whitehot | February 2011, The Few and Far Between @ The Rag Factory
Interview with The Few and Far Between
The Few and Far Between is a brand new arts collective committed to showing the best art school and graduate talent alongside established practitioners. Their first exhibition including over 100 artists, plus DJs, at The Rag Factory, East London, created quite a stir. Becky Hunter talked to Rebecca Goodyear and Tabby Booth, the team behind the movement, about the show's highlights, collaboration, entrepreneurship, feminism and selling art without the middle man.
Rebecca Goodyear & Tabby Booth: We were brought together by the mastermind behind http://solocopy.com, Victor. We hit it off instantly and all three of us share a vision of making life easier for artists and creatives alike. We believe they shouldn't have to pay extortionate amounts to exhibit or give massive cuts of their sales to middlemen. We want to revolutionize the entire creative world - our exhibition has been described as "one of a kind". I don't think you have many debut exhibitions with approaching 100 artists with such calibre of work, over 2000 bottles of Beck's, Roots Manuva and his Banana Klan music collective on the decks and mic with people dancing to reggae, dub and jungle till 11:30!
Hunter: What does the collective's name - The Few & Far Between - refer to?
Goodyear & Booth: It refers to the fact that all the work shown is original, with very few or limited copies made and also reflects the standard of the work. Fabulous, exclusive work minus the hefty price tag - that's certainly few and far between in the art world.
Hunter: How did the launch exhibition at The Rag Factory, East London, go? How will you be measuring your success - in terms of sales, press coverage, collaboration, or something else?
Goodyear & Booth: The launch exhibition was a roaring success. Both Tabby and I feel it couldn't really have gone any better. The whole weekend was mostly about Saturday night. We had around 600 people for that night and around 1000 people in total over the course of the weekend. I know several artists sold their work. We were on the Dazed and Confused website. We wanted our exhibition to be about "art for all" and we let everyone exhibit who submitted work. We are truly delighted, there was such a magical buzz throughout the whole event.
Hunter: What do you think attracted so many young, high-calibre artists and designers to apply to be in the show?
Goodyear & Booth: I think offering free exhibition space helped! Tabby has lots of contacts throughout the art colleges so word spread thick and fast and most of my artist friends submitted something. The one thing we were concerned about was the standard of the work. Opening an exhibition for everyone to exhibit could have gone either way, but wandering round after set up both Tabby and I were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the art.
Hunter: The show also got some great sponsorship deals, which I think is a brilliant coup so early on. You're balancing commercial and egalitarian ideas here. Why did you go for this particular mix?
Goodyear & Booth: We realise that in order to maintain our ethics and not to charge extortionate amounts to artists for the events, we need to recouperate our expenditure in some way. We tried to keep the sponsors relevant. We were having a party, people like to drink at parties and Beck's are known for their support of the arts so they seemed the logical company to approach. Our other two sponsors were Cass Art and Schminke, and Cass Art gave all artists that exhibited as well as visitors great money off vouchers so their sponsorship was of benefit not just to our pockets, but all exhibitors and visitors.
Goodyear & Booth: I don't think that gender is an issue for being taken seriously at all. We're both very headstrong and focused, determined to be successful. If it was a problem with anyone we came across, we simply wouldn't do business with them. We both believe to get ahead in today's society you do have to be a feminist to some extent, who knows you may find us burning our bras at our fashion event in May as some kind of statement!
Goodyear & Booth: The logo was all down to Tabby, they are brilliant! Our flyers were really eye catching and different because of them.
Hunter: Which other artists were you particularly thrilled to be working with?
Goodyear & Booth: As well as Zeroten and Baiba Ladiga, we were blown away by the photography of Mike Massaro and Jamie Ellington. We must thank Mike for stepping in at the last minute and taking a lovely photo of Tabby, myself and Mimi my dog for the Dazed Q&A. Vahakn Matossian added charm to the installation with some really cute wooden animal sculptures scatter through the galleries.
Hunter: Any future plans?
Goodyear & Booth: Our next major event will be a fashion weekend in May. We've had a couple of meetings about it already - it's going to be a big one!
Noah Becker: Editor-in-Chief