DRIVEN - An exhibition in which 32 artists make work about the automobile
Curated by Sarah Sparkes

Few things have had a greater impact on 20th Century life and culture than the motor car. In a hundred years or so it has metamorphosed from exotic plaything of the rich to indispensable adjunct to life in developed societies. Freedom machine, sex symbol, design and status icon, offensive weapon, agent of pollution, devourer of the earth’s resources – it is all of these and more. From the romance of James Dean, Princess Diana, Jackson Pollock, the list goes on ...beautiful machines on the edge of death, to the weekly visit to the supermarket, the car is omnipotent.

‘The more you drive, the less intelligent you are’ states one of the characters in Alex Cox’s cult movie, Repo Man. Driving being seen here as a mindless act in which any intellect is lost when operating an unthinking, unfeeling machine. Maybe, this is the view many of us have from the outside, as a potential ‘road-kill’ victim. However, from the inside as passenger or driver we can become transported into a realm of freedom, the car becoming a vehicle for our aspirations. We can lose our selves inside what Ballard referred to as ‘a huge metallised dream’. As such, cars become metaphors for otherness, for escape, for our own private space, for the way we imprint our fantasies on life. ‘Like all epochal icons, the car does not mean one thing, but many things. In that sense, it is an ‘empty sign’. It is a vacuum. We fill it with meaning’, - as Allen Samuels states in 'Autopia.'

The Driven artists are: Sarah Baker, Helen Barff, Paul Caton, Ami Clarke, Leigh Clarke, Cedric Christie, Andrew Cross, Mikey Cuddihy, Robert Currie, Sarah Doyle, James R Ford, Adrian Galpin, Nigel Grimmer, Alexis Harding, David Hopkinson, Marq Kearey, John Kindness, Tim Knowles, David Leapman, Jennifer Merrell, Lee Maelzer, Dan McDermott, Leila Miller, Jessica Potter, Benedict Radcliffe, DJ Roberts, Amy Robins, Colin Smith, Sarah Sparkes, Axel Stockburger, Heidi Stokes, Ben Woodeson.

This exhibition has been kindly supported by Citroen City and the Classic Car Club.

Associated Events:
First Thursdays - the gallery will be open on Thu 5 Jul 2007, 6 - 9pm, and Mikey Cuddihy will read her new story Dinner at the Drive In Movies at 7.30pm.

Driven by Cars - Fri 27 Jul 2007, 6 - 9pm.
Artist film night and talk, curated by Ricarda Vidal.