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Exeter is a better place with your presence. Thankyou.

Rachel Cornish, 29 June 2015

Good Luck Spacex!

Sue and Dudley Thomas, 21 May 2015

Spacex has been an enormous source of inspiration offering a really impressive programme of challenging and provoking art curated with intelligence and sensitivity. I’ve learned a lot from exhibitions and have taken part in associated events that have opened up new routes of inquiry, brought disciplines together and sparked ways of thinking that I never would have thought of otherwise. It would be a huge loss for the city, and the south west more widely, if it were to close.

Jos Smith, University of Exeter, 11 February 2015

It is deeply disappointing that Spacex’s bid for ACE National Portfolio funding for 2015-18 was unsuccessful

From my own perspective, the partnership work between Spacex and the Graduate School of Education at the University of Exeter is absolutely invaluable to the quality of our courses and our students could not speak more highly of the experience of learning from gallery staff and artists. It is very difficult to imagine what could possibly replace this work with Spacex.

It would be a monumental shame if Spacex had to shut its doors and deprive a whole wealth of people, including disadvantaged children, the opportunity of learning about, in and through contemporary art.

Dr Emese Hall, Lecturer in Art Education, University of Exeter, 3 February 2015

Creative spaces such as this are vitally important, and help to build a stronger community.

United Through Art, 2 February 2015

Keep on Spacex – we can’t do without you

Simon Ripley, 9 January 2015

It is hard to imagine Exeter without Spacex. This city is already remote and provincial and should not be without a space for new ideas and the presentation of developments in contemporary visual arts. Spacex has an excellent national reputation for its progressive approach to programming including exhibitions in the gallery, offsite and outreach and its outstanding and award winning education programme.

Loosing Spacex would be a tragedy for Exeter and for the South West. A sad loss for the national art scene, Spacex has supported numerous artists in their early careers, artists who are now amongst the most respected artists in the country.

Caroline Mawdsley, 1 January 2015

Spacex is a miniature nugget of cultural treasure that shouldn’t be flushed down the pan. It would be sad to see less art in the southwest!

Nick Moberly, 6 December 2014

I had a show at Spacex in 2013. It was an absolute pleasure to work with such a great gallery: brilliant people and really interesting programme. Also very inclusive and accessible- this was proved in the discussion event held and the attendance on the opening night. It would be a great loss for Spacex to close, funding should continue for this important and thriving venue.

Lucy May, 4 December 2014

Spacex is a very dynamic adaptive organisation. I have experience of Spacex as a visitor, as an art student and as a teacher.

As a visitor I have always enjoyed visiting this space, there is no where like it in Exeter. The exhibitions have been varied, challenging and inspiring and the staff team approachable and supportive to the viewer’s experience.

As an art student I have entered Spacex and been taken down new lines of thought and expression, down the ‘roads we never took’. I also volunteered here and spent time immersed in many an exhibition and had amazing opportunities to meet with the artists and talk about thier work. Spacex was continually builidng on this volunteer and visitor experience.

As a teacher I have had a long and productive relationship with Spacex. Through the Spacex we worked on The Extreme Imagination Featival and the Great Art Quest, which involved amazing multi-sensory workshops and and an opportunity for our students to see thier work in an exhibition at Wimbledon College of Art. Spacex has always worked hard to ensure the varied needs of students are met and the space is a very accessible one.
This is the sort of place that needs to be amplified and invested into, so that future generations benefit from a creative space that has so much to give in so many different ways.

Eleanor Duckworth, 21 November 2014

Spacex has always been a beacon and a champion of visual arts, not only in Exeter but throughout the region. It is an important institution which we are very lucky to have in Exeter
Please do not allow this closure to happen!!!!

John Sealey, 16 November 2014

This would be deeply saddening and disastrous if Spacex were to close. It has staged many many wonderful, intelligent and innovative exhibitions and projects over the years – and runs a fantastic and energetic education programme. I have been fortunate in being involved in Spacex on two occasions – as co-curator of ‘Flock’ (2003) and as a commissioned artist in Topophobia (2012). Both opportunities were richly rewarding and I was hugely impressed by the commitment and drive of the staff at Spacex both times .

Louise K Wilson, 14 November 2014

Spacex is an organisation of strategic importance, not only to Exeter but the south west peninsula. It is the only full time, professionally led independent contemporary visual arts gallery in Exeter. It plays a strategic role for the peninsula and is highly regarded, not only in the south west, but on a national level for its expertise in programming high quality artists. Through my experience of working strategically in the south west for the past 5 years, it is clear how well respected and regarded the institution is. For 40 years the gallery has supported an array of artists of national and international repute and also produced and developed the careers of a host of UK curators and directors such as Tom Trevor and Alex Farquharson. The city and region would be a lesser place without Spacex as would innovation and development in the visual arts.

Dom Jinks, Executive Director at Plymouth Culture

Dom Jinks, 13 November 2014

I was at Spacex from 1994 to 1999, beginning as a volunteer, eventually becoming Exhibitions Director – and even earning a salary!

It was my first role in the art world. We did everything on a shoestring, with incredible goodwill from artists, volunteers and trustees – even random passers-by during installation weeks!
It still amazes me that we did shows for under a grand. Debbie Wood, the Gallery Director, kept the small ship afloat, somehow managing the tightest of cash flows.

I’m incredibly fortunate, at the outset of my career, to have had the opportunity to work with many extraordinary artists. We presented solo exhibitions by Lari Pittman, Gustav Metzger, Gillian Wearing and Gary Hume, for example, as well as a number of “local artists” – Richard Long, Daphne Wright, John Virtue and Susan Derges – whose reputations were far from local.

Pittman’s show was a collaboration with Cornerhouse (I still feel a debt of gratitude to Paul Bayley, its director then), opening at Spacex and travelling to the ICA (both levels) and the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva. Pittman had just been honoured with a retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and his exhibition at Spacex was his first institutional show in Europe – quite a leap of faith on Lari’s part!

My own first forays in group show curating were modest back then – a show called Personal Effects, for example, and Life is Elsewhere (the former featuring Tracy Emin, Yinka Shonibare and Jordan Baseman, amongst others). More ambitious were group exhibitions curated by or with others. For example, Martin McGowen and Toby Webster’s Lovecraft featured a number of now celebrated artists. One half of the exhibition was installed within Martin Creed’s Lights Going On and Off (its debut) and the other within Jim Lambie’s Zobop (only the second time he had made this work). It was curatorially daring.

I remember Matthew Higgs, knowing how small we were, joking that the artist line-up for Etcetera – which Cornelia Grassi and Tommaso Corvi-Mora curated with me – read like the line-up for a Venice Biennale. It opened a few weeks after I moved to Cardiff, to become Exhibitions Director of the “ill-fated” Centre for Visual Arts.

We did this out on a limb, as far as the geography of the art world was concerned. I knew quite a lot about what was going on in art, from reading magazines and visits to London, but was almost completely out of the professional loop.

I think Spacex has always ‘punched above its weight’. Its size and resources are modest, and Exeter and the wider area have been brilliantly served by it. It’s been a real pleasure seeing Spacex thrive under Tom Trevor’s and Nicola Hood’s successive leaderships, and to follow the exciting, different directions they have taken the programme in. Having spent eight years of my life in Exeter, first at the University, later at the gallery, I wish Spacex and all who sail in her the very best for the decades to come.

Alex Farquharson
Director, Nottingham Contemporary

Alex Farquharson, 13 November 2014

Spacex has always been a platform where innovative and imaginative work is created and presented. It has an exemplary education and outreach programme, engaging a wide range of different audiences, with a particular focus on children and young people.

Spacex is a crucial part of the the visual arts ecology in the South West and to lose it would be a tremendous loss for the large numbers of artists, audiences and professionals (local, regional and international) that value and enjoy its work.

Grace Davies, Visual Arts South West, 10 November 2014

The Arts Council current policy to only financially support public institutions and organisations that ‘earn’ their funds through simultaneous active fundraising under the pretence that they (the arts council and the projects they support) are concerned with developing ‘new audiences’ and with increasing the diversity of publics attending those spaces is a smokescreen to distract from this neo-liberal agenda. The reality is that many spaces are expected to choose between adapting to satisfy these requests (increase numbers of diverse audiences AND self fund to receive funding) or don’t satisfy these requests AND self fund anyway.

Does the Arts Council consider that the ongoing individual and collective transformation of current publics and facilitating the potential for these transforming publics to in turn directly effect and co create the type of institutions it wants/needs/supports might not be a strategy it should adopt?

Or are the Arts Council concerned rather with producing increasing numbers of zombie like consumers, creating VIP events for the wealthy and turning curators and artists into schizophrenic producers of limited edition tat (to be bought by people who miss Habitat and wish fashion designers extended their range beyond handbags and perfume) in order to fund their ‘de-materiaised’ projects by ‘socially engaged’ artists. Furthermore this fundraising effectively alienates the politically critical and/or economically disadvantaged amongst the very ‘new and diverse’ publics the Arts council claims publicly to want to attract. Perversely this may be what it really wants to achieve.

Dawn Mellor

Dawn Mellor, 10 November 2014

Arnolfini has enjoyed a long history of working with Spacex, it is an essential part of the cultural ecology of the south west. The dedicated team work with a spirit of generosity and openness that contributes so much to the sector. Its programme brings critical rigour, research and passion in contemporary arts practice which significantly impacts on other cultural institutions and partners. What will the regional cultural sector be if we do not work together to ensure a future for us all?

Helen Davies, 8 November 2014

Exeter needs to keep this space of contemporary art, quality art education and outreach! The creative spaces in Exeter have become less and less over recent years. There use to be an art college, there use to be art supply shops… I really hope I wont be saying “there use to be a Contemporary Art Gallery”.

If Spacex is no more, then where do I take my 10 year old to experience an exciting, creative and educational space? Where do I take my students with special needs to have this unique encounter with artists in an accessible environment? Where does my 18 year old, Art and Design student, go to get inspired and informed?

Emma Allan, 6 November 2014

I sincerely believe that Spacex is an irreplaceable resource and centre of excellence benefiting Exeter and the UK+. It’s history and its future should be valued and continue to be supported by public funding.

Matt Hale, 6 November 2014

The Spacex has always been an innovative and imaginative gallery. It provides access to high quality art education and takes its work into the community, offering a wide range of creative opportunities to diverse groups of young people. I have taken part in a workshop, delivered by the resident artist, with other adults involved in education. We were active participants in a thought provoking experience that has since contributed to my classroom practice. I have also been a contributor working with disadvantaged teenagers who would not normally have access to this sort of provision.
Spacex manages to reach a vast audience through its in- gallery provision, its outreach work and professional development for art educators. Furthermore, it manages all this with very few resources relying, instead, upon the passion and energy of its staff.

And it is threatened with closure…….the world has truly gone mad.

Mick Phelan Nov. 2014

mick phelan, 5 November 2014

I have been visiting Spacex for quite a few years now and am saddened to read that this space is facing possible closure. This is a unique and special place that has inspired me with the various exhibitions and workshops that are organised by the dedicated team who work there. The impression it has left on so many people can not be underestimated. It is places such as this that make Exeter such a great place to visit.

Shelley Phelan, 4 November 2014

Spacex is such an important gallery within the South West and integral to the provision of culture within Exeter and the region. It would be a tragedy and massive oversight if we lost this innovative programme, creating a real void in terms of contemporary art provision.

