing digital alongside traditional printmaking was a first for Hardware.
Moving in 1993 to Highgate N6, the opening exhibition proved significant; ‘Threshold’ presented the space as a format for engaging viewers with works in the form of pages between covers; artists’ books open and available to be handled by the public giving time and a reference for the book as primary medium; book works as visual art. ‘Hardware’ also brought about ‘Looking at Words, Reading Pictures, (1994) & ‘Inside Cover’ LPS (2000)
Hardware gallery developed excellent relations with printmakers & clients throughout Europe, USA & Asia; participated many times at Contemporary Print Show Barbican, London Art Fair & Artists Book fairs.
Guiding curator, Déirdre Kelly remembers the real challenge of ‘Hardware’ as the daily face to face experience of presenting art & artists to new public.
digging in the archives
Hardware Gallery – A History
Art North article images cover & 4 Pages