Nik Butler: Inspirational spaces dedicated to sharing and expression

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Down among the retail spaces, hidden in the market places, lives a moment free and clear of brand enforced mandatory cheer; a moment of creative grace defined so crudely as “pop-up space”.

In between all the protests and ethical questions the creation of art continues; irrespective of political or faith fuelled aims.

The return of the Horsham ‘Partners in Art’ gallery highlights that Horsham has a history in Art, creativity, and imagination, which receives barely a nod of awareness on a grander scale. Sadly the only times when public money is invested in presentations of “art” the results lead to much speculation as to the decision making process.

Some might say that no matter how art is chosen it cannot please everyone. These same pundits fail to understand that the purpose of art is not pleasure for its own sake but for expression, identity and contribution. It is not limited to a few square feet of Swan Walk but exists in words, music, sculpture, performance, learning and education.

From the fantastic forum of Millais ‘United by Flames’ to the ongoing efforts of Horsham Partners in Art through the variety of plays and musical concerts and readings. There exists in Horsham a quiet revolution which does not protest for better awareness; though it should. It raises no banners and marches down no streets but it pops up into existence and reminds us that at its heart Horsham inspires creativity and emotion; then expresses it without permission of committee or council.

Would that we were to invest as much energy and revenue into providing spaces for Art, or science, as we do for sports. Would that we could announce Art and Science grants in the same comments which proudly detail those provided for sports own goals. Sadly more time will be spent debating the right place for a football pitch than the many potential spaces for expression of Art and if you thought there was no money in Art or expression you might want to think again; as to where the National Gallery sits or where all the major galleries are within London.

When I need to step away from the aggravated mundane and myopic political discourse I find nothing more refreshing than the pause to appreciate the creative moments in Horsham. Spaces where people commit to sharing, development and expression to remember that a Town is its people not its politics.