Hannah Jones, 4 November 2014

I have been aware of the work of Spacex since the late 1980s, and recognised from afar its importance in the network of UK and European regional venues for showing high quality and challenging art. This network is important as a counter weight to the centralising of culture, and in getting new and exciting art work out to different audiences. I have seen many wonderful exhibitions at Spacex since I moved to Devon about a decade ago, and seen Spacex from its base in Exeter, carry the flag for innovative practice in the South West. There are very few venues in the region with Spacex’s track record, a consistency of good quality shows, that are well designed and professionally curated. Their dynamic outreach programme, and regular events for young people, children and other audience groups, means that Spacex makes a very significant contribution to cultural life of Exeter and around. I call on the Arts Council to review their funding decision, and to work with local authorities and other institutions, to continue to support the work of this important regional venue.

Mark Leahy, 4 November 2014

Message from Ava aged 6: “I like everything about Spacex. Once I even made a model of the gallery. Another time I found a woodland on the edge of a moon picture, which was amazing. There is a high roof so that I could throw pretend flowers right up high. Please don’t close Spacex.”

Ava, 4 November 2014

I spent several decades working in the arts in Devon in the 80’s and 90’s, I saw first hand how Spacex has never failed to stimulate, excite and innovate.

Unfortunately arts funding now follows fashion rather than supporting excellent practice, it will be a tragedy for Exeter and Devon if Spacex folds. I am delighted that ECC is continuing it’s support but shame on the Arts Council for even considering this funding withdrawal. Good luck Spacex!

Mark, 2 November 2014

I’ve seen many good exhibitions here over the years (and a few baffling ones, but that’s all to the good). Its given me an excellent education in contemporary art (and I really knew next to nothing before I started going there), and introduced me to some fantastic artists. There is nowhere else like it in Exeter, and very little art of this nature makes it down to this corner of the country. There have been some particularly notable exhibitions over the past year or so – the Soft Estate show was brilliant – so it would be a terrible shame if we lost the Spacex.

Jez Winship, 1 November 2014

There is no logic to the loss of funding that Spacex is facing!
As an artist working in the contemporary field and living the South West it is an invaluable source of critically engaged work that never fails to interest me and get my brain working. Not only is it valuable to Exeter and the South West culturally but to the UK nationally and is an example of high quality innovative curating internationally. A huge achievement when you think of the small number of staff members employed to put the shows together and design great events for the public that educate and intrigue. I can’t believe it does not provide more than value for money to its funders.
I go there to be inspired that artists from the South West are alive and kicking and to see quality contemporary work that we would rarely, if ever get a chance to see otherwise in this region.
When moving Spacex was one of the things on our ‘pro’ list for choosing the area we are now. It is an unusual and beautiful building that shows off the works in their best light. It is wheelchair/pushchair friendly. How many Galleries can claim that? Another reason why it should tick boxes for the Arts Council surely? I and many of my friends and colleagues are gobsmacked, angry and saddened that this is happening. We literally can’t afford to lose Spacex from the South West galleries like this are few and far between.
Juliet Robson

Juliet Robson and Glenn Bryant, 31 October 2014

Artists need this space, Exeter needs this space and the South-West needs this space. Please think again!

Whitney-Anne Baker, 31 October 2014

I only discovered Spacex three years ago but during this period it has delivered a terrifically varied programme of contemporary art. This has included: Topophobia, Katy Dove, Laura White, John Court, Michael Samuels, Bettina Buck and Marie Lund, Lisa Watts and Lucy May, Edward Chell, Mathew Sawyer and, most recently, Phil Root and Scott King. Alongside this it has provided an art programme working with both kids and with adults. Highlights for me included the Picnic at Hanging Rock ‘missing scenes’ showing, a book workshop with Maddie Pethick and photography events with Dodo Photo and El Busta. I’ve been lucky enough to contribute as a volunteer during this period, while starting a fine art degree at Exeter College. If Spacex were to close there would be no venue in Exeter showing contemporary art which is recognised nationally and, often, in Europe and beyond. This would be bad news for Exeter and for anyone with an interest in contemporary art in the South West. Please support Spacex in its fight to continue delivering high quality cutting-edge art in our region.

Steve Brown, 31 October 2014

My daughter (7 years old) and I love art. We enjoy going to Spacex and taking part in various activities that stimulates our creativity and expands our imagination. The staff are friendly and fabulous which makes learning fun and enjoyable.

We wish that Spacex will be able to continue to open its doors to artists and the public despite the cut in its funding.

Fen Yee Teng, 30 October 2014

Don’t close spacex… the south west needs to compete in the contemporary art world as much as anyone else.

Jordan Searle, 27 October 2014

I had the pleasure to show at Spacex together with Marie Lund in 2013. This was an incredibly positive experience and I can only reiterate what I have said many times since then that Nicola, Malcolm, Rowan and the rest of the team were so professional, supportive and generous throughout the time we worked together. I’m therefore really shocked to hear that they have lost their funding from the Arts Council! And don’t understand how such an important contemporary art space for Exeter could be in danger of closing!

Bettina Buck, 27 October 2014

We need art; it makes imagination grow!

Liz Farrelly, 27 October 2014

As an artist I was participating in the Topophobia exhibition in Spacex. I was delighted by the highly professional work and support of the team and the great visual and contextual outcome of the exhibition. Spacex needs to be supported in future to be able to continue doing such excellent work for artists, curators and the audience.
Matthias Einhoff, artist + director of ZK/U, Berlin.

Matthias Einhoff, 23 October 2014

We were privileged to work with Spacex in the summer of 2012 as one of the host venues of our touring exhibition TOPOPHOBIA. Spacex provided exemplary curatorial, technical and audience access support – they secured a preview in the Guardian Guide and a thoughtful review analysis in Frieze magazine online, worked with us to make videos linked to their website to introduce the themes of the exhibition and asked the participating artists for reading suggestions which they sourced for the visitor reading area. They put huge amounts of rigorous thought and energy in making the exhibition accessible to a wide audience in a rich variety of ways. Spacex hosted the second TOPOPHOBIA commission selecting Louise K Wilson who worked with local people’s responses to Peter Weir’s film ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’, engaging with memory, fiction, cinema and subjective responses to the uncanny of landscape. The participatory process culminated in a special public screening event ‘Missing Scenes – An evening at Hanging Rock’ at the Exeter Phoenix.

Related workshops/events included ‘Nests Dens and Corners Project’ with a group of families from the West Exe Childrens’ Centre Family Support Group through den-making, story telling and trips to the exhibition and to the woods; a ‘Contact Mic Making Workshop’ led by Louise K Wilson, which gave particpants an insight into her practice and the opportunity to learn new skills; Spacex’s core Education programme also delivered formal education projects around the exhibition with Ladysmith Junior school after school photography club and two sessions with West Exe Children’s Centre.

It will be a travesty if an organisation of this quality with its exemplary exhibition, events and education programming and delivery is allowed to close. The arts at Spacex provide us with access to new subjectivities, enable us to view and think the world differently and provides diverse audiences with access to their own creativity. Spacex must be kept open.

Anne Eggebert, 23 October 2014

Spacex has been an absolutely vital platform for new works by emerging artists, and has been a place that has kept on giving for 40 years. It’s given artists opportunities, it’s given audiences new experiences, it’s given a regional city an international outlook, and, speaking from my part, as Director of Film and Video Umbrella, it’s given organisations like ours invaluable partnership support in the delicate process of developing new projects. It’s deeply saddening (and horribly short-sighted) that all that could be taken away. Pledge your support! If you see a space, put an X in it!

Steven Bode
Film and Video Umbrella

Steven Bode, 23 October 2014

Tim Bowditch and I had the pleasure of exhibiting at Spacex in 2014 as part of Edward Chell’s Soft Estate’s exhibition. A vital space for Exeter with a fantastic team at the helm, please support them.

Nick Rochowski, 20 October 2014

Very sad to hear Spacex has lost its funding. Had the pleasure of exhibiting here earlier this year. It was an amazing experience with amazing support from an excellent team.

Tim Bowditch, 20 October 2014

Sad to hear the Arts Council funding has been cut to this small but valuable gallery and art space. I have very much enjoyed the shows it has put on, and the intellectual rigour behind its curating, this is as rare in the south west as it is anywhere else. I have found it a very special and inspiring place. All that is new isn’t necessarily good, Spacex has shown some of the best of the new and deserves your support.

Nigel Ayers, 19 October 2014

Spacex has always been a vital link with national and international contemporary artists and their practice.

It has contributed hugely in opening up the South West to current thinking, debate and shifts in contemporary practice as they are happening, and, should be supported to continue its role in bringing this material, first hand, to the public, both young and old.

It has always been in the handful of galleries across the UK which are in the vanguard of putting the best and newest work into the public domain.

Chinks Grylls, 18 October 2014

The West Country needs every art centre that currently exists.
Spacex has been pioneering the arts for many years and opening up the arts for families/children in particular.

It is a venue I always visit on my frequent trips to Exeter from Bristol.

Tony Eastman, 17 October 2014

Spacex must not be allowed to close its doors to contemporary art. It is one of the very few major public contemporary arts venues in the area and has served both the arts community and wider public so well over the years with an excellent program of exhibitions and an extremely well integrated education program. The team are second to none. The gallery has a really unique knack of reaching out to its public and has a very long history of doing so. To think that such a regional cultural jewel can be so easily crushed when the benefits it brings to the community both regionally and nationally are of such high quality are beyond belief. My sincere wish is for Spacex to survive and to further prosper.

Edward Chell, 17 October 2014

Spacex…the place to go when you want to see something refreshing.
Exhibitions are always surprising. Artworks are bringing something special to your mind and a lot to think about. It can be straight forward to look at what is on display. However…it happened that a second or even a third visit was necessary to understand what the artist was after.
Spacex is not just a gallery or an art space but also a hub for everyone to learn about contemporary arts. There are talks, installations, workshops and even regular breakfasts to interact and exchange idea about creative ideas.

It would be a shame to see this small & cosy artspace disappear from Exeter cultural scene. What else would be left?

Laurent, 17 October 2014

Spacex is a fantastic gallery run by a knowledgeable and dedicated team, the region will lose a gem if it cannot keep it’s doors open. Galleries like this need to be supported by everyone.

Dan Lamont, 15 October 2014

Spacex is a major cultural institution in the city. While raising two children (now 18 and 20), Spacex was a special place, providing them with learning opportunities that began with family activities and Saturday Art Club sessions and have continued during my daughter’s current study for a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. I am sorry if the children who are growing up in the city and its environs (and the adults!) now won’t have the same opportunities to access the challenging work and ideas explored there.

Johanna Korndorfer, 15 October 2014

What can I possibly add to these comments of support? I would only be repeating what has already been said…
After art school my first experience of studio practice was at Spacex, taking on a studio from devon-based architect Nick Scott (a family friend who also designed the playful ‘umbrella extension’ at Spacex in 1995). Nick’s grandfather was also an architect, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who among many other iconic buildings designed the Power Station building which many years later was transformed into Tate Modern. I remember watching the opening party of Tate Modern on the TV, and sure enough there was Nick, dancing away. So I think that’s what I’d like to add here: the regional, national, and international art world is inextricably interconnected. Undeniably so. When its roots are cut the reverberations of this will be felt throughout the whole. (the current government is blind)

Sam Treadaway, 15 October 2014

Spacex has been a part of my life from an early age, having grown up in Exeter. It has always been an inspiring and creative space offering brilliant contemporary art. It has supported my two jobs – at Exeter College, offering students talks and workshops with artists, which has given them a tangible experience and engagement with practising artists. Also, Spacex has been a fantastic link for my own small independent shop/workshop in Exeter, helping us run accessible workshops for children and adults at an affordable cost. There is a real lack of things for the public to access for free in Exeter and Spacex in invaluable, allowing everyone to take part, from students to independent shops owners, children to vulnerable adults. I fully support Spacex as they are able to give so much to such a wide range of people!

