Diverse range on display at ‘No Jury No Prize’ at London Street Gallery

Artist Denzil Brown pictured with his unique taxidermy piece 'Rag Bag' which is currently on display at 'No Jury No Prize' at the London Street Gallery.

Artist Denzil Brown pictured with his unique taxidermy piece 'Rag Bag' which is currently on display at 'No Jury No Prize' at the London Street Gallery.

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Almost 300 artists from across Ireland are taking part in ‘No Jury No Prize’ - a fascinating and unique exhibition celebrating creativity.

The event has opened at Derry’s London Street Gallery as part of the City of Culture programme for 2013.

Art is the subject on everyone’s lips at the moment as the city hosts the biggest showcase of contemporary art, the Turner Prize 2013, and ‘No Jury No Prize’ will display a diverse range of work by artists in all mediums until November 6.

A special symposium will be held at The Playhouse on November 2 to discuss the exhibition.

Featuring some intriguing pieces - including a handbag made from a dead rat entitled ‘Rat Bag’ - ‘No Jury No Prize’ is the brainchild of local artist and curator Rory Harron, a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art.

The concept finds its roots in the ethos of the Salon des Refusés and the Société des Artistes Indépendants in nineteength century Paris.

Rory has been working alongside gallery curator Noelle McAlinden who believes the exhibition should now become an annual event.

“The exhibition was scheduled specifically to get maximum profile and exposure for artists, local as well as regional, during the Turner Prize, and they have really done an excellent job,” she said.

“We have been working with Rory for over a year and a half or so to help make this exhibition and symposium happen and it’s attracted great interest from artists, educators, curators and the general public. It’s accessible and engaging and that’s what this year and this gallery is all about.”

“The response has been amazing. The artists have not disappointed us, they have responded in creative and resourceful ways, some sensitively and some with great humour and wit, while others have made significant statements about some very serious issues.

“We plan to make this exhibition an annual event and our forthcoming free symposium on November 2 is dedicated to participating artists and members of the public who are keen to contribute to the ongoing dialogue about ‘What is Art?’”.

Curator Rory Harron said: “It’s been an ongoing ambition of mine to schedule a ‘No Jury No Prize’ exhibition and symposium in the city. I’m delighted and very proud it has come to fruition... I’m very proud to be associated with this exhibition, and to have the opportunity to work with and learn through The London Street Gallery experience.”

The exhibition is now open to the public until November 6, 11am to 4pm, seven days a week including Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

For more information on the exhibition and full programme of events at the gallery, go to www.londonstreetgallery.org.

To book places at the November 2 symposium, email londonstreetgallery@gmail.com