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“Fruiting” – A Space Arts at The Hidden Wardrobe

Our friends at ‘a space’ arts’ brand new exhibition at The Hidden Wardrobe (found on Old Northam Road, for any Southampton locals) is ‘open’ now!

We say ‘open’ because, well, you’re not allowed inside (that’s COVID for you), but that’s where the ‘a space’ arts gang has brought some light to the dark. Literally. “Fruiting”, the latest work by Mandy Smith, is designed to be seen during both the day and at night, lifting the spirit of commuters – or those out for their restricted exercise routines.

Inspired by a mushroom found growing inside the Hidden Wardrobe – an abandoned costume shop which ‘a space’ arts have transformed into the city’s latest Covid-compliant gallery – the work is a reflection on the regeneration of Old Northam Road, the new communities ‘growing’ there and the incredible life of fungi. 

Mandy Smith, the creator of Fruiting, wanted to create a light-hearted installation that excites and inspires passers-by, inspired by the work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and her own experiences during both 2020 COVID lockdowns. 

“Fungi can take on some of the characteristics of their environment, usually with a change of smell or taste. For this installation I have envisaged the mushrooms changing colour, taking on the characteristics of the paintings that are inside the building and made by fellow RIPE artist Benji Heinke. Benji’s paintings contain a bold use of colour and design which I enjoy. His work references pop art from the 1960s, an era during which Old Northam Road was thriving as a busy and bustling antiques quarter.”  – Mandy Smith, ‘a space’ arts contributor

If you can’t make it to the Hidden Wardrobe on Old Northam Road – don’t fret. Fruiting is available as a digital experience; click here to see more.