Laurel, 15 October 2014

Spacex is a vibrant and exciting gallery with great programming. It has been fundamental in inspiring me in my arts practice and provided me with context, substance, intrigue, excitement and drive as an art student and beyond. I cannot believe it is threatened with closure. It is a stunning space which has showcased stunning art. Please please support Spacex!

Kim Pilgrim, 14 October 2014

I am very sorry to hear of the funding problems Spacex is facing. Over the years Spacex has made an outstanding contribution, and I hope it can continue to do so.

Professor Murdo Macdonald, 14 October 2014

My experiences of Spacex have been nothing but positive, I had a great time working with the team on my recent exhibition and the feedback I have had for the show has been phenomenal. Everyone there was extremely helpful in planning and installing the exhibition and their knowledge and enthusiasm is unsurpassed by any other organisation or gallery I have worked with. Spacex is a truly unique space and it is so important to have such a respected, nurturing and experimental gallery in the South West of England.

Phil Root, 14 October 2014

Spacex is by far my favorite art gallery. The exhibitions here rival anything I’ve seen elsewhere. This is because Spacex endeavour to bring the very best in quality and contemporary art. There has never been a boring show that I have seen.

The space offers a contemplative environment that is invaluable to Exeter and the south west. There is no place better to gather your thoughts and solve a creative problem. It has always been a sanctuary for when you need perspective and quiet. I must stay open!!

Adam Garratt, 14 October 2014

Spacex has inspired huge numbers of children, young people and adults to love contemporary art. Spacex has inspired me.
Spacex is a vital platform for the imaginative wanderings and critical questioning that enables us to live fully and engage with our world. It is a unique lens through which to view and question ourselves in challenging times.

I would be devastated if Spacex were allowed to close.

Catherine Cartwright, 14 October 2014

I am an artist and have exhibited my work at Spacex. That experience was one of the most pleasant and rewarding of my career. The gallery spaces were of the highest quality, the staff were conscientious, hard working and welcoming, and the benefit to my career of showing at a gallery with such a high profile and reputation for high quality exhibitions was huge. I support all efforts to secure the future of the gallery and urge that the arts community in Exeter, the south west and nationally also support this.

Paul Rooney, 14 October 2014

Spacex is an invaluable gallery for the region and nationally. It has always been critical in reflecting contemporary work and a significant platform for an artists career. Without Spacex the region will lose an important asset that for generations has pioneered new thinking about contemporary art. Be it a small organization it has an incredible impact on the artist community driving and leading new experiences of art. The education programme has been paramount to engaging people across all ages, and does engage new audiences with the visual arts. If it closes there will be nothing between Bristol and Plymouth, do other regions experience this lack of foresight! If you reduce the capacity of the visual arts it is a definite sign to the community of how it is undervalued and understood.

Paula Orrell, 14 October 2014

Spacex is an exemplary gallery for the showcasing of world class contemporary art in all disciplines, and is an essential part of the arts landscape, not only for the city of Exeter, but for all of the South West of England.

Jem Legh, 13 October 2014

Spacex is a crucial space for local students to experience contemporary art – we need it to inspire the next generation of artists, but also future architects, designers and innovators. You won’t miss what they didn’t create but your life will be less joyful.

Marie-Claire Adams, 13 October 2014

Spacex is an exciting, engaging and thought provoking art gallery for those living in Exeter and beyond. A national cultural landmark and a unique educational space would be lost if it would be forced to close due to lack of ACE funding. I cross all fingers and toes as this is a real threat which ought not happen.
Julia Harris, Cultural flaneur, October 13, Brighton

Julia Harris, 13 October 2014

Spacex puts Exeter on the contemporary art map, without which the city would be a poorer place. It has a long held a well earned international reputation in visual arts and has a breadth of knowledge and interest in artists’ and their practices which is a joy to be amongst.
Blast Theory presented a 20 year mid-career exhibition at Spacex in 2011 called Blast Theory Bless Practice which was the culmination of years of support by Spacex and Nicola Hood. Spacex is a forward thinking space that takes in the international, the national and the local. They are critically engaged working with artists’ and thematics, that are relevant for current audiences. It is both a totally supportive and ambitious environment to present work in and to experience work as an audience.
It is shocking to know that the gallery is under threat of closure. This would be a tremendous loss for the cultural sector in the region and how the region is perceived nationally and internationally. This would be a tremendous loss for artists as it is an outstanding example of good practice between galleries and artists’. This would be a tremendous loss of us, the public, as it is a place where contemporary art can be visited and engaged with in an intelligent manner and at a manageable scale.

Ju Row Farr, 13 October 2014

I’ve donated to Spacex because it is a small, independent and vital voice for Exeter and the South West. I want to support the team who run Spacex and reassure you that – even if times seem hard – there is a wide community of people across the UK and beyond who value what you do. Stay strong and best of luck for the future.

Matt Adams, 13 October 2014

It would be a crying shame for Spacex to close after such a long history of bringing innovative contemporary art and education programmes to Exeter. I hope you can keep it going.

Sanna Moore, Head of Contemporary Programmes, Towner, 13 October 2014

Before moving here with my family nearly a decade ago, Exeter was the city where Spacex was. Well known and respected far beyond the city and the region it has served for 40 years, it has remained a beacon of quality, consistency and integrity. What we found here was a small, dedicated team, in a great space, delivering a sophisticated mixture of thoughtful and challenging contemporary art, and creative learning opportunities for adults and (my) children alike.

Professionally speaking, as a colleague now working at another visual arts organisation in Exeter, we stand to lose a valuable part of Exeter’s creative network, one that helps form the cultural ecology of the city and the wider region; one that lends it a plurality of voices, ideas, partnerships and strategies. Its loss of core funding is undoubtedly an act of mindless bureaucratic vandalism at a time when contemporary visual arts are reaching more people than ever before.

What could be lost here would be nigh on impossible to replace and, as a result, Exeter would be a far poorer place for all of us to live, work and visit.

Matt Burrows (Curator, Exeter Phoenix)

Matt Burrows, 13 October 2014

It is a shocking and sad news to hear that Spacex may close due to lack of funding. It would be a great loss for Exeter and the rest of the UK, what an interesting programme throughout the years. I had a the pleasure to work with them back in 2011, which left me with lots of fond memories. I really hope it will not happen!

Salvatore Arancio, 13 October 2014

I am a contemporary art curator and visit the SW often. I studied curating at the Royal College of Art over ten years ago which is when I first became aware of the amazing programme at Spacex. It is somewhere I have followed (if not always making it to the exhibitions) and emulated in its rigourous and interesting programme over the years. It has supported artists at critical points of their career and the need for small public spaces that can support solo exhibitions is imperative for arts of the UK as a whole. The series of incredible curators (of which it has launched some amazing careers) and their programmes have filled an important space in the UK’s arts ecology. Having curated a four-venue exhibition in Plymouth in 2012, curated two exhibitions at Newlyn Art Gallery, judged the Exeter Contemporary Open 2013 and given a talk at Spacex, I feel I know the area well and what there is to offer. If Spacex is under threat then it is a threat to the whole of the SW arts and artists. It is a serious, critical, exemplary space and physically sits in an otherwise near-barren geographical area (excluding the great work of Matt Burrows at Phoenix). Do not let this space close.

Eliza Gluckman (Day+Gluckman), 13 October 2014

It’s astonishing that such a vital, enriching and central gallery stands to lose funding… Having reached out to so many -across divides; and to have been so successful.
I hope a solution can be found.

Francesca Adkins, 13 October 2014

spacex is critical to the ongoing dialogue around art and technology. it deserves support.

vivienne gaskin, 13 October 2014

Adding my support….. but is this campaign not too passive and too late? Could we do more to protest this closure? What is the real agenda of ACE south west, and ultimately will only participatory arts be left funded?

Alex Hartley, 13 October 2014

It seems a shame that I even need to add a comment of support here.

Spacex shouldn’t close, nor lose funding.

They were the first to use the print service I set up when I moved to Exeter in 2011 (run from my rented flat on a wish and a prayer) and have been supportive of my work ever since then.

They’re a great team and they give alot to the different communities of Exeter through their outreach and varied exhibition programme.

I’m only writing this to show I support Spacex, other than that I don’t feel writing these words does any of what they give to Exeter justice, but if it helps the cause then I’ll do my bit.

Nick Davies, 13 October 2014

I am shocked and dismayed to hear that Spacex may be forced to permanently close its doors. It provides an essential platform for emerging contemporary art outside of the capital and, for a relatively small organisation, the breadth and quality of its programming is consistently impressive. As a vital player in the local and regional arts ecology it cannot be right that it’s future should be in question. We have seen too many regional arts centres close their doors in recent years – Spacex MUST be saved.

David Trigg, art critic, Bristol, 13 October 2014

I was invited to conduct an in conversation with artist Katy Dove during her excellent 2012 exhibition at Spacex. I also showed work here early in my artistic career. Working as an artist, curator and academic I can see that reinvestment in galleries like Spacex is vital for the future of visual arts across the country. Not only should its future be secured, but also the opportunity to expand and reinvent itself, continually, needs to be part of its contract with local, national and international audiences. I wish the team at Spacex every success with their development plans.

Andrew Bick, 13 October 2014

We’re extremely concerned that ACE funding has been withdrawn from Spacex. One of the first outward-facing, self-created arts facilities in Britain (1974), Spacex is a vital resource in the southern region of the South West. It’s an unusual and inspiring space for artists to present work in and visitors to experience and participate in a range of arts activity.
Arts Council England please re-consider!

Novvy and Bruce Allan, 13 October 2014

Devon would have a different cultural landscape without Spacex. Art is long, life is short!

Adam John Green, 12 October 2014

I couldn’t believe the news that Spacex’s future is under threat. I’ve known Spacex since 1974 when it occupied a tiny space at the corner of Bradnich Place. It was the only contemporary arts space in the City and so vital to the students and artistic community of East Devon! Who would have thought then that Spacex would have developed such a strong profile nationally and internationally over 40 years – it can’t be that Spacex is allowed to disappear – it’s tragic!

Ann Jones CPCC
ArtProjects and Solutions

Ann Jones, 11 October 2014

Spacex is Exeter’s hidden gem! It provides a welcoming and inspiring creative environment to see the latest in Contemporary Art and provides an opportunity to engage with people through educational projects, social breakfasts and twilight sessions. It reaches out to people who otherwise might not have the chance to access and talk about art which, of course, is invaluable. As someone who has been lucky enough to work at Spacex and as a visitor, I am dismayed at the thought that this vital gallery may be lost, it would be a massive loss for Exeter and the South West. Keep fighting Spacex and let me know if I can assist in anyway.

Hannah Toohill, 11 October 2014

Ever since moving to the West Country in the mid 90s I’ve been visiting Spacex shows, which have always provided inspiration and provoked thought. They have also provided an important platform for both emerging and established artists. The gallery’s education programme has also given the opportunity for people of all ages to engage with contemporary art. The closure of Spacex would be a real loss to the region.

