The Minories Galleries
The Minories Galleries houses a contemporary art gallery run by Colchester School of Art. The site is also home to a shop selling some of the best art and crafts to be found across the region, has meeting rooms for hire, and can also cater for weddings and other events. A listed Georgian building, The Minories is of local importance within the historic town of Colchester.
The Victor Batte-Lay Foundation, over the years assisted by the ‘Friends of The Minories’ support group, have ensured the building be used to present art for the community of Colchester and visitors to the town. This has continued and now ensures the Colchester School of Art provides contemporary art and design in one of Colchester’s most distinctive buildings.
As well as the public gallery and shop, there is also the Batte-Lay Tea Rooms (run by Tiptree) and a wonderful walled garden that is looked after by The Friends of The Minories. The Minories is next door to Firstsite, Colchester’s new contemporary art space, in the centre of the town’s cultural quarter.
The Galleries are open Monday – Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm.
Entry is Free.
The Minories Galleries, 74 High Street, CO1 1UE, Colchester, United Kingdom
Tel: (01206) 712437
The Garden, and some areas of the main building are available for private hire, for business meetings, conferences or training sessions. The Gardens and Building are also a wonderful setting for wedding receptions, private parties and other celebrations. Contact us for more information.
Hire The Minories
- Exhibition Hire
- Private hire (parties and celebrations)
- Business meetings
- Training sessions
For booking enquiries please email email@example.com
Outdoor Theatre at The Minories –
Chameleon’s Web Theatre Company Presents
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Sunday 6th August
2.30pm & 6.30pm, The back garden gate will open 1 hour before each performance
The Minories Garden, High St, Colchester CO1 1UE
All Dorothy Gale wants to do is travel. Get out of Kansas, go somewhere new. Somewhere different. Dorothy’s father doesn’t want her to go, afraid that something might happen to her. But when a tornado hits the Gale farmstead, Dorothy goes further than she ever thought possible.
Stuck in a strange land with only a Scarecrow, A Tin Woodsman and a Lion for company, Dorothy sets off on a quest to return home, a quest that will require brains, heart and bravery. But the Wizard of Oz won’t help and a witch is after Dorothy’s slippers. The Scarecrow can’t remember anything, the Tin Woodsman doesn’t care and the Lion… well, he’s got issues.
With things looking bleak and the way home uncertain, Dorothy starts to look at her life in a whole new way, because travel really does broaden the mind.
Ticket Prices – £11 Adults, £9 Concessions, £34 Family (2 Adults, 2 Children)
Box office – 0333 666 3366 (£1.50 booking includes p&p)
All other enquiries – 07936 067657
Beginners Creative Writing -Two day workshop –
Monday & Tuesday
Date 1 : 21 / 08/17
Date 2 : 22/08/17
10am – 4pm
Clusters of machines that probe our relationship with mechanical objects when they break down.
Friday 16 June 6-9pm
Saturday 17 June to Saturday 27 August 2017
Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm
Alex Pearl is interested in the way we relate to machines, particularly in the way we relate to them when they break down. This area of research feels increasingly relevant as our interaction with machines increases on a daily basis.
We rely on machines for many of our daily tasks – from drying hair to toasting bread, moving us around to documenting thoughts, capturing images to sharing almost everything, we probably engage more with machines than we do with other human-beings. We are so continuously contiguous with our phones that we are virtually cyborgs, and with the development of technological implants, that science fiction is very close to becoming a reality.
Our exchanges with machines are usually off-hand and casual – if we are familiar with them we use them almost without thinking. But what happens when machines break down? How does our relationship with them alter? This question is at the crux of Alex’s work, and the machines he makes often do break down as he builds in a tendency to failure, whether through bad workmanship (deliberate or otherwise) or by constructing something that only just works, thereby increasing the likelihood of it not working.
When a machine breaks down we pay a lot more attention to it – feelings of frustration or anger are sometimes vented on it, and we often act as if the machine is sentient and has chosen to break down in some kind of malicious attempt to stop us doing from what we were trying to do. This anthropomorphism of machines can induce us to shout or swear at them, call them names, or perhaps (in the famous scene in Fawlty Towers where Basil’s car breaks down) thrash them with a branch.
The humorous aspect of this behavior has not gone unnoticed by Alex, and he exploits the ridiculousness of our relationship with, and attitude towards these amalgemations of dumb materials to produce works that highlight some of these emotions and reactions. He produces works that build towards collapse, and teeter on the edge of failure, drawing us in with the thrill of anticipation as we wait for something momentous to occur, until we begin to understand that maybe nothing will take place, and walk away bemused but maybe also amused.
The machines and videos displayed in Love Machines have largely been conceived and constructed in FACTLab, an open facility developed by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool) to allow artists and technologists to explore their technoerotic fascinations. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to approach the machines consciously and cautiously, and consider their relationship to them. The machines will also develop their own relationship with the space they inhabit and any body that approaches them. As they approach breakdown they will be repaired, reconfigured and replaced. This act will be a performative element of the exhibition but not quite a performance.
Alex says about his work: “Even in 1932, mechanologists like Jacques Lafitte were seeking to break down the perceived barrier between what was considered human and what was considered machine. Of course, robots had already been invented and were often (like Fritz Lang’s Maria in Metropolis) running amok, tearing down the human world. Now, while we continue to be anxious about the machine, our intimacies with metal and silicon have never been greater. We love (and hate) machines. The relationships explored in Love Machines are a little less violent than much Science Fiction but no less intimate. Hopefully in this exhibition there is a level of (self)love in the material exchanges experienced by the viewer, the artist and the machines.”
About the artist
Alex Pearl’s practice encompasses video, sculpture, photography, and occasionally even performance. It plays with ideas of chance, quotidian struggles, loss of control and failure. Currently he is working on a practice led PhD in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University and FACT, for which he is making a number of machines and films investigating the relationship between mechanical breakdown and anthropomorphism. His title is Breakdown: Mechanical Dysfunction and Anthropomorphism.
Pearl’s work displays a boyish fascination with the structures and images of Science Fiction. His machines often resemble the productions of a crackpot hobbyist, an ersatz Rotwang without the funding or genius. He has exhibited nationally and internationally in venues such as: The Sydney Opera House, Tate Britain, the Whitstable Biennale and a small hut in Siberia. He has also been unsuccessful in more than one grant application. These have included Arts Council funding to slaughter rival artists, a British Antarctic Survey application not to go to the Antarctic and planning permission to build a rocket launch pad in a gallery in Bristol.
Support local artists, designers and makers
by visiting our shop at The Minories Galleries.
Open Monday to Saturday, 10am until 5pm
If you are interested in selling in The Minories Shop please contact Cydney Barrows
Tel: 01206 712 437
74 High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1UE