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Before I Die… Arrives in the Midlands – Participatory Interactive Art Project – 7th to 26th August 2012

Before I Die… Savannah by Trevor Coe

From 7th-26th August, visitors to Leamington Spa will be able to take part in ‘Before I Die…’, a moving and thought-provoking, public participatory art project that will be hosted at Gallery150 in Regent Court Shopping Centre.

When Candy Chang, from New Orleans, lost someone very dear to her, she struggled to maintain perspective and wanted to find out what was important to the people around her. With the help of friends, she turned the side of an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard and stencilled it with the sentence “Before I die I want to_______”. Anyone walking by could pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives, and share their personal aspirations in a public space.

To Candy’s amazement, the very next day, the wall was covered with the hopes and dreams of hundreds of people and continued to grow. But, what initially started out as an experiment has fast gained worldwide momentum, appearing as far afield as Australia, Canada, Lebanon, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Scotland, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.

Over the next few weeks, the public will be able to add their own thoughts to a dedicated wall at Gallery150, and, if they wish, they can also have the moment captured by a professional photographer, using equipment kindly sponsored by the London Camera Exchange in Leamington. Each day, the best of these portraits and statements will be documented and exhibited in the gallery, becoming an integral part of the exhibition. The event will culminate in a human and fascinating reflection on life, death and love, which will be presented in a private view on Sunday, 26th August 2012.

Situated in 9 Livery Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 4NP, Gallery150 is open Tuesday-Saturday 11am to 6pm and Sunday 11.00am to 4.00pm.

Credits: Image by Trevor Coe.

Area: West Midlands

About Musing on Spines

Sarah Silver has over 20 years of experience in various sectors including, art, design, fashion, IT, communication, import/export and publishing. Although originally from Warwickshire, Sarah lived for 19 years in Italy, where she gained extensive knowledge in the commercial, public relations, marketing, publishing and press sector, as well as running, organising and curating design events and art exhibitions for private companies and her own business ventures. During this period she was involved in the start-up of three companies and also attended EU-funded marketing and sales courses. In 2009, she set-up the Musing on Spines art blog, which now has over 400 visitors per month. On returning to the UK, in 2010, she co-founded BRINK, a not-for-profit contemporary arts organisation, based in Kenilworth, where she worked until March 2012. From 2010-2012, she also worked for Leamington Studio Artists (LSA), in the role of curator, press officer and newsletter editor, as well as being an active committee member. In February 2012, Sarah founded Bastian Contrarian, a new company that promotes emerging and established artists, providing tailored, sector-specific media and PR services to artists, galleries and arts organisations. For the past twelve years she has been working as a PR, events organiser, freelance arts writer, curator, journalist and translator, with articles and poetry published worldwide.

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