Tony Whitehead, 11 October 2014

I volunteered as a gallery assistant at Spacex whilst I was studying Art and Design at Exeter College. As well as being able to see some amazing exhibitions in the town where I lived I learnt about how artists work with galleries. Spacex gave me the opportunity to be involved in many aspects of gallery work from the install to the education programme.

All of these experiences have had a direct impact on my own choices, I am now in my second year studying Fine Art Sculpture at Wimbledon College of Art. Without Spacex I would have a very different understanding of what and how I wanted to study.

I can’t imagine Exeter without Spacex and how different it would be to be an art student that did not have access to all it provides. SPACEX MUST NOT GO!

Lily Myers, student, Wimbledon College of Art

Lily Myers,, 10 October 2014

Spacex is a vital oasis in Exeter. To lose it would be an irredeemable loss to the South West. It’s exemplary education programme has engaged many thousands of young people across the region, igniting the understanding of the importance of art as a life-long curiosity and pleasure. Its place in the arts ecology of Exeter is of inestimable value. Am happy to help in any way I can.

Amy Shelton, 10 October 2014

Art is so important to the community, to learning, to knowledge…

Jessica Rickword, 9 October 2014

Contemporary visual art has suffered disproportionate loses over the past few years in the southwest, with the closure of incredible organisations such as Picture This and Media Art Bath to name but two. To this end, I was extremely shocked and disappointed to hear that Spacex had lost its national portfolio status and is now under threat of closure. As someone who studied and worked in the arts in the South West region for over a decade, I have greatly admired it’s consistent strength of programming, attending many of it’s exhibitions over the years. I view it as one of the most exciting gallery spaces, throughout southern England, with a genuinely unique cultural ambience. Thank you for showing me the work of William Kentridge (many moons ago!) and other amazing and politically charged artists, whose powerful messages and images never leave me. The south west art ‘ecology’ will simply cease to exist if we continue to allow for the dismantling of it’s most vibrant and vital members. We need Spacex!

Kat Anderson, 9 October 2014

I was shocked at the ACE decision to cut Spacex from the NPO list earlier this year. The gallery has unfailingly delivered challenging and engaging projects and exhibitions to it broad audience within Exeter, and across the SW region, since it opened.

Since graduating from my MA in 2003 I have looked to Spacex as a marker of critically engaged contemporary practice in our region. I cannot imagine the impact of it’s loss to a region that has a number of permanent contemporary spaces that you can count on one hand.

Working with Spacex myself last year was an enriching and positive experience. It was obvious from the positive response we had to a public call our for participants that the gallery is respected and appreciated locally.

Spacex, with it’s generous and open approach and attitude, gives something irreplaceable to the public of critically engaged contemporary art. The South West will be poorer without it. In not realising this ACE have only demonstrated their lack of understanding of the region, and the visual art sector.

Sovay Berriman, 9 October 2014

It was with dismay that I – and many others connected in some way to Spacex – the SouthWest – heard that the gallery had lost its NPO support from Arts Council England. It seems so short-sighted for many reasons, some of which I have listed below:

Spacex is a beautiful space, offering a high quality programme of contemporary art to Exeter

Its reach is varied, with audiences coming from across the South West, including Bristol, Plymouth and Southampton.

It has grown a reputation for high quality work with a range of different audiences

The team at Spacex is great, full of energy and commitment – its small size means everyone works together really well, sharing knowledge and working towards the same vision (this is quite rare in the artworld)

The Board at Spacex is also supportive and knowledgeable, again fully committed to the work of the gallery.

As lightsgoingon, I worked with the team as part of the Visitor Experience programme, helping them with a new look at the space and their welcome. I believe with regular funding, that the work they do can extend into the city, and enable the gallery to form partnerships with others in the South West. It seems a terrible loss for everyone, and I hope there is some way in which the gallery can continue.

Gill Nicol, 9 October 2014

I hope you find a way to keep going. Spacex has been, and can be in the future, a place of national importance for visual art. Exeter would be a poorer place without you

David Lockwood, 8 October 2014

Please don’t take this down!

Rachel Hawkins, 8 October 2014

Spacex has perhaps been the the most important, consistent, original and innovative creative space in my life so far. I first went through the big black doors with the little gold ring pull when I was 5 days old. Some of my greatest memories lie within the gallery walls, almost preserved within the countless layers of white emulsion. Among many other things, I can remember racing around the 1997 Richard Long exhibition and 10 years later the vision of a brave He Yun Chang emerging on to Preston street with his stone. The sad thing is that, since moving to London (to study fine art at Chelsea College of Art) and now to Scotland (To continue on an MFA at Glasgow school of Art) my family have vacated Exeter and this is probably the only home I’ve got there now. Don’t let this vitally important gallery go to waste.

Sam Cook, 8 October 2014

Art is fundamental to what it is to be human. Don’t cut it!

Caomhan, 8 October 2014

Spacex is a quintessential to Contemporary Art, locally, nationally and internationally. It supports artists in many different ways, and has developed a innovative social practice projects programming strand through it’s education and community work. I was delighted to take part in the residency Random Acts of Art where i developed my social portraiture work which later went on to present in different guises at The Whitechapel Gallery and Southbank Centre. Spacex inviting me to be part of that residency had a big part to play in enabling those opportunities and exhibitions to happen. Just as Spacex is quintessential to Contemporary Art locally, nationally and internationally, it is essential that Spacex survives.

LadyLucy, 8 October 2014

SPACEX Gallery has been integral to the development of critical understanding and knowledge of art practices in this region for four decades. The gallery has mounted exhibitions which have maintained a consistently high quality of experimentation and presentation across a wide range of arts’ media, establishing its position nationally and internationally. It has housed generations of art students and artists in its studio spaces and served to generate timely and urgent discussions concerning issues which very often have not been anticipated by other similar arts organisations. SPACEX is still a cutting edge gallery, against considerable odds and continues to maintain an essential position in arts provision in the region. It would prove an irredeemable loss were SPACEX to fold through lack of funding.

Katy Macleod, 8 October 2014

I’m very sorry to hear of the threat facing Spacex. It is a fantastic gallery serving an area which has already experienced significant cuts to its arts budget. Spacex support artists both locally and nationally at all stages of their careers. I was lucky enough to be involved in an event at Spacex early on in my own curatorial career and was very impressed with the commitment of the staff, volunteers and the level of engagement in the audiences, all testament to the importance of this contemporary art venue to Exeter and beyond. Save Spacex!!

Sarah Carrington, 8 October 2014

Hi Guys, sorry to hear about this, let me know what I can do ?? don’t have available funds but may be able to help with fundraising stuff!!
Good luck

Ruth xx

ruth carter, 8 October 2014

Spacex has offered me cultural and contemporary creative experience, valued not only by myself but many of the people in Exeter & beyond, particularly to children and young people with their direct experiences through the hands-on practical workshops that’s been a big part of what Spacex has continuously offered over the years.

Ivor Uglow

Ivor Uglow, 7 October 2014

I have visited Spacex many times over the years for exhibitions that are always fresh & interesting. Spacex is a unique place where we can be introduced to contemporary artists & feel a part of our thriving art world, national & international. I brought along my daughter, other family members, friends & then my grandchildren. We have joined in the social workshops, meeting enthusiastic people, staff & visitors, learned skills. As a volunteer at the reception desk, I saw first hand how integrated Spacex is in the local community, involving local children, schools in educational projects as well as adults. After forty years of promoting the arts it is important to Exeter and the South West that Spacex continues to enhance the wellbeing of local residents & visitors alike.

Joy Uglow

Joy Uglow, 7 October 2014

I worked at Spacex for nearly 4 years as Exhibitions & Marketing Officer between 2006 and 2009. Spacex is the only contemporary public art gallery of its kind in the South West delivering the most exciting and leading contemporary art exhibitions, as well as the best education programme. I cannot believe that after decades of amazing programming & excellent curation of exhibitions and the kind of work that has been on offer to audiences that funding would be cut for this organisation. How can decades of dedicated work and commitment and an institution that should be supported and championed in the south west and nationally just be let down by funding cuts. Spacex has supported many young artists in their careers, giving them their first major shows, it has brought artists to the UK – International artists that people would not otherwise get the chance to see. What about culture? What about the dedicated team who have worked so, so hard? Spacex cannot close, once it has gone, its gone and that cannot be allowed to happen. This is symptomatic of Tory policies, cutting what they think is not important, not realising that art, ideas, education are vital and life changing.

I hope that you get the funding you need – let me know if you want me to chain myself to the railings or hassle some men in suits, let me loose on them!

Mandy Barber

Mandy Barber, 7 October 2014

This space must stay to ensure access to Visual Arts is possible for this region – save Spacex…

Alice cabanas, 7 October 2014

In a time of austerity (especially in the arts) my exhibition at Spacex in 2013 proved that the workers at the gallery are intelligent in their curation and engagement with their audiences. The gallery staff presented my art titled, Skittish, which involved a difficult, but impacting art form, performance, as well as an important, but precarious aspect of art, the artistic process. This art form and aspect of visual art can be scary for some curators to curate and so it requires certain experiences and intelligence to display them in a white cube space. The team at Spacex were eager to present the performance work and the work in progress and communicated well with each other to understand my art practice and then in turn they became very supportive to my art exhibition. The gallery team also fully understood their audiences and produced a large wide range of educational workshops and events which turned up some surprising art works from the participants because the participants had become very involved in my art.

I am sad to hear that Spacex has lost its funding, because it was one of the few galleries that presents performance and experimentation in art in such an intelligent manner. Surely there is a way for a gallery like Spacex of such a great reputation to continue.

Lisa Watts, artist, 7 October 2014

Spacex is an incredible organisation, that should be supported to continue its ground breaking work. As both an artist who has been commissioned by Spacex and as someone who participates in their programme I very much value the work that Spacex does.

Spacex is unique in the ways that it commission works across a strata of art practices from a confident position. Their work has contributed much to the fields of participatory and digital art through projects, exhibitions, workshops and print/text. It is important to invest in Spacex and the amazing staff so that they can continue their contribution to the regional and national creative ecology.

Helen Pritchard, Artist//Researcher, Goldsmiths, University of London

Helen Pritchard, 7 October 2014

It would be a great shame for an important organisation like Spacex to disappear for lack of funding. In my experience it is the small – medium publicly funded spaces that support and enable the most important developmental years of artists’ and curators’ careers, and without spaces such as Spacex, access is limited to large-scale museums, with ‘blockbuster’ programming, private initiatives, and commercial galleries. Organisations such as Spacex are also vital for their locations, and there is a large area of the country Spacex is responsible to.

Regardless of how global and international the art world is, each organisation and its programme is responsible locally. I learnt a great deal about both the British and Devon art landscape through my experience at Spacex. I met young curators who I have maintained professional relationships with, and the artist I was at Spacex to support – Shaun Gladwell – had his work introduced to the audience in greater depth, which has certainly affected his career in a very positive way.

I hope you are able to raise the necessary funds to sustain Spacex into the future. It would be great loss for such an important organisation to be neglected by the Arts Council.

