Leanne and Gareth here...
We didn't make it through
We can’t sugar coat this one, it’s bad news… Thought Foundation as we all know and love it will not be reopening.
You know our heart, soul, and oodles of our time has gone into setting up TF. Gareth and I gutted a disused vehicle repair shop and transformed it into a quirky, unconventional arts and community space with kindness, thoughtfulness and creativity at its core (on a shoestring budget to boot). It was 110% hard graft especially with our 2 micro humans in tow, but when we have a goal…
Anyway we have seen some stressful times and over the rainbow, tremendous, slap you around the face, overwhelmingly lovely times. Money has always been tight and funding for our social enterprise had been scarce (although we did mange to plug into a few pots with a lot of time, energy and help!).
Since the enforced Covid closure in March we have spend some time ‘number crunching’ (not our favourite activity), assessing, reassessing, not sleeping, sleeping a lot, being certain and changing our minds, but in balance we have drawn the conclusion that we wouldn’t financially survive the uncertain coming months, and quite frankly we’re not sure we have the fight in us.
There will be multiple (worthy) organisations competing for scraps of funding, we have already been unsuccessful in our emergency arts council funding and ultimately we need big, busy events to make money, which we can’t make happen in a safe socially distant way.
We can imagine many of our TF community have spent a lot of time re-evaluating during lockdown, like us we are sure you have questioned what it’s all about. We have certainly enjoyed the slow down pace and quality time with our family, its been a little intense at times.
We are now going to take some time to work out how we can sprinkle around some TF creativity without having the venue, cafe and the mega overheads. This will most probably come in the form of workshops and exhibition in other spaces, we will certainly take your ideas... you know we love to hear from you guys.
So it is with a quivering bottom lip that we thank you. You have made our journey over the last 3 years 100% worth it!
We have emerged as better humans, our children have been able to join the madness too which we are sure will be embedded in their developing brains! Ultimately we achieved our aim to build a thoughtful, kind and creative community around us, from our dynamo staff (past and present), regulars like Maureen, Katie, Beth and Aaron, our exhibiting artists such as Megan Randall, Alan Coulson, Lady Kitt, John Carroll, our facilitators like Moya, Paige, Amanda and Gillian and all the people who attended our exhibitions, events and workshops, etc. There has been so many humans, we couldn’t possibly mention you all, but hopefully you know who you are! We hope you made memories to treasure. So thanks, thanks and more thanks from the bottom our thoughtful, kind and creative hearts
Sophie our master baker, super cook and an expert with customer service has started her own vegan bakes, follow her Instagram here…@veganbakesncl
Michaela is a grafter of all grafters, so if you need an exhibition curating or a creative event organising email her firstname.lastname@example.org
Me, Leanne I am concentrating on my arts practise, if you want a portrait painting email me email@example.com follow me on instagram @leanne_pearce_artist
Sorry we haven’t been in touch in a while… strange times for sure.
As per government guidelines it looks like cafes and galleries would be able to open from 4th July, however we have made the decision (based on finances and staffing) not to open at the moment. Team TF are constantly reviewing this and will update you end July/August.
We hope everyone is well and enjoying the sun whilst its lasts.
In the meantime please also check out our TF digital exhibition in collaboration with Durham University… heaps of good quality affordable art… https://www.tfdigital.co.uk/
After the announcement of our temporary closure, our community have come up trumps with innovative ways to bring happiness. Our lush artist friend Megan Randall has suggested a street gallery, which we love the idea of!
So here is what we suggest… you or a family member make a drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, then pop it in your window, stick it onto the glass or hang it from the fixings. Give your piece of art pride of place in the People Street Art Gallery.
Here are some inspirational ideas to start your art.
- Create a collage self-portrait in the style of Picasso, use old magazines and scrap paper… imperfect is perfect and cutting out is really therapeutic.
- Do a line drawing of a tree, maybe include the roots, take your time and capture the detail. It’s always best to look at the thing you are drawing for inspo, so if you can’t see a tree, a houseplant is a great place to start. All you need is paper and pencil (make sure it is sharp).
- Have a look at the work of Yayoi Kusama and get busy with repetitive dots and vivid, clashing colours, felt tips are great to use for this (a great stress reliever)
Remember nobody is judging you, it’s just a bit a fun, something else to focus on in these strange times. And it might really brighten someone else’s day when they walk passed your window, if people don’t pass-by then think of your post human who will love it… we are sure of it!
Share photos of your contribute here.