Very best wishes,

Tania Doropoulos, Director of Exhibitions, Timothy Taylor Gallery, 7 October 2014

Save Spacex! We need to keep places like this,

Elaine TUKE, 7 October 2014

Spacex is a really important place in Exeter. For me, it gave me the opportunity to begin my career in marketing in the arts. I’m now responsible for digital marketing at the National Trust across the South West. That’s just one story of Spacex giving the key opportunity to a person, but there’s so many more; of artists with their first show, parents with a place to meet others at workshops, creative breakfasts for people to meet like-minded folk and more…
All this good work will be lost if Spacex closes.

Claire Bryden, 6 October 2014

I was shocked and saddened to hear about the threatened closure of Spacex.
Spacex is an important art space in Exeter and the South West. I can’t thank them enough for their exciting, thought provoking and sometimes challenging exhibitions. For me, Spacex has been a vital resource and stimulation and a great support for my personal practice.
The closure of Spacex would be a great loss for the visual arts in the South West and the city of Exeter. So, please, keep it open!

Bettina Amtag, 6 October 2014

This is truly a crying shame. I was commissioned by SpaceX to do a solo show called Vitruvian and the level of understanding, support and care that was shown towards me by all the staff in the gallery was incredible and humbling. At the time Nicola Hood was the director and the gallery was consistently showing fantastic work by national and international artists along with a fantastic education program. Please don’t let this space close as it is an important gallery for the whole of the region and beyond.

Jordan McKenzie, 6 October 2014

This is very sad news. I had the opportunity to work with Spacex in 2012 and present a solo exhibition. It was an extremely fulfilling experience to work with a public gallery with such a deep commitment to the artists they work with and their surrounding community. Also working with Nicola, Malcolm and Rowan and the rest of the team was such a pleasurable and professional experience. I really do hope this is not the end

Michael Samuels, 6 October 2014

Don’t let them close Spacex. They’re doing a fantastic job.

Scott King, 6 October 2014

As a past exhibitor at Spacex, I would like to commend Spacex for its policy of supporting up and coming artists both Nationally and Internationally. Spacex has, for many years, had the vision to spot and enhance the young artists career by offering a themed,group or individual exhibition and this has happened over decades providing an invaluable opportunity to artists.
If, funding were to cease to Spacex, you would be destroying a very valuable cultural jewel, which is recognised all over Europe.I urge your funding body to provide a creative solution that can find a forward for Spacex and to consolidate its unique contribution to your community.

Stephen Cooper Artist/lecturer Winchester School of Art.

Stephen Cooper, 6 October 2014

I enjoy visiting Exeter – and Spacex is the reason I travel three hours to get there.

David Barrett, 6 October 2014

It is a shame that after 40 years of continual frontier journeys your space is at a difficult mountain to climb after having your ropes that brought many together being taken away. I believe this is the current problem with many organisations up and down the country, particularly after seeing what happened to the Brewhouse in Taunton where I currently practice. I hope you will continue and find a way. Together we can forge ahead into new directions with new rope that we have to make together in these trying times.

Adam Grose, 6 October 2014

Not only is Spacex an exhibition space but it also a learning centre for adults and children. It provides valuable training that supplements any teaching provided by schools and other establishments.
Therefore it is essential that Spacex continues to receive funding from many sources and is not reliant on Exeter City Council funding and donations.
I am very grateful to the Spacex staff (past and present) and the various artists for the opportunity to see so many ‘different’ exhibitions.
Long may Spacex continue especially as the only other establishment offering similar activities is the Phoenix Arts Centre.
My only regret is that I cannot pledge any financial support.

Joe Loxton, 5 October 2014

I believe Spacex is an incredible cultural organisation. Not only is the artistic programme consistently dynamic and progressive, the level of interaction within the community is genuinely outstanding. Spacex is committed to obtaining only the highest level of cultural value for members of the public. A team of professional and dedicated staff ensure delivery is always executed to an excellent standard, yet they don’t stop there as they are always eager to constantly develop, engage and seek to better the organisation. It would be a bitter loss not to have Spacex exist for too many reasons to count.

For me the time I worked at Spacex was such a sincerely profound experience- I met colleagues and artists who have had a huge, positive impact in my life and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity. With a background in philosophy and teaching, and a passion for art, in a relatively short period I was able to develop amazing projects that consisted of in-depth action research with schools, artist and teacher training, and exciting curatorial programming. It didn’t stop there either as I was also encouraged to develop professionally within an inspiring network of other gallery educators- which saw me presenting at national events and visiting galleries in Europe. Every moment I spent at Spacex was hugely worthwhile and so positive. Spacex has provided not just me but many other people with fantastic experiences and memories, thank you to all!

Nia Thrope-McFall, 4 October 2014

Spacex is one of the most important platforms for emerging contemporary art in the UK. It has a strong international profile that also enables it to attract significant artists from abroad, often presenting their work in this country for the first time. The education and outreach programme is exemplary, engaging a wide range of different audiences, with a special focus on children and young people. Spacex is a vital part of the local, regional and national visual arts ecology.

Tom Trevor, curator, 4 October 2014

I had a solo exhibition at Spacex in 2012/13. After a number of stimulating conversations with Nicola Hood in my studio I developed a new body of work that responded to the two contrasting spaces in the gallery. The supportive environment that was created around my exhibition was everything and more that an artist is looking for – time to plan, support that came through the amazing team that works at Spacex, from the marketing and the technical support to the raising of funds and implementing the infrastructure for the show, such as events, talks and education. This highly professional environment made me feel valued and respected as a professional artist and researcher and created the space both physically and psychologically to extend my practice, which from my experience is a rare situation. It is unique galleries like Spacex that artists yearn to work with – it takes art seriously and is vital in the national art landscape of this country.

Laura White, artist, 3 October 2014

closure of Spacex cannot be allowed to happen

Deborah Smith, 3 October 2014

spacex is an important part of the south west’ artistic ecology – losing more spaces to public cuts is short sighted and will be regretted in the near future when the cultural fabric of the south west will be damaged beyond repair.

Hannah James, 2 October 2014

I owe a huge debt to Spacex in giving me the skills and experience to progress on my current career path – which I LOVE – so Thank You Spacex and all the brilliant people that have worked there and do still! You are an oasis of inspiration and I just can’t imagine you not being in Exeter. Fingers crossed I’m not alone.

Anna, 2 October 2014

Please keep the space x going !!!!

matthew diffey, 2 October 2014

Spacex pioneers exciting and challenging programmes of contemporary art. It has so much to offer audiences locally, nationally and internationally. Without it the south west region would be losing one of it’s few vital visual arts organisations.

Having been involved in a fantastic young curators project some years back, I will always be indebted to Spacex for helping to shape my career and thinking as an arts producer. It’s clear that Spacex has directly benefitted so many different people in so many different ways and it would be a tragedy to cut short it’s crucial work.

Leela Clarke, 2 October 2014

Spacex performs a vital role in promoting art outside London, showing artists like Elizabeth McAlpine, Shaun Gladwell and Emily Wardill before their work was widely known. It would be a tragedy both for the region and for the UK art scene if it were to close.

Patricia Bickers Art Monthly, 2 October 2014

Important to to have somewhere for people to see new ideas in any art form.

Caroline Mary Brown, 2 October 2014

I am very saddened to hear of the threatened closure of the Spacex Gallery due to funding cuts. Spacex has long been an important breath of fresh and a leading light in encouraging and supporting contemporary art and artists to the highest quality. It’s history of providing diverse and stimulating exhibitions, commissions and collaborations has been second-to-none. For this it has gained a worthy international reputation. It provides an important arena for engaging the public in contemporary art. It’s closure would not only be a sad loss but, I believe, short sighted. Contemporary art and artists, and galleries such as Spacex, who deliver support, encouragement and important public engagement, needs the support, encouragement and important public funds from Funding bodies whose aim (and job) is to support and encourage such organisations.

Spacex and its staff have my full support in its plans to continue to deliver high quality work, public participation and learning opportunities.

I wish them well.

Richard Bright
Director: The Interalia Centre
Editor-in-Chief: Interalia Magazine

Richard Bright, 2 October 2014

Spacex a vital part of the South West’s culture, over the years it has continued to host a varied thoughtful engaging programme of art encompasing both emerging local talent (my third solo show was held here in 1990) through to international artists. It would be a crime for this gallery to close.

Peter Randall-Page, 2 October 2014

Adding my support. Terrible that an independent space such as Spacex should suffer cuts when The Serpentine in London, part funded by the Arts Council, could afford to give its director a 60% pay rise.

Charlotte Young, 2 October 2014

I’m shocked that ACE would even consider cutting Spacex’s funding. On visits from London, I’ve never found their programme anything less than excellent & inspiring.

Danny, 2 October 2014

We need more spaces like Spacex, not to be shutting them down. Thanks to Spacex for showing contemporary, social engaged art in the south west. Thanks also for being kind enough to give up your time to me 3 years ago while I was doing my MA in Curatorial Practice and planning a hypothetical exhibition in the space.

Camilla Stacey, 1 October 2014


ATOI, 1 October 2014

I am very concerned about the threat facing Spacex following the recent Arts Council funding decisions. I know the Arts Council has had to make some difficult decisions because of the huge cuts it had suffered from the Government. But it would be a serious blow to lose Exeter’s main contemporary art gallery.

Ben Bradshaw, MP, 1 October 2014

I have lost count of the amount of fantastic exhibitions I have seen at this great gallery that it makes me incredibly sad to write this under these circumstances. So many fabulous artists have passed through the doors, under the care and attention of selfless professionals, that its lack of presence in the South West art scene, and indeed the UK as a whole, will be truly regrettable. Thinking positively that something can be done to rectify the current situation.

Jack, 1 October 2014

I really believe that is crucial for the visual arts in the south west for Spacex to remain open. As a young artist from this region, Spacex has been hugely important and immensely supportive institution in the development of my practice.
Not only is Spacex’s programme exciting, thoughtful and of a very high quality, Spacex is committed to providing opportunities for the development of artists from the region, delivers a sensitive outreach/learning programme and is a cornerstone for the visual arts in the south west.

I wholeheartedly support the institution and believe it would be devastating for it to close – obliterating an important resource that’s impact, achievements and legacy should be celebrated and nurtured, not destroyed.

Bryony Gillard, 1 October 2014

I have benefited from Spacex as a professional artist, as an Exeter resident and as a parent.

As a professional artist I partook in the 2010 “Random Acts of Art” residency which gained national attention through publications in a-n magazine and by London’s Whitechapel Gallery. It was an important stepping-stone in my practice and the work has become a key part of my portfolio. Since then I have won national and international awards and steadily improved my profile as a practitioner.
The exhibition of my work at the gallery was installed to the highest professional standard and the support and critical partnership Spacex offered throughout the residency were superb. The curation of 3 very different artists was extremely well considered, making for a vibrant and thought provoking show that gained much public interest. Working with Spacex and being represented by Spacex was an outstanding and memorable experience at a key point I my career.

Over the last years there has been an exiting and steady growth of theatre and performance related activity in Exeter – sadly this has not been paralleled by similar developments in the visual arts sector. As a resident I can see a British county capital with an almost embarrassing lack of high-end contemporary visual arts provision. Time and over again Spacex have demonstrated the unique role they play in the local and regional arts ecology by exhibiting contemporary work of international standard. There are capable people working across the city, but as things stand, I can see no alternative to Spacex as a place that can and will afford a rigorous and unbiased programme and curation, a place with a long track record of excellence where art can be art in its purest and most undiluted sense. It would be truly bad for Exeter to loose this place and the people that run it without alternative.

This cannot be said without highlighting Spacex’ excellent outreach and education programme.

My offspring have made intensive use of the arts programme for children and they happily continue to do so.
On one occasion I was invited to mediate between Shaun Gladwell’s work and a group of teenagers from a local collegue. On their doorstep the young people were given the opportunity to encounter the enigma of contemporary art work of international standard. It was a joy to see them gradually drop their reluctance, finding access to the wealth of images and imaginations contained within the exhibition and from there moving on to building opinions and finding the confidence to voice them. I believe that the possibility to facilitate such encounters locally is invaluable for Exeter and that Spacex are uniquely positioned to deliver that.

In loosing Spacex Exeter will suffer a loss that will be hard to justify. I am surprised that things had to come this far in the first place and I sincerely hope that the gallery will make it through this crisis, for the good of Exeter and its ambitions to be an enlightened and resilient 21st century county capital.

Volkhardt Müller, 1 October 2014

I have long admired Spacex’s artistic programme; in particular their commitment to bringing new work to the south west as well as the relationships they have built with artists and audiences both across the country and locally. I would be personally saddened to see such an organisation disappear after forty years of contributing to the region and can’t imagine what it would be like to visit Exeter with them gone.

Marie-Anne McQuay, curator, Spike Island, Bristol, 1 October 2014

Spacex is a hugely important art space in a city like Exeter, both for students and the public. I’ve attended excellent workshops and exhibitions at Spacex as an art professional and believe it would be a huge loss to see it disappear.

Debra O'Sullivan, 1 October 2014

First of all I would like to express how shocked I am that Spacex has lost their funding from the Arts Council. Unfortunately it seems too often nowadays that funding is taken out of the visual arts even here in Finland.

I do not think they really realise the people that decide how this will affect culture and art in the future. Public gallery like Spacex needs all the financial support they can as their job is so important for the midcareer artists who has a genuine need to express their creativity without the commercial galleries. “Art is not just about selling the artwork”

Normally I tend to avoid to write and to publicly post my writing but when you tell me about the situation I jumped at the chance to tell you about my experience of working with everybody in Spacex.

From the day I was asked to have an exhibition in Spacex until now I sometimes still have a brief conversation in e-mail with some of the people that work there. I was very impressed with how much time and passion they had for art.

Nicola the director of at the time came all the way from a conference in Helsinki (800km) up to north to come and help me to choose the art works and see the work in person, without her input the show would have been very much different then what it was.

As soon as I arrived for the hanging of the show I had great sence of collaboration in the group and genuine warmth and welcoming for me with a excitement about my Art exhibition .. everybody did the job extremely well and took time to make sure that I was satisfied through everything.

Malcolm the Technical Manager was extremely helpful, he was in communication with me months before the exhibition and was extremely helpful as I needed some of the work to be framed in Exeter. He was very clear and very helpful with his advice in presenting the artwork. When I got to the Spacex gallery all the art work was out unpacked ready to be put in the right places and hanged. It was very easy to work with someone who is so professional and knowledgeable in his field, any problem that rose was solved and dealt with very easily.

Rowan the Marketing Manager made sure that I was satisfied with everything published and written beforehand. He was very patient and very helpful with the text and never made me feel uncomfortable about any of the writing.

Kathy the Learning Programmer was extremely helpful too.. and my workshops were so much easier with her, she just made me feel like it was such a genuine treat for students to be able to meet the artists and to share some of my processes with them in the exercises. For me I really wanted that the educational side of the exhibition to be very clearly defined in the exhibition. All I can say is that I was extremely happy with that it’s filled in when passed my expectations.

Everyone that works at Spacex are extremely professional and very helpful and genuine in their drive and passion for art.

For me I feel the greatest part of this exhibition was that Spacex is a public gallery and did not have to function as a private selling gallery, this for me was a very important part and has really changed me in how I approach art making. The whole experience was about learning and sharing ideas for myself and from other people, the idea of creativity. For this I am forever grateful to everybody at Spacex and for the opportunity I had there.

I wish Spacex all the success in the future and thank you.

John Court, artist, 1 October 2014

I am sorry to hear that Spacex is in danger of closing. My daughter and I have enjoyed coming to Spacex and taking part in your activities for children. It is the only place in Exeter that has displays by contemporary artists where staff explain the work and the thinking behind it to families. My daughter has kept all the wonderful drawings and 3D sculptures that she has made over the years. Where else could you shoot a stop start animation of a mandrake being pulled from the earth? I hope that you manage to secure funding so as to be able to offer the people of Exeter and the surrounding area, access to the Arts that is above and beyond the norm of our so called popular culture.

Good luck and best wishes

Lisa, 1 October 2014

it had two exhibitions at Spacex. A great little gallery that adds much cultural worth to Exeter. Good luck staying open. I can donate some artworks for sale if that helps.

Jonnie, 1 October 2014

I love Spacex! Every exhibition is different and new and always makes a good talking point! Our three year old grandaughter was fascinated on her first visit. I would not like to lose you.

viv asher, 30 September 2014

I am adding my support

joy chapman, 30 September 2014

As a major city in the South West region Exeter can’t afford to loose this vital arts venue or the opportunities it offers. Good luck all at Spacex.

Bill Wroath, 30 September 2014

I moved to Devon in the mid 80’s and discovered SPACEX, it has been an important part of my development as an artist/curator since then. My eldest daughter’s first trip out of the house, when she was 2 days old, was to a SPACEX preview. The South West, and my grandchildren – if i have any – will need SPACEX!

Tim Martin, artist/curator, 30 September 2014

The Spacex is an invaluable source of contemporary in the South West. We will feel even more cut off it it closes. I go to every exhibition. This should not even be up for debate. Keep it open!

Dave Hill, 30 September 2014

I have seen many inspiring exhibitions at the Spacex Gallery during the years that I have lived in Exeter. The Spacex has lots to offer. It will be greatly missed and leave a big hole in Exeter’s cultural life. It is an important and valued resource; it is part of the image and vitality of the city for local people and visitors.

Janet Sainsbury, 30 September 2014

I can’t imagine life without Spacex.
It is unique, inclusive, magical, broad minded and has simply grown and nurtured my children’s creative voices and confidence.

Maryanne Mcardle, 30 September 2014

Exeter needs MORE inspiring, challenging, thought-provoking contemporary artspaces, not less… I’ve been to many shows at the Spacex during my time in Exeter, and they were always worth the visit. My son also enjoyed attending the art club for a couple of years. To lose Spacex would be a sad day for this city, and we need to not let that happen.

deborah, 30 September 2014

Adding my support – how many more dedicated contemporary art venues can the South West loose? It’s a very shortsighted strategy.

sandy kirkby, 30 September 2014

I’ve visited Spacex many times — it’s somewhere that’s independent-minded, and there’s invariably something interesting to see, and it’s always shown in a first rate way.

Spacex staged two touring shows I’ve curated and each time, it was a very positive experience. The staff worked with tremendous commitment and resourcefulness, and clearly cared about every aspect of their work. The potential value of the exhibitions was maximised, through wonderful events and activities, by involving students on placement, and by plugging into a local festival, for example. It’s quite simply an exemplary organisation.

Good luck with your campaigning!

Best wishes

Angela Kingston, curator, 30 September 2014

Adding my support….

John Bird, 30 September 2014

Spacex, a gallery recognized and respected internationally holds a crucial position in the southwest region, its role in presenting and commissioning contemporary art work which often sits on the margin of different practices is near unparalleled. Its rich history and education programme involve wide and varying audiences, delivering events that critically engage with issues of national and local concern.

Over the years I have visited numerous exhibitions growing up with Spacex and its programme of events. Across this year I have been volunteering at Spacex and deeply value the integral experience from working with the team and being apart of the Arts and Culture Sector in Exeter. I am deeply saddened to hear about the loss of National Portfolio Status and the jeopardy that has been brought as a result of this decision. Arts Council England has been short-sighted in there move to cut funding for Spacex, with so few visual arts venues in the southwest, the loss of Spacex could be a crucial turning point in the areas cultural importance.

May this be a sign of change and not loss; may this be an opportunity for new partnerships across the city of Exeter and the region.

Martyn Windsor, Exhibition Coordinator, CCANW, 30 September 2014

I first visited Spacex as a student and was instantly impressed by its collective and collaborative artist-centred approach – a thread which has endured, to the great credit of the organisation. Subsequent visits to the gallery have delighted and provoked. Spacex is an oasis, offering so much to visitors, programme participants and artists alike. In an industry with fast diminishing resources, Spacex plays a vital part in the arts ecology – long may this continue (it is well worth the 4 hour round trip from Dorset by public transport!).

Julie Penfold, 30 September 2014

Arts Council England’s decision to cut Spacex’s funding seems unfathomable and punitive, not just to the organisation, but to the people of Exeter and beyond, and the many artists who have benefited from the support and profile that Spacex has given them and their work. What they do really matters; ACE is simply failing its remit if it thinks the unique and substantial impact that Spacex has is something to be chucked.

Gary Thomas, 30 September 2014

I am an artist and lecturer in Fine Art. Since moving from London to the South West in 2008, Spacex has provided a vital and stimulating lifeline for my creative practice. It would be tragic for Exeter’s artists, students and families to lose this particularly energetic, respected and critical hub of contemporary art.

Fran Norton, 30 September 2014

Spacex is a vital part of what supports my continued work as an Exeter based contemporary artist and performance maker. The internationally recognised exhibition programme is something that stimulates my thinking and practice. But more importantly, the presence of Spacex in Exeter makes me feel that the city I live in is a connected and important part of the wider international arts world. I don’t think this can be underestimated in how much it contributes to what kind of cultural life a community imagines and grows for itself. Imagine London, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol without their contemporary arts galleries…

The supporting events and outreach that support the Spacex programme have enabled many young people in the city from a wide variety of backgrounds to engage in a meaningful way with international contemporary art and artists. The opportunity for this kind of education feels very important in this largely rural area – contemporary art is not just relevant to the middle class, the educated and the urban, and should not just be provided in large cities. Don’t young people who feel like they can walk into a contemporary art gallery and be literate about the processes involved in art making, curation and exhibition, become more critical, reflective about, and actively engaged in their cultural surroundings as they become adults?

Spacex staff work hard to make the gallery an inclusive and open space for visitors and provide many events that encourage both the critical discussion of contemporary arts practice, and hands-on making opportunities. They actively promote art as a social activity – with its implications for the growth of shared values and experiences as much as provision of entertainment and leisure.

As well as a campaign to support the future of Spacex in Exeter, we should also be finding ways for more of its work to reach wider audiences. What about Spacex in new premises in the heart of the city as part of the new Paris St development?

Paula Crutchlow, 30 September 2014

Spacex has been an integral part of my visual arts practise on multiple levels. But even more important throug its programming over the decades my life had been enriched by the numerous exhibitions that I have been privileged to encounter. The list is endless and memories and experiences continue to be of relevance until today !

Ineke Vanderwal

ineke van der wal, 30 September 2014

If Spacex were to close the diversity, breadth and quality of arts provision in the South West would be substantially reduced. Spacex provide a significant and important local, regional, national and international contribution to the arts.

Madeline, 30 September 2014

Spacex, as a venue of significance, and the contacts I have developed through visiting the gallery since 2006, continue to resonate in my ongoing career. I visit the gallery regularly and keep tabs on this window to the forthcoming world of contemporary art that is offered to the deep South West almost exclusively by Spacex. Its loss would be a grave one, I can only hope it finds a way to endure, broadening the horizons of Devon and Cornwall as it has for many years already.

Good luck,

bram thomas arnold, 30 September 2014

Spacex is the best gallery in the region, continously providing accessible insight into high quality contemporary art for a long time. Furthermore, its education programme is so fresh that it is a beacon in its field not just locally but also internationally, touching the minds of young and old people from all backgrounds. Finally it must be said that Spacex represents a hub for artists and thus carries a vital role in supporting the creative industry!

Susanne Radmann, 30 September 2014

Quite a few years ago now, it was getting to volunteer at Spacex that helped me realise I needed to be in a fully creative career. I had had a dream about working in a gallery and soon after I wandered past Spacex – looked around their Folk Art exhibition (on at the time) and asked about volunteering. The experience I had, being immersed in the activities (learning and researching the exhibitions) definitely helped me get a ‘proper’ job in the arts. What their education programme offers to young kids and the community is second to none in terms of inspiration, ideas and frequency. They deserve to continue! More donations, more volunteers, project funding and goodly businessssponsorship is what is needed.

Anna, 30 September 2014

As an artist based in Australia for much of my career, I have always felt distance from the contemporary art communities and audiences of other countries. Spacex was one of the first institutions to support my work even though I was, at the time, based in Sydney. The support Spacex offered was phenomenal and helped they were instrumental in my in extending an audience for my work in the UK-which consequently establish inspired more exhibitions here (and eventually motivated my relocation to the UK). I was thrilled to be invited to hold my first solo show in the UK with Spacex. I was already aware the program at this institution was world class. Artists such as Dawn Mellor and Corey Arcangel had already staged solo exhibitions at Spacex and therefore, it was a great honour to be in the company of these artists and to work with such a progressive institution. I am in full support of Spacex and am just one of many artists who have benefited from the experience of working with this invaluable contemporary art space.

Shaun Gladwell, artist, 30 September 2014

Exeter, as an expanding capital City is all the better for expanding thinking through the arts and would be the lesser for losing a venue like Spacex. However I do believe that Spacex might serve us as a community more fruitfully in the future by having more space for high calibre local artists of which there are many.

Josie Gould, 30 September 2014

Spacex continues to deliver contemporary work which not only challenges the hearts and minds of those that love the arts, but reaches out across different communities of interest to insist on the value of the extraordinary in the everyday. Viva la Spacex.

Alex Murdin, 30 September 2014

I run a project for Mind in Exeter and East Devon. Spacex have offered community-based projects in which our members have participated and we would be saddened to see Spacex go. Exeter has very few galleries for a town the size of Exeter and it’s a place where our members can go and get inspiration for their own arts projects. I hope you secure the necessary funding to continue.
Jo Swift, Women’s Network Coordinator, Mind in Exeter and East Devon

Jo Swift, 30 September 2014

Spacex is a wonderful and diverse gallery that I found to be an incredible resource whilst studying for my art degree. I no longer live in the area, however when I do visit, the Spacex gallery is somewhere that I always come back to. It would be a shame for Exeter to loose this valuable resource of art that is enriching to so many different peoples lives.

Laura, 30 September 2014

Especially in the last five years, I have felt that Spacex has been a great example of one of those rare arts organisation which, on the one hand, programmes consistently unusual, challenging and high quality work and artists and yet, on the other hand, successfully continues to connect with its direct community through a very interesting, innovative and accessible education programme. Losing Spacex would leave a real gap in the cultural landscape of the city.

Milica Lewis, 30 September 2014

Since moving to Devon more than 25 years ago I have been greatly privileged to have SPACEX presenting the most significant of contemporary practitioners in the visual arts. They have championed: Riley, Metzger, Barlow, Deller, Hume, Long and many more.

We have had interviews, talks, performance art, installations, sculpture, painting, print, lens based work and hybrids in between. Always exciting, always respecting diversity.

To lose SPACEX would be an enormous loss to Exeter in terms of its reputation as a city of learning and of cultural wealth. After the closure of The Brewhouse Arts Centre in Taunton recently, this is yet another example of cultural attrition.

Michael Calver, 30 September 2014

Spacex has a distinctive history of showing important contemporary art in Exeter. The shows have been regularly reviewed in the Guardian and Art Magazines, The Gallery has brought people from far and wide to the city to see work by- amongst others: Francis Bacon, Richard Long, Bridget Riley, Ed Allington, Angus Fairhurst, Ian Davenport, Ori Gersht, John Virtue, Gillian Wearing, Keith Coventry, Gary Hume, and Phyllida Barlow who is currently showing in the Duveen Gallery at Tate Britain. Spacex’s programme for young people has been exemplary. Spacex is part of Exeter’s cultural identity.

Lesley Kerman, 30 September 2014

Spacex is such a fantastic and exciting organisation to have had access to, from being an art student in the region through to continuing to develop as an artist, since I first visited it has continually shown a diverse and engaging cross section of contemporary art, I can remember numerous exhibitions that have had a massive impact on my practice. It seems absurd that such a hardworking and far-reaching organisation should be facing closure, and that the next generation of artists and curators from the southwest might not have the pleasure and the opportunity of visiting it.

Ryan Curtis, 30 September 2014

Spacex is an important arts venue in Exeter and a vital cog in the South West’s contemporary arts network. I always make a point of following it’s programme and visiting whenever I’m in the city. It’s a great space, presenting exciting work and it’s continued support is worth speaking up for.

Clare Thornton, 30 September 2014

When I heard of the possibility of the closure of Spacex, I let out a wail of despair. As a practicing artist in hitting distance of Spacex, my professional life would be significantly impoverished with the loss of the gallery’s important and stimulating international programme.

megan calver, 30 September 2014

Spacex is one of very few bedrocks for the support and promotion of contemporary art in the south west. It has brought international acclaim and recognition to the region through its ambitious program of exhibitions and community engaged projects. A program which has made contemporary art available to a wide audience. It has also supported the development of a new generation of home grown artists and curators (myself included). Nurturing them and giving them the opportunities, experience and guidance that allowed them to develop ongoing careers in the creative industries. Spacex is an important part of the community of Exeter and south west overall and it’s loss would be a huge blow to the culture of the region.

Ben Langworthy, 29 September 2014

Ive been really fortunate to grow up in Exeter with access to Spacex’s great programme (a brief scan of the archive demonstrates this), and the wonderful children’s Art Club. Spacex’s exhibitions are consistently on par with and far surpassing those of many galleries in London and internationally – and have been for decades. The ability to encounter this quality of contemporary art shouldn’t just be the privilege of those who live in major urban centres. Keep Spacex open!

Laurie, 29 September 2014

I travel from over an hour’s drive away, with 3 children, several times a year, to visit Spacex. It has a programme, atmosphere and welcome which is unique for 100’s of miles in every direction. There’s a lot more about what we think here: Buy viagra auckland
I cannot understate the quality of every single visit for all of us. I hope that adding our voice to this petition can help the fight to keep Spacex open.

Ellie Oliver, 29 September 2014

During the years of it’s existence, Spacex has been exemplary as a small gallery dedicated to front line contemporary art without compromise. As well as enabling the exposure of a continuous programme of diverse, thought provoking, innovative, sometimes entertaining, but often serious events and exhibitions, it has also provided a unique focal point in the community. The diversity, and extraordinary quality of the exhibitions delivered over many years has equalled that of the people from all backgrounds and cultures who have been welcomed through it’s distinctive doors. For many it has been one of the very few quiet, almost chapel-like havens where it has been possible to gain perspective and fresh views on life through immersion in the thoughts and ideas of others. For others it has been the locus of unique events, poetry readings,performances, discussions, and rare encounters with some of the most significant artists of the 20th and 21st century such as Richard Long, Gustav Metzger. Having been a platform for many to prepare themselves for a vocation in the arts, it has also opened the eyes, ears and minds of countless others, of all ages, to high quality visual art tuned in to international conversations of relevance to us all. It has fostered intercultural, international harmony, by often showing art which addresses both local and global concerns, without the yoke of overt political bias and commercial agendas . Equal access has been upheld by educational workshops and events which have now been running for decades, and the fact that whilst there are a multitude of strong and dedicated artists who have benefitted from being associated with Spacex, art need not and should not be exclusive. Many of the countless young people who have encountered exhibitions and contributed to the creative activities at Spacex, will have gained from them a deeper understanding of the value of art, (not least as a peaceful, universal form of communication), whatever their eventual career or life-path. This much beloved space has survived and flourished through both lean and abundant years due to the vision and commitment of a string of excellent directors, other staff and a constellation of volunteers. Spacex must survive and thrive at least as a vital element of the ‘soul’ of the city of Exeter.

Jenny Mellings, 29 September 2014

Please keep going

Eleanor carr, 29 September 2014

As an arts researcher I have become aware of the importance of Spacex as a venue that supports arts practitioners whose work sits at the border of different disciplines (and, often, funding sources). If Spacex wasn’t there to take those risks we’d be deprived of the opportunity to engage with this work, which dares to be different.

Laura Breen, 29 September 2014

i live now in west dorset, exeter is over an hour away and it is the nearest high quality contemporary visual art space, with exhibitions, kids workshops and talks, and off site projects. Please stay open! we need this in the south west. Someone told me that some funders have decided that what rural areas like SW need are more outdoor temporary events and festivals. No! please not just festivals – where you get a week of full-on loads of work to see and cant possibly see it all and then a cultural desert for the whole 7 months of winter. Please stay open in one way or another, although its rural here there are lots of practitioners and rural audiences do want an art gallery like spacex.

anna best, 29 September 2014

I have enjoyed many exhibitions at Spacex over the years and it has enriched my life in Exeter. My daughter spent many years attending the absolutely inspirational Art Club run by Jenny Mellings – a very special and unique experience for her, always linked with the exhibitions and enabling children (and their parents) to engage more fully with them. She has gone on to be an artist and craftswoman in her own right and I know that the Art Club was for her and several of her friends their most rewarding experience of art teaching. The Art Club has been something very important and rare for young people in the city and I’m deeply saddened to think that the gallery may close. I wish you well and hope that you may survive this funding cut.

Annemarie MacDonald, 29 September 2014

Spacex has stood nearly alone representing publicly funded contemporary art in Devon. Where it is scarce to be found, Spacex provides a programme that is well connected to developments and interests around the rest of the country. It would be a huge loss to see it be forced to close because of funding cuts. As an artist hailing from South Devon, I hope this campaign to save the Spacex succeeds. It’s essential that all forms of the arts can be encountered at a high level in every region. Also to consider that the next generation should have examples of directions open to them and those of us who have gone further afield for our careers can perhaps cite at least one established space back home. I’d always be able to think of Spacex and hope I can in future.

Holly Antrum, 29 September 2014

I think it’s very important that we keep Spacex. Outside Bristol, I believe it’s the only space that shows the work of artists who challenge and push boundaries….I don’t always like the work but it provokes thought and reaction. It’s something that Exeter heas that’s unique to this part of the country and we somehow need to protect it.
For Education…the workshops by artists co ordinated by gallery education workers, has over the years provided a ‘way ‘in ‘ for students to access contemporary art. Some of our young people have had the opportunity to meet artists and talk to them about their work.
My son and his friends, as children gained so much from the excellent Saturday morning art club run by the artist Jenny Mellings. The opportunity to create work inspired by art in the gallery, I believe, gave him something far and beyond what was available to him at school and I’m sure contributed to his choice of career in the visual arts.

sandie Hicks, 29 September 2014

Spacex is a special place that offers a special programme of involved and involving arts. It manages to put Exeter on the map for people who want to engage with visual/performance arts, and does so in a warm and inviting way. Some of the best small to medium shows I’ve seen over the past fifteen years have been at Spacex, and often Spacex has been the sole reason I’ve made the journey from Plymouth to Exeter; once in the city I will visit as many shows and spaces, shops and museums as I can. It would be a shame for such a vibrant and important South West space to be lost – places such as these are irreplaceable.

Jason Hirons, 29 September 2014

I am really saddened to hear this news. Spacex offers a great platform for some challenging and thought provoking exhibitions, in the City of Exeter where contemporary Visual Arts and culture are thin on the ground .My children have really benefitted from the excellent Saturday workshops in the past and it would be a real shame if this was taken away from young people ( especially teenagers) interested in Contemporary Art in Devon.

Caroline Hart, 29 September 2014

Gallery spaces are precious and must be preserved – we must keep the arts in people’s minds and remind them that our culture matters – Spacex is a long standing space and deserves to be preserved for the future and to sponsor artists for our future.

Susan Ash, 29 September 2014

Exeter and the SW needs you! Good luck with future plans.

Tom Freshwater, 29 September 2014

please this gallery can not close!!

Kat moss, 29 September 2014

My plea is to all those who have enjoyed the fantastic and challenging shows Spacex has put on over the years. It shaped my arts practice growing up in Devon and was always worth travelling to visit. Please, please, please give generously to this amazing place.

Tom Milnes, 29 September 2014

Spacex has run a series of excellent workshops which my children have benefited from greatly over the last few years. There is nothing else quite like this in the city, especially for older children.

Janet Smithson, 29 September 2014

I have been visiting Spacex since I was a teenager studying fine art at the art college. I then went on to bring my children to the gallery for visits and workshops. I was lucky enough to work with the education department to develop the gallery’s education programme. I have since trained as a primary teacher – part of my training was delivered at Spacex who work with Exeter University Teacher Training department and I’m now involved with introducing a whole new generation of children to culture and art via Spacex gallery projects as a teacher. I’ve seen international and home grown talent brought into the heart of Exeter for all to see. The work Spacex does is inextricably linked to my own personal development and that of my family, friends, colleagues and school. It is hard to put into words quite how important Spacex is – it must be supported to stay open!

Claire Gunningham
Artist, Primary Teacher and Art & Design Coordinator

Claire Gunningham, 29 September 2014

Dear Sir/Madam,

I love the Spacex Gallery. I travel hundreds of miles to see their exhibitions and every single visit is worth every single penny.

They offer a unique programme of work and their is no one in the South West who is quite like Spacex.

Spacex introduced me to one of my favourite modern artists ever, William Kentridge. Their group shows are often outstanding, Universalism at Stake/L’Universal was outstanding. The shows by Timothy Brennan and Ori Gersht were especially noteworthy and their curators have been first rate.

Please do everything within your power to save Spacex. Art has the power to embolden us and it encourages us to lead a rich and fulfilling life. It has enriched my life on numerous occasions and I am all the better for it.

It is a a wonderful institution and its serves everyone in the community without exception.

I do not want to lose it. Please do everything that is within your power to secure its future.

Long life Spacex!

With love and best wishes

Dr Eugene N Isaac, 29 September 2014

Exeter is lucky to have, and needs to retain, SPACEX as a leading cultural artspace in the South West. It has a high reputation both nationally and internationally.

The council needs to recognise this and get behind the fight to save Spacex.

Paul Ramsay, 29 September 2014

I am very sad to hear of this news about funding for SPACEX. As a long-time inhabitant of Exeter and the South West Of England I have always considered SPACEX as a lighthouse for engaging contemporary arts practice. Their track record for supporting truly innovative and challenging artists and art work is long and well recognised locally, nationally and internationally. For a small gallery it has a mighty and well respected name. I wish SPACEX well. It is a vibrant institute without the trappings of an institution. It is an open space that has always been generous to its artists, audiences and its future supporters via an engaging educational and outreach policy. If there can be any reprieve for the survival of SPACEX it will be of benefit to a very wide and widening horizon.


DR SIMON PERSIGHETTI, 29 September 2014

I would like to add my support to the campaign to ensure the continued funding and existence of Spacex Gallery. It is vitally important that a unique gallery, which offers so much to the community is maintained. It is through Spacex that my children were introduced to contemporary art and they, along with countless others have benefitted from the activities and opportunities organised through the Gallery. It would be a tragedy if we were to lose this space, as effectively it would remove access to contemporary art for a substantial part of the community who would be either unwilling or unable to make the journey to Bristol/Plymouth/London to access art. Exeter is not well served with arts facilities and cannot afford to lose such a valuable asset as Spacex.

Julie Churcher, 29 September 2014


Michael Chevalier, 29 September 2014

To me Spacex was a truly supportive organization (when I was asked to deliver one of the workshops for the collective praxis series). This will impact in such an unfortunate way for the rest of the region, its public, and the artist communities.

Lotte Juul Petersen, curator, Wysing Arts Centre, 29 September 2014

Exeter is overall, for its size not well served for cultural experiences. The closure of spacex would be a huge loss to our artistic landscape, both as a resource to see contemporary art but also as a platform to encourage young people’s awareness of creativity and be inspired to be creative themselves. In this increasingly consumer driven and dehumanised society, the opportunity to explore personal self development through creative expression is essential if we are not to become a society that does little else than work, shop and watch TV.

martin campbell, 29 September 2014

I was really saddened to hear earlier this year that ACE had withdrawn its regular funding of Spacex. The organisation has played a pivotal role in my development as a contemporary arts facilitator, giving me numerous opportunities whilst studying my degree (’04-’06) to gain much needed experience within the sector. This kind of support is vital to the continuing survival of a rich arts ecology both regionally, nationally and internationally. Contemporary art spaces are few and far between in the South West, Devon in particular and without Spacex there will be a huge hole. Not only will this be to the detriment to the artists, curators, producers, educators of the future, but to the numerous young people in the area who currently get their first ‘taste’ of contemporary art from this outstanding gallery.

Victoria Wastling, 29 September 2014

I worked in a studio in Spacex from 1979 on graduating from Fine Art at Exeter College of Art and Design and also showed work there. It was an incredibly important phase allowing me to continue developing. It also established itself as a significant and innovative art space that is fundamental to regional identity and international contexts.

I don’t think of Exeter without thinking of Spacex and I can’t imagine Exeter without Spacex.

Alain Ayers, 29 September 2014

It might seem like an obscure luxury to some, but it is Spacex that provides the city with any semblance of vital, relevant, contemporary culture. To lose Spacex will be to lose that status for the city. What a shame that would be. The council must get behind a fight to save Spacex.

Susannah Shaw, 29 September 2014

Spacex is one of the very few venues in the South West to be devoted entirely to ambitious contemporary visual art. Not only would Exeter as a city would be devastated by its closure, but the whole South West, and thereby the national culture, would be diminished. The region would not only lose an exciting and challenging art gallery, but the community of artists would lose one more reason to remain in the area. It is places like Spacex that make a city liveable for artists, and the presence of a community of artists make a city liveable.

Dave Beech, 29 September 2014

Our family has been enjoying Spacex for years. I used to take my son from the age of three about 10 years ago to take part in all sort of children’s activities, arts and crafts, later for animation experience. It has always been special going to the gallery, to see something new and unusual, to meet the artists and recently to be part of pottery making , that gives us new skills and opens horizons. Their aim to welcome people of different ages, levels of abilities, background and experience is amazing, and it would be a shame to loose such a valuable place as Spacex.

I.Holmes, 29 September 2014

I’ve built my career as an artist in Exeter, and Spacex has been there every step of the way – from providing me with volunteering/work experience opportunities during my time as a student to offering mentoring for two artist-led projects. At the same time, the gallery’s rich and stimulating range of exhibitions and events has been both challenging and inspirational, and continues to feed my practice as an artist.

Exeter would lose more than an art gallery if Spacex closed; it’s vital to the city’s status as a cultural destination.

Gabrielle Hoad, 29 September 2014

I was very surprised to hear of ACE’s withdrawal of funds from Spacex, following the latest round of National Portfolio applications. With few visual arts venues in the South West, we can ill afford to lose any. Spacex has played a pivotal role in commissioning, promoting and presenting contemporary art to wide and diverse audiences in a significant city in the region and should be supported to continue to do so. I truly hope that the Arts Council will reconsider its decision and work with the organisation to identify how this can happen.

Sara Bowler, 29 September 2014

Fine Art Communications want to offer Spacex every support! The arts scene is absolutely crucial to the culture and economy of the South West and cutting edge venues like Spacex are leading the way in contemporary arts in our area.

Mercedes Smith, 29 September 2014

If I can help in any way please let me know.

Lee Mc Donald, 29 September 2014

Spacex is a vitally important contemporary art space, not just for Exeter but for Devon and the south-west. We have been proud to feature its vibrant and fascinating exhibitions and events on our pages many times and fervently hope its future will be secured.

Exeter Living, 29 September 2014

I am saddened to hear this news. I have long been an admirer of Spacex as a place and a space that has brought contemporary art in all its guises to a widening public. The quality of the curated programme has always seemed to me to be strong and challenging bringing an alive and vibrant set of questions, thoughts and expressions to the city of Exeter and beyond.

John Newling, 29 September 2014

Spacex was the first contemporary art gallery that I ever visited and I still – palpably – recall the excitement at finding a portal into ‘art’ that I would have otherwise have had no opportunity to encounter – let alone contribute to.

The gallery continues to be an important venue for my professional practice some 30 years later, supporting me in several recent projects that I consider key in my own development as an artist. Most recently, I worked with the team at Spacex on a project which was explicitly aimed at broadening the gallery’s constituency – an ‘off-site’ commission on Dartmoor – which was not only presented in Exeter, but also in places that you would not immediately associate with contemporary art, such as the Dartmoor Folk Festival at South Zeal and even the University of Oxford.

Spacex has always remained close to its ‘artist-led’ roots, with studios on-site and its doors always open – its curatorial staff willing to sit down and develop a project with an artist and always open to new ideas.

At at time when funding for the visual arts has been radically reduced, this latest decision to withdraw Arts Council funding further eviscerates the visual arts in the South West region and Devon in particular. Having lost its art school some time ago, Exeter will lose its last institutional connection to the commissioning and presentation of contemporary art, which is something that everyone concerned that we have a diverse ecology of arts institutions will recognize as a sign of crisis and which Arts Council England– as Art’s advocate – should do its utmost to avert.

Simon Pope, artist, 29 September 2014

I really enjoyed working with you and Spacex on the Collective Praxis workshops and publication – they provided the kind of space for open and honest exchange between practitioners, which is obviously in demand. I hope there is a way for Spacex to continue to provide this kind of support structure for artists with the well-needed financial support it deserves.

Sophie Hope, artist, 29 September 2014

Spacex gave me a brilliant opportunity as a young emerging artist to develop a new piece of work for public exhibition. The commissioning process was both challenging and supportive, and allowed me to develop my ideas, push my practice and gave me experience of working in a professional environment. The context of Exeter was an important part of the commission, making it a unique experience and enriching the work. For me, Spacex has played an important role in the development of my career as an artist.

Amy Feneck, artist, 29 September 2014